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SUMMER 2009

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LEE WOODRUFF ON THE UN-SOCCER MOM

: Yankees and Mets Fans

Summer Events, Shows and Exhibits : HOST A FRESH AIR FUND CHILD SAVE THE CHILDREN: A CUSTODY BATTLE



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westTOC

6/15/09

2:38 PM

Page 14

38 ISSUE

Fe a t u r e s

Departments

36

TAKE ME OUT OF THE BALL GAME

24

by Lee Woodruff The un-soccer mom’s perspective.

102

LARRY'S KIDNEY

116

48 62

COVER ART: DAVE CUTLER

p. 62

78 90

by Daniel Asa Rose When family duty calls, how do we respond?

PIVOTAL MOMENTS by Julie Ridge There comes a time, in every person’s life, for greatness.

IT'S A GOOD TIME TO BUILD by Arian Modansky If you’ve got the money, they’ve got the crews, goods, and time.

FICTION: GREENWICH STORY by Stephen Rhodes Sex! Greed! Money!

132 144 162 178 204 241

TRAIN OF THOUGHT by Martha Mintzer Be a Fresh Air Fund host family. FROM THE SIDELINES by Suzy Allman New York sports fans revealed. LIKE A ROLLING STONE Ski Chile; Scotland and the North of England. PARENT TRAP by Jessica Bram The children come first in any divorce. THE ARTS A calendar of upcoming events, shows and exhibits. RURAL PALATES Pubs, Taverns, Tapas and Thai NEXT STOP GRAND CENTRAL... The Age of Aquarius. THE GREEN ROOM by Nancy Balbirer I knew her way back when. THE LOCAL SCENE News on schools, neighbors, town and leisure.

p. 204 1 4 I S S U E 3 8 . 2 00 9


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trainthought

6/15/09

2:22 PM

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TR AINOF THOUGHT

Editor & Publisher

Eric S. Meadow

Editor

Celia R. Meadow

Art Director

Tim Hussey

Executive Editor

Debbie Silver

Travel Editor

Susan Engel

Editors at Large

Paula Koffsky Rich Silver Howard Jacobs

General Counsel

BECOME A FRESH AIR FUND HOST FAMILY It was a hot summer

day in B Y / M A R T H A M I N T Z E R July 2007 when my youngest son, Jeremy, and I waited in Fairfield for a bus from New York City to arrive with our Fresh Air Fund Child. When the first little girl flew off the bus and into the arms of her waiting host family, I knew I was hooked. This little girl was so happy to see her host family, and likewise they were thrilled to see her. At last Jesus Medina, from Brooklyn, came off the bus and we met our Fresh Air Fund child for the very first time. He had seen our poster with his name on it, as the bus pulled into the parking lot, and knew we were his family. This shy nine-year-old boy said hello and smiled at us. Jesus was not the only one who was nervous: how would I handle it if he got homesick and cried at night? Would he enjoy our home and the things we liked to do? Once at home, he settled into our family surprisingly quickly. That very first day he asked both me and my husband separately if it was ok if he called us Mom and Dad. We both said “Of course!� Every year, hundreds of kids from New York City kiss their mom, grandma, aunt, or father goodbye, and head all over the northeast to spend a week or two with a volunteer host family. It takes a tremendous amount of trust on the part of the child's caregiver, and a large amount of work too, filling out paperwork and getting medical check-ups. But for hundreds of these parents and guardians, the work and the trust are worth the experience of their child spending two weeks out of the hot, sometimes dangerous, city neighborhoods. Without this opportunity, many of these children would spend their summer cooped up in front of a TV in a hot NYC apartment.

2 4 I S S U E 3 8 . 2 00 9

Bruce Koffsky, Esq.

Contributors: Nancy Balbirer, Jessica Bram, Michael Carter, Suzanne Clary, Ric Klass, Martha Mintzer, Arian Modansky, Kiran Pande, Cathryn Prince, Stephen Rhodes, Julie Ridge, Daniel Asa Rose, Jay Sears, Nellie Stagg, Bruce Tulgan, Bob Woodiwiss, Lee Woodruff. Contributing Photographer: Suzy Allman, Cliff Feller, Elise Gannett, Kerry Long, Paul Moore Cover Illustration: Dave Cutler Editorial Assistant:

Benjamin Soloway

Advertising Sales Manager

Libby Rosen

Advertising Sales Rep. Carla Grammatica Barbara Greenhouse Paul McNamara Simone Meadow Distribution Manager Richie Smith Advertising Inquiries (203) 227-5377 Editorial Inquiries

(203) 319-0873

Fax

(203) 319-0755

Weston / Westport Country Capitalist / Greenwich Country Capitalist /Rye magazines, issue #38, are published 4 times per year by The Weston Magazine Group, a division of Weston Magazine INC. P.O. Box 1006, Weston, CT, 06883. Tel: 203/227-5377. Email: eric@thewestonmag.com. Copyright 2009 by Weston Magazine, INC. All rights reserved. Weston/Westport Country Capitalist/Greenwich Country Capitalist/Rye magazines are a trademark of Weston Magazine, INC. The contents of this publication may not be reproduced either in whole or in part without the consent of the publisher. Weston assumes no responsibility for unsolicited materials. Print subscription rate: four issues, $100. Back issues, $10. Attention Postmaster: send address corrections to Weston, P.O. Box 1006, Weston, CT 06883. Printed in Canada.


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trainthought

6/15/09

2:22 PM

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In contrast, during the two weeks that Jesus stayed with us, he enjoyed swimming in our pool, playing on the computer, tubing off the back of our friend’s boat, and even going to the movies. My son Jeremy was shocked to learn that Jesus had never been to the movies before. We certainly kept busy, and by the time the visit was over, both boys had had fun, and I was thoroughly exhausted. For the record, two weeks can be a very long “play-date.” Did the boys get along all the time? Absolutely not. They fought over the X-box and whose turn it was to “go first” — just normal sibling stuff. But while Jesus no doubt enjoyed himself, we too reaped many rewards from his visit. My son learned the importance of compassion and understanding, along with learning a lot about growing up in the city, in an apartment, and without a father. Last summer Jesus came back to us again. Being a little wiser this time, I put the boys in organized activities. Jesus got to go to camp, where he wrote a play that the kids performed. And most exciting, he went with his group on an overnight camping trip, where they slept in tents, swam in a lake and roasted marshmallows — all things that EVERY kid should have

a chance to do, and are supposed to do, during the summer. Long ago, my fate was tied to the Fresh Air Fund. While growing up, my family also participated in hosting several Fresh Air Fund children. I am happy to continue the tradition. Last year, I also became the local area chairperson. This means that I recruit new host families and organize the visits of the children to Fairfield County. The families that I meet are fantastic and very giving people. Yet, while Fairfield County can claim to have the “best” of many things, one area in which we lack distinction is the number of families willing to host these Fresh Air Fund children. Summer 2009 could be the year we turn that around. While hosting a Fresh Air Fund child is not for everyone, I know there are many families out there who, for two weeks, could make an inner-city child very happy and provide him or her with an amazing experience with lifelong memories. For more information on becoming a Fresh Air Fund host in Fairfield County, please contact Martha Mintzer at 203/226-6627 or martha_mintzer@yahoo.com. For Southern Westchester, contact Cicily Lynette at 914/263-2306 or lynobird@aol.com. ❉

OUR SUMMER WITH ANDREW MY HUSBAND HAD BEEN AFTER ME FOR THREE YEARS TO CONSIDER HOSTING A FRESH AIR CHILD. IT JUST NEVER SEEMED TO BE THE RIGHT TIME OR FIT INTO OUR BUSY SUMMER SCHEDULE. IT WASN'T THAT I DID NOT WANT TO HAVE A FRESH AIR CHILD; I WAS JUST TOO BUSY TO GO THROUGH THE PROCESS. ALL I CAN SAY IS, I WISH WE HAD DONE THIS YEARS AGO… WE HAVE FOUR CHILDREN, AGES TWELVE TO SIX, WITH TWO LARGE LABS AND A SCHEDULE THAT JUST SEEMS TO KEEP SPINNING. BUT THE KIDS WERE SO EXCITED FOR OUR FRESH AIR CHILD’S ARRIVAL LAST AUGUST, THAT IT TURNED OUT TO BE THE HIGHLIGHT OF THE SUMMER. ANDREW, NINE YEARS OLD, CAME AND GREETED ME WITH THE FRIENDLIEST AND BRIGHTEST SMILE I HAD EVER SEEN BEFORE. THE LOOK ON HIS FACE SAID, I AM PSYCHED TO BE HERE… AND SO WERE WE. HE WAS WONDERFUL AND TAUGHT US SO MUCH ABOUT BEING A KID AND THAT NO MATTER WHERE YOU ARE, YOU HAVE TO MAKE IT FUN. AND BOY DID

2 6 I S S U E 3 8 . 2 00 9

WE HAVE FUN! HE WAS A ROLE MODEL TO THE YOUNGER KIDS AND ADMIRED THE OLDER ONES. HE MADE SO MANY FRIENDS ON HIS OWN WHEN WE WENT TO THE BEACH EVERYDAY. HE WAS SO HAPPY TO PLAY OR TEACH ANY CHILD A NEW GAME, OR HOW TO EAT A POPSICLE SLOWLY WITHOUT LETTING IT DRIP. HE WAS A BREATH OF FRESH AIR. HE WAS POLITE AND VERY NEAT. MY CHILDREN WATCHED IN AMAZEMENT HOW HE WOULD WASH HIS OWN DISHES, FOLD HIS CLOTHES AND ASK FOR A SHOWER! I HAVE TO ADMIT THAT I WAS QUITE AMAZED MYSELF. WHEN HE SAW THAT HE HAD HIS OWN ROOM, HE GAVE ME A BIG SMILE AND ASKED FOR SOME PAPER. I ASKED WHY, AND HE SAID "BECAUSE I DO NOT HAVE MY OWN ROOM AT HOME AND WOULD LOVE TO PUT UP A SIGN AND ASK EVERYONE TO PLEASE KNOCK!" I SAID "SURE," AND WE WENT DOWNSTAIRS AND MADE THAT SIGN. IT HUNG THERE ALL WEEK, EVEN THOUGH HE CHOSE TO SLEEP WITH OUR TWO SONS EVERY NIGHT IN AN ADJACENT ROOM. IT WAS JUST SO

WONDERFUL TO BE ABLE TO GIVE HIM SOMETHING THAT HE HAD NEVER HAD — HIS OWN ROOM. HOSTING A FRESH AIR CHILD WILL HAVE ITS CHALLENGES, HOWEVER, THERE ARE SO MANY QUALIFIED KIDS OUT THERE THAT JUST WANT TO HANG OUT WITH OTHER KIDS AND PLAY IN THE SAND, POOL OR FIELDS. THEY DO NOT NEED THEIR OWN ROOM; ANYTHING THAT YOU AND YOUR FAMILY CAN OFFER THIS SUMMER IS NEW AND EXCITING TO A KID FROM THE NEW YORK CITY AREA. IT IS REFRESHING TO SLOW DOWN THE SPINNING WHEEL AND LEARN TO RELAX AND WATCH A NEW RELATIONSHIP GROW. YOU WILL BE MAKING MEMORIES FOR YOUR FAMILY AND HELPING OUT PARENTS THAT WANT BETTER OPPORTUNITIES FOR THEIR KIDS. WHAT BETTER WAY THAN BY BECOMING A FRESH AIR HOST FAMILY? IT IS EASY TO GET STARTED: JUST CONTACT MARTHA, THE FAIRFIELD COUNTY COORDINATOR AT MARTHA_MINTZER@YAHOO.COM. IT WILL MAKE YOU FEEL SO GOOD! –AMY VAN ARSDALE WESTPORT


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RDMFinancial

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am not a sports mom. There, I said it. My name is Lee Woodruff and I am not a sports mom. Please don’t judge me. I am not particularly proud of this. Surely if I were a card-carrying sports mom I’d fit in with all the other parents burning it up on the bleachers with loud hoots or huddled under umbrellas in a 28-degree sleet storm on the sidelines of the infinite numbers of games we attend. 3 6 I S S U E 3 8 . 2 00 9

I’m mad for my kids, and I love that they love sports. I’m proud of my children’s accomplishments, and I lovingly dust all of their trophies, even if it takes the better part of a morning. But the truth is, I can’t muster up the passion for the sorts of competitive combat in which other moms seem to revel. Just so you don’t think badly of me, I have tried really hard. When my son was born, I had visions of myself finally entering this mysterious and sacred territory with zeal. I imagined laying out the red-checked tablecloth on the sidelines and finally using the dusty picnic basket we got for a wedding gift, the one with the cloth napkins still rolled tightly inside. I would cheer each goal and bellow my encouragement until my voice rasped like Deep Throat’s. But the reality was much more grim. The picnic basket never made it out of the basement. Spectating at soccer and baseball games for five-year-olds felt more like competing in a season-finale episode of Survivor. I pretend to be interested. I jump up at the right times, taking the lead from the other parents. I holler enthusiastically. And I am gen-


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Take Me Out of the Ball Game! > Lee

Wo o d r u f f

uinely excited when our team is winning, even though someone often has to inform me of each point scored and save me from unintentionally rooting for the other team. And yet, I just can’t seem to make that leap to unbridled enthusiasm. You know me. There are moms just like me sprinkled on every sideline. I am the one plopped on a blanket on the grass sneaking longing glances at the Sunday New York Times that has been lingering, unread, by my bed all week. The gal taking a little catnap in the May breeze. The one catching up on the week’s unreturned phone calls. This is a great time to visit with the other moms—to hear what the gang is up to, find out who is drinking, who is hooking up with whom, and harvest tips on how these women access their kid’s Facebook accounts. The high school sports sidelines are the Scotland Yard of teen life. Of course, being a sideline “chatterer” has its penalties. I may be deep in conversation when a goal goes in. “Warning!” one of my friends will say. “Cath got a goal with an assist from Maddy.” This way, when Cathryn asks me the inevitable question in the car— “Did you see the goal?” —I can answer, “That was an amazing assist from Maddy. You guys work well as a team.” No harm, no foul. I never played team sports. I tried cheerleading once, but it wasn’t really for me. I couldn’t do the splits, didn’t fill out the letter sweater, but I did like the pom-poms. Perhaps some of my reticence had to do with my fear that the human-triangle part of the routine might collapse, with


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Take Me Out of the Ball Game! me on top. Whatever the real reason, I quit after the first season. There are more explanations for my lack of interest in sports. I only had sisters. Title IX wasn’t in full force until I was in high school. My dad never followed sports, and our family never had a favorite team. We didn’t gather around the TV to watch the Super Bowl. I can definitely trace some of my aversion to sports mania back to one particularly painful moment in middle school gym class, smackdab in the vortex of the formative years. There we all were in our antique navy blue gym uniforms with front snaps and elastic at the legs, looking like something out of the Edwardian lawn tennis era. “Hey, Lee,” one of the cool girls casually yelled across the locker room. “Did you see the Jets game last night?” As I unsnapped the gym suit and got ready to grab my towel, I paused. The popular girls were including me; they were asking me a question, as if I were in the club.

If we have one sports-crazed parent, isn’t it better for me to balance it out with a healthy dose of apathy? And I really did want to be in the club, if only for a moment. “Yeah,” I answered, lying through my teeth. “Yeah, I did.” I can only imagine how hopeful my eyes looked then. I was a lamb to the slaughter, grateful for this crumb of acceptance as they stood there all naked and bosomy, snapping their bras on around their waists, while I caved in my own chest to hide my mosquito-bite breasts. Before I even had a moment to feel partially accepted, one of the crueler girls spun around and fixed me with a beguiling smile. “Well, that’s funny,” she spit out, “ ’cause there wasn’t a game on last night!” Whompf. Complete humiliation. My son and husband are quick to highlight my lack of knowledge in this arena. They like to belittle me with what they call the sports test— they both rattle off team names and I have to call out the sport and city. I’d say I’m up to about fifty-fifty right now, after years of drilling. I should probably try to improve, if only to wipe the smug smiles off their faces. My husband comes from a family of four boys. All they did was play sports. Football, lacrosse, soccer, and ski racing on weekends, with everyone piling into the family station wagon to head to northern Michigan. Bob’s mom, Frannie, recounts legendary tales of driving them from 3 8 I S S U E 3 8 . 2 00 9

one field to another, while they changed uniforms in the back of the station wagon. I picture her in those years, crisscrossing the Detroit suburbs to and from their various games, a look of beatific satisfaction shining on her profile as the varsity lacrosse or Pop Warner football teams tackled their way to victory in the setting midwestern sun. The reams of uniforms covered with dried blood and grass stains, the gear and equipment, the smells and the body odor; she embraced it all with vigor. I’m quite certain she never thought to complain once.She was the ultimate sports mom. This is definitely not the sort of woman Bob married. I’m operating on the slim hope that Bob’s intensity for the kids’ games takes me off the hook a little bit, gives me some license to slack off. After all, if we have one sports-crazed parent, isn’t it better for me to balance it out with a healthy dose of apathy? If Bob were a total opera nut or passionate about, say, hooking rugs or crocheting pot holders, maybe I’d need to make more of an effort in the sports department. But he’s not. He’s a sports fanatic. And that’s why the kids’ sports education falls squarely on his shoulders. I regard this as a simple division of labor. I mean, this is a man who designated a “sports father” for his son, a role with the same guiding principles as those for a godfather. Bob’s fraternity brother Jed received the honor of this newly minted sports education role, in case anything happened to dad during Mack’s formative years. We had an unspoken deal when we started our life together that Bob would be the guy in the yard throwing the ball and playing catch. He’d be the one drilling our kids on their footwork and their stick handling. As the mom, I’d lean more toward the Cookie Monster–shaped cake for birthdays, the Candyland and Clue marathons, and the homemade Christmas wreath and over-the-top nativity scenes in our living room. It’s a little traditional, a little old-fashioned, but I’ve always felt that parenting was about optimizing our skill sets. My sister Meg told me once that her husband, an avid skier, had felt complete and total satisfaction once his kids had become accomplished at the sport. “I can die now,” Mark said to her one night on a ski vacation after a long day on the mountain. “They’ve done all I wanted them to do.” “But what about being nice people and good citizens?” she asked him playfully. “What about intellectual curiosity?” “Nope,” he answered. “You can cover those bases. This was my big dream as a dad.” Perhaps Bob isn’t that much of a zealot, but at times he’s come darned close. When Mack was five, he was playing on a little tykes’ soccer team in Phoenix. Mack, like most of the boys his age, found the bugs and the grass at his feet far more interesting than where the ball was on the field. Bob was close to despair. “My son is going to stink at sports,” he moaned to me on the sidelines, holding his head in his hands like a cartoon character. “Look at him—he isn’t even interested in the ball.” Mack slipped both hands down the front of his shorts to scratch his crotch. It did appear somewhat hopeless. “Bob, he’s only five,” I pointed out. Bob still looked glum. In any case, soccer was better than the alternative. As far as I’m concerned, Little League baseball was invented to test a mother’s love.


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Watching Mack’s team of eight-year-olds one hot Saturday, I was reminded of Chinese water torture. Drip, drip, drip—none of these poor kids could hit the ball. Drip, drip, drip—no one ever seemed to get to bat. Drip, drip, drip—some little kid in the outfield just sat down and began pulling the grass up by the roots. Okay, okay, I know this sounds un-American, but I remain truly suspicious of the Little League mother who can stay focused for nine interminable innings of what mostly amounts to groin scratching and a solo workout for the catcher. Somehow, though, my husband would sit there rapt through each inning, as if Mickey Mantle himself were at bat. I would wait for what felt like a month of Saturdays until my precious son finally came up to the plate. In the outfield, it would have taken the efforts of three nuns saying novenas for him to catch the ball or for it to fall anywhere near him. No one was more grateful than me when he moved on to soccer. At least in that game there is constant movement, even if, in the early days, Mack remained rooted to the ground. Some sports are simply more fun to watch than others. I was excited when Cathryn made the JV lacrosse team. But at the first game I realized the school subscribed to a “Kumbaya” approach. Anyone who wanted to play could join the team, so the ranks were swollen to the size of a small telephone book. This meant that Cath didn’t get on the field that often. This also meant that I could get through the giant stack of catalogs and coupons that got shoved through the mail slot daily. “Mom, I saw you reading magazines during the game,” she accused me one day as we headed to the car after victory. “You weren’t playing at the time,” I answered lamely. “Were you?” She rolled her eyes in answer. We were smack-dab in the middle of the eye-rolling stage of life. “Don’t you like watching me?” she said, and the scalpel of guilt nicked my heart. Girls can be masters of manipulation. “What if I was really, really into quilting bees and I made you come to them every week?” I asked my daughter. She stared back, unappreciative of my humor. “Mom,” she said, exasperated, “you’re the mom—you are supposed to come to my games, like all the other moms. And you’re supposed to watch,” she added. I have to admit that for all of my failures, I am getting better. Like someone in a 12-step program for nonsports parents, I’ve been taking baby steps. I’m actually having a lot more fun, too. And when my little David Beckhams score a goal? I can feel the elation and the pride. When they miss, the agony of defeat. It took me a few years, but I now actually remember to ask who won. You’re chuckling, but that question wasn’t always the first thing that occurred to me when they walked in the door. I was the mom who asked if they “had fun.” I know, I know. I’m still working hard to channel my inner fan. I’m actually a pretty enthusiastic yeller on the sidelines these days. But even then something goes wrong. During one game this past season I was inwardly proud of my cheerleading on the sidelines. After a while, though, I noticed that the other parents seemed subdued, downright quiet in

comparison to me. It wasn’t until halfway through the first quarter that one of the other moms gently broke it to me that this was “Silent Sunday,” the one day during soccer season when parents on the sidelines were not allowed to open their mouths. All at once, the furtive looks Cathryn had shot me while running down the field made sense. She was mortified. Silent Sunday had supposedly been designed to teach us all respect. The idea was to let the kids figure it out on the field without the coaches and parents screaming directions and kicking the sideline dirt in disgust. Honestly? I think it was created to teach all of those loud and mean parents a lesson—you know, the ones in the folding chairs with the school team colors and logo emblazoned on them, the ones with two “proud parent of an honor student” bumper stickers on their minivans. These are the folks who yell things at the referee you wouldn’t consider uttering in a normal social setting, things you might only say to a pedophile or a repeat offender. I saw one mother, sweet as a southern sorority sister with a sweater set and pearls. Her hair had been blown out as perfectly as Christie Brinkley’s. Judging by her looks, you’d expect her to jump up on the toes of her Tory Burch flats and clap her hands in delight when her child scored, while serving cucumber finger sandwiches to the other parents at halftime. But when this little flower opened her mouth, what came out was the equivalent of the Bronx cheer. “Ref, what kind of a bull——t call was that?” she screamed in a voice that might have shattered glass in the breakfront down the street. Silent Sunday was developed to give us a reprieve from people like her. You want to know my real triumph? The area where I really shine? Snack mom. That’s right. When it’s my turn to supply the drinks and snacks, I am in my element. I start preparing a week in advance, being sure to include a healthy fruit along with something somewhat sinful, like cookies or gummy worms. Of course, half of the battle is presentation. The juice boxes are perfectly chilled in the cooler, the orange slices are cut just so, and the Oreos gleam in the sun on my plaid moisturewicking sports blanket. For one, brief shining moment, my brilliance on the soccer sidelines shines through. ❉ Lee Woodruff is the life and family contributor for ABC’s Good Morning America and a freelance writer. She is on the board of trustees of the Bob Woodruff Family Foundation, a nonprofit organization that provides critical resources and support to our nation’s injured service members, veterans, and their families, especially those affected by the signature hidden injuries of war: traumatic brain injury and combat stress. Lee Woodruff lives in Rye, New York, with her husband, ABC News anchor Bob Woodruff, and their four children. EXCERPTED FROM PERFECTLY IMPERFECT BY LEE WOODRUFF. © 2009 BY LEE WOODRUFF. REPRINTED BY ARRANGEMENT WITH THE RANDOM HOUSE PUBLISHING GROUP.


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EXCERPTED FROM LARRY'S KIDNEY. COPYRIGHT (C) 2009 BY DANIEL ASA ROSE. EXCERPTED BY PERMISSION. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. NO PART OF THIS EXCERPT MAY BE REPRODUCED OR REPRINTED WITHOUT PERMISSION IN WRITING FROM WILLIAM MORROW/AN IMPRINT OF HARPER COLLINS PUBLISHERS.

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The Phone Call by Daniel Asa Rose "Huwwo?" "Hello, who's this?" "Huwwo, Dan?" "Yes. Who's this, please?" "This is Larry, Dan." "Who?" "Larry. Your cousin." "Whoa, my long-lost cousin Larry?" "Yes, Dan, that's a fair description. I deserve that. I take full responsibility for being out of touch." "My black-sheep cousin Larry?" "That's also apt, as long as you're simply stating a fact and don't mean it in a negative way. Where did I reach you?" "Actually, I'm on a chairlift in the Colorado Rockies, Larry, a couple of miles above sea level." "In the middle of summer? I'm somewhat dubious. Not that I'm calling you a liar, necessarily, but people have been known to alter their whereabouts to avoid speaking to people they aren't necessarily eager to speak to." "I'm with my mountain bike, Larry-about fifty feet in the air, overlooking miles of ski trails that double as bike trails in the summer." "There, you see? I'm not dubious anymore. A perfectly cogent explanation. Some family members who will go unnamed- except that it's Cousin Burton- consider me an unreasonable man, but I just object to being lied to, or considered an idiot simply because I dropped out of high school instead of taking the standard family route of going to Harvard or Brown, which you never did." "Never did what?" "Considered me an idiot, at least to my face, which is one of the

reasons I always looked up to you, Dan, even though you did go to Brown. Are you alone?" "I'm here on vacation with my wife and two sons." "I heard you got remarried. I've been meaning to call you. Congratulations." "Well, that's fourteen years ago now, Larry, but thanks. Where are you?" "I'm under my blankets in my Florida condo. I haven't come out for two days." "What're you doing there?" "I'm [-SQUAWK-]ing, Dan." "You're what? We're passing over some sort of radio tower or something. What'd you say you were doing?" "[-SQUAWK-]ing." "What?" "Dying, Dan. I need a favor." [Click.] The line goes dead. The phone rings again twenty seconds later. I scramble to adjust my bike so I can keep one hand free, and there it is again, the lugubrious voice, like that of a funeral director with a slight speech impediment. "Huwwo." "Larry, sorry about that. Hold on a second, I've got to take these earplugs out. Okay, I can hear you better." "What's with the earplugs? Is it cold?" "No, nothing. My kids are nine and twelve, is all. It gets kinda noisy. Guys," I say, securing a couple of fast-moving collars within my fist so they stop ramming their handlebars into each other, "if you don't stop fooling around, someone's going to fall right under the-" "Huwwo?"


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Larry’s Kidney "Larry, I'm still here. So what do you mean, dying? Literally or metaphorically?" "Literally, Dan. Kiddie disease." "Kiddie-" "Kidney, kidney. Consequently, I'm depressed beyond all measure. More than depressed: I'm depressionistic. But first I have to ask: Are you still mad at me?" "Mad? You mean for ratting me out to the FBI that time, telling them I'd inflated my income on a condo mortgage application, which you specifically advised me to do because you needed the commission?" "I was upset, Dan. I'm not proud of it." "And why were you upset? Because I had the gall to ask for the thousand dollars back that I'd loaned you to spot your latest invention." "You're right, Dan, I regret it." "Which as I recall was for wooden neckties." "Which you could sponge the gravy stains off of. I still maintain that would have been huge if I'd had the proper financing." The chairlift stalls above a grove of majestic pine trees, allowing the boys a momentary calm to see how far they can dangle one of the front wheels off the side. I nearly lose the phone grabbing a tire. "No, I'm not mad at you anymore, especially since the FBI laughed it off. Besides, who the hell cares about that, if you're literally dying?" "Oh, it's literal all right. Diabetes claimed first one, then bofe my kidneys. For two years I've been on a dialysis machine four hours every other day, watching my life ebb away before my eyes. Solution number one is off the table, because I'm not about to ask anyone in the family for their kidney, given how much they dislike my guts, which I assure you is mutual. But solution number two is surprisingly doable: I've been researching the Internet from under the blankets, and it turns out China does more kidney transplants than any other nation. And I won't have to wait on a list seven to ten more years for a cadaver kidney, as my overcautious American doctors are telling me to-we could get a live one fairly quickly, if we make the right connections." "Larry, hold on-what do you mean 'we'?" "You're an old China hand, Dan. You used to do that travel column in Esquire-" "Larry, I haven't been to China in twenty-five years! I don't have any more contacts there than you do." "At least you know your way around. I've hardly ever been out of the States, except for luxury cruises to the Caribbean, which I could maybe fix you up on sometime, because college girls do things on a cruise ship they'd never dream of doing on shore, believe me, you could pass yourself off as a professor-" [Click.] The line goes dead. "Huwwo." The chairlift is still stalled in the middle of the Rockies, giving me a chance to take in the scenery: azure peaks crosshatched by bicycle spokes. My wife's provisionally pacified the boys with an emergency Milky Way. "Larry, I can't promise we won't get cut off again. The wind's kicking up, and we're swaying like a-" 5 0 I S S U E 3 8 . 2 00 9

"This must be eating up your airtime, Dan. I apologize. No, I'll do better. Send me the bill, you know I'm good for it-in fact, let me buy you a coupla new cell phones, those new ones that work at any attitude? I don't want to put you out any more than I have to." "You're not putting me out, exactly, Larry, it's just-" "We go there, we grab a kidney, we come back. Couldn't be simpler. Only one glitch, Dan, which honesty bids me report, because I want to start a new slate with you and be on the up-and-up about everything: They've made it somewhat illegal." "They've made what somewhat illegal?" "Certain select transplants." "What are you talking about?" I say. "You're telling me-" "Not for everyone! Most of the world can still come to China for transplants, exactly like I said. Everything I told you is correct down to the last letter of the law. It's just that the Chinese have made it illegal for certain select persons to get a transplant there." "Which persons?" "Western persons." The chairlift creaks and moans as a second Milky Way is passed around. "But, Larry . . ." "Yes, Dan . . ." "We're Western persons." "Dan, we're smart Western persons. In the most populous country on earth, don't you think we're intelligent enough to find some people with loopholes? And I don't know about you, but loopholes are my bread and butter." "But-" "Don't always focus on the negative, Dan. Where there's a will, there's a way. And word to the wise: Just because you've got seniority over me by two years, don't lord it over me, okay? We're both in our fifties-big deal. The important thing is to not get off on the wrong foot and shoot the messenger. If it's one thing I've learned in almost nine years of off-and-on therapy, mostly off, it's that when you get bad news, you respond appropriately. Don't take it out on me, is all I'm saying. It's not my fault China has these crazy restrictions." "Guys," I say, now that the sugar's kicked in and they're helping the wind make us rock, "if you keep that up, we're gonna flip right upside" "I commiserate with your cold feet, Dan, but I doubt it will be like last time you were there, when you got yourself thrown in jail-" "Don't even bring that up, Larry." "I'm just saying, anyone would be cowardly after that, but it was only three hours-a harrowing three hours, I know, but you're more mature now, you won't be tempted to clown around. . . ." Pause while the chairlift restarts with a jolt. My wife lunges to seize both boys in the nick"Of course, maybe you've got more pressing concerns," Larry says. "I realize you're in a different league from me. I'm just a lowly worker bee and you don't necessarily want to get your hands dirty" "That's not it, Larry. Jeez, what a thing to say. I'm really sorry to hear about your condition, but I'm just not prepared to drop everything and-" "How's life with the heiress, by the way?"


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"That was a couple of wives ago," I remind him. "She wised up a long time-" "Well, anyhow, in my humble way I'm just trying to make a clean chest right from the start," Larry says, "everything out on the table, no hidden agendas." "Which reminds me," I say, "are there any hidden agendas?" "None I can think of off the top of my head. Except that I'm [-SQUAWK-]-" "What?" "I'm getting [-SQUIZAWK-]" The boys break out of their mom's body lock to start straddling the rail. "Guys, I'm serious now, someone's gonna break their neck if you keep-" "[-SQUAWK- SQUEAK-SQUIZAWKING-]" "Listen, Larry, this is a terrible connection. You're feeling merry? What?" "[-SQUAWK-SQUEEEEEEE-ZAWK-]" "Whatever, Larry. This is all too sudden. I'd have to run it by my wife, and I gotta warn you, she can be hell on wheels-" I dodge the playful squirt from my wife's water bottle. "What, Larry? Someone was harassing me." "I said, do what you have to do, Dan, the last thing I want is to pressure you, even though this is a matter of life and death and you do kind of owe me from the time I bailed you out at my bar mitzvah, remember, Dan?" "Uh, not really, Larry, I have to admit your bar mitzvah's not shin-

"Who else do you have left, Larry, after you issued that fatwa against Cousin Burton. How'd you expect the family to react?" "It wasn't a fatwa fatwa, exactly. Let's call it a wake-up call. A rather rude wake-up call, I grant you. But don't mire us in that again, Dan. I was upset. That's behind us now." "Is it? Is the feud really behind us? I'm glad to hear that. Burton was hiding out in a cheap motel for two weeks." "Oh, he's too high-and-mighty to stay in a cheap motel?" Larry says with some heat. "Just because he's the biggest brain surgeon in Boston, with his limo and his driver, he can't hide out in a cheap motel like us little people when we receive a threat?" "It wasn't a question of high-and-mighty, Larry," I say as, mercifully, the chairlift station comes into sight. "He was fearing for his safety!" "He tried to swindle my mutha, Dan. He made her cry on her deathbed, don't get me started." "That's still no reason to sic the Motor Men on him, Larry." "The Motor Men get a bad rap, Dan. And I'm glad you remember to use their code name, because they don't like to have their real name dragged through the mud. But some of them are very tender underneath. When I told them about my mutha, a couple had tears in their eyes, they wanted to do the job for free. . . ." "Larry, can I get back to you on this?" I say. "We're about to disembark here, and I've been promising the kids this vacation for like a year now." "Dan, not to be blunt, but it's almost Labor Day-let's not play games and pretend the vacation isn't winding down. You think this is

If it's one thing I've learned in almost nine years of off-and-on therapy, mostly off, it's that when you get bad news, you respond appropriately. ing real bright in my mind just at the moment." "Well, even more recently, when you graduated college, I set you up renting slum apartments and let you stay in my spare bedroom and even let you steal my Valium, which you said at the time was a lifesaver. Seems like only yesterday, doesn't it?" "Actually, no, it seems like a few decades ago. But listen, Larry, this is serious. Can't you find someone who actually knows what he's doing?" "Dan, believe me, I wouldn't be calling if I had any other options, but it's not like I have a dime to help defray someone's expenses. Matter of fact, I keep finding these shady characters in Guam who want ten grand just to track a few unstable connections. There's very few people you can trust out there, plus most of them work for a living or let's say have jobs they can't take with them on a moment's notice the way a writer can-that's why I'm handpicking you, Dan. You could think of this as an honor, in a way."

pattycake we're playing here? My life's hanging by a thread, not that I want to intrude." "It's not intruding, exactly, Larry. It's just, I mean-" "Take your time, Dan. I'll work around your schedule, whenever's good for you. This is you doing me a favor for a change, Dan, it's not me doing you a favor. So what's your closest airport? Denver? You're in luck, there's a nonstop to Beijing at eight a.m. next Sunday." "What, you've been Googling the whole time we've been talking, Larry?" "You don't even have to change planes, Dan." "But that gives us no time to plan this thing, Larry!" "All due respect, Dan, but you suck at planning. You're a seat-ofthe-pants-type guy, as I am. You know as well as I do that ninety percent of theworld's deals get made not because of planning but because you happen to be standing there when the deal goes down. We can plan this to the nth degree, and it won't be as good as just hopping


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Larry’s Kidney over there and winging it. . . ." "Guys! The bar stays down!" "I'm feeling encouraged now, Dan, I'm crawling out from beneath my blankets. Next Sunday? Next Sunday would be good." First Five Reasons to Hang Up the Second Your Long-Lost Cousin Asks You to Go with Him to China: 1. Familially, you and he aren't that close. You didn't see each other all that much growing up, and, in fact, have been estranged for two decades. 2. Morally, what he's suggesting is murky. C'mon, are we just another couple of arrogant First Worlders who think they can snatch an organ from the Third? 3. Medically, it's even murkier. Take him away from his American doctors to find a foreign organ that may or may not be up to snuff? 4. Legally-let's not even go there. Even Larry admits it's illegal. 5. For all these reasons, and countless more that flood the brain, it's clearly a fool's errand. So, case closed. It's a few hours later, and the chairlift is shut down for the night. The kids are fast asleep in the darkened hotel room on either side of their sleeping mom in the king-size bed. With a light on in the adjoining bathroom and the door closed, I'm sitting in the empty bathtub Googling the words "transplant," "kidney," "cousin," "death." Just to satisfy myself that what Larry's asking is preposterous. Kidney: The organ that cleans blood, without which the body shuts down and dies. Dialysis: The procedure to artificially clean blood when kidneys fail. The patient is hooked up to the dialysis machine at least three times a week for at least four hours per session, typically followed by twelve hours of addled sleep. Transplant, waiting list: A dire situation. In America alone there's a backlog of seventy-four thousand patients, forty-four hundred of whom died last year while waiting. Average wait is seven to ten years, longer if other medical problems make patient a less desirable recipient. Transplant, options: Given the dismal prospects, more and more people around the world are crossing international borders to obtain the care they can't get at home. So-called medical tourism is risky and controversial, but sometimes it's the only viable option. Transplant, donation: I'm off the hook, in case there was a question. Our DNA's so distant it's doubtful we'd have a match. Larry and I are probably as different in that division as we are in everything else. Guilt: I don't need to look that up. I know all about how Larry missed out on the privileges the rest of the family enjoyed. But is that any reason to consider raiding the home piggy bank, especially at a time when my books aren't exactly feathering the nest? Of course not. No, no, the answer is no. The tub's getting crampy. I perform a couple more searches before shutting down the laptop. Oh, here's a nice one now: kidneys, eaten. Apparently, back in 1968 at the height of the frenzy that was China's Cultural Revolution, several accounts report that the bestial Red Guards ate human kidneys as part of their revolutionary zeal. Simmered the 5 2 I S S U E 3 8 . 2 00 9

corpses of their enemies in large vats, then fried their organs in oil. Great place he's asked me to revisit. Typical Larry. I flick off the bathroom light and make my way across the hotel room by the glow of the moon coming through the curtain. For a minute I watch over the sacred sight that is my family in the moonlight. A vein ticks in each of their necks, blue and tender, right below the surface of the skin. A microscopic image comes to me from my Googling: the tips of two fifteen-gauge needles piercing a blood vessel for the dialysis procedure. Then, just as quickly, I'm into macroscopic mode, picturing the millions of haggard patients languishing on kidney lists around the globe. Their veins ticking, too. What was that memory Larry was alluding to? Bailing me out at his bar mitzvah? I have a faint recollection of the tubby thirteen-year-old mumbling his prayers into the microphone, softly impedimented, as though he had strawberries in his mouth. I remember feeling sorry for him. I remember feeling angry for him. But nothing beyond that. Something about a piece of cake . . . ? And then, more recently, something about Larry going to China alone, pathetically trying to find a kidney without me, dying over there all by himself? Or maybe that's a memory that's not supposed to happen? I watch my wife and boys in the moonlight, pooling their body heat as they sleep. They're healthy, thank God; Larry's not. Luck of the draw. But why would I, flawed and f---ed-up as I am, why would I desert my darlings to go half-cocked into business where I don't belong? Game plan: Why doesn't my laptop have a link for that? Where's the Web site to tell me what to do? But what if-being completely crazy here for a minute-what if I promise my family I'll make it up to them, entrust the boys with feeding the ducks in our pond when they get home to Massachusetts, arrange to meet Larry in Beijing, and buy a roundtrip ticket with the return date to be decided later? Then-still speaking theoretically-say we give it one week in China and another week or two in neighboring countries, just long enough to prove that it's an impossible mission? I yearn to stay and share in the body heat my family promises. A shiver of cold runs through me, to think how wrenching it would be to thrust myself into the vast beyond. I'd have to force myself to be extra chipper, and chipper is the last thing I feel. Sleepily, I climb in among the bodies of my family, making four. Soon enough, in the cosmic scheme of things, each of us will end up going our separate ways to points unknown, but for this night we share a king-size bed. "Dad?" cries one of the boys, looking up startled. He takes my hand and curls it with him back to sleep. I lie awake. â?‰ Daniel Asa Rose won an O. Henry Prize, two PEN Fiction Awards, and an NEA Fellowship. Formerly arts and culture editor of the Forward and currently an editor of the international literary magazine, The Reading Room, he has written for The New Yorker, Esquire, GQ, the New York Times Magazine, and is the author of the acclaimed memoir Hiding Places: A Father and his Sons Retrace Their Family's Escape from the Holocaust.


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by Julie Ridge

PIVOTAL MOMENTS This is the story about the moment that changed me from an ordinary person into an ordinary person who did extraordinary things. It is the story of how one day, I swam from England to France. I was in my early 20’s, single, financially independent and living in Manhattan. By night, I sang on Broadway. By day, I swam a casual mile at my NYC health club. I was a poor to moderate swimmer and had always swum to stay in shape and maintain my sanity. One day, a friend who swam two miles daily, broke his wrist and couldn’t swim for six weeks. I felt badly that he’d hurt himself and adopted his mileage as a sort of tribute. Two miles a day was double my usual distance. I was surprised how easy it was to do. I decided, quite arbitrarily, to swim five straight miles one day… just to see how far I could go. I hopped in the pool and swam 360, twenty-five yard laps. I climbed out feeling a little tired, but otherwise sensational. I’d passed some physical threshold and entered a mental state that friends who’d done hallucinogens described. But, this was a natural high, and I could get it for free. On January 1, 1982, I resolved to swim the English Channel on my 25th birthday, a mere nine months away. In truth, I knew absolutely nothing about the English Channel or how to swim it. I began where the daughter of an NIH scientist begins... with research. I read everything I could get my hands on and spoke with endurance swimmers. I was impressed with how kind they were. A common dream bound

There are few truly extraordinary people, but many ordinary people who do extraordinary things.


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PIVOTAL MOMENTS complete strangers together. I received a detailed letter from the late Doc Councilman, a famous swim coach at Indiana University, and at the time the oldest person to swim the Channel. He mapped out his entire training program for me. I learned the basics. The waters keeping France from England spanned 21.5 miles as the crow flies. Water temperatures remain a chilly 55 to 65 degrees in the warm season (mid-July through midSeptember). The Channel is the busiest waterway in the world. There were tides and currents to navigate, an English Channel Swimming Association (CSA) to contact for sanction, and an escort boat to hire, to ensure safe passage. I modified Councilman’s training program to suit my particulars. I staged a twelve-hour, nonstop pool swim at my health club. Logging

the swim was having him by my side, falling passionately in love with me as he watched my amazing feat. I lost my desire. I wanted to crawl under a bed somewhere and sleep for about a hundred years. Then, I got mad. I hadn’t sacrificed nine months of my life and gained 15 pounds for some guy, or any tangible thing. I was doing this for me. I got on the plane, rented a car in London, and drove to Folkestone alone. As I approached town, I saw, for the first time, the gritty, choppy, gray, huge body of water I’d come to swim. The vastness of what I’d vowed to do washed over me and I was terrified! I met swimmers from all over the world, as crazy as me, similarly wishing for their go at a swim across the puddle. There was a little detail that didn’t hit home for me until I got to England though. The

There comes a time (or two or three) in every long term effort... a relationship, finishing a term paper, quitting smoking... when you want more than anything to give up. But, if you stick it out, the phase passes.

miles was easy. Training for the Channel elements in NYC was not. I quit my Broadway show in May and went to visit family in Florida. When I visited the International Swimming Hall of Fame in Ft. Lauderdale, the director, Buck Dawson, thought it was cool that this Broadway actress thought she could swim the English Channel and he invited me to his endurance swimming camp in Canada. I spent five of the most heavenly weeks of my life at Camp Ak-oMak. I trained in open, cold, luscious water, with great coaches who improved my stroke. None of the camp experts actually believed I could swim the English Channel, but they were very nice about not saying it to my face. They encouraged me to gain weight, the best insulation against the cold water. When I wasn’t swimming or sleeping, I was eating. The grand diet plan was, eat so much you never want to see food again, then swim 12 to 14 hours and drop it all in the ocean. I headed back to NYC to collect my belongings, the sponsorship money my Broadway producer had guaranteed, and pick up my boyfriend. I was ready. A few days before my flight however, everything went wrong. The ‘sponsor’ my producer had promised had never in fact made any commitment. The temporary loan I’d taken was going to be long term. And, my boyfriend announced that he couldn’t go. I’d paid for his nonrefundable ticket, and part of the fantasy of 6 4 I S S U E 3 8 . 2 00 9

ideal four to five day tides for a successful crossing occur once every fortnight (14 days), but you have to wait for optimal weather conditions... which may never occur. My tide was coming to an end and we still hadn’t had a break in the weather. The reality slap was that I may have worked this hard, come all this way, wanted everything so much, and have to go home without even getting a chance. So, on the last day of my tide, when we got the ‘good weather call’ from my boat captain, (which is clearance for ten to twelve hours of fairly calm seas), during my birthday dinner, the celebration was complete. My mind spun. “I was going to get my chance! This time tomorrow, I would be walking on the shores of France.” I slept perhaps three and a half minutes. My crew and I got out of bed at 3 am to eat, load the boat, and shuttle from Folkestone to the start beach in Dover, to be off before the sun. I was thoroughly greased up with an anhydrous lanolin solution to help retain body heat and cut down on chafing from my suit. I looked fit for frying. At 5:10 am, September 10, still technically my birthday in NYC, my swim began. The sun slowly rose. I have never felt so warm and loved. On board there was Dad, my best college girlfriend, Vicki, the captain, Eric Baker, Stan the first mate, and Jackie the official witness from the Channel Swimming Association, to document that all ‘rules’ were observed.


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At the third hour, I got my first feeding. Hot chocolate supplied calories and warmth, and soothed my tummy. Based on training experience, we’d decided on hourly feedings, given in a biking bottle, (so sea water couldn’t mix in), attached to a rope, for easy retrieval. If I touched the boat or a person, a rule was broken and the swim was null. Fourth hour. The water temperature was 66 degrees, warm by English Channel standards. However, contrasted with my 98.6 degree body temperature, it felt very, very cold, and tightened all of my muscles. My quadriceps felt as if they’d been cut. The pain was immense. My ribs ached. I felt drowsy and nearly crashed into my escort boat, the Lady Jean. It was in this hour that I discovered the ‘Almost-halfway-there’ Phase. About halfway through most events, athletic or otherwise, the body and mind don’t feel like carrying on. The body can experience true and deep pain. In my case, everything hurt, even my face, a whole lot. The mind suffers an anguish of its own. Mine shrieked “You’re an idiot!*??*! Whatever possessed you to do this stupid thing!?” I prayed for a hurricane to end it all, because if I got out after four measly hours, what would I say to the people back home who’d bet money on me to fail? As all of this rhetoric was swishing around in my brain, an hour passed and it was time for my next feeding. Mysteriously, the pain disappeared. I was awake and humming and contemplating swimming back from France once we got there. I had heard countless stories of swimmers who quit in the fourth and fifth hours of their Channel attempts and it was then that I understood why. If only they had stuck it out, they too would have discovered it was only a passing phase. There comes a time (or two or three) in every long term effort... a relationship, finishing a term paper, quitting smoking... when you want more than anything to give up. But, if you stick it out, the phase passes. By the ninth hour of my swim, nothing and no one was going to stop me. I felt great! Based on my calculations, I was about two thirds done. I was closer to my destination than I was to my start point. What I couldn’t see or feel, was that I hadn’t been stroking strongly enough to cut diagonally across the southerly central currents. I was swimming almost parallel to the French coastline, making a beeline for Spain. Eleventh hour. I was counting the hours by my feedings and in my mind I figured I had one, maybe two hours to go. Dad reported “You’re six miles away from France. Looking good.” I was confused. The swim was supposed to be 21.5 miles. Six miles was almost a third of the way off France. How could this be? Dad said encouragingly, “Start swimming really hard now, the flood tides have begun off the coast and will be pushing you away from France.” Start swimming hard? I thought I’d been swimming hard for 11 hours. Ouch... I just kept swimming. Three hours ebbed wordlessly by. My Fourteenth Hour. Dad looked very grim. His previously dark hair had turned gray. He gave the prognosis gently, “You’re still five miles off the coast of France.” I had been swimming for three hours into the flood tides and inched only one mile closer to shore. In training, I swam at a pace of two miles an hour. I couldn’t understand how in three hours, I wasn’t in France yet. I

couldn’t feel the currents and didn’t know I’d traveled due north. The sun was setting. I began to feel cold. Dad said, “There’s an outside chance of getting in, but it might take another six or seven more hours. You’re not swimming hard enough.” Six or seven more hours? I’d worked so hard and come so far, and still, I just wasn’t strong enough. I could go home and be proud of a 14-hour swim. I lifted my goggles. “I’m tired. Let’s go home.” Vicki readied the blankets. I’ll never know exactly what it was, maybe my tragic flaw, that inability to give up… but I just couldn’t reach out and touch the boat, officially ending it all. Grasping at straws, I asked to hear what the boat captain had to say. Eric came out of his wheel house. While I’d never seen his eyes all day, he’d been the protective angel on my shoulder and we were bound in spirit. He said, “We’re only three miles north of the Point (Cap Gris Nez). If you swim hard, really hard for one more hour, we may still have a shot.” I had no idea how Dad’s five miles had turned into three, but I didn’t care. Could I swim hard for one more hour? After 14 hours of swimming for all I was worth, an hour seemed like a long time. But, compared to the thousands of hours I hoped to live in the decades to come, an hour seemed a tiny thing. This was my Pivotal Moment. My answer? Quite simply, “Yes.” Astonishingly, I began to swim really, really hard. I didn’t have any sense of time anymore and they weren’t feeding me because the tide was strong and if I treaded water to feed, I lost ground. That one ‘little’ hour stretched to three. By then, minutes, days, they were all the same. I figured if I just kept swimming, they’d leave me alone and we’d have to get there eventually. I didn’t know that if I missed the Point, we were headed back for Spain. It was somewhere during the 17th hour I sensed excitement on board. The ocean and the air were black. I couldn’t see or feel anything. Then Dad shouted “Julie, the lights of France! Do you see them?” I looked up. Way off, embedded in the horizon, through swollen eyes, I saw what looked like millions of tiny stars. “Yes, I see them.” “It’s only three-quarters of a mile honey. Keep swimming! You’re almost there.” Centuries passed. Dad shouted out again. “Only half mile to go. Can you do it?” I was thinking ‘this is an endless mile,’ but a deep, strong voice came from somewhere inside and said, “Yes, I can do it.” Forever and a moment passed. I looked up to see bright stars just ahead and no Lady Jean. I was lost, frightened. Where was my security blanket, my crew, Dad? I treaded water to get my bearings and my feet hit dirt. Mud squished between my toes. I heard our first mate Stan and Vicki in the dinghy just ahead. They were shouting and shining a bright light on a giant rock. “Just swim up and touch the rock and it will all be over!!!” I called out, “I’m standing.” Stan said, “Great!!! Then you don’t have to touch the bloody rock! Just get in the boat. Get in the boat!” At 11:05 pm, September 10, 1982, a still greasy, much leaner, swimming machine flopped onto the dinghy. And it was over. Seventeen


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PIVOTAL MOMENTS hours and 55 minutes to complete a journey that would define my life. I became the 240th person to swim from England to France, the one in 20 who make it on the first go, and one of fewer than 500 people in the history of time who have accomplished the feat. When I got back to NYC nothing had changed, except that I had no job, no apartment, no boyfriend and no money. But I had a strength no one could ever take away... when it would have been so much easier to let it all go, I stayed. Over the next 25 years, I would accomplish tasks more daunting and/or outwardly impressive than my first endurance swim... a double nonstop lap around Manhattan Island, 56 miles in 21 hours; a Hawaii Ironman Triathlon; a 28.5 mile lap around Manhattan each day for five consecutive days, a Guinness Book record; a bike ride across America with Dad by my side. I sold dozens of magazine articles and a book on endurance. I married and divorced, lost and found my sanity, earned a masters degree in Social Work from Columbia University, became a foster parent, lost three foster children to institutions, and got to adopt the fourth.

I haven’t always made the right or best decisions. I haven’t always accomplished my goals. I can’t always help the children who come into my care. But, with each success and every failure, I recall my cold truth, on that calm September day decades ago, I did not have the talent or strength to swim the English Channel. However, in that critical Pivotal Moment, I learned that getting to France was 5% talent, 5% luck, and 90% moxy. There is an English Channel swimmer in all of us, an ordinary person capable of doing extraordinary things. I will always be looking for new and bizarre challenges. And when I die, some 50 years from now, I won’t go out wondering, ‘If only I had made it to France.’ ❉ Julie Ridge, LCSW, swam two non-stop laps around Manhattan a year after swimming the English Channel. Her stories have been published in Life, Cosmopolitan and New Woman, among other national magazines. Currently, she lives in Manhattan with her teenage son, and works as a clinical social worker and teacher in child welfare.

I had a strength no one could ever take away... when it would have been so much easier to let it all go, I stayed.

6 6 I S S U E 3 8 . 2 00 9


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BY ARIAN MODANSKY

It’s a Great Time to Build If you’ve got the money and want to invest in your home, now’s the time THEY SAY THAT EXTRAORDINARY OPPORTUNITIES COME ALONG ONCE IN A LIFETIME. If you are a homeowner who is thinking of building, remodeling or renovating your home, or if you are thinking of building a new home, that extraordinary time is right now. With the economy in a downturn, the likes not seen since the Great Depression, it is the perfect time for those who have the extra cash or credit to build and reinvest in their home. Prices are down for all components of building — from the architect to the contractor to the building materials. As stated in an article in the Home section of the New York Times on April 23, 2009 entitled The Makeover Moment, “as demand for contractors falls, some homeowners reap the rewards.” No one knows how long this window of opportunity will last. Like no other time in recent history, it’s a consumer’s market. All over Connecticut and New York, sought after, experienced contractors, 7 8 I S S U E 3 8 . 2 00 9

once only available to the rich and famous, are looking for jobs and are willing to work more personally with the homeowner. Construction companies which have been too busy in the past to bid on smaller jobs, now welcome them. This is a huge advantage to the homeowner, because an experienced company usually means more resources, more competitive subcontractors, and a high quality level. How can you turn your dream of a larger, modern kitchen or bath, family room, or master suite, for example, into a reality? It all starts with a little extra cash and the willingness to just say “Yes.” Ted Mantz, project estimator for the family-run Mantz Construction, LLC Company in Bridgeport, CT, explains how to begin the process. “It all starts with the architect,” he says. “It’s important to establish a construction budget early in the process and keep to that budget. Define the area of renovation or design work that is most important to you, communicate that to the architect and keep to that schedule; this will eliminate potential ‘sticker shock’ when the building proposals are completed and turned in to the architect.” “Homeowners have the right at any time during the process to ask the architect for a preliminary construction budget for all of the work being proposed, or just a portion of the work. I love the idea of phasing construction projects — that is, isolating an entire project into phases: phase 1, 2, 3. By doing this, the homeowner can be provided a phase by phase construction budget or a menu of pricing, if you will.”


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It’s a Great Time to Build JMKA Architects uses the phasing concept, and it has been well received by all of principal Jeff Kaufman’s clients. Phasing is additional work for Mantz Construction, but well worth the time spent for the client. According to Ted Mantz, the homeowner might get the idea to remodel, expand or renovate. He might have always wanted a fantastic family room, his wife might have been asking for a new, state of the art kitchen. They might have been talking about a master suite on the first floor, in anticipation of their retirement years. Whatever the job, the architect is the person who can draw the plans for the design of their dreams. A tentative agreement is drawn up. Finally, when the homeowner agrees to the design work, the architect will submit the plans to the town for approval. He will then select three to five builders, based on many requirements, and the job goes out to bid. That’s where companies such as Mantz Construction Company step into the process. They, in turn, get the sub-contractors, such as electricians, plumbers, carpenters, framers, interior designers, and excavators, to bid on the project. Mantz usually sends out to multiple subcontractors for each trade category. They select the ones who will provide the greatest value without compromising the level of detail required for the project. Mantz Construction only looks for sub-contractors who provide quality and customer service. “If I call Wilton Plumbing,” Ted says, “they respond quickly. They have great customer service and they are always very responsive to our needs. I gravitate

we’re a smaller, boutique contractor. But we know what we do well, and we understand our limitations.” Ted asks, “Why call Mantz? Because we’ve been in business for a long time, our reputation speaks for itself and people like us. We’re every bit as good as the big guys in the field, but we choose to keep the company the size it is. We like to have just two to three projects going on at once. That way, we can ensure quality, integrity, and proper level of customer care.“ As Mantz puts the numbers together for me, the cost to build is much less in the current market. There are many, many examples of savings for clients who have the ability to make the investment in their existing home. Lumber companies are recording material costs at an all time low, as are vendors across the board. Skilled laborers, at one time charging $45-$50 per hour, today charge $25-$30 an hour, depending on the complexity of the job. Mantz explains, ”If I had three carpenters on eight hour shifts a year ago, that added up to $150 an hour. Now, it’s $90 an hour for the same workers, a huge savings I can pass on to the client.” In addition, “if a job comes in requiring seven hours of production, you need to analyze it, be sure the laborer is efficient and organized, and get it down to five hours. No one has the luxury of wasting any time, for time means money.“ Mantz summarizes what all this means to the client. Unlike even eight months ago, projects are coming in on time. Costs are down; people are working harder and paying close attention to every detail of the job. Everyone is involved in working to eliminate oversights. And of course, everyone is eager for work. “Mantz Construction, in the past, would not even consider a job under a half million dollars,” Ted chuckles. “Now, if the job is $150,000, we’ll absolutely take a look at it. We want everything we can get.” To illustrate his point, Ted tells about a family in Connecticut who wanted to renovate their home about a year ago. They hired an architect who drew up the plans, and sent the project out to bid. Mantz bid on it, but the family decided to wait about ten months. They sent it out to re-bid a few months ago, and the project saw a savings of 23%. On a project of two to three million dollars, that’s a substantial savings. On the other hand, he recently submitted a proposal for a project in Westchester County, at a value of $850,000, for a massive home renovation. The client decided to put the project on hold. When they decide to move forward, perhaps even twelve to fourteen months from now, it may not be $850,000; it could be a lot more. This is a great time to build, a window of opportunity because you get better value, and in addition, if you have the money to spend, you are putting people to work and helping the economy. Ted Mantz directs me to talk to Jeff Kaufman, an architect in the Connecticut firm JMKA Architects. “He owns one of those companies that I rely on to deliver trust, confidence, and hands on service; clients love him. He understands the client’s ambition, and he strives to blend the renovation or addition work within the existing neighborhood. He’s very creative. And, when I call him, he picks up the phone or

”Construction is a psychological lift for people. Many are more confident in real estate coming back than the stock market.” towards these subs because if they don’t call me back, how are they going to deal with the customer? It all gets rolled over to the client.” “We’ve been in business since the mid-eighties,” Ted adds. “My brother, Tim Mantz, started the company. Customer satisfaction is paramount to us; you live or die by customer service. If someone calls or emails, there is always someone here to quickly respond and resolve any questions that need answering, promptly. We offer a high level of support and service to our clients. We provide a great team effort for the homeowner and the architect. We work with them at every stage to make certain they are comfortable with the process and happy with our performance. We’re not the biggest contractor in the area; I’d say 8 0 I S S U E 3 8 . 2 00 9


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emails me right back. He understands that a “team” working together and making the client the number one priority makes for a successful project. I have lots of confidence in Jeff and his team,” Ted states. Jeff Kaufman is happy to continue our discussion from the architect’s point of view. “Clients are making out like bandits,” he laughs. “Subs are more competitive than ever. It’s a great time to buy a house or downsize. Empty nesters have equity in their house, and many can afford to sell for less and buy a smaller, more manageable house for a great price. Many baby boomers who have the cash are doing work on their existing houses.” Jeff is seeing smaller projects, but people who still want to put money into their real estate. Many are doing fix-ups, what he calls “feel good” size projects. They might have lost money in the stock market, so they want to renovate their family room because they aren’t traveling as much. They may be home more now, and want their extended family to visit more often. They call him to design an interior project — a small room or a master bath suited to their later years so they can stay in their house as they get older. They want their house to cater to their grandchildren, or perhaps want a hide-away master suite downstairs, so they can have privacy when family visits. Jeff explains, ”Construction is a psychological

STRAW HILL MILL WORK

lift for people. Many are more confident in real estate coming back than the stock market.” He’s seeing more jobs that are not as glamorous as in the past, like renovating an unfinished space so that the family can have a lifestyle change, because it’s better than moving. The economic climate has gotten people to think smaller and less opulent. JMKA architects recently completed a project (decorated by Shelly Morris Interiors) of a ranch house renovated for a family of three: a small house, with lower construction costs, but more efficient utility costs — a win-win. The house was featured on the New Canaan Cares Kitchen Tour, to an overwhelming number of comments like “This is what I want! How simple

and manageable the scale of the residence is.” Clients are thinking more compact and efficient. Jeff notes that house values have gone down on paper, and many people are realizing that their homes are not worth what they were even a year ago. They call him because they understand that they need to maintain their house to keep up its value if they want to sell in the future at the maximum amount. Jeff designs kitchens and bathrooms, master suites, and family rooms, for example, and turns them into up-to-date, state-of-the-art masterpieces. He enjoys working off a client’s wish list, and finds that “people are thinking outside the box now. It is a great time for creativity.” You have to be creative when you have a tight budget. Jeff Kaufman is also designing with more energy efficient, green home improvements. All JMKA specifications include items that are healthier for the environment and the resident. Clients are becoming more in tune with what will be a positive sales feature in the future. He describes a home in Fairfield County where his firm designed into the project a geo-thermal heating system and a green roof. The new stimulus package allows a 30% tax credit. This saves the homeowner of a large house tremendously, and he will be ahead of the curve when it comes time to sell. Geo-thermal saves a homeowner approximately 75% of conventional utility costs; in a large house that can add up to annual savings of $15,000-$20,000 in energy costs. “There are four houses that were just built overlooking the Housatonic River in Connecticut that were built on spec, and included geo-thermal energy,” Kaufman adds. This is the future of home construction — “green” projects will be faster sellers. It’s also a great time for improvements and building in retail and commercial spaces. Jeff is drawing plans for several local retail businesses. “In this economy, shoppers want to see newness and freshness in the stores in their neighborhoods. People always want to check out something new. All this means construction jobs. New restaurants are sprouting up with “green” innovations. They are in tune with what’s going on. This is partly recession-driven, and this will play a big role in getting us out of it. New places get people motivated to spend money. Commercial real estate owners don’t want empty spaces so they have to upgrade, and creative, aggressive business owners can be first in line when the recession is over.” Ted Mantz and Jeff Kaufman believe it’s a great time to build. To get an even clearer view of the market, I spoke with some of Mantz’ top sub-contractors. Don Cote owns and operates Wilton Plumbing and Heating Company, in Wilton, Connecticut. Don and his brother David bought the business eight years ago; it has been around since the early 1950’s. Don explains that today, when he gets a set of plans and estimates the job, the client definitely gets more value for his money. He repeats that there’s a lot more competition for jobs. His is a service business, and suppliers are tightening their margins. Don knows that


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It’s a Great Time to Build his company is quicker and more attentive now. His work is in new homes, remodeling existing homes, commercial properties and service. He always gives a one-year warranty on his work and cautions, ”Be wary in this market of the fly-by-night business. They get your down payment and leave. Check with the Better Business Bureau. I like to work with Mantz, because of their reputation. Mantz Construction has had the same sub-contractors for years. Contractors want to know who to call and be able to trust them. Sub-contractors need to be there when they say they will. We’re dependable, and customer service-oriented.“ Along with Wilton plumbing, Mantz Construction Company recommends NY Gypsum Floors in Larchmont, New York for radiant heating, a fast-growing alternative to conventional heating. Eric Johnson, a part owner in the company, explains the hows and whys of radiant energy. “It started over twenty-five years ago as an enhancement to a house, especially in bathrooms. It was considered a luxury item to keep your feet warm. Europe has had radiant heating for over fifty years,” he adds. Over a period of time, radiant heating moved from just one room to multiple rooms, to whole spaces. Here in Westchester and Connecticut, most new additions get radiant heating. It’s no longer considered a luxury. Eric explains further: “It’s good for many reasons. Radiant heating JMKA ARCHITECTS is efficient and draftless. With conventional heating, you can feel a curtain of cool air; even the ducts aren’t hot. With radiant, dry heat rises; there are no drafts. It heats the objects in a room, and they give off heat. If you sit on the hardwood or tile floor, it’ll be 82 degrees. There’s no dust, because it doesn’t move through ducts. That’s great for allergy and asthma sufferers.” Overall, the homeowner can save a considerable amount on his heating bills — the payback for radiant is four to seven years. Eric sums up, “Wise people are looking for this payback in money and efficiency. Both residential and commercial builders are turning to radiant for that extra value. It’s a great selling point when you want to sell your property.” Another sub-contractor affiliated with Mantz Construction is Strawberry Hill Millwork, in Bethel, Connecticut. Andrew Tucciarone, Jr., its owner, is happy to show me around his state-of-the8 2 I S S U E 3 8 . 2 00 9

art woodworking shop. His company does complete custom kitchen and bathroom renovations, “his and hers” offices, playrooms, dressing rooms, closets, and commercial spaces. Custom wine cellars are a new and popular project category for Strawberry Hill Millwork, and Andrew tells me they run the gamut from room size to small-space customization. Last fall, his company took the first place prize in the specialty category in the “Innovative Design Excellence Awards” at a trade show in Atlanta, Georgia for a customized wine cellar his team designed, built and installed in a Greenwich home (which you can see on his website). His client base is essentially the Connecticut and Westchester County areas. His company was established in 1994 and grew from his love of woodworking as a schoolboy, into a love of making beautiful furniture. As Andy explains, “We pride ourselves on our quality product, and our repeat customer business is a testament to our skill level and the care we take. We work closely with our clients to ensure that their expectations are met. We’re very hands-on, which means we even assist clients in the selection of appliances for a new kitchen, for example, and have been known to pick them up, if it makes things easier all around. I recently made a trip at 5:30 am to pick up a sink which was needed that morning.” He continues, “I love this business. I enjoy coming here, getting my hands dirty. We make every effort to educate the customer so we have a fuller understanding of what direction or style they’re leaning toward. We ask them to cut out pictures of things they like, which helps the project come together more quickly. We will do preliminary sketches for them and then our draftsman will create full shop drawings showing all the details. With regard to today’s bargains to be had, I completely agree with others about the customer’s ability to get far more reasonable pricing now than before. Hardwoods are at the lowest prices I’ve ever seen. All our vendors are competing for our business, which helps us keep costs down. Some of the woods we work with are cherry, maple, quarter-sawn white oak, and poplar, as well as more exotic woods. Our painted cabinetry is made using soft maple. Our finishing work is extraordinary, if I say so myself. Antique glazing is a specialty of ours.”


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Andy’s energy is contagious. “People we work for want the best and we strive to give it to them. We help design their project, use the best materials and deliver quality workmanship. I love to see the customer smile, that’s the payoff.” My understanding of the construction business would not have been complete without a visit to the lumber supplier. Ted Mantz directed me to the Hatch and Bailey Company in Norwalk and Stamford, Connecticut. The company has been in business since 1872. It’s a full service lumber yard, mostly for the professional. They are looking to expand to the homeowner. Michael De Felice, Senior Vice President of operations, explains their philosophy: ”We give the contractors a competitive price, but we wow them with our service. We have same day delivery. We do blue print take-offs. This means the architect draws it up, and gives the plans to the lumber yard. Our take-off service determines the list of building materials that are needed. We do this service free of charge. The quality of our material can’t be beat. We

Geo-thermal saves a homeowner approximately 75% of conventional utility costs; in a large house that can add up to annual savings of $15,000$20,000 in energy costs. use the best quality grade Douglas Fir. We also have pressure treated wood. We need to set ourselves apart from our competition in this market. All our wood is grade stamped and agency approved. Our green products are environmentally friendly. We’re slowly shifting our inventory towards green based on demand.” The Hatch and Bailey have gone through tough times in their long history. Mike laughs, ”We’ll be here after it’s all said and done. In the last six months, companies have gone on the defense. We went on the offense. We’ve hired more sales staff who are quality, experienced people. When this economy turns, we’ll be ready. It’s an investment on our part, that we can handle now. We’re cutting costs in other ways, like watching our energy usage and recycling to save money. But when it comes to sales we’ve invested, and it’s starting to pay off. Sales turn into hiring more drivers and inside people. This relates to a quicker response for the contractor and the homeowner.” From the architect to the construction company to his sub-contractors and suppliers, all convinced me that it’s a great time to build. With a little cash, a wish list of ideas, and the foresight to plan for the future, you too can have the house of your dreams. When the economy comes back, you could be sitting in your radiant heated master suite, bathing in your new, state of the art Jacuzzi tub, or entertaining and cooking in your professional chef ’s kitchen. You can invest in your home, your life, and the economy, and be proud that you did it for much less than you expected. ❉

THINKING OF BUILDING? TED MANTZ MANTZ CONSTRUCTION COMPANY 745 HANCOCK AVE, BRIDGEPORT, CT 06605 203/696-0323 MANTZLLC.COM JEFF KAUFMAN JMKA ARCHITECTS 181 POST RD W. WESTPORT, CT 06880 203/322-1222 NORTH ST., GREENWICH, CT 06830 203/698-8888 JMKARCHITECTS.COM DON COTE WILTON PLUMBING AND HEATING 496 DANBURY RD, WILTON, CT 06897 203/762-9009 WILTONPLUMBINGANDHEATING.COM ANDREW TUCCIARONE STRAWBERRY HILL MILLWORK 12 TURKEY PLAIN RD., BETHEL, CT 06801 203/790-0550; STRAWBERRYHILLMILLWORK.COM ERIC JOHNSON NY GYPSUM FLOORS 2 MADISON AVE., LARCHMONT NY 10538 800-542-4132. THE HATCH & BAILEY CO. IN NORWALK: 1 MEADOW STREET EXT. PHONE: 203.866.5515 IN STAMFORD: 34 FAHEY STREET PHONE: 203.348.7785 WWW.HATCHANDBAILEY.COM


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FICTION

GREENWICH STORY BY STEPHEN RHODES I HAVE A SECRET. Okay, you might think this is sick, but I'm in a tell-all mode. So, here goes: My BlackBerry has been programmed to tally up the number of days my wife Susan and I have gone without having sex. The device informs me we're at 78 sex-free days. And counting. Wait. There's more. I've recently discovered that my wife is also surreptitiously keeping track of this ignoble hitless streak. She pencils tickmarks into the kitchen calendar. By her count, we've been on the sex wagon for 77 days straight. Look, I own up to it: the demise of our relationship is mostly my fault. A fourteen-year career on Wall Street wears away at your soul, like water against limestone. It pushes you to a place where you don't recognize who you are, or how you got here. Everyone around you becomes a stranger, including — no, especially — your own wife. Working 16-hour days in those glistening glass towers in Manhattan, engaging in mortal combat with some of the planet's brightest and most power-obsessed bastards who want to steal the business you've built up over the years — it hardens you. Still, it takes two to tango. Truth is, our infertility problems have weighed heavily on us. In our choreographed attempts to conceive, following the clinical manner in which the doctors instructed us to copulate to the letter, we've spent the last thirty-six months not so much making love, as conducting laboratory experiments. It's taken its toll. I'm convinced Susan no longer loves me. I suspect she's in love with at least one, maybe two others in the Greenwich vicinity. I lay awake nights wondering if it's Adam, the wacky New Age martial arts expert at her yoga center on Boston Post Road, the kid with bad teeth who teaches her Tai Bo and promises to launch her on a spiritual journey to discover her inner self. Or is it Dr. Lauren, the collagen-lipped lesbian physician who wears no undergarments when she prescribes migraine treatments at Norwalk Hospital? Could be both, or neither. 9 0 I S S U E 3 8 . 2 00 9

Maybe it's just one of those rough patches that couples' therapists always blather about. Something we're supposed to traverse together, until the next phase of our lifelong partnership. Alas, the appearance of Peter I. Tortola in the Citibank monthly statement suggests otherwise. This Friday night, I find my wife in the small, childless bedroom called the Quiet Room. My wife is strikingly pretty, even as the chiseled angles of her face are softening with time. Just now, though, she's an unsettling sight in the darkened room. Susan has an ice-pack swirled over her face. On the bureau next to the trundle bed, a spent Epi-Pen and migraine medication arranged in a neat row. Susan — God help her — is in full-blown "aura mode with bursts of colors" phase. With her head tilted back and her arms along the armrests of the recliner, she appears to be clamped in an electric chair. "Susan, you all right?" "Migraine," she murmurs tonelessly. "Need anything?" "Solitude." Though she can't see me, I nod in the darkness. I realize how my Friday night will play out, and it ain't a pretty picture. But I can't hold back. "Susan?" I say delicately. "We need to talk. Only when you're up for it." She barks irritably, "Just tell me, Mark." I sigh. "A canceled check came in. Made out to Peter Tortola." Susan has no immediate response to this. I push it, gently. "We need to talk about your intentions, Susan. I need to know what that check means." All is silence. I'm aware of my own labored breathing. Who's this Peter I. Tortola? you may ask. He's Greenwich's most nefarious pit bull, a vulture, a shark, the lowest of snakes — a high-powered, $625an-hour divorce attorney who specializes in going after Wall Street husbands, with the tenacity and teeth of a moray eel. "Susan, we can talk about this later if — " "You heartless bastard!" Her voice soars to a blood-chilling volume.


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I am paralyzed by her fury. "You sadistic son-of-a-bitch. You torture me when I'm in this condition? What's the matter with you? Get the hell away from me." I dutifully comply. No doubt that after this exchange, we will be more than a little unfashionably late to the Honeywells' dinner party.

Wealth whispers. For generations past, this was an unspoken code in Greenwich, the humility of old money. After all, darling, living in this town, how shall we say? Res ipsa loquitur. But the relentless tsunami of urban barbarians descending upon the Connecticut Gold Coast with fat Wall Street bonuses killed off any vestige of subtlety in this town. Now Greenwich is just another brand name to accumulate. The tree-lined McMansions roll past as Susan and I wordlessly wind our way along Round Hill Road. Nearly 8:30 and we've not said a word since our chat in the Quiet Room. Perhaps our conversations are inexorably headed for the same fate as our sex life. Finito. My Aston-Martin approaches the Honeywell's seven-bedroom mansion at Twelve Larkspur Lane. Rich Honeywell is yet another Greenwich hedge fund asshole, one of those Wall Street guys with marginal talent and a nine-figure chunk of someone-else's-family-money behind him. A once-in-a-lifetime fluke — a federal deregulation of investment restrictions on pension plans — made him obscenely wealthy, and has kept an endless convoy of Brinks trucks dumping palletloads of money on the doorstep of his Steamboat Road office. Naturally, Rich's house is an eat-your-heart-out monument to the disproportionate extent of his newfound wealth: a dramatic, custardyellow contemporary with Hudson Valley stone veneer set on five

turn this around before passing the point-of-no-return, and the path of mutually-assured destruction. I clear my throat — and get no further. "I want out, Mark. I'm done with this." Susan delivers this statement in a flat, lifeless tone, as she might say, Looks like rain. She opens the vanity mirror to check her makeup. "I want 60 percent of everything, and the house as well. You keep the cars and the retirement accounts. The papers'll be filed next week." She snaps the mirror closed and exits the convertible. And just like that, my marriage begins its slow-motion spiral to the first circle of hell.

We approach the front door wordlessly, assembling the convincing facsimile of a happy and centered Greenwich couple with no marital woes. Rich Honeywell opens the door, dressed in a pair of black Ted Baker slacks, a charcoal Armani shirt and Donald Pliner loafers. "It's the Barstons!" Honeywell says theatrically, as he hugs Susan (a bit too warmly for my comfort). "Word up, Barston? You get lost on the way?" This offhand dig is a passive-aggressive reminder that we're the last to arrive, but it's the unintended irony that makes me blink. Yeah, I got lost on the way, all right. "Jennifer's been asking all night, 'where're the Barstons, where're the Barstons?' She'll be psyched you're finally here," Rich says breezily, shepherding us through the palatial yet antiseptic interior of his McMansion-in-progress. Like many Greenwich homes, the furnishings and accoutrements bear the fingerprints of a particular interior designer specializing in a bland, WASP-y décor coveted by newmoney clients with no sense of style of their own. She's booked up for six months in advance. "Jen, say hello to the Barstons." Jennifer Honeywell curtails her lecture to the waiter on how to serve the platter of jumbo Gulf shrimp to shriek in exaggerated delight. "The Barstons!" I remember hearing something about her new antidepressant and all comes clear. We apologize for being late. I kiss Jennifer, Jennifer and Susan kiss, and Rich exploits the pleasantries to try scoring a kiss on the lips with Susan (which she successfully evades). Jennifer's new body has been honed and shaped by untold hours of spinning classes and Pilates into a rock-hard leanness that teeters on the verge of masculinity. The excessive athleticism has introduced an asexual coarseness to her face. Too bad; she used to be among the most attractive of my friends' wives. Rich makes a sweeping gesture toward the French doors. "The bartender's got a bottle of Grey Goose with your name on it, kimosabe." "Let's have at it." Honeywell directs us to the open-air patio overlooking an exquisitely manicured backyard of Kentucky bluegrass — an emerald carpet, gleaming under a full moon. Predictably, Susan and I wordlessly peel off in different directions. I'm cool with that. The blast of communal energy from the party lifts my spirits. At the bar, a pimply-faced Greenwich High School kid gives me my

WEALTH WHISPERS. FOR GENERATIONS PAST, THIS WAS AN UNSPOKEN CODE IN GREENWICH, THE HUMILITY OF OLD MONEY. acres of what was once fertile onion farm. It's fully equipped with all the usual accoutrements: four-car garage, tennis court, and an Olympic-sized pool. Two bright yellow backhoes in the front yard suggest further expansion is imminent. The Belgian-bricked driveway is jammed with probably $3 million worth of luxury automobiles. I wedge the convertible into a space between a Porsche Cayenne and a yellow Hummer with personalized plates: 183 IQ. I turn off the car. The ensuing silence is deafening. I crave a talk, a clearing of the air between us. Perhaps naïvely, I hope to


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signature double shot of Grey Goose on the rocks. Duly fortified, I meld into an amoeba of acquaintances. They interrupt their discourse about Robert Trent Jones golf courses to slap my back, shake my hand and high-five me. "I was just saying," Ford Spilsbury gets me up to speed, "that the Lido course on Long Beach is pure eighteen-hole nirvana. The 16th hole is the ultimate par 5. There's an eagle opportunity if you can survive the double-water carry." The five of them — Spilsbury, Foster, Brightman, O'Clair and Cantwell — are clubhouse friends. Like me, all Wall Street jerks.

goers on the deck, I realize she's nowhere to be found. Another fortifying swallow of Grey Goose gives me the illusion that perhaps there's a chance to work things out with Susan. Maybe a romantic dinner date in the city tomorrow night — reservations at the new David Burke restaurant. Give her a free pass to rant about my endless failings as a partner, a husband and a workaholic. That's her favorite sport, purging her frustrations about my shortcomings. Maybe that would forestall our imminent trip to Splitsville. Abruptly, I hear nature's call. On the way, I encounter Marcy Brightman. "Marcy — have you seen Susan?"

WE CONFUSE WEALTH WITH CLASS; WE THINK THEY ARE SYNONYMOUS, WHEN THEY MOST ASSUREDLY ARE NOT. Bankers and brokers and traders and lawyers. The Ivy League degrees on this patio cost millions in tuition dollars — worth every penny. The diplomas our parents bought for us are a license to steal. Collectively, we siphon off a disproportionate chunk of the country's GNP, and trundle it north to our trophy wives in Greenwich. We buy expensive cars and homes and boats and pools, and go on obscenely expensive vacations, all of which is meant to inform everyone just how much we're taking out of the American economy for ourselves. Our nine-year-olds are infected with this zombie-like consumerism, and are as tragically conversant with the iconic symbolism of Tiffany and BMW and Prada as their parents. We confuse wealth with class; we think they are synonymous, when they most assuredly are not. Inevitably, we will pass the former on to our children, but not the latter. This is the way of my world. I gaze up at the moon in the star-studded sky and heave a sigh. Maybe my spirits aren't so lifted after all. My glass is empty. I break away from the group for a refill.

There comes a point at every white-glove suburban dinner party where the night segues into morning, booze is consumed in disturbingly large quantities, and finally, the Law of Diminishing Returns sets in. It's an invisible line where most of the guests transmogrify into… well, perhaps the scientific term drunken assholes describes it most succinctly. Here at the Honeywell's sumptuous manse, the catered meal of Chicken Kiev has been fully devoured long ago, the alcohol consumption has slipped seamlessly from social lubricant to unchecked excess, and casual cocktail conversation has morphed from banter into blather. Time to collect Susan, thread our way to the door with a climactic flurry of handclasps, high-fives and air-kisses (as well as heaps of superlatives to our gracious hosts for their hospitality). Given our noticeably late arrival, I'm not about to be among the first cluster of departing guests. Killing time, I score another doublevodka from the pockmark-skinned bartender. It occurs to me that I haven't seen Susan for hours. As I scan the voluble, intoxicated party9 2 I S S U E 3 8 . 2 00 9

"An hour ago, she was outside with Leslie and Elise," Marcy looks me up and down with unconcealed suburbanite horniness. "You look really buff, Mark. You been working out lately?" Yikes, no bid. "If you see her, tell her I'm looking for her." I brush past her and arrive at the downstairs bathroom. I'm bummed to see a line of three people ahead of me. Despising lines the way I do, I make my way surreptitiously to the other side of the house seeking an alternative.

Two renovations ago, the more restrained Honeywells had us over to their place for a more intimate dinner party, commemorating the watermark of the first $100 million of Rich's hedge fund and the concurrent expansion of their home. From the obligatory house tour, I vaguely recall a bathroom upstairs. Now, I peek around furtively, making certain no one thinks I'm sneaking upstairs to snoop for antidepressant prescriptions, home-made porn and/or the kinky sex toys of the congenial hosts downstairs. Upstairs, I hang a right and stumble toward the bathroom door. As I reach for the knob, a muffled moan from within causes me to freeze. Dude, I think. That was a sex sound! A thrill surges through me. Could it be? Two guests have conspired to break away from the party, brazenly locking themselves away in a distant bathroom, and are — at this very moment — entangled in some illicit, secret tryst! Outrageous! Shocking! Obscene! It's… suburban sex! I ease closer, pressing an ear toward the surface of the door. Yes, I'm a shameless voyeur, at least in an auditory sense. For my effort, I'm rewarded with an admixture of this soundtrack: the rustle-whisper of clothes being urgently shed; the guttural utterances of the guy as he is overtaken by sexual desire. A racy picture forms in my mind's eye: this guy (someone I know!) has his partner (someone else I know!) up on the sink, her party dress hiked up over her hips, her legs wrapped around him, trying to get their business finished before anyone is the wiser. I'm excited,


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yes, Scout's honor, I admit it — not only because I've been carnally deprived by a sexually-disinterested Susan for so long, but, man, this is live sex happening merely six feet away from where I'm standing. Raw, suburban sex! Who can it be? — I attempt to visualize some satisfyingly erotic faces and bodies belonging to the people downstairs to go with the partners behind this door, but there's not exactly a Brangelina caliber of possibilities at this party…. I'm mesmerized by the sheer rawness of this encounter — and then — whoa! — suddenly it's all over. What comes next is a blur; I'm way too intoxicated, too transfixed by this animalistic coupling to have the good sense to slip away undetected. From within, there are heated whispers, something about "getting back downstairs" followed by the swish of clothes being pulled back into place. Just then, just as good sense belatedly prevails and it occurs to me that I should tiptoe back downstairs myself, grab Susan and get home, just in that instant, it no longer becomes necessary to find Susan, because the bathroom door swings open and the intoxicated, disheveled, post-orgasmic woman who emerges with a smirking, disheveled, post-orgasmic Rich Honeywell is none other than the one I'm looking for. My wife. Susan. In the few seconds before I pounce upon Honeywell in a white-hot fury, he gawks at me in wide-eyed surprise and tries to "dude" me. He sputters, "Aw, man — dude, dude, wait — let's — just don't — " I barrel into him full-force as Susan shrieks in horrified monosyllables. Honeywell is no match for me; I have a ten-pound weight advantage over him and he hasn't seen the inside of a gym in years. As I drive my fist full-force into his solar plexus, I feel the wind being knocked from his lungs. He pushes back in futile resistance, hoarsely shouting "Dude, dude!" in a lame attempt to forestall his comeuppance. I am smashing my white-knuckled fists into any and all vulnerable areas of his pink flabby flesh, occasionally scoring a satisfying blow to his jaw. Without realizing it, I am propelling him backward into the bathroom. I'm vaguely aware of Susan desperately trying to pull me off of Rich, her bemoaning pleas to stopit, juststopit, but I easily tear away from her impotent grasp and go about my business of beating Rich to a pulp. In the next moment, he loses his footing and his resistance crumbles. We crash through the huge glass door of the brand-new steam shower. Upon impact, the plate glass immediately explodes into shards on the pink granite floor of the shower stall. At that moment, I land the best punch so far, a fleshy slap against Rich Honeywell's cheekbone. He teeters backward into the faucet, setting off the shower. Steam immediately envelops us. The fog does nothing to inhibit me as I pummel Rich repeatedly with the goal of wrecking his smirking face. Susan screaming: "Oh god! Stop it! Please! Just stop it!" I snarl between gulping in lungfuls of air. "This is what it comes to, dude? This is what it comes to? You and her? You and her? How long, asshole, how long? How long?" Honeywell whimpers something unintelligible through his burst and bleeding lips, then holds his hands up, a gesture of surrender that takes the fight out of me. When he finally speaks, it's the humiliated voice of a beaten man. "No more, man. No more." With that, it's over.

I stare balefully at him, lowering my fists. My breathing is labored, my hands are bleeding and every ounce of my body is trembling with a cocktail of adrenaline, testosterone and booze. I step over Honeywell's prone form, through the gaping hole in the shower doorframe. Susan is hugging herself, weeping inconsolably. I stare unblinkingly at her: I no longer know this woman. She is a stranger to me. Unemotionally, I step outside the upstairs bathroom, leaving behind a scene of chaos I created. Gripping the banister uncertainly, I stumble down the stairs into a group of people I know well. "Holy hell, Mark, what happened?" "He's got blood on his shirt!" "Where's Susan? She okay?" "Anybody see Rich?" I gaze blankly at them, feeling a swelling wave of revulsion. At them. At Rich. At Susan. At myself. At this whole artificial mirage we know as Greenwich. Wordlessly, I push my way through my friends, acquaintances and neighbors, upending someone's drink, causing a commotion in my wake. I blast my way out of the party, heading out the back door. I step off the deck and wobble around yet another yellow Earthmover in search of my car. I manage to unlock the door, gun the engine, and with a defiant squeal of tire rubber against Larkspur Lane, I make my escape. But wait. Escape — yeah, wishful thinking. There is no escape. Not from this fishbowl. Before each other, we wrap ourselves in an aura of effortlessness, expert at concealing the fears that haunt us at 3:00 AM: the TMJ-inducing toll our careers take on our stomachs and our mental health; the slowmotion decay of our marriages; the warning signs that our children might not end up at an Ivy League university after all; the velocity at which our spending is outpacing our income. We hide behind the breezy accomplishment of breaking 80 on the course at the Stanwich Club, pretending everything is right in the world when we come to know that the pursuit of this life is a cancer to the soul. Tomorrow, the Greenwich gossip circuit will go into hyperdrive about what went down at the Honeywell's party. For now I don't care. I care only about some form of escape. I stomp on the accelerator and feel the cool summer breeze whipping against my face. I luxuriate in the illusion of freedom for these few, glorious moments. That is, until I become aware of the unnerving, flickering strobe lights of the Greenwich Police squad car closing in behind my Aston Martin. They say wealth whispers. The lives we lead never do. ❉ Previously employed by JPMorgan and Lehman Brothers, Stephen Rhodes is the award-winning author of two novels, including the critically-acclaimed financial thriller that predicted the stock market meltdown, The Velocity of Money. "Greenwich Story" is an excerpt from his forthcoming third novel, parts of which have been published in Best American Mystery Stories 2008 and Wall Street Noir. He has commuted from Westport to Manhattan for 15 years.

Permission to excerpt by Stephen Rhodes.


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THESE FAN PORTRAITS WERE MADE IN THE PARKING LOTS OF SHEA AND YANKEE STADIUMS ON THEIR TEAMS' RESPECTIVE OPENING DAYS, ONE RAINY WEEK APART, IN 2008. THEY ARE PORTRAITS OF BASEBALL'S OPENING-DAY OPTIMISM, BEFORE THAT OPTIMISM FADES: BEFORE THE FIRST ENTRY IN THE LOSS COLUMN, BEFORE THE VENOM OF SPORTS-TALK RADIO HOSTS AND TABLOID SPORTS COLUMNISTS, BEFORE ERAS RISE AND BATTING AVERAGES FALL AND EVERYBODY'S TEAM IS STILL IN WITH A CHANCE TO GO DEEP IN THE POSTSEASON. SHEA WOULD BE TORN DOWN IN EARLY 2009, AN OBSOLETE, HOMEY DUMP OF A STADIUM BORN IN AN AGE WHEN STADIUMS WERE NAMED FOR PEOPLE INSTEAD OF MULTINATIONAL CORPORATIONS. YANKEE STADIUM CLOSED TOO, STRIPPED OF MEMORIAL PARK AND THE HOME PLATE WHERE DIMAGGIO, RUTH AND GEHRIG BATTED. THE NEW STADIUM, BUILT NEXT DOOR OVER A NEIGHBORHOOD PLAYGROUND, SELLS SUSHI AND PRIME RIB. BUT BEFORE THE FIRST PITCH, THE OPENING-DAY TAILGATE PARTY DOESN'T CHANGE MUCH FROM YEAR TO YEAR, OR STADIUM TO STADIUM. OLD MEN CHOMP CIGARS. YOUNG BOYS SHAG PARKING-LOT GROUND BALLS WITH OUTSIZED FIELDER'S MITTS WHILE THEIR MOTHERS SHOW OFF IDENTICAL JETER TATTOOS. NOBODY COMPLAINS IN THE SOFT, STEADY DOWNPOUR. ❉ Suzy Allman is a freelance sports photographer living in Rye, New York. She began her career in photography with the Rye Record, and now works regularly for the New York Times sports section, shooting New York's major-league teams in all the four major sports. Her other clients include Sports Illustrated, Golf Digest, Conde Nast Portfolio and Play magazines and American Express among others. www.suzyallman.com.

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Like a Rolling Stone

Ski

by Rich Silver

CHILE

You’re a skier and it’s summer.

Nice weather, but golf and tennis are just place holders for your real passion; flying down the slopes. So why not head down to South America where our summer is their winter and a really different travel experience awaits. A great choice is the beautiful and rugged country of Chile, 2600 miles long yet only 100 miles wide, bordered by the Pacific Ocean to the west and the towering Andes Mountains to the east. There are three main ski areas in Chile, Valle Nevado, Portillo and Termas de Chillan. Gateway to the mountains is via the cosmopolitan capital city of Santiago, a city rich in culture and history with exciting restaurants and nightlife. Valle Nevado, and it's adjacent resorts, El Colorado and La Parva, are a mere 37 miles from Santiago. The drive up to the mountains is unforgettable, a breathtaking series of twists and turns not for the feint of heart. Once at the resort, you have entered a skier’s paradise. Bathed in sunshine and encompassing an astounding 22,000 acres of open terrain and perfectly groomed trails, there is more than enough to keep skiers and boarders happily exploring for the entire week. The resort's awardwinning ski school and it's multilingual instructors and guides can be very helpful in orienting you to this vast playground. At the slopes, there are three ski in–ski out hotels to choose from, and all include breakfast and dinner. The premier choice is the Hotel Valle Nevado, with heated pool, spa and spectacular views. Aprés ski and late night choices, although limited, are cozy and fun, where you can share your day’s adventures by a roaring fire with skiers from around world. www.vallenevado.com. The more adventurous can hop on a one-hour flight from Santiago (plus three hour transfer) and head further south to Termas de Chillan.

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This is a ski destination like no other. The dramatic terrain is captivating as you realize you're within reach of actively venting volcanoes. There are seemingly unlimited in bounds/off-piste choices, as you drop into deep gulleys for an exhilarating ride down. Termas de Chillan can be even more fun off the slopes. The Gran Hotel is “the” luxury spot, a ski in-ski out hotel with an efficient, friendly staff that really gets to know their guests. They seem to appreciate that it takes a little extra effort to get there, so they go out of their way to make their guests feel welcome. There are excellent casual and fine dining options, and of course some of the region's highly acclaimed wines to accompany them. Nightlife is centered around the adjacent casino, which goes late into the night. What makes the resort special, however, is the "Spa Termal," a place of relaxation and rejuvenation after a long day out on the slopes. The word "Termas" refers to the warm thermal waters cascading down from the volcanoes, right into the hotel. You can soothe your sore muscles in the warm pools or pamper yourself with massage, aroma or volcanic thermal mud therapy. Afterward, try their own specially made emu skin cream. This is truly a spa experience to savor. www.termaschillan.cl. Getting to Chile is surprisingly easy and affordable. LAN airlines, a member of the One World Alliance, and the largest carrier in South America, has daily non-stop service from JFK to Santiago, and continuing service to Concepcion for Termas de Chillan. www.LAN.com. The South American ski season runs from approximately June 15 through October 15, so instead of putting your skis away this summer, get 'em tuned up and head south for a real ski and travel adventure. ❉


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RIGHT: THE GRAN HOTEL-TERMAS DE CHILLAN BELOW: SKIING AT VALLE NEVADO


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Like a Rolling Stone SCOTLAND AND THE NORTH OF ENGLAND: A TALE OF TWO CITIES (TIMES TWO)

THE SCOTSMAN HOTEL

Enter a land of kilts and clans. A land of lochs and bag pipers, grandeur and triumph. Aye, the weather can be a wee bit harsh, but no one is friendlier than the Scots people. Stand on a street corner with a map in your hand, and you won’t have a chance to stop a passerby for directions before someone comes up and asks if you need help. If you want ancient sites or modern innovations, natural splendor or manmade wonders, this is a country to visit. Direct flights are available from JFK and Newark to Edinburgh, and it’s an easy 15-minute cab or bus ride into downtown Edinburgh from the airport. When in Scotland, do as the Scottish do: have your fish and chips from a take away counter, load with gravy or cheese, and eat on your feet. While you’re at it, try the other specialties at these fry houses extraordinaire — fried haggis, Mars Bars or sausages — and be sure to join in the conversation of your fellow grease indulgers, especially if you’ve all just rolled out of a nearby pub. Pubs are places of mixed ages, live music, student discounts, and warm beer. They’re lively and informal, and good for a quick visit on the way home or onward to other destinations, or for an evening’s revelry.

Edinburgh With gorgeous architecture, a population of only 250,000, a low crime rate, low congestion, and ample history, Edinburgh may be one of the most appealing capitals of Europe. The city center is divided into the medieval Old Town and the Georgian New Town, each with its own character and attractions. Besides its striking medieval and Georgian architecture, Edinburgh has a strange and wonderful topography. Perched atop an extinct volcano that rises in the center of the city, Castle Rock dominates Edinburgh, with pristine parklands below. Its easy to take in this stunning city on foot and on your own, but if you want a guided tour there’s the option of hop on, hop off open top bus tours, or, for a fun, otherworldly experience, one of the historic ghost tours of the cobbled haunts of Old Town. World-class museums include Scotland's National Galleries and Scotland's National Museum, with a number of events and special exhibitions year round. New Town, (with a well laid out plan only 200 years old) bounded by Prince’s Street, is host to designer shopping, glamorous flats and posh restaurants and cafes. High Street in Old Town, also known as the Royal Mile because it runs from the Palace to the Castle, is one of the city’s main, majestic thoroughfares. Here one will find everything from kilt makers to fish and chip stands, Parliament to tourist shops. Today, Edinburgh Castle, perched on its promontory high above the city, houses the Crown Jewels of Scotland and other national treasures, as well as the National War Museum of Scotland. Guided tours are provided by the castle stewards, or there is an audio tour available in eight languages. The Palace of Holyroodhouse is Her Majesty The Queen's official residence in Scotland, but is perhaps best known as

11 8 I S S U E 3 8 . 2 00 9

the erstwhile home of Mary, Queen of Scots. The Royal Apartments, where The Queen hosts State ceremonies and other official occasions, are infused with centuries of history. The Queen's Gallery at the Palace hosts changing exhibitions from the Royal Collection open to the public. Edinburgh is said to have more restaurants per capita than anywhere else in the UK, and there is a vast range of eateries: everything from chic restaurants to ethnic venues, classic taverns to cafes and teahouses. For stylish bars with mixed drinks and Scotch whiskeys, head to George Street; try any of the pubs of Old Town and the Grassmarket if you want to rub elbows with university students and rugby players, and enjoy some loud, raucous fun. Edinburgh is also renowned for a schedule of festivals that runs all year long and draws visitors from around the world.

WHERE TO STAY THE SCOTSMAN HOTEL The elegant Scotsman Hotel, located on North Bridge in the city center of Edinburgh, could not be more centrally or conveniently located for exploring Scotland’s capital. Steps from the train station, the Scotsman is only a block or two from the city’s most famous thoroughfares: The Royal Mile and Prince’s Street. Museums, parks, restaurants and shops abound in the area, and the vivid tableau of the city is at its doorstep.


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EDINBURGH: A SAMPLING OF UPCOMING SUMMER FESTIVALS OLD TOWN FESTIVAL June 15-28. A celebration of Edinburgh's Old Town with theatre, storytelling, family events, and visual art. Various Venues EDINBURGH INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL June 17-28. (Times vary) One of the most important festivals in the film season, the EIFF's 63rd year promises new films, star-studded premieres, industry-led workshops and red carpet glamour.

Deriving its name from the Scotsman Newspaper, which was once housed in the magnificent building, the hotel’s accommodations bear names such as “publisher’s suite,” “editor’s room” or “director’s suite.” Rooms and suites are cozy and well appointed, with special emphasis on bed and bath. The Scotsman offers pillow-top mattresses and down quilts, white duvet covers and Egyptian cotton linens. Bathrooms are handsome and luxurious; double sinks, multiple showerheads and saunas in some of them. All bathrooms contain full size, refillable bath and body lotions from the hotel’s Cowshed Spa, with 100% vegetarian and natural essential oils. A tea caddy is available in all rooms, with a selection of fine teas and oat cookies. And, privacy hatches that lead out to the corridor allow you to receive room service in your robe without even having to open the door. Use of the health club, with

PUBLIC EVENINGS Fridays: 7:00-8:45 pm. See the Royal Observatory's telescope dome, go on a journey through the Solar System, and hold a meteorite. If it's clear, observe the skies using telescopes which are available to the public. Royal Observatory Visitor Centre EDINBURGH TREEFEST AND WOODMARKET July 18 & 19. 11:00 am-5:00 pm. This two-day festival offers displays, demonstrations, crafts, activities, games, entertainments, and refreshments for young and old alike. Inverleith Park EDINBURGH JAZZ AND BLUES FESTIVAL July 31-Sept. 9, 6pm. An Internationally acclaimed festival with over 100 events across Edinburgh — from major concert halls to parks, churches, and small clubs. Assembly @ Queen's Hall THE EDGE Aug 1-27. The Edge is the contemporary music strand of the Edinburgh Festival. Concerts take place at various venues across the city from a range of artists. EDINBURGH ART FESTIVAL Aug 5- Sept. 5 (Times vary) A celebration of the capital's visual art community involving galleries and museums, smaller independent spaces, and artist-led organizations across the city. Various Venues

PRESTONFIELD

indoor swimming pool and gym, is complimentary for all guests. The North Bridge Bar & Brasserie was converted from the newspaper's old reception hall. Soaring window’s overlook the North Bridge, while inside, modern Scottish cuisine using fresh local ingredients is served amid marble clad walls and richly tooled woodwork. Reservations: resscotsman@theetoncollection.com. Member, Connoisseurs Scotland: www.luxuryscotland.com.

PRESTONFIELD For a sybaritic escape just a five-minute cab ride from the city center, try Prestonfield, a Baroque manor house opulently restored and now an over-the-top hotel with fine dining. Prestonfield is whimsical, historic, and authentic, with a marvelous art collec-


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Like a Rolling Stone tion and one-of-a-kind guestrooms. The house offers the ultimate in private events, retreats, romantic getaways or destination dining. Rhubarb, the hotel’s restaurant, is comprised of two dramatic regency rooms, and serves fare every bit as exquisite as its setting. Private dining rooms accommodating as many as 18 or as few as two are available indoors, while Prestonfield’s handsome, cow-dotted grounds can be the site of tented affairs vast or small. www.prestonfield.com/res.htm. Member, Connoisseurs Scotland: www.luxuryscotland.com.

GETTING AROUND Oh, for public transportation in our country comparable to that in the UK. The British Rail system is excellent: efficient, comfortable, affordable and frequent. With a Britrail Pass, purchased online and in advance (www.britrail.com) US visitors can traverse England, Scotland and Wales — as well as connect to other European destinations — with unimaginable ease. Trains run on reliable, regular schedules to all points of the compass, at all times of the day. Combined with the rail service, Park and Ride, a system of low cost commuter buses, ensures that British suburbanites can commute easily into downtown Edinburgh and other cities, reducing congestion and parking hassles, and making the cities pleasantly passable.

cal town. Owned by the Kohler family, the hotel boasts unique and wonderful bathrooms in each room, with state of the art fixtures and lavish design. All rooms are generously appointed, spacious, and regularly refurbished, and look directly out onto either the Old Course and the St. Andrews coastline, or the fields and hills of Fife. The Kohler Waters Spa, a haven for non-golfers left happily behind or for post-course rejuvenation, offers signature Kohler bathing and water experiences, body wraps, massages and facials. Follow the spa activities with an award-winning afternoon tea in the serene solarium, a creative and casual meal in the Sands Brasserie, or an elegant, fine dining experience with breathtaking views from the top floor Roadhole Grill. At the Roadhole, guests can enjoy a five-course chef’s tasting menu of organic Scottish fare, or select from a la carte choices such as smoked eel, wild boar, and wood pigeon. Reservations: www.oldcoursehotel.co.uk; Member, Connoisseurs Scotland: www.luxuryscotland.com.

Durham A small medieval city in the north of England, Durham offers walkable streets, a Gothic Cathedral, a castle inhabited by university students in term, a bustling Victorian food and goods market, and more.

St. Andrews St. Andrews is a spectacular town, and not to be missed on any tour of Scotland. Renowned for its golf, it’s university, and its beauty, the appeal of this small town far outweighs its size and population. With only three

RADISSON DURHAM

OLD COURSE HOTEL

main streets— chockablock with cafes, boutiques, bed and breakfasts and townhouses—St. Andrews is easy to navigate and enjoy. St. Andrews boasts seven courses in this one small coastal town, as well as a beautiful coastline, beaches, castle ruins and a cathedral.

WHERE TO STAY OLD COURSE HOTEL, GOLF RESORT& SPA Situated on one of the most famous golf courses in the world and overlooking the North Sea, the Old Course is the premier hotel in this magi-

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The city can trace its history back a thousand years, when a religious community built first a wooden, then a stone church, on top of a rocky hill, protected on three sides by the River Wear. Following the Norman conquest of 1066, King William also found this site appealing and realized it offered an ideal strategic location from which to rule Northumbria and defend the region against the Scots. Building was begun on both a magnificent cathedral, and a castle, to act as protection for the cathedral and to provide a palace for the Bishop. The result was one of the most impressive construction projects undertaken during the Middle Ages. Today, the panoramic view of the cathedral and castle has been described as ‘one of the finest architectural experiences of Europe,’ and together they are now designated a World Heritage Site. The oldest and most interesting parts of Durham are contained within a small area, making for easy sightseeing. Walks along the banks of the river provide superb views of the castle and cathedral, and sightseeing boats regularly ply the river itself.


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Like a Rolling Stone Sit in the cobbled Market Place and enjoy the street entertainment, particularly during July and August. The monthly Farmers’ Market is a welcome new addition to the local calendar, and here you will find fresh regional specialties to take home. In the Spring and Summer, stunning floral displays adorn the city, for which Durham regularly wins prizes. Durham Tourism: www.durhamtourism.co.uk.

WHERE TO STAY RADISSON DURHAM The Radisson Durham is conveniently located near the train station and downtown, and offers spacious, comfortable and functional accommodations for leisure and business travelers alike. Contemporary furnishings in a bold red/brown décor warm the lobby, the open and free business center off the lobby, and Filini Italian Restaurant, where surprisingly good pastas, salads and other Italian fare is served daily. A pool and fitness center are also on site. The Radisson’s knowledgeable staff can arrange meeting facilities, suggest locales to explore the county’s rich Industrial Age coal mining history, or map out the quickest route to some of the town’s legendary tea and sweet shops. www.radisson.com.

York The medieval city of York is surrounded by beautifully preserved stone walls, entered only via five main gateways, one Victorian gateway, or one postern (small gateway) and spiked with 45 towers. The old city is an area to be explored on foot. Pick up a guide at the York Tourism Office (www.visityork.org) for the four self-guided walking tours of the city: The City Walls trail; Medieval Churches Trail; New Walk; and York’s Georgian Riverside Trail and Time Team, an archaeological tour. With 2000 years of continuous occupation, York offers layer upon layer of historical wonders. Visiting York after Durham allows travelers the opportunity to compare Durham’s Norman cathedral, the greatest Norman building in England, with York’s gothic cathedral, the largest in northern Europe and known as York Minster. Also not to be missed are the Shambles, one of the best-preserved medieval shopping streets in Europe, with crooked walls, overhanging stories, and narrow alleyways. The area is awash with pedestrians visiting quirky boutiques, tea houses and eateries, as once they frequented the butcher shops and taverns that lined the old streets. Jorvik Viking Center offers a vision of York in the 10th Century, taking visitors back in time to experience the sounds, smells and images of the city in the year 975. York Dungeon offers up a darker view of the past, and man’s inhumanity to man over the previous 2000 years. For those wanting to explore at a more leisurely pace, preferably while seated, cruises on the Ouse and Foss Rivers, once vital to the city’s trade and defense, depart regularly throughout the day from city center landings at King’s Staith and Lendal Bridge. Boats have open sun decks with comfortable lounges to ensure a good view of landmarks, while the captain regales passengers with stories of York past and present.

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WHERE TO STAY MIDDLETHORPE HALL & SPA Leave the bustle of York’s city center for the serenity of a stay at Middlethorpe Hall, a Historic House Hotel that transports guests back to a more gracious age. Once the private country house of a wealthy York industrialist, today Middlethorpe is owned by the National Trust and sits on the edge of the burgeoning city. Lovingly restored and meticulously maintained, Middlethorpe offers 29 luxurious rooms and suites in the main house and outbuildings, as well as a full service spa and renowned restaurant. MIDDLETHORPE HALL & SPA Guestrooms, the library and the drawing room are furnished with antiques and fine paintings, while the handsome, red brick building is surrounded by astonishing walled gardens and flowering footpaths, and a tranquil pond overlooked by even more tranquil terraces. Dining at Middlethorpe, from afternoon tea in the main salon to elegant meals in the candlelit dining room, is a treat. The kitchen garden provides most of the herbs in use, and local, organic, artisanal products fill out the bill of fare. Visitors are welcomed to Middlethorpe by a warmly attentive but never stiff staff, and treated as houseguests might have been in years past. www.historichousehotels.com. Both Durham and York are within a few hours train ride to Manchester Airport, served by direct flights in and out of JFK. ❉

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PA R E N T T R A P

BY / JESSICA BRAM

COFFEE WITH THE ENEMY DESPITE my daily self-admonitions to stay positive, I will admit that the process of legally ending my marriage and dividing our assets was dreary, tedious, and difficult. But without question, the worst of it — the most frightening and tension-producing — the part that hit me most intensely in the gut — was when the issue of the children’s custody came up. “Parental access and custody are very charged issues,” my lawyer had warned. Little did I realize at the outset of the discussions not only how charged but hair-trigger explosive these issues could truly be. The heat and energy generated on both sides by custody issues seemed to come from some organic place, fueled by their own internal, combustible power. The same place, no doubt, from which comes that overpowering parental urge to protect our young, even if it means laying down our lives. The way I felt about my children — the way my husband felt about his children… there would be little room for rationality here. Sure enough, it took almost no time at all for our discussions, spearheaded by our lawyers, to turn ugly. As opening gambits, each of our lawyers nudged us toward the most incendiary path possible. For strategic negotiating purposes I was told to demand full custody, even though the last thing I wanted to do was distance my sons from their father. But by asking for full custody and settling for joint, my lawyer explained, we could get something in exchange. It began to feel uncomfortably like a chess game, with my children the pawns who would eventually be knocked off the board. But it wasn’t until a certain phrase was used — Bill’s lawyer’s opening gambit, no doubt — that I knew that things had gone beyond ugly and were about to spiral out of control. In order to obtain maximum custodial access to our sons, my husband, it was reported to me via the lawyers, was calling me an “unfit mother.” When my lawyer repeated those words to me, I was sickened to the

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bottom of my soul. I knew one thing with dead certainty. I knew that Bill, whose sons never missed a meal or a doctor’s appointment or arrived late at preschool — would never have used those words to describe me. “Unfit mothers” were drug addicts or women who neglected or abandoned their children outright. And yet he had let his lawyer use those words. The audacity and the cruelty of it were breathtaking. What had things come to? Even though I dreaded every minute of the impending custody negotiation process, I was armed for battle. I was a tigress who would kill before letting another animal approach or abduct her cubs. My lawyer began to prepare me for what steps we would need to take to satisfy a judge about my fitness as a mother. Lists of all the functions I regularly performed for my children. School records and records of inoculations. I might need a few character witnesses. And of course, I was to expect to incur some sizable legal fees. Could it get any worse, I thought? I was sick to my stomach. And then the miracle happened, as miracles sometimes do when I most need one. Or maybe it just felt like a miracle in the guise of a very wise therapist. Rather than listening and offering gentle suggestions as she usually did, this soft-spoken Argentinean woman spoke up with uncharacteristic firmness. “If there’s one thing I can tell you, it’s this: You must, must, remove the lawyers from any discussions regarding the children. Anything having to do with arrangements regarding the children must be worked out by you and their father alone. No one else can make those decisions. You can consult me, the child psychologist, whomever you need to consult throughout the process. But the decisions must be yours alone — yours and their father’s. “I have seen what can happen when these issues are settled in a courtroom,” she continued. “Families are destroyed. Children are traumatized. It’s a heartbreak. The only ones who benefit are the lawyers.” “But how could we possibly negotiate anything as complicated as a cus-


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todial access agreement?” I asked. “I just don’t think we’re capable....” “No one is better qualified to decide what is best for your children than the two of you, their parents. Think of it. You two know them best, and know what’s going to be best for them. No one else — and certainly not a judge or a lawyer.” What she was asking was more than overwhelming — it was impossible. Things had been so contentious between us for so many months now, I dreaded the thought of trying to speak to Bill directly about anything. “But how?” I asked. “We can’t even be in the same room any more without fighting.”

“Start with a cup of coffee,” she answered. It was not something I wanted to do. But this admonition had come from someone I trusted intensely. There seemed to be little choice. If I was a tigress protecting my cubs, I had to go to any lengths. Bill agreed to meet me at the local diner where we had eaten with the children many times. Clearly startled to receive my phone call, Bill had given brusque, one-word replies to my suggestions that we meet to discuss the children. Across the booth, his face was now as hard as I had ever seen it, encased in suspicion and hostility. It seemed surreal. Here we were practically in arm-to-arm combat, surrounded by people


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parenttrap chatting, enjoying breakfast, and going about their everyday lives. At least it would force us to keep our voices down, should things erupt as they sometimes did. We ordered coffee. I had thought long and hard about what to say and how to present this novel concept that we write and negotiate a custody agreement alone, without lawyers to guide us. But in the end the words were not important — not how clear I sounded, how organized my thoughts, how much or how little confidence I seemed to exude in this delicate discussion. What was important was the message, nothing more. This was about our children. “No one knows those boys, no one loves them and understands them, as you and I do. I don’t want a judge telling us how to raise them. I don’t think you do either. We have to do this ourselves. Without the lawyers,” I said. Bill eyed me with suspicion. I had been married to this man long enough to be able to read his thoughts. What was I up to? Was this a manipulation to somehow give me the advantage? I continued. “If it’s just you and me writing that agreement — deciding when they come and go, how they live, what’s best for them — it’s the only

“Anything having to do with arrangements regarding the children must be worked out by you and their father alone.” way we can protect them from whatever damage a divorce is going to do to them. That has to be our overriding goal.” Like a momentary ray of sunlight piercing a thick storm cloud, Bill’s expression softened and he nodded, though only slightly. “Yes,” he said. For just a moment I could see the graduate school student who took long bike rides with me and had once been my best friend.

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It was his turn to speak, and the hostility was gone from his voice. “I’ve thought about this a lot,” he said. “You don’t know how much I want to keep the boys completely separate from all this. Keep them in a kind of bubble, completely removed. Or... you know how in the ancient synagogues they used to keep a fence around the Torah, to keep it protected? That’s what I want to do for those boys. Put a fence around them.” “Yes,” I said. “And there’s something else too,” Bill said. “It’s important that these discussions be completely unrelated to any financial or property decisions. There can’t be any quid pro quo between money and my access to the children.” This had not even occurred to me. It sickened me to think that parents might use their children in this way, as bargaining tools to gain financial advantage. Perhaps his lawyer had warned him. “Of course,” I said. And we began. “Let’s start with the weekends,” I said. “I agree that every other weekend is the way it’s usually done. But they’re still so little. Maybe just for now we should split every weekend, so they don’t have to be away from either of us for more than a day at a time. Then later — in six months or a year, maybe — we can go to alternating weekends....” The cups of coffee were refilled several times. Our voices remained calm and businesslike. We agreed to each make a list of what we saw as all the issues — weekends, vacations, medical decisions — and work them out on the phone, one by one. We would continue the next day. “There’s one more thing I need to say to you,” I said, as Bill pulled out his wallet to pay the check. He looked at me, and the storm clouds were back. “I will never believe,” I said, speaking slowly and carefully, “that you would ever, ever — that you did ever — call me an unfit mother.” He stared at me, unmoving. His face was hard, but not hard enough to conceal a shadow that fell across his eyes. Was it a shadow of remorse? This time I could not tell. Almost imperceptibly, he moved his head side to side: “No.” Then he was gone. It took many months. The process was not easy. We seemed to begin every issue in diametric opposition to each other. He wanted the boys for at least half of every summer; I wanted their maximum time away from me to be a week while they were young, maybe two weeks when they became teenagers. I wanted his weekends with them to begin Saturday morning and end at five o’clock in the evening on Sunday; he argued that his weekend should begin immediately after school on Fridays and extend to the start of school on Monday mornings. Many times the conversations became brittle. Emotions surfaced. Three factors were always in play, each working against the other: The first was the time Bill wanted with these children he adored. The second was the time I wanted with these children I adored, along with my absolute certainty that nobody, not even Bill, could take care of them as well as I could. Then came a third factor: what was best for our sons’ lives. Among these three forces was a natural tension that very often led to opposing solutions. Sometimes we reached an impasse. When this happened, we went back to my therapist’s words. “Keep in mind, in every discussion, in every conflict, this is not about


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This would be a stand-alone document, separate and protected. As though in a bubble, or surrounded by a fence. ‘what you get.’ And it is not about ‘what he gets.’ This is about what is best for the children. That must be your guiding principle in every situation. Even if the solution feels uncomfortable to either of you, you must remember that this is not about either of you. It is about them. It is about giving them the best lives you can give them.” We concluded that what would make the children happiest was to wake up on Saturday mornings and not immediately have to run out to their father’s house on alternate weekends but to be able to have their lazy mornings watching cartoons in their pajamas as usual. So I agreed that the “custodial access weekends” would begin Friday evenings just before dinner. We talked about Sunday evenings, those difficult times when the anxieties of the upcoming school week always seemed to creep back into our children’s lives and behavior. We agreed they would come home to their “primary residence” — my house — by Sunday at five o’clock in the evening. This would give them plenty of time to prepare for Monday morning, both practically and emotionally. The discussions went on and on, at times seeming interminable. Who would choose the pediatrician, the orthodontist? What happened if a child needed therapy — who decided, and who paid? What about grandparents? We both agreed we wanted the children to have plentiful and ready access to all of their grandparents — but on “whose time” would the visits occur? What about religious holidays? We knew of other divorcing parents who, when making custodial arrangements, left a good many decisions up to the children themselves. Sometimes a child could even decide with which parent he wished to live. This we deliberately would not allow. We would present to our children the guidelines that would govern their comings and goings as a fait accompli. The times they spent with their father, or with their mother, would be carved in stone. Our intention was to protect our children from the emotional torture of ever having to choose between parents — whether for a Saturday, a vacation, or their entire lives. When we were finished, we sent my lawyer a thick document detailing what we had agreed, instructing him to create a legal agreement. Our attorneys reviewed what we had decided; and they did at times point out certain things we had omitted or left vague. But our instructions to them were clear. First, the decisions we had reached were final, and not up for discussion. Second, as Bill had suggested, none of this would be in any way connected to, or contingent upon, any other agreement we would

later develop regarding finances or property. This would be a standalone document, separate and protected. As though in a bubble, or surrounded by a fence. That was over a decade ago. The children have now reached their teen years and beyond. How did these children of a painful, difficult divorce turn out? I can say this unequivocally: that the way we raised them as children who belonged to two separate homes, governed by the agreement that we tediously began to hammer out over that longago cup of coffee, is the one thing, in my life at least, I can call an unqualified success. Our three boys grew up confident and secure in two different, peaceful, loving homes. Never having had to choose between their parents, they have close, comfortable relationships with both their father and me. They get along well with each other and with friends. There have been girlfriends, some long-term. All three have excelled in school, with the two oldest attending Ivy League colleges. The fact that their lives were not cradled in wall-to-wall comfort, that they had extra responsibilities— remembering in which house their schoolbooks were left, helping their mother shoulder difficult household chores, preparing their week’s assignments while keeping in mind in which house they would be spending the night — only made them more capable and mature than a good many of their peers. Mostly, I believe that they are truly secure — as only children with reliable, mature, and loving parents can be. ❉ Jessica Bram's personal essays have been published and syndicated in national and regional newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, NY Times HERS column, Child Magazine, Country Accents and the Gannett Newspapers. She was formerly special sections editor of the Fairfield County Business Journal and a freelance journalist. Jessica Bram is also founder of the Westport Writers’ Workshop, where she teaches private workshops in creative nonfiction, memoir, and essay writing. www.westportwritersworkshop.com. EXCERPTED WITH PERMISSION FROM THE AUTHOR FROM HAPPILY EVER

AFTER DIVORCE: NOTES OF A JOYFUL JOURNEY (HEALTH COMMUNICATIONS, INC. 2009) AVAILABLE AT LOCAL BOOKSTORES. WWW.HAPPILYEVERAFTERDIVORCE.COM; WWW.JESSICABRAM.COM.


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SUMMER EVENTS, SHOWS AND EXHIBITS TANIA LIBERTAD TO PERFORM AT THE NEW HAVEN FESTIVAL OF ARTS & IDEAS

14TH ANNUAL INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF ARTS & IDEAS New Haven, CT June 13-27 Two weeks of ticketed and free events; music, theater, food, street performances, lectures and tours. The Festival's programs fill New Haven with international stars, newly-discovered artists, and a number of U.S. premieres each season. Ideas program offers a mix of serious, controversial, and whimsical topics. The Festival also features visual arts and plenty of family-friendly events. More than 80% of Festival events are free to the public, including opera, jazz, symphony, rock, folk and fusion music. The entire city of New Haven plays host to The Festival: The New Haven Green; Long Wharf Theatre; Shubert Theater, and the historic courtyards, auditoriums, and theaters of Yale University. Tours by foot, bus, bike and boat take visitors throughout New Haven and beyond to discover its wealth of historic, ethnic and natural treasures. 203/562-5666 or 888/736-2663; www.artidea.org. 19TH ANNUAL NATIONAL TRAIN SHOW Hartford, CT Friday, July 10 - Sunday, July 12 Hartford, CT hosts the 2009 extravaganza, which showcases all aspects of model railroading including the industry’s newest

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A GRADUATE OF YALE UNIVERSITY, JULIE SATINOVER LIVED IN NEW YORK, LOS ANGELES AND LONDON BEFORE SETTLING IN WESTON.

JULIE STUDIED ART AT YALE UNIVERSITY AND THE SILVERMINE GUILD. HER OIL PAINTINGS ARE FOUND IN COLLECTIONS WHICH INCLUDE WORKS BY JENNIFER BARTLETT, DEGAS, SAM FRANCIS, GORKY, APRIL GORNICK, MATISSE, MOTHERWELL AND OTHERS. JULIE SPECIALIZES IN PORTRAITS, FLORALS AND ABSTRACTS. HER WORK CAN BE SEEN BY LOGGING ONTO WWW.JULIESATINOVER.COM.

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arts products and services from around the world. The event covers 145,000 sq. ft. of space, together with operating model train displays. Special Highlights of the show include the Lego MiniLand, featuring operating model railroads, train cars, landscape settings and waterfalls, scale buildings, retractable bridges, and more made entirely out of Lego pieces. Collectibles Expert available to appraise old train sets. Chaperoned Children’s Play Area with trains, games and more. Friday, Noon - 6 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Admission: Adults $12; Children (6-12) $6; Children Under 6 Free. Connecticut Convention Center, 100 Columbus Boulevard, Hartford, CT. 954/764-6011; www.nationaltrainshow.org. 36TH ANNUAL WESTPORT FINE ARTS FESTIVAL Saturday, July 18 - Sunday, July 19 140 Juried Artists, Musical Performances, Entertainment, Children's Activities This outdoor show is located in the downtown commercial district of Westport, with fine shopping and dining all around. Original artwork on display and for sale. Westport has a long-standing tradition as an artistic community, and Westport’s Fine Arts Festival remains a highlight on the calen-

CLOCKWISE FROM ABOVE: DONNA PRIZZI AND ANDREW LATTIMORE PAINTING ON LOCATION; RYE BEACH-ISMAEL CHECO IS AN ARTIST IN RAC'S ANNUAL PAINTERS ON LOCATION AND ALSO HOLDS CLASSES AT THE RYE ARTS CENTER.

dars of collectors from throughout New England and Manhattan each year. Saturday 9:00 am - 8:00 pm; Sunday 10:00 am - 5:00 pm. Parker Harding Plaza, Westport, CT. Sponsored by the Westport Downtown Merchants Assoc. 203/505-8716; www.westportfineartsfestival.com. THE RYE ARTS CENTER’S 9TH ANNUAL PAINTERS ON LOCATION A Plein-Air Paint-Out & Live Art Auction Saturday, September 26 This year’s event is dedicated to the celebration of the 400th anniversary of the exploration of the Hudson Valley. Over 40 professional artists from the tri-state area paint “on location” on September 25 & 26, from 7:00am Friday to 3:00pm Saturday, rain or shine, creating scenic views of selected sites in communities throughout the Hudson Valley.

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by Julie Satinover

A GRADUATE OF YALE UNIVERSITY, JULIE SATINOVER LIVED IN NEW YORK, LOS ANGELES AND LONDON BEFORE SETTLING IN WESTON.

JULIE STUDIED ART AT YALE UNIVERSITY AND THE SILVERMINE GUILD. HER OIL PAINTINGS ARE FOUND IN COLLECTIONS WHICH INCLUDE WORKS BY JENNIFER BARTLETT, DEGAS, SAM FRANCIS, GORKY, APRIL GORNICK, MATISSE, MOTHERWELL AND OTHERS. JULIE SPECIALIZES IN PORTRAITS, FLORALS AND ABSTRACTS. HER WORK CAN BE SEEN BY LOGGING ONTO WWW.JULIESATINOVER.COM.

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arts Public viewing of the freshly painted works — landscapes, historic sites and street scenes — and festive reception at the Rye Arts Center (RAC) from 5:00 - 6:00 pm on September 26. Live auction at 6:15. Reception is free; bidding paddles $10. A Silent Auction of existing works by artists participating in the “Paint-out” goes on view in the RAC’ s Gallery two weeks before the main event, beginning Sunday, September 13, from 3 - 6 pm. Open thereafter from 10 am – 5 pm Tuesday through Friday, and Saturdays until 4pm. Silent Auction closes 15 minutes after the live auction culminates on September 26th.

L-R: ANDREW GRUSETSKIE, JEFF BIEHL, EVAN ZES (ABOVE), AND MARK SHANAHAN IN “AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS” AT WESTPORT COUNTRY PLAYHOUSE. PHOTO BY T. CHARLES ERICKSON

Take advantage of this unique opportunity to watch artists painting en plein-air. Look for RAC balloons or visit www.ryeartscenter.org for a list of sites. For more information, to volunteer or to suggest a location along the Sound Shore for this event, contact Emilia Del Peschio, Gallery and Performing Arts Coordinator, at The Rye Arts Center, 914/967-0700 x 33; artscoordinator@ryeartscenter.org.

SHOWS WESTPORT COUNTRY PLAYHOUSE "tick, tick…BOOM!," June 23 through July 18. Book, music and lyrics by Jonathan Larson, (“Rent”). "How the Other Half Loves," July 28 through August 15. Written by Alan Ayckbourn, directed by John Tillinger. Final plays of the season to be announced. One of the final two shows will be directed by newly named Artistic Director, Mark Lamos. Production dates are August 25 through September 12 and September 29 through October 17. Performance schedule: Tuesday, Thursday and Friday at 8 p.m., Wednesday at 2 and 8 p.m., Saturday at 4 and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. Special series feature Previews, Opening Nights, Thursday

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TalkBack, Sunday Symposium, Backstage Pass and Open Captioning. Single tickets range from $30 to $55; opening night tickets, including post-performance reception, are $65. Registration is underway for Westport Country Playhouse’s three-week summer camp —“Summer in the House,” for students entering grades two through five, Monday, July 6 through Friday, July 24. Also available is a three-day Improvisation Bootcamp for ages 16 and up, Monday, June 29 through Wednesday, July 1. Applications for the 2009 Woodward Internship and Apprentice Programs at Westport Country Playhouse are now being accepted. The programs are named in honor of Joanne Woodward, former Playhouse artistic director and avid supporter of theater education programs. Interns must be age 19 or above. Apprentices are high school age. 25 Powers Court, Westport, CT. Box office: 203/227-4177, toll-free: 888/927-7529; www.westportplayhouse.org. FAIRFIELD THEATRE COMPANY From its first season of plays in 2001 on the campus of Fairfield University to the opening of StageOne in Downtown Fairfield in 2004, The Fairfield Theatre Company has grown and evolved into one of our regions most energetic and productive performing arts centers. Enjoy concerts, plays, film screenings, workshops for children and adults, an outdoor summer music festival, a weekly Farmer’s Market, stand-up comedy, lectures, and readings. Averaging a live event on one out of every two calendar days since the opening of StageOne. Also utilizes the Klein Auditorium in Bridgeport. Visit www.fairfieldtheatre.org for a schedule of summer performances, including Equinox, June 26, 7:30 pm; An Evening with Johnny Rizzo, July 18, 7:30 pm; Earl Klugh, August 7, 7:30 pm; and a weekly Summer Cabaret Workshop for Children. Box Office: 203/259-1036; www.fairfieldtheatre.org. 70 Sanford St., Fairfield, CT.

EXHIBITS THE BIRDS ARE BACK IN TOWN AT MYSTIC AQUARIUM & INSTITUTE FOR EXPLORATION Mystic, CT Birds of the Outback exhibit through September 13 The enclosed 1,200-square-foot aviary houses hundreds of colorful cockatiels, parakeets and rosellas, all native to Australia. Guests receive a


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L-R: COLIN HANLON, PEARL SUN, WILSON CRUZ IN “TICK, TICK...BOOM!” AT WESTPORT COUNTRY PLAYHOUSE.

millet seed stick for feeding the birds; once inside the exhibit, where the friendly birds sing and fly freely, simply hold the stick in the air and watch them swoop down to perch on your arm and eat right out of your hands. Visitors will also learn about the birds’ habitat and behaviors, as well as the issues and challenges currently facing birds in the wild. $3 per person, plus aquarium admission. Mystic Aquarium & Institute for Exploration, 55 Coogan Blvd., Mystic, CT. Open daily 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 860/572-5955; mysticaquarium.org. THE WESTPORT ARTS CENTER Westport, CT Visual Arts, Performing Arts, Kids & Family Activities, Film, Special Events The Westport Arts Center features three to four curated exhibitions each year, centered on current themes or ideas in contemporary art developed by guest curators at the invitation of the Center. During the summer, the main gallery is dedicated to Members Shows. The galleries are also a popular gathering space for art lovers, with Curator's Talks, Artists Salon meetings, concerts, literary discussions and more. Each summer the Westport Arts Center Summer Camps offer hands-on educational arts experiences for children ages 5-10. Programs are taught by experienced artists and arts educators. Fun, exploration and learning in and through the arts; an introduction to the work and life of a well-known artist or art movement; art-making activities inspired by the work of the artist or artists under study; and exposure to a wide variety of arts media and techniques. New for 2009: adult art classes. Studio Exposed - Tuesdays/Thursdays from June 30 - July 28. One-day workshops allow participants to experience the intimate world of seven local artists and create a project direct-

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JAMES TISSOT (1836-1902) IN THE LOUVRE (L'ESTHETIQUE)1883-1885 OIL ON CANVAS, 58 X 39 3/8 IN. COLLECTION MUSEO DE ARTE DE PONCE. FUNDACIÓN LUIS A. FERRÉ, INC. PONCE, PUERTO RICO PHOTO: JOHN BETANCOURT

ly related to their work. Enjoy one workshop or select a few, for the artist in you. Open 7 days a week. 51 Riverside Avenue, Westport, CT. 203/2261806; www.westportartscenter.org. BRUCE MUSEUM Greenwich CT Illuminating the Sea: The Marine Paintings of James E. Buttersworth, 1817-1894 Through July 5 Major retrospective exhibition highlighting the work of famed 19th-century marine artist James Edward Buttersworth, ship portraitist who meticulously illustrated America’s Golden Age of Sail. Digging for Dinosaurs, Through July 26 Puts visitors inside the boots of a paleontologist as it explores where to look for dinosaurs, how to uncover their fossil remains, and what the fossils reveal about life more than 65 million years ago.


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arts Masterpieces of European Painting from Museo de Arte de Ponce Through September 6 More than 50 important European paintings spanning the 14th through the early 20th centuries from the exceptional collection of the Museo de Arte de Ponce in Puerto Rico. Focus on Color: The Photography of Jeannette Klute Through September 27 Approximately 30 color photographs by Jeannette Klute (b.1918) drawn from more than fifty of her prints held in the Bruce Museum’s permanent collection, ranging from landscapes to intimate “woodland portraits” of orchids, ferns, and trees. The Mouse House: Works from the Collection of Olga Hirshhorn July 25, 2009 – October 18 From Greek, African and pre-Columbian sculptures to paintings, prints and drawings by 20th-century artists such as Pablo Picasso, Man Ray, Georgia O’Keeffe, Louise Nevelson, Alexander Calder and many more. One Museum Drive, Greenwich, CT. 203/869-6786; www.brucemuseum.org.

YALE UNIVERSITY ART GALLERY New Haven, CT The Yale University Art Gallery’s permanent collection includes over 185,000 works of African art, Asian art, American paintings, sculptures and decorative arts, art of the ancient Americas, early European art and more. Current Exhibitions Time Will Tell: Ethics and Choices in Conservation Through September 6 A rare opportunity to explore the process of fine arts conservation, uncovering the relationship between curators and conservators and the objects entrusted to their care. Each of the works in the exhibition, which includes Asian ceramics, African ritual objects, ancient statues and mosaics, and American and European paintings and decorative arts from the Gallery’s collection, illustrates a different conservation dilemma and the questions that arise in preserving works of art while staying faithful to the artists’ intentions. Admission is free and open to the public. 1111 Chapel Street, New Haven, CT. Closed Mondays. 203/432-0600; www.artgallery.yale.edu.

EA GALLERY Port Chester, NY EA's new exhibit, "Common Spaces," opens June 19th with an artist reception from 6-8 pm and an open house June 20th from 1-4 pm. The artwork in this show deals in various YALE CENTER FOR BRITISH ART ways with the places where humans and New Haven, CT nature intersect. "Common Spaces" showThe largest and most comprehensive colcases the works of three artists new to EA lection of British art outside the United Gallery: Deborah Brown, Laurel Garcia Colvin Kingdom. Paintings sculpture drawings EA GALLERY-HOWL 2007 OIL ON CANVAS BY DEBORAH BROWN and Jenny Wunderly. prints rare books and manuscripts from The Gallery specializes in contemporary art and represents a number of the Elizabethan period onward. The Center offers a year-round schedule of exhibitions and educational programs including films concerts lec- emerging, mid-career and established artists working in a broad range of styles and mediums from around the area and the greater US. Located in the tures tours and special events. historic Willet House building along the waterfront in downtown Port Chester, Current Exhibitions NY. EA Gallery is a loft space where artists and collectors may gather togethPaintings from the Reign of Victoria: er in a comfortable, educational atmosphere. 18 Willett Ave, Suite 202, Port The Royal Holloway Collection, London. Chester, NY. 914/462-2425; www.ea-gallery.net; info@ea-gallery.net. Through July 26 Sixty works from the Holloway collection exemplifying a range of themes NEUBERGER MUSEUM OF ART in mid-Victorian art. Purchase College, Seascapes: Paintings and Watercolors State University of New York from the U Collection Presenting 12 changing exhibitions annually in addition to ongoing exhiThrough August 23 Lovers of the sea will delight in this small but stunning exhibition of bitions from the permanent collections, the Neuberger Museum of Art marine paintings and watercolors from the glorious Dutch "Golden Age," offers visitors insights into the work of 20th century masters, mid-career and emerging artists, as well as exposure to the county's only permanent and by noted British artists. exhibition of African art. Dalou in England: Portraits Current Exhibitions: of Womanhood, 1871-1879. New Media: Why Through August 23 Four works by the French sculptor Jules Dalou executed during his British Through June 28 period. Admission is free and open to the public. 1080 Chapel Street, Fifth in a series that explores aspects of technology-based art. Artists include Burak Arikan, Margot Lovejoy, Douglas Irving Repetto, and Paul Vanouse. ❉ New Haven, CT. Closed Mondays. www.ycba.yale.edu

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Tavern on Main

Pho Mekong

Westport

Westport

Tavern on Main in Westport has been around much longer than most of us, but it’s an old timer with welcome new twists. Owners Demetri and Helen Zervos took over the tavern in 2006, and brought in experienced chef Jose Briceno (Homestead Inn, Telluride) to update and enliven the menu. This he does with bold offerings and assured preparations, drawing on both his Chilean background and personal flair.

Ethnic eateries can offer up great value and great meals in this economy, and Pho Mekong in Westport is no exception. Family run, this large, airy restaurant with Thai silk trappings and padded banquettes, (and a place of honor for the portrait of the Thai king and queen) serves traditional, wonderfully seasoned and elegantly presented Thai food. Appetizers such as summer rolls, with fresh mint, rice vermicelli and bits of pork rolled in rice paper are cool and delicious. Chicken wings, sizzling pancakes, and sugarcane shrimp are also a great way to whet the appetite for what’s to come. If you can’t decide, opt for the Mekong Plate for two, a generous starter sampling that includes crab spring rolls, Thai fish cakes, chicken satay, summer rolls, shrimp dumplings and a house salad. Next, there are almost ten curries from which to choose, from classic red with bamboo shoots, green beans, bell peppers and fresh basil; to sizzling jungle, a spicy, non-coconut milk curry with eggplant and slivers of vegetables; or mango curry, with pepper, onion, pineapple and a sweet-spicy kick. All curries come with a choice of meat, tofu or shrimp, and can be prepared mild or according to your tastebuds’ ability to withstand the heat. Specialties such as wild boar with basil, crispy soft shell crab with garlic, or any of the duck dishes are also wonderful. Don’t skip dessert: sticky rice with mango, Thai custard or fried bananas provide the right finish to a piquant meal. Come in and try the lunch specials for $9.99 — including soup or salad, a main dish, and rice — and you’ll be back to explore the entire menu before you know it. Open daily for lunch and dinner. 849 Post Rd E, Westport; 203/255-2748.

Tavern on Main

To start, specialties include housemade New England clam chowder, thick with chunks of fresh clams in a creamy, saffron-infused base; delicate oysters tempura over a bed of seaweed salad; and duck confit ravioli with papaya, port wine sauce and dabs of stilton cheese. Entrees range from cornmeal-crusted Chilean sea bass with sweet onion, tomato cilantro salad, brown rice pilaf and seasonal vegetables; to rack of lamb with honey chili mustard crust; and organic chicken marinated in lemon, herbs, and peppercorns. Pho Mekong There are several warm desserts offered, including pecan pie and molten lava cake, as well as a cheese board or pastry chef sampler. The tavern’s various indoor dining areas all incorporate fireplaces, beamed ceilings, dark paneling and lead-paned windows, allowing for cozy, intimate seating throughout. In warm weather, they offer some of the only al fresco dining in town, on their lovely, covered terrace. The popular bar offers a taproom menu of burgers, lobster rolls, farmstead cheeses and salads, with excellent cocktails and house martinis. Stop by for lunch or dinner and see what’s new at this age-old tavern. 146 Main Street, Westport; 203/221-7222.

O’Neill’s Pub & Restaurant South Norwalk If you want a great Irish pub, with life, laughter, pints and chips, it better be run by an Irishman. O’Neills, tenyears-old and recently moved into a spacious new locale in SoNo around the corner from where it opened in 1999, has three at the helm, and it has more to offer than ever. New Westonite Oliver (Ollie) O’Neill, originally hailing from the old country, joins brother Michael and partner Donal Leahy at the helm of their bustling, newly constructed site, which features a dart room, tap room, dining alcoves, and high-topped tables. Lovely girls with names like Maggie take your order, and can help you choose between bangers and mash, shepherd’s pie, Beef and Guinness stew, and a Tipperary blue & gold (black Angus beef patty with melted blue cheese, sautéed onions and crisp


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bacon). There are plenty of more familiar pub favorites on the menu as well, such as wings, ribs, nachos and sandwiches, and hot Irish scones come with every meal. The service at O’Neill’s is as friendly as the crowd, which includes loads of young, commuting professionals, families with kids, dating couples and friends meeting up. If it’s cocktails, pints and whiskeys you’d be wanting, there are those aplenty. But no dark corners here, or maudlin barkeeps. Live music

spiced beef can be sampled side by side with warm octopus salad, grilled baby artichokes, chorizo with figs, and potato tortilla with crème fraiche. Entrees such as half chicken al pimientos – hot cherry peppers, lemon, white wine with roasted potatoes; churrasco, grilled skirt steak served with sweet potato fries and chimichurri sauce; and grilled swordfish with tomatoes, basil and toasted peasant bread can also be shared. Be sure to finish with hot churros to dip in hot valrhona chocolate, a real indulgence. Look for the gorgeous, new The Barcelona Cookbook (Sasa MahrBatuz, Andy Pforzheimer, with Mary Goodbody; Andrews McMeel publishing, © 2009) out this month. $29.99 With restaurants also in SoNo, Fairfield, New Haven, West Hartford and soon to open in downtown Stamford. 18 West Putnam Ave., Greenwich: 203/983-6400. barcelonawinebar.com ❉

Barcelona Restaurant & Wine Bar

O’Neill’s Pub & Restaurant plays several nights a week, as well as sports on the wide-screen TV’s. There’s loads of parking, a hearty Sunday buffet brunch and special events at O’Neills, so drop in for a drink or a bite, and be sure to say hello to Ollie. 93 North Main Street, Norwalk. 203/838-0222; www.oneillsono.com.

Barcelona Restaurant & Wine Bar Greenwich An early and successful entrant into the US tapas market with its flagship SoNo winebar, Barcelona is now the largest tapas restaurant group in the US, with six locations throughout CT and more opening shortly. Promoting all things Spanish— food, wine, and culture — the Barcelona locales are booming as much for their lively social scene as for the delectable, highly seasoned small plates patrons gather around. At the recently expanded Greenwich restaurant on any given night, large parties surround long wood planked tables, singles enjoy highend Spanish and South American wines at the bar, and romantic couples coo on banquettes along the perimeter of the charming, pleasingly lit room. The menu, which differs only slightly by locale, offers dozens of tapas of varying complexity, temperature and price. Classics such as empañadas of


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“Eyes closed, point anywhere on the menu”, is a quote from ACQUA restaurants most recent review from Patricia Brooks of the New York Times. Acqua’s two level dining area, overlooking the Saugatuck River is decorated with hand painted frescoes and stucco walls giving customers the feeling of dining in a Tuscan villa. The diverse menu, including the signature dessert souffles, offers only the highest quality ingredients prepared by the talented culinary team. With it’s “Come as You Are” attitude and Metropolitan feel, Acqua is setting the new standard for restaurants across Fairfield County. Overlooking the Saugatuck River, just behind Main Street (near Starbucks) in Downtown Westport

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“Eyes closed, point anywhere on the menu”, is a quote from ACQUA restaurants most recent review from Patricia Brooks of the New York Times. Acqua’s two level dining area, overlooking the Saugatuck River is decorated with hand painted frescoes and stucco walls giving customers the feeling of dining in a Tuscan villa. The diverse menu, including the signature dessert souffles, offers only the highest quality ingredients prepared by the talented culinary team. With it’s “Come as You Are” attitude and Metropolitan feel, Acqua is setting the new standard for restaurants across Fairfield County. 43 Main Street, Westport

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GAVIN CREEL AS CLAUDE AND WILL SWENSON AS BERGER WITH THE CAST OF THE BROADWAY REVIVAL OF HAIR: THE AMERICAN TRIBAL LOVE-ROCK MUSICAL. PHOTO: JOAN MARCUS.

...GRAND CENTRAL

6/15/09

NEXT STOP...

nextstop

BY DEBBIE SILVER

The Age of

AQUARIUS ON BROADWAY HAIR: THE AMERICAN TRIBAL LOVE-ROCK MUSICAL Winner of the 2009 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical. Winner of Outstanding Revival, Drama Desk Awards. After a smashhit run at Central Park‘s Delacorte Theater last summer, HAIR: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical returns to Broadway for the first time in over 30 years. Directed by Diane Paulus and choreographed by Karole Armitage, HAIR features a book and lyrics by Gerome Ragni and James Rado and music by Galt MacDermot. The story of a group of young Americans searching for love and peace during the Vietnam era, HAIR is a timeless portrait of a movement that changed the world. Its groundbreaking rock score paved the way for some of the greatest musicals of our time. Al Hirschfeld Theatre, 302 West 45th Street; www.HairBroadway.com.

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THE NORMAN CONQUESTS Winner of the 2009 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play. Alan Ayckbourn’s comic trilogy of plays, The Norman Conquests, has arrived on Broadway directly following its sold out, critically acclaimed run in London. The production, the latest success for The Old Vic Theatre Company under the artistic leadership of Kevin Spacey, plays for 16 weeks only at the Circle in the Square Theatre. The Norman Conquests comprises three full length plays – Table Manners, Living Together and Round and Round the Garden – which are ingeniously written to be enjoyed individually or as a trilogy, in any order. The action is simultaneous and each exit in one play turns out to be an entrance in another. The plays will be performed on a rotating schedule during the week and can also be seen in one day on “Trilogy Saturdays.” Circle in the Square, 235 West 50th Street, www.NormanConquestsOnBroadway.com.


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GOD OF CARNAGE

ts, lly for vin re. ble ch ny out aton et,

Winner of the 2009 Tony Award for Best Play, Director and Leading Actress in a Play. Broadway’s new comedy, God of Carnage, by Yasmina Reza, is the hot ticket of the season. Starring Jeff Daniels, Hope Davis, James Gandolfini and Marcia Gay Harden, translated by Christopher Hampton and directed by Matthew Warchus, God of Carnage is a comedy of manners without the manners. The play deals with the aftermath of a playground altercation between two boys and what happens when their parents meet to talk about it. Bernard Jacobs Theatre, 242 West 45 Street; www.GodOfCarnage.com.

MARY STUART The critically acclaimed Donmar Warehouse production of Mary Stuart, starring Janet McTeer as Mary, Queen of Scots and Harriet Walter as Elizabeth I, is at the Broadhurst Theatre, 235 West 44th Street. McTeer and Walter recreate the performances that dazzled London, joined by a stellar supporting company of 11 actors, performing Peter Oswald’s thrilling new version of Friedrich Schiller’s classic play under the direction of Phyllida Lloyd. www.MaryStuartOnBroadway.com.

NEXT TO NORMAL 2009 Tony Award Winner Best Original Score and Best Actress in a Musical.


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ON EXHIBIT Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Annex NYC Presents JOHN LENNON: THE NEW YORK CITY YEARS. This feature exhibit explores John Lennon’s passion for music, art, politics and film, with New York City as his backdrop. Capturing a time in Lennon’s life that was full of political and social activism, the exhibit reflects the spirit of the era during which he created some of his best work. Highlights of Lennon’s artifacts include his inimitable fashion statements, iconic photographs, legendary instruments, original handwritten lyrics and artwork. Created for the NYC Annex by Yoko Ono and curated by Jim Henke, Vice President of Exhibitions and Curatorial Affairs for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland. Extended exhibit hours are Sunday – Thursday from 11:00am to 10:00pm and Friday – Saturday from 11:00am to Midnight, with last admission one hour prior to closing. Tickets: 866/9-ROCKNY (976-2569); www.rockannex.com, or at the box office: 76 Mercer Street (between Spring & Broome Sts.).

The new Broadway musical, Next to Normal, features music by Tom Kitt, book and lyrics by Brian Yorkey, and direction by Michael Greif. Next to Normal is an emotional powerhouse of a musical about a family trying to take care of themselves and each other. Booth Theatre, 222 West 45th Street. www.NextToNormal.com.

1 8 0 I S S U E 3 8 . 2 00 9

ABOVE: JOHN LENNON, NEW YORK CITY T-SHIRT, C. 1973. PHOTOGRAPHER BOB GRUEN DOCUMENTED JOHN LENNON’S LIFE IN NEW YORK CITY. GRUEN RECALLS ONE SESSION IN 1974: “JOHN SUGGESTED WE TAKE MORE PICTURES SO WE’D HAVE A PUBLICITY KIT READY WHEN THE [WALLS AND BRIDGES] ALBUM WAS RELEASED. JOHN POSED ON THE ROOF. THE WHOLE SKYLINE WAS VISIBLE, AND I HAD AN IDEA TO PLAY ON THE NEW YORK THEME. I HAD GIVEN JOHN A NEW YORK CITY T-SHIRT A YEAR BEFORE. I’D CUT THE SLEEVES OFF WITH MY BUCK KNIFE. HE DISAPPEARED FOR A MINUTE AND CAME BACK UP ON THE ROOF WEARING THE SHIRT. ONE OF THE REASONS I LIKE THIS PICTURE SO MUCH IS THAT JOHN WASN’T POSING AS A NEW YORKER – HE WAS A NEW YORKER. AND HE WAS PROUD OF IT.” PHOTO BY DAVID BEHL/©YOKO ONO.


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KEFI CHEF MICHAEL PSILAKIS GUEST CHEF AT THE WHITE HOUSE

CHECK PLEASE KEFI It’s really a very simple business concept: Amazing food + affordable prices = a busy restaurant. Here’s how it works in a New York equation: Celebrity chef Michael Psilakis and partner Donatella Arpaia + a value driven menu + a new, two-floor location on the Upper West Side = a packed restaurant from 5:30 pm on. Kefi is a winner. It’s fun, rustic, unpretentious, and has a terrific staff educated in the nuances of the menu and wine list. Gianni Cionchi was my waiter twice — the best. Appetizers for under $10 and entrees from $10-18! Chef Michael Psilakis has been recognized as Food & Wine’s Best New Chef; Bon Appetit’s Chef of the Year; Esquire Magazine’s Chef of the Year. His upscale Greek restaurant, Anthos, was nominated for a James Beard Award in the category of “Best New Restaurant.” Anthos

was awarded a Michelin star, one of only two Greek restaurants in the world to have the distinction. Chef Psilakis was honored to be one of the first guest chefs invited by President Obama to the White House. Needless to say, with all those accolades, it doesn’t matter what you order; it’s all fantastic! Still, don’t miss Psilakis’ award-winning meatballs cooked with roasted garlic, olives and tomatoes; the grilled sardines; selection of dips; homemade Cypriot sausage witht Tzatziki sauce; pork and chicken souvlaki. You won’t believe the presentation of the grilled Branzino, with olives and tomatoes for $15.95. The sheeps' milk dumplings with tomato, pine nuts and spicy lamb sausage for $13.95 are not to be missed. Even if your dish includes potatoes, get a side order of the lemon roasted potatoes, they’re that good. 505 Columbus Avenue, between 84th and 85th Streets. 212/873-0200; www.kefirestaurant.com. ❉


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“I am soenjoying being a Mom to my daughters. The wonderful care that I received at Yale Cancer Center has allowed me to redirect my focus from my cancer diagnosis to my family, the most important thing to me.

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Yale Cancer Center offers an essential combination of cancer services, innovative medical treatment, and compassionate care for our patients. Cancer treatment is provided through multidisciplinary teams who work together to make sure that every aspect of a patient’s treatment plan is well managed.

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Is your little one a future snorer? Many kids today are unable to breathe comfortably through their noses and instead breathe through their mouths. Allergies, nasal polyps, and large adenoids are few among many potential causes for nasal obstruction. Children who are mouth breathers tend to have growth patterns that differ from the rest of the population. Their lower jaws are smaller and shoved back, their lips don’t close, and their noses tend to develop a bump. The dropped lower jaw usually causes the tongue to fall into the back of the throat. This condition, combined with large tonsils, a long palate, and nasal obstruction, completes the ingredient list for snoring. Obstructed breathing in children and adults disrupts sleep and causes the brain to wake up hundreds of times per night. The resulting disruptive or fragmented sleep prevents individuals from getting the needed deep delta sleep and causes fatigue, forgetfulness, and irritability upon awakening. Kids can even become hyperactive. The good news is that with the right diagnosis and treatment children can breathe through their noses. ENTs and orthodontists can change the shape of children’s faces-giving them a beautiful smile and a pleasing profile with a strong chin and full lips-and enhance children’s daytime performance by opening airways and eliminating headaches, neck aches, ear ache and snoring. According to the Stanford University Sleep Center, treating children with preventive interceptive orthodontics can greatly reduce snoring and sleep apnea problems they might encounter as adults. Many of the Gelb Center’s orthodontists and ENTs in Westchester and New York City focus on breathing related sleep disorders in children and adults. Coordinating the efforts of dentists and ENTs, one of the best ways of opening the nose, for example is early expansion of the palate. Small, non-invasive sleep recorders that resemble Dick Tracy watches can monitor children and adults while they sleep in their own beds. In these times of increased stress, not only is it important to get enough sleep, but also good-quality, non-fragmented sleep.


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Digital mammography with amenities, such as Mammopads, which limit pinching or any “cold steel” discomfort

“At. St. Vincent’s we know it’s not enough to possess superb machines delivering the latest technology. We must also ensure the patient feels confident in the treatment she will receive—whether it be a routine mammogram, ultrasound, digital MRI or a biopsy.” ~ Kelly Harkins, MD, Medical Director, Women’s Imaging

For more information on the Women’s Imaging Center, please call the Care Line at 1-877-255-SVHS or visit www.stvincents.org

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Friendly Fire by Nancy Balbirer I MET JANE REHEARSING BIT parts for “Saturday Night Live.” I was just out of NYU; she was just out of high school. We bonded in that way you do when you’re marooned in a dressing room for a week, waiting to be called onto the set: both wearing head to toe thrift-store black, sharing smokes, and looking forward to our first “big break” airing live all across the country. An assistant talent coordinator told us, twenty minutes to airtime, that our sketch had been cut. I got so upset I almost threw up, but Jane was all business: “Can we still come to the party?” she asked. “Uh… no.” The minion’s tone was flat and crushing. We repaired to a crappy bar for a round of kamikazes and a good cry. For several hours, we swam in a pool of sad stories from our childhoods. Jane lived on the Upper West Side with her mom, a fretful, Shelley-Winters-in-Lolita type who’d never recovered from being left for a younger woman by Jane’s dad. She told me she missed her dad terribly and rarely got to see him since he lived in California with his new wife. She told me she hated having a big nose and a fat ass, both of which she blamed on her dad’s side of the family. I told her I lived in the Village with my cat, Max; that I wanted to be a great lady of the stage like Eva Le Gallienne; and that I didn’t know what the hell she was talking about: she was beautiful. Jane smiled, a preternaturally rueful smile, and said that no matter how pretty she was or could ever be, there would always be someone prettier. She said I should remember that too, as it would be “one of the suckiest things in life.” We exchanged numbers. Within weeks, we were inseparable. We freelanced with the same agents. Sometimes, we went on the same auditions. One day, Jane picked me up for a casting call. When I opened the door, her eyes bugged out, and she stuck out her tongue. “Oh my god! You can’t go like that! You can’t, like, go in there with frizzy hair and no makeup and expect them to ‘get it’! You really have to at least try to look pretty, you know? Here, let me fix you...” She rewet my hair, blew it out flat as a pancake with her Mason Pearson brush, and did a quick makeup job. “You may wanna stuff, too...” “What?” “Your boobs. It’d be better to stuff.” Why did it matter what my boobs looked like, I wanted to know. We were trying out for chorus parts in an experimental version of Antigone — for no pay. “I’m not about that. I’m an artist. My job is to analyze the text and

2 0 4 I S S U E 3 8 . 2 00 9

live truthfully under the imaginary circumstances of the play,” I declaimed, giving Jane the whole Mamet spiel while she stuffed a pair of Nike tennis socks into my bra. “Wrong,” she said, adjusting me for symmetry. “Your job is to look f---able. Anyway, this isn’t working. The socks look lumpy. You really need those ‘chicken cutlet’ thingies...” We didn’t get the parts. They said we looked too “clean.” A few months later, in early December, Jane landed a tiny part in a play about yuppies at the Public Theater. I went to Florida for Christmas with my family, and since Jane was rehearsing her play downtown, she stayed in my apartment and fed my cat. A week later, I came home and found Jane in tears as she packed. “I don’t want to go home, Nancy,” she told me through choked sobs. “I really, really don’t. But I have nowhere else to go...” Apparently, things had become intolerable living with her mother. They argued constantly about Jane’s weight, her dad, and money. She wanted to move out, to get a place of her own, but didn’t have the means. “Crash with me,” I told her. “Until you get on your feet.” Why not? The closeness we had as allies in such a crazy game — sharing our woes and boosting each other’s morale — meant the world to me. Besides, I was making great money cocktail waitressing at the new “it” nightclub, my success stemming in large part from Jane’s ingenious beauty tricks. I started blowing my normally wild and wavy hair stick straight and became resolutely “bangs obsessed.” I started using foundation to contour the nose Jane pronounced “cute, but just a tad wide.” “We should play up your mouth,” she told me, brushing gloss onto my lips. “It’ll offset your nose.” When Jane suggested I wear tight, tiny T-shirts with no bra because it made my nipples look “so awesome!” I figured what the hell and did that too. Soon, I was taking home fistfuls of tips. After Jane’s play finished its run, she went back to waitressing at a burger joint. When we weren’t working, we hung out all the time. We shopped together, dieted together, took aerobics classes, went to bowling parties with other actors... On Wednesdays, we played poker with lesbians. When Jane’s twentieth birthday came along, I threw her a party and got her a cake in the shape of a movie marquee with her name “in lights.” Jane was so broke, she couldn’t afford to get her cowboy RUPERT EVERETT AND JAYNE ATKINSON IN BLITHE SPIRITPHOTO BY ROBERT J. SAFERSTEIN


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boots reheeled at the cobbler near my apartment, but she still scraped enough money together to buy me an amazing pair of earrings from Putumayo as a thank you, and also my very first thong underwear (“for tight jeans!”). In addition to the sartorial suggestions and canny beauty tips, Jane offered advice on how I could give my attitude a bit of a make over too. One of my best friends, Michael, had recently died of AIDS at the age of twenty-two. I was totally bereft. One afternoon, I was ranting about it to Jane while she sat on the couch, languidly snipping her split ends with a pair of tiny nail scissors. “You seem really... angry,” Jane said, her eyes focused like lasers at the offending strands. “Yeah, I am,” I said. “Ten seconds ago, we were at Carnegie Hall watching Liza Minnelli right after she got out of rehab, and now he’s dead. I can’t believe I have to live out the rest of my life without him.” “But you seem like an angry person in general. I think you give off a very angry vibe, and you should, like, think about that. If you wanna be on TV, you have to be likable.” “I thought you said I had to be f---able.” “Both. You have to be both. But you can’t be f---able if you’re pissed off seeming. Look at Justine Bateman: She seems really happy and super cute. And her career’s going great. Something you should think about...” Jane was absolutely right. I was angry about a lot of things: About Michael; about my lack of progress as an actor; about the fact that suddenly no one seemed to care what I thought or said, that all that mattered in the “real world” was how I looked. I was angry that Jane so blithely participated in what I viewed as the soul-crushing compulsion to be pretty and keep quiet, and that none of it seemed to faze her. I was angry that being angry wasn’t OK, and I was even angry at Jane for calling me angry. But the thing was... her candor stopped me cold. Her tone was harsh — yes — but on some level I understood that her words were not intended as a judgment; they were meant as a caveat. She was explaining, in simple terms, what was required of me if I wanted to succeed. Jane’s admonishments pissed me off, but in a funny way I also felt cared for — as though she was looking out for me. Meanwhile, my home seemed to provide a safe haven for Jane, away from her mother’s constant nagging and criticisms. Though she talked tough with me, Jane eased up on herself. She ate an extra helping of pasta here, a bit of chocolate cake for dessert there, and one day, her clothes stopped fitting. Stepping on the scale, she discovered to her horror that she had gained five pounds. She became terribly depressed and vowed to correct the situation immediately. But when her old dieting tricks (subsisting on diet cream soda and Merits) didn’t work anymore, she eventually just gave up and started shoving Wonder Bread slathered with Hellmann’s mayonnaise into her mouth in a benumbed stupor. Soon she could only wear her turquoise spandex workout pants and baggy sweaters. I listened with deteriorating patience to her complain about her nose, her weight, her ass. “You are still a beautiful girl,” I told her over and over, “I promise, you don’t

need to fix a thing.” But it was to no avail. Jane would only stare at me, helpless and utterly despondent. Sometime in May, after having stayed with me for five months, she moved out and into her dad’s house in Los Angeles. As much as I loved and cared for her, I felt relieved when she left and hoped the change would be good for both of us. Two months later, Jane called with big news. “I did it! I got a nose job! My dad bought it for me. I went to the same guy who did his nose, so they gave him a deal!” She raved about the special diet she had gone on (prepackaged burgers and pancakes) and proudly reported losing fifteen pounds in only a few weeks. Her agent was sending her out on sitcom auditions and getting all kinds of amazing “feedback” from casting directors. Scripts were being messengered to

But when her old dieting tricks (subsisting on diet cream soda and Merits) didn’t work anymore, she eventually just gave up and started shoving Wonder Bread slathered with Hellmann’s mayonnaise into her mouth in a benumbed stupor.

2 0 6 I S S U E 3 8 . 2 00 9

her dad’s house. A gig was imminent. “It’s almost as though I actually act better with my new nose — know what I mean?” Jane and I kept in touch over the phone, and she told me all about her self- improvements: another nose job (“The first one didn’t take!”), a hairline revamping (“so I don’t have to have bangs!”), and a whopping thirty-fivepound weight loss. I never liked her other noses as much as I liked the original one, but she was deliriously happy, and for that I was happy too. Soon she booked a supporting role on a sitcom and got a new boyfriend. I, meanwhile, played one of the leads in an After School Special, did several off-off-Broadway plays, and fell in love with the Jazz Musician. Whenever Jane was in town, we would meet up in the garden of Café La Fortuna for skim milk café au laits. When I decided to move to L.A., Jane had just landed her first leading role on a hot new sitcom. We arranged to have lunch at Revival Café on Beverly. Jane ordered for both of us: scrambled egg whites cooked in “low oil” and bagels scooped of all their bread, so all that remained was a bagel shell. I had recently guest-starred on Seinfeld, and Jane was incredulous. “You’ve only been here, like, what? Two months? How awesome!” Though buoyed by the guest spot, I was still broke and feeling anxious about the move to L.A. And logistically, I only had another month to house-sit for a friend. I needed a place to stay, even briefly. I told Jane my dilemma. “I don’t know what to do,” I said. “I don’t have anywhere to go...”


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She furrowed her brow, fired up a Merit, and thought for a minute. Finally, it dawned on her. “Of course! You should stay at the Oakwood! Have you heard of it? It’s temporary housing just off Laurel Canyon!” We finished up our egg whites and bagel shells, and I walked her to her Range Rover. “You seem really great, Jane. Really, just so great,” I said, hugging her. She smiled warmly and scrunched up her new nose at me. “It’s ’cause I’m not desperate anymore,” she said and looked at me meaningfully, as though I were an errant child who needed gentle reminders of boundaries. “Desperation freaks people out, especially out here. This was so fun. Let’s do it again real soon...” Jane’s show became the breakout hit of the season, a sensation. She had done it: Jane was a star. I called her several times, leaving messages of congratulations. She didn’t return my calls. One day, I got her on the phone. “I’m SO SORRY!” she cried, hearing my voice. “EVERYONE is pissed at me! All my friends. I never call anyone back. I’m just so busy! But I’d love to see you — can we do next Thursday?” But on Thursday, something came up, and Jane said we’d have to reschedule. A month later, I coincidentally had a meeting with the casting director for Jane’s show. “There’s a great part we’re casting for the last episode of the season. You’d be perfect. Can you stick around here, take a look at the script, and meet the producers at two?” I went in for the audition, and a few hours later I received the Call: I was hired. I was told to report to the studio the next day at nine a.m. to begin a week of work. I was being paid more money than I’d ever made in my career. I called Jane and got her machine. I left a message saying I’d booked the job, I was thrilled, and I’d see her the next day. A few hours later, the casting director called me. “Nancy... I’m so sorry, there’s been a... a change. They’ve cut your part. You’ll still be paid, for the full week. Everyone feels so bad. I’m sorry.” The casting director went on to say that the producers had assured her they would cast me in another episode the following season. I tried to console myself with the promise of a future role. Later that week, I went out to dinner with my old friend Gabe, who had become a successful TV producer. After I told him the story, he shook his head. “That doesn’t make sense. Why’d they pay you so much when they didn’t use you, especially when they said they’d bring you on next year?” Gabe knew the producers of Jane’s show; he said he’d see what he could find out. A few days later, he took me to lunch. “She had you fired,” he said. “Who?” I asked. “Jane. She told them that she wouldn’t work with you.” “What? Why? And, they’ll just do what she says? Aren’t they her bosses?” “She’s one of the stars of the show. Believe me, she gets whatever she wants. She wants someone fired, boom, they’re gone. But I don’t get it. Why? I thought you guys were close. Didn’t she live with you? Did you have some kind of falling out?” “You mean there was no ‘script change’?” I asked, struggling to make sense of it. Gabe shook his head. “Nah. They just... they had to recast.” “So... then... there’ll be no next season either?” Gabe shook his head. I started to cry. I was devastated.

“It sucks, I know,” he said, taking my hand. “I’m real sorry. This business is, you know... whaddaya gonna do...” I called Jane and left messages wanting to know what happened; she didn’t return my calls. I never spoke to her again. Jane would go on to superstardom, marry a hunky guy, win several awards. I, on the other hand, would sputter along, stopping and starting, sometimes playing along with the game, sometimes recoiling in ambivalence. But whatever I did in the years that followed our friendship, I was never without a Mason Pearson brush, and I always had great hair. A few years ago, when Jane went through a nasty and very tabloidy divorce — her husband having left her for a younger woman — people would call me up all the time, asking if I was experiencing a spectacular episode of schadenfreude. The answer was no. Maybe it’s natural for people to assume that her misfortunes would somehow be satisfying to me, but here is the truth. Whenever she comes up, I can only think of Jane as I knew her: a sweet, hopelessly insecure girl who yearned for her dad, wanted above all to make herself pretty, pretty, pretty, and was willing to sacrifice pieces of herself to do so. She was someone I liked knowing, someone with whom I had a great deal in common and, at the same time, nothing at all. Nevertheless, we shared a period of time, had some fun, and helped each other just a little in the best way we knew how. She was someone I considered a true friend, and no matter how hard I try, I can never, ever forget that. So, when I think of Jane, I just feel sad. I once read an interview with Jane where she said that if her career hadn’t worked out, she’d have been happy just serving people burgers at the joint she worked at all those years ago when she was shacking up with me. She said she got joy out of just giving people fries and milk shakes and getting tips. It felt honest to her, and somehow, she felt as though she forged friendships with the customers that were very deep. I know what she meant. There are those connections you have with people that on the surface seem fleeting, ephemeral, inexplicable, but that you nonetheless feel certain are important and terribly profound and very real, until one day when you look back on it and you think to yourself... maybe not. Anyway, I would imagine that deep down Jane knows — as I do — that even if it were that simple, sometimes being a friend is just not enough. And that is one of the suckiest things in life. ❉ Weston native, Nancy Balbirer is the author and star of the critically acclaimed solo show “I Slept with Jack Kerouac” and the cocreator of the cult hit reading series Cause Celeb! which ran for a year and a half at the late, great Fez in New York City. She has guest starred on numerous TV shows, including Seinfeld, and played recurring roles on MTV’s Remote Control, for which she also created some of her characters. She has appeared in countless offBroadway plays and performs regularly in New York at Mo Pitkin’s, Joe’s Pub, the Cutting Room, and Naked Angels Tuesday at 9. She is a graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and is also the coowner, designer, and doyenne of the West Village boite Pasita. COPYRIGHT (C) BY NANCY BALBIRER. EXCERPTED FROM THE BOOK TAKE YOUR SHIRT OFF AND CRY, REPRINTED BY PERMISSION OF BLOOMSBURY PUBLISHING INC.


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VictorWeicheRyeGrSum09

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RyeInsert

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TOW N H ALL

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RYE GONE

WILD

ye has gone wild. With your day consumed by Metro-North commuting, school drop off and pick-up, little league and other critical elements of suburban Rye life, maybe you did not notice that much of Rye’s 3,702 acres are preserved as open space. We’ve tracked down 425, or eleven percent, of these acres, available for your enjoyment. Rye boasts some of the best spots in Westchester for birding, rare examples of preserved salt water marshes, superior educational programming for your kids on the natural world, and stretches of Long Island beachfront that have not been swallowed up by private landholders and clubs. Some opportunities to preserve open space have been lost, but there is also a move to add or enhance a few open spaces. One new group, Rye Habitat Project, is aiming to make Rye the first “community wildlife habitat” certified by the National Wildlife Federation in New York State. Part of the work involves having one hundred residents turn their yards into backyard wildlife habitat. Let’s look at Rye’s wealth of open spaces — places of various type and personality. Which one suits you?

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The John Jay House is located on the same property, and if you know where to look, you can find the Jay family graveyard. You will see birds of all sizes, including plenty of wild turkeys, and if lucky, maybe great white owls and ospreys. LINEAGE: In the 20th century, the property was held by Jay, Palmer and Devereux families. The Devereux gave 23 acres, including the Jay House and other outbuildings, to the Methodist church. In 1979 the church hit hard times and tried selling the property to Diane Millstein, a developer who planned to clear the property for single-family homes. After an extended and ugly battle in the 1980s, the Marshlands was put on the National Register of Historic Places and in 1992 all 130-plus acres came under the protection of Westchester Parks. BIRDS, BEES AND BASICS: Open dawn until dusk. Relatively flat hiking trails. Curator and Marshlands den mother, Alison Beall, is almost always there ready to answer any questions. The small interpretive center has various exhibits on the Marshlands and annual photo and art shows. Best for quiet walks. No dogs.

GONE WILD: Marshlands Conservancy, Westchester Parks LATITUDE/LONGITUDE: Boston Post Road between the John Jay House and Rye Golf Club WHAT: 137 acres. Forest, fields, shoreline and salt water marsh. Marshlands is a mecca for birders, but is also terrific for hikes or walks.

GONE WILD: Rye Nature Center, City of Rye LATITUDE/LONGITUDE: 873 Boston Post Road between Rye High School and downtown Rye WHAT: 47 acres. Forest, field, pond and stream terrain just outside of downtown Rye. The Rye Nature center is great for an easy family hike on


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townhall the two and a half miles of trails, including a 14 station self guided trail. The center has a ton of educational programs for pre-school through adult, conducts summer camps, is known for its birthday parties and scouts can get permission for special overnight trips. Over 190 species of birds have been identified at the center. LINEAGE: An original 37 acres was acquired by Rye City in 1945 from the Parsons family after a mysterious house fire. After some consideration to place a school on the property, a small group including Edith Read, a noted local conservationist, convinced the city to establish the Rye Nature center in 1959. An adjacent 10 acres came up for sale in 1964, and again Edith Read was central to the fundraising and advocacy to preserve the additional acreage. BIRDS, BEES AND BASICS: Open dawn until dusk. Relatively flat hiking trails. The Edith Read Education Building is open 9-5 weekdays (10-4 in the summer) and 10-4 Saturdays (but closed all weekend in the summer). Check out the seasonal butterfly house and maple sugar shack. GONE WILD: Edith Read Sanctuary, Westchester County LATITUDE/LONGITUDE: Adjacent to Playland Amusement Park off Playland Parkway and Forest Avenue. Enter the Playland parking area and tell the attendant you do not need to pay the Playland parking fee of $5 because you are going to Edith Read. They won’t know what you are talking about, but insist. Drive to the back right of the parking lot, through the gate that says “road closed” and straight into Edith Read. WHAT: 179 acres including an 85-acre brackish lake that serves as a wintering ground for over 5,000 ducks and boasts a great blue heron roost. There are three and a half miles of trails along forest, fields and shore. The shoreline trail is particularly accessible, just across the parking area. You’ll find fishermen shore-casting on most days. Make a contribution by bringing a small bag during your walk and picking up some of the flotsam that washes ashore. The area is recognized by the Audubon Society as an Important Bird Area, an official designation. LINEAGE: The sanctuary is named after Edith Read, a life-long resident of Rye and a forceful advocate for conservation. Read was born in 1904, the year Rye became a village, and died in 2006 at the age of 102. The Federated Conservationists of Westchester presents the Edith G. Read Award each year to a noted conservationist for lifetime achievement. In noting her passing in 2006, Rye Mayor Steve Otis said, “Her life spanned our municipal life to date and her commitment to Rye saw no limit… Edith was a dedicated and focused advocate. She rarely took no for an answer and never was satisfied with a partial answer. She convinced County Executive Andy O'Rourke to create a wildlife sanctuary behind Playland which bears her name.” BIRDS, BEES AND BASICS: Open dawn until dusk. Flat hiking trails. GONE WILD: Rye Town Park, Town of Rye LATITUDE/LONGITUDE: Adjacent to the south side of Playland Amusement Park and off Forest Avenue. The parking entrance is on Dearborn off Forest. WHAT: 62 acres including a 1,200-foot-long, 34-acre white sand beach. The remaining 28 acres are rolling lawn and a recently restored duck pond. This is a mixed ecosystem at Rye Town Park — sun worshipers for the beach, dog lovers in the park and walkers strolling along the shore-

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line path. The restaurant, Seaside Johnnies, sits right on the beach. You pay for the view, not the food. Two pavilions overlooking the beach can be rented for events and you can also rent one of two barbeque grills on the beach for a party of up to 25 people for $75. LINEAGE: The park was created by an act of the New York State Legislature in 1907 and its buildings — that still stand today — were completed in 1909. Using the buildings as its marker, the park is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. The park is administered by the Town of Rye, not the City of Rye. The Town of Rye has a bizarre list of functions including assessment, collection and distribution of taxes for three school districts (Blind Brook, Portchester and Rye Neck) and two villages (Rye Brook and Portchester); operation of a Town court system, certain bridges and cemeteries in Mamaroneck and the operation of Crawford Park in Rye Brook and Rye Town Park. BIRDS, BEES AND BASICS: The beach is officially open for swimming Memorial Day until Labor Day, although when there is a warm day early or late season, people are in the water. The beach is a great quiet place to watch the Playland fireworks show at 9:15 in the evening on Wednesdays and Fridays in the summer. The rules require your dog on a leash but there is some question as to whether this rule is ever enforced. GONE WILD: Your Backyard, courtesy of the Rye Habitat Project LATITUDE/LONGITUDE: Just off your back deck. WHAT: Rye resident Jane Grant wants to make you wild. Grant and others are part of the Rye Habitat Project, an effort to make Rye the first "Community Wildlife Habitat" in New York State. Rye Habitat Project is part of a nationwide program run by the National Wildlife Federation that encourages citizens to create habitat for birds, butterflies, frogs and other beneficial wildlife in individual backyards, on school grounds and in public places and businesses (attention: wild turkey in aisle 10!). Twelve backyards have already been certified by the program and Grant needs 88 more to hit the group’s goal and make Rye officially, certifiably wild. LINEAGE: Since so much habitat is being lost, and parks and preserves are not enough to maintain wild creatures anymore, the National Wildlife Federation came up with this idea of getting lots of people and organizations all over the country to create habitat on their own properties in order to create a network, or corridors, where wildlife can find a safe haven. Under the "Backyard Wildlife Habitat" program, there are now well over a hundred thousand individual properties in the United States that have become habitats. BIRDS, BEES AND BASICS: Backyards can be made wild by providing five basic elements: food (plants or feeders), shelter (dense evergreens, brush piles or log piles), water (bird bath, pond, or rain garden) places to raise young (dead trees, dense shrubs, nest boxes) and sustainability (reducing size of lawn, water barrels, compost). In Rye, some Boy Scouts have joined in and students and teachers at Midland School Courtyard Garden are on the case. ❉ Jay Sears is the publisher of MyRye.com, a web site with observations about all things Rye — community, events, government, history, schools, outdoors, people, real estate, restaurants and more. Jay, his wife Lauren Rosen, and their three boys live in the Bradford Park section of Rye.


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ACTSOFK INDNESS

RYE CARING COMMITTEES

MAKING A DIFFERENCE

A GROUP OF VOLUNTEERS GIVE OF THEMSELVES, TIRELESSLY, TO THOSE IN NEED

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he Midland Caring Committee from Midland School in Rye, New York, didn’t realize how incredibly important it had become since its inception in 2002. At that time, Susan Gould and Laura Slack, two Midland School parents, created the organization to help out families in need. Some local families were going through medical issues, and the group of women would coordinate meals, play-dates for the children, and rides to and from school. It all started with twenty women, and today, with many more volunteers, the demand is bigger than ever. When there is a crisis in the community, the group is notified by a friend of the person/family in crisis. The person becomes the liaison and helps assess the needs of the family, both short and long term. Sandy Samberg, mother of Zack and Max, has been co-chairman of the Midland Caring Committee, along with Laura DeVita, since 2005. She explains, “Once we know what the needs are, we figure out concrete ways to help — meals, transportation, errands, play-dates, contacts at drug companies/hospitals/therapists, temporary housing, financial assistance, child care arrangements, employment opportunities. We then send out an email to our committee with the specific needs, and it’s amazing how quickly people respond with offers to help.” Sandy continues, “We have helped people who lost their homes during the floods, families where a parent or child has had cancer or another serious illness, those who have lost their homes to fires, parents who have been put on strict bed rest and/or have delivered premature babies and have several other children at home, parents who need disease-specific support groups, parents who can’t afford to buy clothing or holiday gifts for their children. The list is endless. Our services can be anonymous if families prefer that. If so, we do things like have people drop off meals at my house and then deliver them to the family in need. People aren’t just willing to help, they are eager to help! This year we’ve created a website filled with local resources for the co-chairs of all of the schools to refer to as needed. It’s an extensive list and useful for unique situations where you’re not quite sure what you can do to help.” Susan Gould and Laura Slack are now co-chairs of the Rye Middle/High School Caring Committee. Susan started this current committee when her two daughters, now twelve and sixteen, moved on to the middle school. Says Susan, “This is an emotionally draining committee. There have been deaths of parents, children, sickness in families. Heavy

stuff. We need to be there and be strong for hurting families. We can’t cure what is happening, just focus on the process and difficult time. We help out as best we can. There’s such goodness that comes from this committee. It’s been extremely gratifying. Our primary goal is to help out families in any way we can. We are helped by the school principals, guidance counselors and social workers. We even match up nationalities so the family will feel more comfortable. We’ve never had to say we don’t have the resources to help you.” Maggie Amico knows first hand about the dedication and giving of the Midland Caring Committee. Tragically, she and her husband lost their son, Jarrid, and the volunteers were there to give much needed support. Maggie explains, “The Caring Committee was so awesome during that horrific time in our lives. We were not functioning in any capacity whatsoever. However, I do recall them helping us with just about everything we needed. The volunteers came to our home and took over. They knew just what to do and how to do it. I didn’t know what I was doing from one moment to the next, and without the help of the Caring Committee and our friends and family, we would have been even more lost. People came over every day for the first couple of weeks and helped clean our house, do our laundry, and brought us food. They brought food to us several times a week for two months. The Midland Caring Committee was stellar in their performance when it came to helping the Amicos.” Both Osborn and Milton Schools have also started their own caring committees. They are all run slightly differently, but all share the same vision. Last fall, a meeting was held among the co-chairs of the four Caring Committees. Sandy declares, “It was great to all get together and brainstorm ideas, resources, the different technologies that we use, and recruitment procedures. We discussed what happens when families in need have children in more than one Rye school. It was very productive and we have a great collaborative relationship with the other chairs.” It all comes down to families helping families. Midland School, where it all started, has always prided itself on being a caring community. They even call themselves “The Midland Family.” Those who volunteer for these unique committees give of themselves with nothing in return, except the gratitude of those who have been helped. And for the many volunteers in Rye’s Caring Committees, that is more than enough. www.ryeschools.org. ❉


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RYE GALLERY

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2009 “SIMPLY ELEGANT” RYE HOUSE TOUR

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he annual Rye High School Parents’ Organization House Tour was held on Friday, May 15th. The 2009 tour featured five “Simply Elegant” homes, each created with a discerning eye toward detail and design. The sixth, a “Decorator Showcase Home” presented by HB Home of Westport and LT Interiors of Rye, rounded out the tour experience. The 2009 House Tour co-chairs, Judy Chin, Dana Franchella, Maria Genovesi and Lois Lavelle, along with the entire house tour committee, endeavored to make this year’s tour “a memorable and special day, yet, at the same time, being mindful of the current economy, worked tirelessly to bring enhanced value to the experience.” Proceeds from the event provide scholarships to Rye High School students, funding for additional programs and state of the art technology and equipment. The House Tour Committee wishes to thank the 2009 sponsors who made this year’s tour possible: Carpet Trends, Coldwell Banker/Country Properties, Houlihan Lawrence, Inc., JWH Design & Cabinetry, Merritt Associates, Inc., Sotheby’s International Realty, Paul Varsames Development, and WISH. ❉

BLYTHEDALE CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL GALA More than 300 people recently gathered in downtown White Plains for “An Evening at 42” to benefit Blythedale Children’s Hospital in Valhalla. The annual fundraiser, held on May 12, was hosted by Anthony Goncalves (chef of 42) and Vasken Demirjian (Vasken Salon) and raised more than $100,000 toward the Hospital’s modernization project. Dr. Herbert Newman, a White Plains pediatrician, was honored at the event for his more than 40 years of service to Blythedale. Among those attending the reception were, from left to right, Harold and Nicki Tanner of Scarsdale, Peggy Epstein Tanner of Manhattan and Alan Epstein of Rye.. Peggy Epstein Tanner serves on the Hospital’s Board of Trustees.

About Blythedale Blythedale Children’s Hospital in Valhalla, NY is dedicated to improving the health status and quality of life of children with complex medical and rehabilitative needs. For more than 100 years, Blythedale Children's Hospital has been a leader in developing innovative, multi-disciplinary inpatient and ambulatory programs, as well as a community resource for children with a variety of medical concerns. For more information contact Dean Bender, Thompson & Bender: 914/762-1900. ❉


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A LEGACY OF SAILING: OWNERS OF THE JAY ESTATE & YACHTING IN NEW YORK, 1843-1966 By Suzanne Clary

THE JAY

Property in Rye has a water view that has transfixed the human eye for 8,000 years. A 3/4 mile meadow of golden salt grass sweeps down to the shimmering blue body of Long Island Sound. One can envision vessels ranging from hickory bark canoes to regal three-masted schooners gliding in the currents and sunshine for pleasure. This is a vista that inspired the Siwanoys, colonial settlers and Gilded Age financiers to take to their boats, eagerly measuring the tides and cycles of the moon. Here is a halcyon setting, beckoning today’s visitor to step back into history. It is the last remnant of the childhood home of New York’s only native Founding Father, John Jay. Jay’s family moved to Rye in 1746 when he was PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE JAY HERITAGE CENTER

only 3 months old, to escape the smallpox scourge that had already blinded two of his siblings. Far from the city, Rye was a safe and idyllic place for the young Jays to grow up. The waterfront property was well situated; it was essentially bounded and easily accessed by “two roads,” an old converted Indian path on one end and the Sound on the other. In fact, given the poor condition of the Post Road in the 18th century, the Sound was actually a much preferred avenue for bringing in supplies to the Jay Property. But this seaside location in Rye served a greater purpose than merely providing transportation – it offered daily seafaring inspiration to all who lived here. The Jay family at one point owned 400 acres in Rye, their first homestead, and no matter the rigors of his career as patriot, governor, peacemaker and jurist, John Jay would return to this refuge by the shore throughout his life, and in death as well. Though he eventually retired to nearby Bedford, Jay carefully selected Rye for his final repose; in 1807, 22 years before his own demise, he created a private and tranquil cemetery there for himself, his wife Sarah and all his descendants in perpetuity. L-R: GUINEVERE LAUNCHING. EDGAR PALMER, FAMILY AND PRINCETON CLASSMATES ON BOARD THE SECOND GUINEVERE, LAUNCHED FROM NEPONSET IN 1921; ORIGINAL HAND-COLORED PLATE FROM JOHN C. JAY'S "A CATALOG OF RECENT SHELLS" PUBLISHED IN 1836.

PHOTOS BY AYALA GAZIT


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TOP-BOTTOM: 1838 PETER AUGUSTUS JAY MANSION IN RYE; GUINEVERE, AFTER 1908. © MYSTIC SEAPORT, ROSENFELD COLLECTION, MYSTIC, CT, #B888. PHOTOGRAPHER: JAMES BURTON; WWW.ROSENFELDCOLLECTION.ORG.

There are many who say it is the breathtaking landscape in Rye that truly shaped and tempered Jay’s character. How could it not? Imagine yourself standing where he stood, gazing out towards the Sound, at such a magnificent natural canvas, framed by stately elms and towering horse chestnuts. It excites all the senses; it evokes an empowering feeling that makes all things in the world seem possible. Now imagine how living on the water enriched the lives of Jay’s family and the Jay estate residents who followed them.

Jay well understood. It was aboard Stevens’ yacht, Gimcrack, that one of America’s oldest yacht clubs was formed, JC Jay becoming their first Secretary, serving alternately as Recording Secretary or Corresponding Secretary until 1857. The most sacred document that NYYC owns are the minutes of that first meeting, possibly in Jay’s own handwriting, kept secure under lock and key. Wooden half hulls for the founders’ yachts, with dark, mellow patinas, hang in the lobby of the current clubhouse in Manhattan.

THE JAY FAMILY 1843-1891 John Jay’s eldest son, Peter Augustus, made the most dramatic changes to the Rye property to maximize its water views. In 1822, under his father’s guidance, he replaced the fences on what was now a working farm with European styled, stone ha-has (sunken trenches) that provided an unobstructed vision of the entire estate from the Sound. And in 1838, he built a new house atop the same knoll as the old homestead, positioned so that the rear veranda retained its direct orientation towards the Sound. But it was Peter’s son and John Jay’s grandson, John Clarkson Jay, whose passion for the water was most evidently fostered here. JC Jay, as he was called, knew the graceful expanse in Rye well, wandering down to its sandy shoreline and tidal pools as a child. He developed a fascination with science and exploration that he expressed in two ways: his personal avocation of sailing and his almost mythic passion for collecting seashells from around the world. It is said that he scoured the ports and harbors to barter and buy shells from sailors who had visited foreign islands and oceans. So acclaimed and encyclopedic was Jay’s knowledge of conchology that his good friend, Commodore Matthew Calbraith Perry, brought back specimens from his 1852 expedition on the steam frigate Mississippi to Japan for Jay to identify. When JC Jay’s father, Peter Augustus Jay, died in 1843, JC inherited the Rye estate. According to his granddaughter, Laura Jay Wells, it was at this time that Jay purchased a yacht precisely because he would be living on the Sound; he paid $1,500 for it and it was aptly dubbed “La Coquille,” which is a French seashell — all the more apropos, given that his prize array of over 60,000 seashells today forms the core collection of mollusks at the Museum of Natural History in New York City. It was an augur of even greater things to come. Just one year later, in 1844, JC Jay would make history, along with eight other men, including John Cox Stevens, in founding the legendary New York Yacht Club. FOUNDING OF NEW YORK YACHT CLUB, 1844

John Cox Stevens was a Columbia graduate like many of the Jays; also like the Jays, he was married to a Livingston, Mary Cambridge (John Jay’s wife was Sarah van Brugh Livingston.) This familiarity, combined with their shared love of sailing, makes the friendship and camaraderie between Stevens and

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Jay’s own yacht, a swift 27 ton, 44 foot long vessel, is represented there and records show it participated in the very first regatta. Salty sailors from every chartered yacht club know the sleek lines of the iconic building that Jay and Stevens used as the first NYYC Newport, RI clubhouse. Named Station 10, it was a modest structure in the carpenter Gothic style designed by the well-known architect, Alexander Jackson Davis, in 1845, that was transplanted from Stevens’ estate in Hoboken. But few today know that a strikingly similar structure existed on the Jay Estate in Rye for over 100 years. It is believed that JC Jay commissioned Davis to design an almost identical, gingerbread trimmed pavilion in 1849 for his own property. Its location, known from landscape plans and archival photos, suggests that it had a beautiful view of the Sound and the boats in the channel. JC Jay died in 1891, but the Jay mansion in Rye stayed with the Jay family and Jay sailors through 1904. Among the other Jay descendants and Rye estate residents who distinguished themselves on the water were Frederic de Witt Wells, judge, adventurer, sailor and author of “The Last Cruise of the Shangai.” With his son, Frederick Jay Wells, he attempted a celebrated ocean voyage on the teakwood Shanghai to retrace the paths of the Vikings. Tragedy was narrowly escaped when their ship wrecked, but captain and crew survived to tell their tale and share their profound respect for the power of the sea. With this daring


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BANNER HEADLINES FROM THIS 1865 NEW YORK HERALD CAPTURE THE FERVOR FOR YACHTING THAT HAD GROWN EXPONENTIALLY SINCE THE FOUNDING OF NEW YORK YACHT CLUB.

and life-affirming experience to build on, Jay Wells would go on to become a respected naval architect, create an international sailing code, and serve as a member of NYYC and the prestigious Storm Trysail Club.

THE VAN NORDEN FAMILY 1905-1911 In 1905, after 159 years in the Jay family, the Jay estate passed into the hands of another individual with strong Dutch roots and an affinity for the water: financier Warner Montagnie Van Norden. A graduate of Columbia, well familiar with the history of the Jays, he and his young wife, Grace Talcott, were credited with enhancing the Jay Property buildings and grounds, including building a Classical Revival Carriage House on the site in 1907. Though primarily summer residents, they were active participants in their community, involved in the Rye Improvement Association, which held its many fetes at Rye’s relatively new American Yacht Club (AYC), created in 1883. AYC’s membership overlapped that of NYYC and as members of both clubs, the Van Nordens were recognized members of the yachting community year round. Young Van Norden was not a sailor, as he preferred motor boats and to be known in Rye for owning the fastest motor boat on Long Island Sound, “The Brush By.” With a dock that looked straight across at American Yacht Club, one can easily picture how fast his commute into New York City would have been. THE HUDSON FULTON TERCENTENARY OF 1909

His father, along with colleagues of the Holland Society and NYYC were widely credited with helping to plan one of New York State’s greatest celebrations of sailing prowess and ingenuity, the 1909 HudsonFulton Celebration. This statewide commemoration marked the 300th anniversary of Hudson’s discovery of the river that bears his name, on his ship the Half Moon, and the centennial of Robert Fulton’s invention of the steamboat. The senior Van Norden was the original Treasurer for the organization when it was conceived in 1901 and he served as one of its official Commissioners. Together, father and son participated in the many festivities and banquets that marked this momentous occasion. Coming off the creation of Teddy Roosevelt’s Great White Fleet, a naval parade was a highlight of this fall exposition and included a never before seen assemblage of both US and foreign battleships. As New York State celebrates the 400th anniversary of Hudson’s journey this year, the precedents set and early contributions of the Van Norden family will be remembered.

family through 1966. As a young man, Palmer loved only one thing as much as Princeton and that was yachting. After college, he had worked at the North German Lloyd lines determined to get a master sailors license. Elected to membership at NYYC in 1902, where his father Stephen Squires Palmer had joined in 1897, the two shared a private signal flag in orange and black—iconic Princeton colors. Palmer had to have appreciated the Jay family’s ties to Princeton (the Livingston family were founders of its original incarnation as “College of New Jersey”); he would have appreciated that he was living in a NYYC founders’ home, and immediately recognize the Station 10-like a building on the grounds. Of course the property also faced American Yacht Club across the Sound, a club primarily known for its steam yachts which combined sailing with technology, Palmer’s areas of expertise. The first boat that Palmer truly raced in Rye was Venona, a 65-foot schooner with an impeccable pedigree. She won the 1908 Bermuda race, and coincidentally had also been one of the elite yachts selected to sail in the Hudson Fulton Naval Parade for the 1909 exposition. With an admiration for her speed and reputation, Palmer acquired her in 1912 and she raced victoriously in her fair share of regattas from Larchmont Yacht Club to Newport. Palmer, an engineer by training, worked at Westinghouse right out of college. After Venona, he fell in love with a three masted steam schooner he bought in 1914, originally named Visitor II ; this 198 foot beauty laid claim to being the first privately owned vessel to sail through the Panama Canal, and he renamed her Guinevere. While this ship was in his possession, Palmer became Vice Commodore, then Commodore of AYC from 1915-1916. It is important to remember that yachting at the turn of the century was big news; regattas merited banner headlines and a reader in the early 1900s could read about the daring races where men competed not only with other sailors but with the vagaries of weather, untested designs and new science. In 1916, a wave of newly designed boats called NY 40s by the legendary Nat Herreshoff captured the then modern age sailor’s fascination with physics and beauty. James Hayes, a frequent regatta winner, sailing a NY 40 named Zilph, was Edgar’s brother-in-law, friend and New Jersey Zinc business partner. Hayes also built a home on the Jay property (the stone ruins from its destruction in the 1938 hurricane can be seen by hikers along the Marshlands.) THE USE OF AUXILIARY VESSELS DURING WORLD WAR I AND II

THE PALMER/DEVEREUX FAMILY 1911-1966 In 1911, one of Princeton’s greatest benefactors and devoted alumni, Edgar Palmer (Class of 1903), acquired the Jay Estate; it would stay in his

The advent of America’s entry into the war with Germany in 1917 was taken very seriously by all the yacht clubs and real sailing ceased. During the First World War, the United States Navy commissioned Guinevere and


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THE JHC'S COLLECTION OF 1909 HUDSON-FULTON CELEBRATION EPHEMERA INCLUDES MEDALS DESIGNED BY RENOWNED ARTIST EMIL FUCHS FOR MEMBERS OF THE OFFICIAL COMMISSION.

many large auxiliary vessels like her for active wartime duty; unfortunately Guinevere was an early casualty, sunk off Brest, France in 1918 though no crewmen were lost. When the war was over and regattas resumed, Zilph came out stronger than ever, winning many thrilling regattas for her class, including the Vanderbilt race in 1923. After World War I, Palmer set out to rebuild an exact copy of Guinevere with some noteworthy improvements. This second Guinevere had the first system of diesel powered electric engines on an auxiliary yacht, giving her unprecedented maneuvering abilities. The electricity generated also powered her steering and rigging lines as well as lighting and other creature comforts. Modern day sailors would marvel at her flying bridge with dual wheels located at the main mast, allowing the helmsman to sit to leeward

and see her sails. Competing against yachts designed for racing, she made a strong showing in a famous 1928 transatlantic race for the King Alfonso’s Cup in Spain, placing third. Mystic Seaport’s collection of Rosenfeld photos capture the beauty of this legendary schooner, right down to the Princeton tiger-inspired bowsprit on the second incarnation of Guinevere. Like his first prized yacht, Palmer donated the second Guinevere to the Navy when the United States entered World War II. In fact in 1942, many yachtsmen, including future NYYC Commodore Chauncey Devereux Stillman (whose wife Theodora was a Jay descendant) generously donated their vessels, such as Westerly, for duty. German submarines and saboteurs posed a serious danger in coastal waters; with a shortfall of ships, the Navy relied on auxiliaries to help detect enemy activity. These pleasure boats were painted gray and black, sometimes outfitted with artillery and sonar devices, but they didn’t have the firepower of escort destroyers. Because of their vulnerability and use as decoys, they were often called part of the “Suicide Fleet” by their crew. Imagine being a young sailor thinking you were going to be assigned to a destroyer and ending up on a sailboat in the midst of enemy waters! Guinevere served three years of special escort duty, including performing U-boat patrol.

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In 1942, Guinevere’s brave crew received Christmas presents and photos from Palmer, who would sadly die after a brief illness in January 1943. By this time, the Jay Property in Rye had already passed into the hands of Palmer’s daughter, Zilph. Her husband, Walter Devereux, not surprisingly would also serve as Commodore of AYC, with his yacht Kaikoura, a 39-foot Sparkman & Stephens yawl, registered as the club’s flagship. STUDYING HISTORY AT THE JAY PROPERTY TODAY

Today the Jay Property in Rye is open parkland, thanks to the preservation efforts of its historic residents as well as the modern day activists that saved it from commercial development. As a result of their combined efforts, visitors can still behold the very same epic view of the Sound that all the Jays, Van Nordens, Palmers and Devereuxs enjoyed. Preservationists and archaeologists working at the site have found the tell tale signs of these occupants that reveal a love of the water— including numerous man-made paths to the shore through the marshes, some made with crushed clams and oysters. It is also known that the property always had a dock and collectively its many owners had a constellation of boats: La Coquille, Brush By, Venona, Guinevere, Zilph, Joyette, Juanita, Dart, Ava, and Kaikoura. The interiors of the remaining buildings are also intriguing: a decorative seashell motif ornament adorns the cornice of the front library and may have been where Jay kept his celebrated collection; and it is believed that either Edgar Palmer or his daughter installed the exotic teak floors throughout the mansion that to this day repel water, not unlike planks on a boat deck. As stewards for the Jay Property, The Jay Heritage Center invites visitors to help continue to unravel the “history mysteries” inspired by this quintessentially American place in Rye. Among the unique items that visitors will see in the JHC’s “Legacy of Sailing” exhibit are: a rare 1836 treatise on shells with hand colored plates by John Clarkson Jay; an extensive collection of Hudson Fulton Tercentenary memorabilia, including silver and bronze medals designed for the Chairmen of the Commission by artist Emil Fuchs and the original engraved invitations, programs and silverware from Tiffany’s; vintage photographs of the 1909 naval parade; 100-year-old ship plans of the replica Half Moon and Clermont; original Edwin Levick photographs of the 1921 launching of Guinevere; photographs from Mystic Seaport’s Rosenfeld collection and much more. The Jay Heritage Center is an official ambassador of the “Explore NY 400 — Hudson-Fulton Celebration” and also a new member site of the Hudson River Valley Heritage Area. “A Legacy of Sailing” is open Sundays, 2-5pm, through August 30th and by appointment. For more information and to arrange group tours, please contact the Jay Heritage Center at 914/698-9275 or visit www.jaycenter.org. ❉ Suzanne Clary is President of the Jay Heritage Center.


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PHOTOS BY PAUL MOORE

RYE

IN BLACK AND WHITE The photos printed here are from an ongoing series entitled "Urblandscape" (the combination of urban landscape and bland), Black and White photographs of the commonplace environs in which we live. Their underlying purpose is not to simply describe the subject matter, but to act as a visual metaphor or point of departure for the viewer to experience a sense of inner equivalence with the image. I am interested in the relationship and dynamics of Nature and Man, of our inner consciousness and the manifested physical universe. We are connected to the land upon which we exist, but the artifacts we manufacture and put our attention on flood and overwhelm our senses, obscuring our experience of the "spirit of place." By focusing the camera on the often bland, yet archetypical elements which surrounds us, unifying the scene in tones from black to white, my goal and hope is to create a glimpse and experience of this sacred relationship. www.paulmoorestudio.com. â?&#x2030;


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GENERATIONS

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Gracious Living at

The Osborn independent living, assisted living, dementia/Alzheimer’s care and long-term skilled nursing. On-site respite care and hospice are also available, plus short-term rehabilitation on a residential or outpatient basis.

Sterling Park at The Osborn

The Osborn’s picturesque 56-acre campus in historic Rye is a landmark in Westchester County. Just 35 minutes by Metro North train from Manhattan, close to the Sound and just ten minutes from Greenwich, CT, it’s a location that offers a uniquely compelling lifestyle at the region’s premier senior living community. At the Osborn, success is measured in terms of achieving high standards of excellence in service to residents. In addition to forming friendships, residents also come to cherish their relationships with the highly qualified and well-trained staff. This unique group of dedicated professionals represents the finest and most caring staff to be found anywhere. Their commitment to Osborn residents sets their community apart from others. Unlike other retirement communities where staff turnover can approach 50% to 100%, the rate of staff turnover at the Osborn is under 10% a year. Imagine the confidence to be experienced knowing that loved ones are not only in the right place for any future health care need, but also surrounded by friends and professionals who know and care about them. A 501c3 not-for-profit charitable organization, Osborn has been serving older adults for over a century with the area’s highest quality residential options and services. They reinvest in their community by continually enhancing residences and services, offering an exceptional workplace and training opportunities for their staff and maintaining their grounds, giving their residents cause to proudly call their campus home. The Osborn offers residential care options that include: Active

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914/921-2200 Independent living apartments and garden homes with outstanding services and amenities. 100% refundable entrance fee and monthly service fee covers most accommodations with rental options available in the main Osborn building. Interested parties can begin enjoying the incomparable lifestyle offered at the Osborn today, without a lengthy wait. A number of one- and two-bedroom independent living apartments and garden homes are available now.

Assisted Living at The Osborn 914/921-2200 Assisted living apartments including registered nurse case management, home health aides to assist with personal care and a full range of engaging programs, activities, and trips.

The Osborn Pavilion: Short-term rehabilitation and long-term skilled nursing care 914/925-8203

Outpatient Rehabilitation at The Osborn 914/925-8366 Skilled nursing center services include short-term and outpatient rehabilitation, including physical, occupational and speech therapy; long-term care and dementia, hospice and respite care.

Osborn Home Care 914/925-8221 The Osborn’s licensed home care agency provides registered nurse managed care and comprehensive home health care services to residents on campus, as well as to Westchester residents in their own homes. Additional information is available at www.theosborn.org and www.osbornhomecare.org. ❉


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BUDDING ARTIST

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Peacock Kiran Pande is 16 years old and loves taking classes with Elizabeth Derderian at the Rye Arts Center. Her work, "Peacock," was exhibited at the Adult and Teen Student Show at the Rye Arts Center this spring. â?&#x2030;


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FESTIVAL @ 51 A DAY OF FREE ARTS FUN FOR THE ENTIRE FAMILY! The Rye Arts Center Sunday, September 13, 2009 12:00 p.m. â&#x20AC;&#x201D; 5:00 p.m. The Rye Arts Center is proud to present a FREE, hands-on day of art, music, media arts, theatre, and dance for the entire community on Sunday, September 13. From 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., professional and student musicians will play jazz, rock, and classical music, local artists will sell their work at a fine arts fair, and people of all ages will take part in arts workshops conducted by RAC teachers. In addition, the Gallery will feature a silent auction of more than forty paintings by regional artists who will participate in the plein-air paint-out and live auction on Saturday, September 26. Bring the whole family! FREE cotton candy and snow cones for all. The Rye Arts Center is a community-based, not-for-profit, volunteer organization, whose mission is to inspire interest and maximum participation in the arts in Westchester and the surrounding region. They are committed to offering programs that are characterized by artistic tradition, educational value, and a spirit of innovation. â?&#x2030;

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Capturing the best of luxury living, this house is a masterpiece of design. Magnificent craftsmanship hallmarks this 9,600 square foot Harrison residence. Master Suite w/5 Bedrms, 8 Baths, Chef 's Kitchen, Formal Dining Room, Rec Room w/Fireplace, Media Room, Gym, Wine Cellar & three Car Garage.

Mahogany deck overlooks pool and Koi Pond

Hexagonal Pool House and changing rooms

Artistic Gardens with waterfall to Koi Pond

Towering entrance hall with floating staircase

Chef ’s Kitchen with Island & Top Appliances

Formal Dining Room with Butlers Pantry

Harrison, NY is one of Westchester County’s premiere communities featuring top public and private schools in this shoreline area. It's proximity to New York City, which is only 30 minutes by local train or by highway, is a most convenient and short commute.

Exclusive listing ~ Victor Dedvukaj Cell: 914-804-8200

Victor Dedvukaj Cell: 914-804-8200 83 Purchase Street · Rye, NY 10580


rye magazine summer-2009