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It was the way he said it that hit me.

My son and I were looking down into a koi pond. The white and orange and red fish surfaced, opened their big concentric mouths before dipping back under the brown water to bump scales, gliding away to suck algae on concrete walls. They were twenty-year-old fish, longer and wider than my forearm. We had stepped away from the extended family, the flourishes of wait staff, and our dinners. My son rested his head on the pillow of his arm, which rested on the wood railing of the bridge where we sat. Neither of us felt communicative. We watched fish like we watch baseball together before heading up to bed. The movement lulled us into a stillness that is not possible in the urgent commotion of a home where a newborn wails. He said it at first without lifting his head, “I really need a fish in my life.” White and orange and red surfaced and disappeared. “Daddy,” he said, this time turning towards me, the palms of his not yet three-year-old hands up, arms spread, “I really need a fish in my life.” He squinted his eyes, the wrinkles in his sun-kissed face pressing for an appeal. I didn’t think about how we were on a little wooden bridge at the time, but I was thinking about his transitory summer. He has a new room, and sleeps in a full bed. He’s changing schools. He’s too big and fast for the combined baby/toddler class at The Little Gym. He kicks his legs and thrashes his arms while choking and spitting out warm, over-chlorinated poolwater at the Y during swim lessons. His mother and I keep talking about going on the potty, but we don’t have the patience to follow through. We’re tired, and I know that he’s not really asking me for a fish. So I comply, and punctuate my “Okay, buddy,” with a few pats on the head. The way my father might have done. The way fathers and sons can speak to each other when they’re too tired to talk. ❉

James M. Chesbro is at work on a collection of essays about his father. He lives in Fairfield County with his wife and children.

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a religious ceremonial, there is no occasion where greater dignity of manner is required of ladies and gentlemen both, than in occupying a box at the opera. For a gentleman especially no other etiquette is so exacting. In walking about in the foyer of the opera house, a gentleman leaves his coat in the box—or in his orchestra chair—but he always wears his high hat. The “collapsible” hat is for use in the seats rather than in the boxes, but it can be worn perfectly well by a guest in the latter if he hasn’t a “silk” one. A gentleman must always be in full dress, tail coat, white waistcoat, white tie and white gloves whether he is seated in the orchestra or a box. He wears white gloves nowhere else except at a ball, or when usher at a wedding. As people usually dine with their hostess before the opera, they arrive together; the gentlemen assist the ladies to lay off their wraps, one of the gentlemen (whichever is nearest) draws back the curtain dividing the ante-room from the box, and the ladies enter, followed by the gentlemen, the last of whom closes the curtain again. If there are two ladies besides the hostess, the latter places her most distinguished or older guest in the corner nearest the stage. The seat furthest from the stage is always her own. The older guest takes her seat first, then the hostess takes her place, whereupon the third lady goes forward in the center to the front of the box, and stands until one of the gentlemen places a chair for her between the other two. (The chairs are arranged in three rows, of one on

either side with an aisle left between.) One of the duties of the gentlemen is to see that the curtains at the back of the box remain tightly closed, as the light from the ante-room shining in the faces of others in the audience across the house is very disagreeable to them. A gentleman never sits in the front row of a box, even though he is for a time alone in it.

As To Visiting It is the custom for a gentleman who is a guest in one box to pay visits to friends in other boxes during the entr’actes. He must visit none but ladies of his acquaintance and must never enter a box in which he knows only the gentlemen, and expect to be introduced to the ladies. If Arthur Norman, for instance, wishes to present a gentleman to Mrs. Gilding in her box at the opera, he must first ask her if he may bring his friend James Dawson. (He would on no account speak of him as Mr. Dawson unless he is an elderly person.) A lady’s box at the opera is actually her house, and only those who are acceptable as visitors in her house should ask to be admitted. But it is quite correct for a gentleman to go into a stranger’s box to speak to a lady who is a friend of his, just as he would go to see her if she were staying in a stranger’s house. But he should not go into the box of one he does not know, to speak to a lady with whom he has only a slight acquain-

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tance, since visits are not paid quite so casually to ladies who are themselves visitors. Upon a gentleman’s entering a box it is obligatory for whoever is sitting behind the lady to whom the arriving gentleman’s visit is addressed, to relinquish his chair. Another point of etiquette is that a gentleman must never leave the ladies of his own box alone. Occasionally it happens that the gentlemen in Mrs. Gilding’s box, for instance, have all relinquished their places to visitors and have themselves gone to Mrs. Worldly’s or Mrs. Jones’ or Mrs. Town’s boxes. Mrs. Gilding’s guests must, from the vantage point of the Worldly, Jones or Town boxes, keep a watchful eye on their hostess and instantly return to her support when they see her visitors about to leave, even though the ladies whom they are momentarily visiting be left to themselves. It is of course the duty of the other gentlemen who came to the opera with Mrs. Worldly, Mrs. Jones or Mrs. Town to hurry to them. A gentleman must never stay in any box that he does not belong in, after the lowering of the lights for the curtain. Nor, in spite of cartoons to the contrary, does good taste permit conversation during the performance or during the overture. Box holders arriving late or leaving before the final curtain do so as quietly as possible and always without speaking.

A “Brilliant Opera Night” A “brilliant opera night,” which one often hears spoken of (meaning merely that all the boxes are occupied, and that the ladies are more elaborately dressed than usual) is generally a night when a leader of fashion such as Mrs. Worldly, Mrs. Gilding, or Mrs. Toplofty, is giving a ball; and most of the holders of the parterre boxes are in ball dresses, with an unusual display of jewels. Or a house will be particularly “brilliant” if a very great singer is appearing in a new rôle, or if a personage be present, as when Marshal Joffre went to the Metropolitan.

After The Performance One gentleman, at least, must wait in the carriage lobby until all the ladies in his party have driven away. Never under any circumstances may “the last” gentleman leave a lady standing alone on the sidewalk. It is the duty of the hostess to take all unattended ladies home who have not a private conveyance of their own, but the obligation does not extend to married couples or odd men. But if a married lady or widow has ordered her own car to come for her, the odd gentleman waits with her until it appears. It is then considerate for her to offer him a “lift,” but it is equally proper for her to thank him for waiting and drive off alone.

At The Theater New Yorkers of highest fashion almost never occupy a box at the theater. At the opera the world of fashion is to be seen in the parterre boxes (not the first tier), and in boxes at some of the horse shows and at many public charity balls and entertainments, but those in boxes at the theater are usually “strangers” or “outsiders.” ❉ Excerpted from Etiquette, by Emily Post, Copyright © 1922, By Funk & Wagnalls Company, New York and London.

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THE MET SPRING PREVIEW Three new productions will premiere this spring. The Met premiere of John Adams’s Nixon in China takes place on February 2, 2011, with the composer making his Met conducting debut. Also making their Met debuts are Peter Sellars, who directs the production, and James Maddalena, who returns to the role of Nixon, which he created at the world premiere in 1987. Rossini’s final comic opera, Le Comte Ory, has its Met premiere on March 24 with Juan Diego Flórez in the title role, opposite two more bel canto stars, Diana Damrau and Joyce DiDonato. The new production is by Bartlett Sher and is conducted by Maurizio Benini. The season’s final new production, opening April 22, is the second part of Robert Lepage’s new DON PASQUALE Ring cycle, Die Walküre, conducted by Metropolitan Opera Music Director James Levine. Deborah Voigt sings her first Met Brünnhilde as the title Valkyrie, and Bryn Terfel is Wotan. Tenor Jonas Kaufmann sings his first Met Siegmund and debuting soprano THE MET OPERA HOUSE Eva-Maria Westbroek completes the romantic couple as Sieglinde. Two of the Met’s new productions from the fall return for additional performances: Stephen Wadsworth’s production of Boris Godunov (March 9) with bass René Pape in the title role and conducted by Valery Gergiev, and Lepage’s production of Das Rheingold (March 30), conducted by Levine and starring Bryn Terfel as Wotan. Also returning from the fall are the popular productions of Don Pasquale with Anna Netrebko (February 4), La Bohème with Maija Kovalevska and Piotr Beczala (January 31), and Il Trovatore with Marcelo Alvarez (April 20). Recent new productions returning to the repertoire for the first time include Armida (February 18) with Renee Fleming (who also stars in Strauss’s Capriccio beginning March 28), Gluck’s Iphigenie en Tauride with Susan Graham and Plácido Domingo (February 12), and Tosca with Sondra Radvanovsky (January 10) and Violeta Urmana (March 25) taking on title role for the first time at the Met. Three of opera’s leading singers reprise highly acclaimed roles in productions that they premiered. Natalie Dessay is the mad heroine in Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor (February 24), David Daniels returns as Orfeo in Mark Morris’s production of Orfeo IL TROVATORE ed Euridice (April 29), and Karita Mattila sings Lisa in Tchaikovsky’s The Queen of Spades (March 11).

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PERHAPS our image of the perfect nanny magically appearing on our doorstep began with Mary Poppins. She saved the family from all of their child care woes when she floated in on a cloud, carpet bag brimming with solutions firmly in hand. Oh, if it were only that easy to find someone who would restore order to the chaos of contemporary family life... Now, the internet is the sky from which the perfect nanny often floats. In a world of online dating, job hunting, and home buying, why not turn to the internet as the best source for finding a nanny? The answer is, we may, but just as with Mr. Right, buyer beware. Let’s apply the analogy of shopping. If we know our favorite designer, brand and size, we can turn to the internet, search for the best price and have it delivered to our door, saving us precious time and energy. We might head to our favorite boutique when we want the choices presented to us. In 1986, as the director of one of the first contemporary nanny agencies, I spent the majority of time providing support to my clients. These were professional women on the front lines, a generation of pioneers facing the tightrope act of work/life balance. Despite their education, accomplishments and fortitude, many of them found the choices around career and motherhood the most challenging of all. Contemporary women are not immune to confronting the “burden” of choice. There is even an apparent trend toward “opting out,” leaving the work force to stay home while raising a family. Now, as well as then, the most satisfying answers to these crucial life questions are found in a woman’s confident sense of self — when she has done the soul searching work of defining her own needs, goals, values. As I began to write this article, it was important for me to acknowledge my own roots, realizing they were firmly set in the highly personalized approach

to the process of assisting others in hiring a caregiver. If my clients had not already done some soul searching, I would be patient and guide when asked, walking alongside them on their journey. For this article, I promised myself that I would keep an open mind to present the issue fairly. So, did my research convince me that the search for the caregiver of one’s own flesh and blood could be accomplished via the internet? The answer is yes. A resource within the current generation’s comfort zone, it appears to be reinventing the future of the field. There are a variety of ways to search for a nanny/caregiver via the internet. Sites like and SitterCity are highly sophisticated and part of what appears to be the wave of the future. and others provide classified listings. Online groups for mothers include job listings and available caregivers. Whatever the circumstance, finding a caregiver for our children is one of the most important decisions we will make. It has long been advised that parents do research, be proactive in their planning. I am reminded of something the owner of a famous discount retailer ended every commercial saying, “An educated consumer is our best customer.” Parents need to educate themselves, considering the following factors in the process: options, training, safety, support. The process actually starts and ends with support. How much personal handholding will be needed through the process? Let’s assume that a couple is happy with the decision to have a child, all is going well in the relationship, there are no complications with the pregnancy and life at work is good — including an understanding boss, well-functioning staff and a flexible work environment. In sync in their parenting styles, the couple agrees that structured, but not too authoritarian is the best approach. Mom will breast feed and Dad will bond with the baby by bottle feeding in the evening, giving mom the time to take a well-deserved break. They agree that money should not be an issue when it comes to finding the perfect caregiver, and

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they have plenty of it. A couple like this would not need much support, right? Possibly not, if they have been proactive and researched the options — compared services, fees, screening policies. What if Dad does not want to hire a live in nanny, because he believes that setup would infringe on the new family’s privacy? Perhaps his mother can provide some of the care. Mom likes the idea of having someone to turn to 24/7, just in case.

SO MANY DETAILS... SO MANY CHOICES. The cornerstone of the internet sites is in the volume of candidates they provide. In a 50-mile search radius of a Fairfield county zip code, 11,564 possible candidates were found on SitterCity, and 18,128 on Employers then refine their search based on their needs and the desired qualifications of the candidate. Where do parents begin to define a candidate’s qualifications? I turned to Sharon Lynn Kagan, Director of the National Center for Children and Families at Yale and Columbia. Dr. Kagan is at the forefront of research on a child’s development. According to recent research, a child’s brain grows more in the first three to five years than at any other stage of development. Therefore, it is crucial that a child be cared for by someone who is capable of providing adequate and age-appropriate stimulation as well as physical, nurturing care. She shared with me that in her own experience of employing nannies, she learned that it is also imperative to find someone who is willing to respect the style of parenting as directed by the parents. A highly structured family is not going to be happy with a caregiver who does not believe in scheduling. Susan Tokayer, who along with co-president Wendy Sachs, leads the International Nanny Association, stresses the need for quality in training when it comes to caregivers. A certain level of knowledge regarding child development, nutrition, and safety provides the baseline of quality care. The INA provides ongoing nanny training and education through their organization. They believe that parents need to recognize the importance of on-going training when it comes to caregivers. Very few would argue that safety is the factor that is non-negotiable when it comes to hiring a caregiver. No stone should be left unturned when it comes to looking at a potential caregiver’s background. Regardless of the method/service used in the search process, ultimately, it is up to the parents to be sure every means has been used to ensure that the candidate is qualified to care for their child. No assumptions should be made. According to their website, claims that all profiles are “mom reviewed and approved,” verification scans are run on every caregiver, unlimited background checks are included in membership, employers are given access to recorded references and a “monitored messaging system” is in place. Even with this level of security, experience has taught me that one often has to read between the lines in order to be diligent. References can be faked. Careless and neglectful behavior can fall under the radar unless someone has been prosecuted for a criminal offense — and that is sometimes only reported by state. Not surprisingly, employers who have fired a caregiver are often not listed as a reference. A professional should always follow up on red flags such as gaps in employment history and/or a current job that does not match the person’s training. An example from my own experience is that a candidate came to my agency to apply for a nanny position claiming to have a degree in early

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childhood education, yet she was currently working as a security guard. To follow through on my concern of why a trained educator would no longer be working in her field, I decided to dig a little deeper. While not listed as a reference, I looked up the director of the department from where she claimed to receive her training. The candidate had completed her training. However, the person went on to say that there was nothing else that she could report for legal reasons, then went on to suggest that I should follow up with their local fire department for more details. Even in a seemingly successful placement, unforeseen circumstances arise. Maternity leave is over and it is time to hand the baby over to the new nanny and head out the door, briefcase replacing diaper bag. It may not be through any fault of the caregiver, but often a new mother’s mixed feelings finally surface when faced with leaving her child in the care of someone else, thinking, “Is this person the right person to be caring for my baby? Did I make the right choice to go back to work?” This is when the need for support arises once again. In fairness to the internet sites, it seems that internet services are often just as likely to provide support as many local agencies. In any case, the person/service providing the support should be qualified to address the needs of the employer and/or the caregiver and willing to take the time to do so. Sitter City has a team of “trained support professionals” and employs an Editor-in-Chief to continually update an already voluminous amount of supportive information. Sites and blogs such as Babble, Urban Baby and Cafe Mom attempt to meet readers’ needs through their content, while providing (at least online) connection to other parents. The internet has become this generation’s answer to the Main Street of yesterday, bringing with it seemingly endless information and options. This is the critical point at which the multitude of choices and the very personal process of hiring a caregiver intersect. The first year of marriage and nine months of pregnancy are ripples in the water compared to the giant wave of new parenthood. The search for someone who will be a part of the newly formed team that has just gone from couple to family can be daunting. Patience and diligence are required of everyone involved at a time when the foundation of a new family is being built, and as that family continues to grow. ❉ Nina Sutton is the Founder and Executive Director of One Smart Mother™, providing support, guidance and inspiration for professional women through seminars, workshops, getaways, private consultation.; 203/984-6149.

RESOURCES International Nanny Association Wendy Sachs and Susan Tokayer, Co-Presidents National Center for Children and Families Sharon Lynn Kagan, Ed.D. Co-Director Sittercity

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SHAKIN’ THINGS UP IN WESTPORT WESTPORT residents can look forward to the arrival of the incredibly popular Shake Shack in the first half of 2011. Shake Shack is a modern day “roadside” burger stand from renowned restaurateur Danny Meyer, whose Union Square Hospitality Group (USHG) includes several of New York City’s most celebrated restaurants: Union Square Cafe, Gramercy Tavern, Eleven Madison Park, and Blue Smoke among them. The Westport Shake Shack will make its home at 1849 Post Road East (just off I-95, Exit 19), and will be the first time the company has opened a business in CT. Few are aware that Shake Shack sprang from a hot dog cart in Madison Square Park created by USHG to support Madison Square Park’s first art installation, “I  Taxi.” With Tabla and Eleven Madison Square Park anchoring the park, it was natural for the organization to help the Conservancy by providing food to visitors throughout the exhibit. The cart was a huge success and lines formed daily, so it re-opened the following two summers. In 2004, the company was awarded a permit to open a permanent food kiosk in Madison Square Park from the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation, and Shake Shack opened in July of that same year. The concept caught on quickly, Shake Shack seemingly instantly becoming an NYC institution with a loyal following, receiving numerous accolades from the press including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and The TODAY Show among others. The rest, as they say, is burger history. Inspired by the classic burger stands sprinkled across the country, Shake Shack embraces a modern “spin” that reflects the company’s commitment to fresh ingredients and warm hospitality. While there is no question the burger is the star, the menu does pay homage to its humble hot dog cart beginnings with the Shack-cago Dog, Shake Shack’s take on a Chicago-style hot dog (Vienna all-beef dog topped with mustard, Rick’s Picks Shake Shack relish, onion, cucumber, pickle, tomato, sport pepper and celery salt). In addition to its delicious all-natural burgers, Shake Shack is also well known (as the name implies) for its milkshakes. Throughout its four locations in New York City and even down to Miami Beach, Shack fans enjoy a sweet treat relatively unavailable on the East Coast; frozen custard. Frozen custard is what the company describes as “what happens when soft serve shacks up with premium ice cream,” really just an intensely rich and addictive frozen treat that is available in cups, cones, and shakes in a variety of seasonally-inspired flavors. From its sig-

nature ShackBurger to french fries, vegetarian ‘ShroomBurger to beer, wine and custard – Shake Shack appeals to both the palate and the pocket. In announcing the plans for the Westport Shake Shack, CEO David Swinghamer noted that the company had been looking in Fairfield County for quite some time. “It is incredibly exciting to have at last found such a location to realize this roadside burger tradition that first began in America's suburban parking lots.” Residents can expect an open, welcoming design that reflects the company's Madison Square Park roots and features green architecture that fits harmoniously within the Westport Community. The Westport Shake Shack follows on the heels of siblings in New York City (Madison Square Park, Upper West Side, Theater District and Upper East Side) and Miami Beach, FL. There is also an outpost at Citi Field ballpark (home of the New York Mets) and Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, NY. Remarkably amidst all this growth, the company has retained its incredible quality, warm hospitality, fun spirit and deep connection to the surrounding community. ❉


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that have led to “the incredible shrinking office visit” are unlikely to end soon, and since we’re all getting older and need the best care we can get, the question is: What’s a boomer to do? Answer: Plan accordingly. You wouldn’t go to your accountant, your lawyer, or even your hairdresser without a sense of what you wanted from the transaction; why would you be any less prepared for a visit to the doctor? Here are some tips to help you get the most out of what is increasingly likely to be a time-pressured encounter. Underlying every piece of advice is a simple edict: Get organized. The visit will be more productive for you and more efficient for your physician. Articulate your chief complaint. The cornerstone of med students’ training is the “chief complaint”—the reason you sought medical attention (“It hurts here” or “I have a cough”). But as we age, chief

complaints often become nebulous or difficult to put your finger on. If you can’t tick off specific symptoms, note whatever functional problems you’re having, for example, “I can’t put on my overcoat” or “I keep losing things.” If you don’t have a chief complaint (perhaps you’re here for an annual physical and everything is hunky-dory), that’s fine, too. Say that. Organize your thoughts before the doctor visit. Geriatricians (and all primary care docs, for that matter) don’t have scalpels. The tool of our trade is what we call the medical history— understanding your story is the key to making an accurate diagnosis. So think about what’s troubling you in some detail before coming to the doctor to tell your story. For example, if you have pain, when did it start? What makes it worse? Is there anything that makes it better—perhaps posi-

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tion, ice, or Tylenol? Does it move or radiate anywhere? Providing as much accurate detail as you can about what’s troubling you will likely lead to a better outcome. You’re not a doctor, and you’re not going to be able to anticipate all the questions you’ll be asked, but a good doc should leave no nit unpicked in probing you about specific symptoms. If you are accompanying a loved one who typically “clams up” during a doctor visit, I’d interview him or her beforehand to practice responding—maybe try a little role playing, with you starring as the doctor. Prioritize your complaints. Many patients I see have a laundry list of issues that they find overwhelming. Believe me, it can be overwhelming for us, too, as we do our best to help you with ten problems

tion reconciliation. In older people, this is especially critical, because medications can interact with one another; more important, they can interact with or have unexpected effects on the chronic conditions you have (socalled drug-disease interactions). Get a specific follow-up plan. At the end of the visit, you should leave with several “action items” that need to be followed up on. These could be blood tests or X-rays, a referral to another doc, or a change of medication. Go over with your doctor what’s going to happen and when once you walk out the door. Example: “So I’m going to get an MRI of my head for these headaches. Will you be calling me with the results even if they’re normal, or should I call you?” Or: “So I start taking the medication for my

The medical and social components of our lives become more inextricably linked as we age and conspire to influence health. in the fifteen minutes the system may have allotted us. (You can see why meds get dispensed and specialists are invoked indiscriminately.) The expression “Rome wasn’t built in a day” applies in this case. You need to be practical. If you wind up spending only a minute or two of your precious office-visit time on each of a smorgasbord of issues, none of them will get solved. My suggestion: a top-three list. I encourage new patients to do this: I might say something like “I see from your list, Mrs. Smith, that a number of things are bothering you. If you were forced to pick the top three things I could most help with, what would they be?” Or I might provide orientation myself: “Today I’m going to focus on the arthritis pain you’ve been calling about, and if we have time, I’ll explain the results of the cholesterol tests you had when you were here last visit. Does that sound reasonable?” Everybody’s happier when expectations are managed. List all “interval events.” By this, I mean major things that have happened to you since you last saw your doctor. Examples include hospitalizations, surgeries, bad infections, a trip to the ER for a cut, or visits with other doctors, who may have offered advice or changed your medications. Big life events count, too: a divorce, the birth of a grandchild, loss of a job, unusual financial reversals—if you feel comfortable discussing these. As I said earlier, the medical and social components of our lives become more inextricably linked as we age and conspire to influence health. Basic rule of thumb: If you’re not sure if something constitutes a significant event, then include it. Bring a list of your medications. The list should be up-to-date and complete, including dosages and frequencies. (Even better, bring the medicines themselves in a bag.) Know beforehand what you’re running out of so you can ask for any renewals you might need or take care of after the visit by phone or with office staff so your time with the doctor is not usurped by an administrative task. One of the biggest areas of medical error with patients of any age is what medical quality experts call medica-

knee arthritis tomorrow. When should I come back to see you to assess whether or not it’s been effective?” Or: “Will you be calling Dr. Jones, the lung doctor, to explain why you’re sending me?” Again, getting the followup plan clear and setting expectations goes a long way toward avoiding miscommunication and trouble down the road. ❉ Mark Lachs, MD, is director of Cornell’s Center for Aging Research and Clinical Care, director of Geriatrics for the New YorkPresbyterian Health System, chief of the Division of Geriatrics and Gerontology at Weill Medical College, and the Irene F. and I. Roy Psaty Distinguished Professor of Clinical Medicine. He resides with his family in Weston, CT.

From TREAT ME, NOT MY AGE: A Doctor’s Guide to Getting The Best Care As You or a Loved One Gets Older, © 2010, by Mark Lachs, M.D. Reprinted with permission from Viking Publishing.

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by Tom Sherman

When Can Life Insurance Make Sense in Retirement? BY THE TIME YOU REACH RETIREMENT, YOU KNOW A LOT MORE ABOUT LIFE INSURANCE THAN WHEN YOU BOUGHT YOUR FIRST POLICY IN YOUR 20S OR EARLY 30S. SPECIFICALLY, YOU KNOW: • A primary role of life insurance is to protect the financial security of your dependents. This need usually is not as important in retirement as when you are raising a family. • Retired people have a higher risk of dying than younger people, so their life insurance coverage costs more. These points are well known facts. So, an intelligent discussion about using life insurance strategies during retirement should begin where these points leave off. For most retired people, there is no reason to consider life insurance until a specific need for it has been identified in personal retirement/estate planning. That need will probably be different than it was earlier in life. When life insurance is used by retired people, it must make cost-effective sense by saving money in areas such as probate court, federal income tax or federal estate tax.

“Retirement Phase” Needs Met by Life Insurance There are four major needs that life insurance can help retired people meet: • Leaving assets to heirs on a tax-efficient basis without going through probate. • Planning for and pre-paying estate taxes and settlement costs. • Arranging the transition of a business to a partner or successor owner. • Generating additional retirement income.

Leaving Assets to Heirs Many retired people want to leave some money to their family members. But do they also want to leave their families taxes and other expenses to pay? Often, this is a question that most retired people don’t address until after it is too late to do serious planning. Life insurance isn’t the only way to leave assets to heirs with tax advantages, but it can be one of the best. The death benefit in a life insurance contract passes to the beneficiary income tax-free. By purchasing the life insurance inside an irrevocable trust, it also is possible to pass assets to heirs without federal estate tax consequences. Other important considerations include simplicity, privacy and probate. Unlike many other types of property, life insurance does not pass through probate court and isn’t subject to probate’s public scrutiny or fees.

tially costly for some people. Other costs include state inheritance taxes, payment of the deceased’s debts, probate and executor fees, preparation of the deceased’s final reports and tax returns, and final tax payments. Life insurance can be useful in planning for and pre-paying these costs.

Arranging the Transition of a Business to a Partner or Successor Owner It’s common to find business owners in their 50s whose goal is to retire in the next ten years or so. But years later, they still have not let go. Why? They don’t know how. Specifically, they can’t find a way to extract the market value of the business and turn it into cash. Life insurance can be one component in a plan of “business continuity and succession.” That usually means phasing out the boss while protecting what the boss has built for his/her own retirement, family and heirs. The business owner’s life is insured. If the owner dies, the death benefit allows the business itself or the successor owner to buy out the owner’s interest, paying heirs the fair market value in cash.

Generating Additional Retirement Income Most people don’t think of life insurance as the best source for obtaining retirement income. But it is often used to generate supplemental retirement income that “tops off” amounts generated by Social Security, pensions, and retirement plans. Most types of permanent life insurance allow retirement income to be obtained from two sources: Low-cost loans that are tax-free and may be repaid at any time. Withdrawals of cash value that are allowed often without withdrawal charge, and are received tax-free (as a return of premium) up to the total amount of premium paid in. Look at Life Insurance Through Different Eyes When you were in your 20s, 30s and 40s, life insurance was a critical part of your financial foundation; if you had dependents to feed and shelter, you needed life insurance – whether you wanted it or not. Once you approach retirement, your needs have changed. Life insurance is not a necessity, but it can be a viable planning option for meeting specific needs in a cost-effective and taxefficient way. It also can increase your peace-of-mind, create the income you need to afford special opportunities, and keep your heirs from squabbling. What doesn’t change from your 30s through your 60s and beyond is the need to shop wisely for strong life insurance companies, with the help of a qualified financial professional. ❉ Tom Sherman is a Financial Advisor with Park Avenue Securities & Strategies for Wealth. He is a 17-year resident of Weston with offices in Rye Brook and on Wall St. He can be reached at

Planning for and Pre-Paying Estate Taxes and Settlement Costs A half century ago, a large part of the life insurance sold in the U.S. was designated for “burial costs.” Today, funerals cost far more than they did then, but burial is a small part of the cost in wrapping up affairs of a deceased. Despite recent changes in the law, estate taxes remain uncertain and poten-

914-288-8845 or This publication is for the purpose of education and information only and is not intended to constitute tax or legal advice. For information on your specific situation, please consult your personal legal or tax advisor. This article was written by The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America (Guardian) for Tom Sherman’s use.

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in a taxi the other night from a party. I’m not a big fan of taxis because I prefer the comfort of a car I know and trust, but seeing as my sister was using our shared family-sized SUV and I couldn’t find another way home, I was stuck in the back of a cab, winding down shoelace streets. My driver was a man with a sallow complexion, moon-lens glasses, and an angular turban of gray cloth coiled around his head, looking jagged. His whole being was sharp. Glancing at my watch, I realized that I was five minutes away from curfew and asked the driver how soon we could be at my house. He answered me in a slightly accented voice like broken leather, telling me that it would be about twenty minutes. I pretended to cry quietly, hoping that seeing a hysterical teenage girl in the rearview mirror might terrify him into doubling his speed. He coughed anxiously and I could feel the cab accelerating around me. He looked just as nervous as I felt and we plowed forward into the night, the headlights working as twin packets of light in the solar system of street signs and lawn gnomes. We moved faster and faster, my hair unraveling into a nest on the low hanging branch of my neck, his turban getting tighter and sharper. It was geometric. I longed to measure the angles with a protractor. And then I remembered that I wasn’t going to make it. My parents would punish me so hard that I would cease to exist. And I had been so certain that I could get there! So swaggering and self-satisfied in the knowledge that I would arrive on time or maybe even with time to spare! The agony of overestimating my ability to be punctual just about killed me and I fake


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cried even harder. Sasha (I know this is his name because I had looked at the laminated identification card stapled to the back of his seat and had been chanting, “COME ON, SASHA, WE CAN DO THIS!” in my head) turned back to me briefly, dabbing his forehead with a ratty napkin, and I saw how young he was. Just a baby, maybe six or seven years older than me, no lines on his face, just concern and terror in his white eyes. We were uncomfortable, me because I didn’t know how to gently stop the ersatz sobs from tumbling out of me and him because he clearly didn’t know what to do in this kind of situation. And that’s when the deer jumped in front of the car. There was a scream like a child getting soap in his eyes, a howl gleaming with ache, and I’m not sure if it came from Sasha or the deer, but everything stopped. I stopped choking on counterfeit whimpers. Sasha

I was tired and selfish. So I waited three lifetimes (which actually adds up to about four minutes) for Sasha. He was standing in front of the cab, making no move to touch or prod the deer. “DO something!” I was thinking, “Let’s go here!” I was dying in the backseat but I wasn’t actually dying. The deer was. I saw Sasha’s lips moving and there were tears streaming down his face. He got back in the cab and I could hear him whimpering, but I hung my head in my lap. And then I started crying too. For real this time. And not because I was going to be late (that ship had sailed about ten minutes ago) but because this man was going to have to keep driving after he dropped me off. He would pick someone else up and drop him off too and maybe the best and least selfish connection this man would make all night would be with the deer. He started up the car and staring straight ahead said, “I’m sorry.” I

He looked just as nervous as I felt and we plowed forward into the night, the headlights working as twin packets of light in the solar system of street signs and lawn gnomes.

stopped patting his shiny head. The deer stopped moving. Sasha’s suit must have been made of tinfoil because I could hear every crunch and curl of his body as he folded himself out of the cab. I looked around, catching sight of a street sign. It was about six minutes away from my house by car and maybe twenty by foot. I could run. I could leave the driver and his ratty napkin to handle the deer. He could forget that I was there at all, think that I was just a bad dream, just another demanding face to enter and exit his life in the space of a drive. But it was dark. And

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don’t think he was saying it to me. He asked if I minded if he turned on the radio and I didn’t so he turned on a station playing heavy, Gothic songs, the type of hymns that belong in a cathedral because they’ll shatter your chest cavity if their holiness is in a small enough space. This cab was his cathedral. He drove and we bawled, his person becoming softer and softer, his turban’s edges filing down into curves. Sasha dropped me at my house and told me that I really didn’t have to pay because of the accident. “The ugliest thing in life—,” he started to say but he stopped and just bit his mouth. I left the money in a sweaty pile in his backseat anyway; the dollars formed to the palm of my hand, and sprinted to my house. As his black cab turned in the driveway and left a trail of greasy exhaust drops on the pavement, I didn’t concentrate on the impending castigation waiting behind my house’s door or the tire treads Sasha had left in the shape of a cross on my lawn: all I could see was the sadness that followed this man, trailing his car like a long gray cloth weaving its way into the night. ❉ Caroline Lazar is a seventeen-year-old writer who has had her work featured in various renowned literary journals, publications, and websites. She hails from Connecticut and currently writes a column for McSweeney’s Internet Tendency. ‘Taximan’ originally appeared on

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BY THE CYNTHIA KAPLAN ORDEAL CYNTHIA KAPLAN , author of two highly acclaimed collections of humorous essays, Why I’m Like This and Leave the Building Quickly has just released her debut comedy rock CD, entitled Fangry. Recorded in NYC with her band, The Cynthia Kaplan Ordeal, Fangry brings together the best of Kaplan’s darkly hilarious songs, which she has been performing for over fifteen years in clubs on both east and west coasts. Time Out New York has said of her: “If you’re lucky, Kaplan will sing and play guitar, and then you’ll laugh until you can’t breathe.” Kaplan is the love child of Natalie Merchant and Tenacious D (the outrageous Jack Black and Kyle Gass), had they been a couple, or, really, a threesome. As in her books, she obsesses over sex and death and religion and high school. “That’s all there is,” says Kaplan. “That’s it. Those four things.” The songs on Fangry are perhaps even more sharp-witted and brutally honest than Kaplan’s essays. “That’s ‘cause they rhyme,” she says. Besides gigging at some of downtowns most hip alternative venues, for seven years Kaplan was a staple of Sean Altman and Rob Tannenbaum’s all-Jew review, What I Like About Jew, playing to sold-out Christmas-time crowds at the legendary Knitting Factory. She has gone on to tour yearly with Altman, and is currently the co-host, with CBS News Sunday Morning correspondent and comedian Nancy Giles, of The New Jack Paar Show, a monthly live variety show at the West Bank Café. In years past their line-ups have included some of New York’s best comedians, musicians and writers: Lewis Black, James McBride, Tom Shillue, Julia Darling, Allyson Palmer and Tony Salvatore of BETTY, Mike Albo, Ann Leary, and Mary Testa, to name just a few. Kaplan plans to continue performing with her band at night and raising her family and writing songs and books in the daytime. “There are only so many hours in a week,” she laments. “Becoming a neurosurgeon will have to wait.” ❉

Upcoming New Jack Paar Shows: The West Bank Café 407 W. 42nd Street, NYC; 212/695-6909 Friday, January 28th Friday, February 18th Friday, March 18th 7 p.m. shows, doors open at 6:15.

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NEW YORK CULINARY EXPERIENCE IT WAS A DELICIOUSLY REWARDING GATHERING. On Saturday and Sunday, October 2-3, 2010 passionate food lovers enjoyed an intimate weekend of hands-on master classes, cooking and conversation with more than 30 of the culinary industry’s most respected talents. It was two days of sensory



adventure—cooking, learning, tasting, laughing, and making memories that are sure to last a lifetime. Put the event that explores the fascinating world of food on your calendar—New York Culinary Experience returns October, 2011.

MAIDENFORM BRANDS, INC. CEO, MAURICE S. REZNIK, AND MATHEW H.M. LEE, M.D., HONORED AT THE 2010 H.U.G. AWARD GALA BENEFITING PEDIATRIC SERVICES RUSK INSTITUTE OF REHABILITATION MEDICINE Professionals from the worlds of intimate apparel, retail, finance and medicine convened at the New York hot spot 230 Fifth on November 3rd to honor Westport’s Maurice S. Reznik, CEO of Maidenform Brands, Inc., and Dr. Mathew H.M. Lee, former Chair of the Department and Medical Director of the Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine, at the Intimate Apparel Square Club’s

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(IASC) H.U.G. Award Gala fundraiser, which benefited pediatric services at Rusk Institute at NYU Langone Medical Center. “This has been a banner year for the H.U.G. Award,” said IASC President Norma Reinhardt Mascarotti. “Our amazing honorees, Maurice Reznik and Dr. Mathew Lee, combined with an energetic and generous turnout of attendees, made this a very special night for supporting the children at Rusk.” The event had a fun retro theme in recognition of Maidenform’s iconic history and a guest appearance by Maidenform’s wardrobe expert Janie Bryant, the Emmy-winning costume designer for the hit ‘60s-themed series “Mad Men.” Ms. Bryant donated her personal collection of Mattel’s pre-production “Mad Men” Barbie dolls as part of a silent auction that included a fantasy baseball experience from the New York Mets baseball team and tickets to “The David Letterman Show” provided by the evening’s master of ceremonies, TV host and comedian Ray Ellin. The evening was marked by heartfelt speeches from both the honorees and presenters. Dr. Mathew H.M. Lee, whose H.U.G. Award was presented by Dr. Dianne Davis, President of International Council for Caring Communities, charmed the audience with his gracious acceptance speech and a beautiful lei he wore around his neck that was sent in congratulations by his son in Hawaii. H.U.G. honoree Maurice Reznik also received accolades from his sons, Max, Ricky and Sammy, who presented his award and stole the show with their heartwarming recollections of being brought up by such an accomplished and caring father. Mr. Reznik, a longtime supporter of the IASC and Rusk Institute, gave eloquent praise to their work for the pediatric patients. His personal commitment to the cause was reflected in Maidenform Brands’s diverse fundraising efforts, which included raffle ticket sales among Maidenform employees, sample sales at the company’s domestic offices, proceeds donated from sales of Maidenform’s Charmed line at its outlet stores, a special sale held by Maidenform’s At Home sales team, a link between the Maidenform and H.U.G. websites, and individual donations made by the company’s generous employees. To date, the annual H.U.G. Award Gala has raised nearly $3 million for Rusk Institute. H.U.G. Award funds also benefit programs at Tisch Hospital. Individuals or organizations interested in learning more about the IASC Rusk campaign or wanting to donate may JOANIE, RICKY, MAURICE, contact the IASC at SAMMY & MAX REZNIK 845-758-5752. ❉

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by Keith Richards with James Fox Reluctant outlaw, rock ‘n’ roll’s unparalleled hellraiser, and one of the greatest guitar gods of all time, Keith Richards has forged a life that most of us can only imagine — and often envy. And amazingly, he’s lived to tell about it. Keith Richards at home: When Theodora and Alexandra were born, Patti and I were living in an apartment on Fourth Street in New York City, and it seemed to us that Fourth Street was not the place to bring up children. So we headed for Connecticut and started building a house on land I’d bought. The geology is not unlike Central Park in New York — great flat slabs and boulders of gray slate and granite emerging from the earth, all enclosed by lush woodland. We had to blast tons of rock to build the foundation, hence my name for the house — Camelot Costalot. We didn’t move in until 1991. The house sits alongside a nature preserve that is an old Indian burial ground, a happy hunting ground of the Iroquois, and the woods have a primeval serenity about them that would suit the ancestral spirits. I have a key that unlocks a gate from my garden into the forest, and we go for walks there and roam about.

There’s a very deep lake in these woods with a waterfall coming down. I was there one day with George Recile when we were working together around 2001. And you’re not supposed to go fishing there, so we’re like Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, and we’re trying to catch these incredible fish, called oscars, big and very tasty. George is an expert fisherman and he said, they’re not supposed to be anywhere north of Georgia. So I said, let’s put in another hook! And suddenly I’m getting this incredible tug on the line. And this enormous snapping turtle, as big as an ox, green and slimy, comes lumbering out with my fish in its mouth! It was like confronting a dinosaur. The look of horror on my face and George’s, I wish I’d had a camera. This guy’s about ready to pop and snap — his neck can come out three or four feet — he’s enormous; he must be about three hundred years old. George and I reverted to cavemen. My God! This motherf—-er’s serious. I dropped the rod, picked up this rock and cracked him on the shell with it. “Goddamn, it’s you or me, pal.” They’re vicious. They can bite your foot off. And he went back down. Creatures that lurk in the deep, immense and old, are truly frightening, to chill your bones. He’s probably been down there so long the last time he came up he was meeting Iroquois. Aside from poaching, which I haven’t done since then, I lead a gentleman’s life. Listen to




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Mozart, read many, many books. I’m a voracious reader. I’ll read anything. And if I don’t like it, I’ll toss it. When it comes to fiction, it’s George MacDonald Fraser, the Flashmans, and Patrick O’Brian. I fell in love with his writing straightaway, at first with Master and Commander. It wasn’t primarily the Nelson and Napoleonic period, more the human relationships. He just happened to have that backdrop. And of course having characters isolated in the middle of the goddamn sea gives more scope. Just great characterizations, which I still cherish. It’s about friendship, camaraderie. Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin always remind me a bit of Mick and me. History, in particular the British Navy during that period, is my subject. The army wasn’t up to much then. It was the navy and the guys that got roped into it against their will, the press-gang. And to make this machine work, you had to weld this bunch of unwilling people into a functioning team, which reminds me of the Rolling Stones. I’ve always got some historical work on the go. The Nelson era and World War II are near the top of my list, but I do the ancient

A year later, I did the same to the other side. We’d just arrived in Saint Thomas in the Virgin Islands and I’d put on some sun oil. Gaily I leapt up on some earthenware pot to look over the fence, and the oil did me in. I slipped — crack, bang. The wife had some Percodan, so I just took a load of painkillers. And I didn’t know that I’d fractured three ribs on one side and perforated the other lung until a month later, when I had to do a medical for a tour. You’ve got to be checked out, do all the tests on the treadmill and all that crap. And then they X-ray you — “Oh, by the way, you fractured three ribs and perforated a lung on the right side. But it’s all healed now, so it doesn’t matter.” When I’m at home I cook for myself, usually bangers and mash (recipe to follow), with some variation on the mash but not much. Or some other basic of English nosh. I have quite solitary eating habits at odd hours, born out of mealtimes on the road being the opposite of everyone else’s. I only eat when I feel like it, which is almost unheardof in our culture. You don’t want to eat before you go on stage, and

The house sits alongside a nature preserve… I have a key that unlocks a gate from my garden into the forest, and we go for walks there and roam about. Romans too, and a certain amount of British colonial stuff, the Great Game and all that. I have a fine library furnished with these works, with dark wooden shelves reaching to the ceiling. This is where I hole up and where one day I came to grief. Nobody believes that I was looking for a book on anatomy by Leonardo da Vinci. It’s a big book, and the big books are way up on the top shelf. I got a ladder and went up there. There are little pins that hold these shelves up, and heavy, heavy volumes up there. And as I touched the shelf, a pin fell out and every f—-ing volume came down on my face. Boom. I hit the desk with my head and I went out. Woke up I don’t know how much time later, maybe half an hour, and it’s hurting. It’s an ouch. I’m surrounded by huge tomes. I would have laughed at the irony, except I couldn’t because it was hurting too much. Talk about “you wanted to find out about anatomy . . .” I crawled up the stairs, gasping for air. I just thought, I’ll get up to the old lady and see what’s what in the morning. The morning was even worse. Patti asked, “What’s the matter?” “Oh, I just fell over. I’m OK.” I was still gasping. It took me three days to say to Patti, “Darling, I’ve got to have this checked out.” And I wasn’t OK — I’d punctured a lung. Our European tour, set to open in Berlin in May 1998, was delayed a month — one of the only times I’ve held up a tour. 5 8 W E S T O N M A G A Z I N E G R O U P. C O M

then when you get off, you’ve got to give it an hour or two before the adrenaline subsides, which is usually around three in the morning. You’ve got to hit it when you’re hungry. We’ve been trained from babyhood to have three square meals a day, the full factory–industrial revolution idea of how you’re supposed to eat. Before then it was never like that. You’d have a little bit often, every hour. But when they had to regulate us all, “OK, mealtime!” That’s what school’s about. Forget the geography and history and mathematics, they’re teaching you how to work in a factory. When the hooter goes, you eat. For office work or even if you’re being trained to be a prime minister, it’s the same thing. It’s very bad for you to stuff all that crap in at once. Better to have a bit here, a mouthful there, every few hours a bite or two. The human body can deal with it better than shoving a whole load of crap down your gob in an hour. I’ve been cooking bangers all my life and I only just found out from this lady on TV that you have to put bangers in a cold pan. No preheating. Preheating agitates them, that’s why they’re called bangers. Very slowly, start them off cold. And then just be prepared to have a drink and wait. And it works. It doesn’t shrivel them up; they’re plump. It’s just a matter of patience. Cooking is a matter of patience. When I was cooking Goats Head Soup, I did it very slowly.


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My Recipe for Bangers and Mash 1.First off, find a butcher who makes his sausages fresh. 2. Fry up a mixture of onions and bacon and seasoning. 3. Get the spuds on the boil with a dash of vinegar, some chopped onions and salt (seasoning to taste). Chuck in some peas with the spuds. (Throw in some chopped carrots too, if you like.) Now we’re talking. 4. Now, you have a choice of grilling or broiling your bangers or frying. Throw them on low heat with the simmering bacon and onions (or in the cold pan, as the TV lady said, and add the onions and bacon in a bit) and let the f—-ers rock gently, turning every few minutes. 5. Mash yer spuds and whatever. 6. Bangers are now fat-free (as possible!). 7. Gravy if desired. 8. HP sauce, every man to his own. My granddad Gus made the best egg and chips you’d ever believe in the world. I’m still trying to get up to the mark on that, and shepherd’s pie, which is an ongoing art. Nobody’s actually made the quintessential, absolute shepherd’s pie; they all come out different. My way of doing it has evolved over the years. The basic thing is just great ground meat and

throw in some peas, some carrots, but the trick I was taught by, bless his soul, he’s gone now, Big Joe Seabrook, who was my minder, is before you spread the spuds on the top, you chop up some more onions, because the onions you’ve used to cook with the meat have been reduced, and he was damn right — it just gives you that extra je ne sais quoi… Just a tip, folks. Tony King, who has worked with the Stones, and with Mick, and on and off as a publicist since we began in the ’60s, records the last occasion when somebody ate my shepherd’s pie without asking. Tony King: In Toronto, on the Steel Wheels tour, there was a shepherd’s pie delivered to the lounge and the security guys all tucked into it, and Keith arrived and he realized that someone had broken the crust ahead of him. He demanded to know the names of all the people who had eaten the shepherd’s pie. So Jo Wood’s running around going, “Did you eat the shepherd’s pie?” and everyone’s denying all knowledge, except the security people, of course, who’d had loads of it and couldn’t deny it. I denied all knowledge too, even though I’d had a piece. Keith said, “I’m not going on stage until another one is produced.” So they had to send out for another shepherd’s pie to be cooked and delivered. I had to say to Mick, “Your show is running late because Keith doesn’t want to go on stage until he gets a shepherd’s pie.” Mick said, “You can’t be serious.” And I said, “I think I can on this occasion.” There was this scene in the backstage area, where on the walkie-talkies somebody actually said, “The shepherd’s pie is in the building!” And it got carried through the lounge and dropped into Keith’s dressing room, with some HP sauce, naturally. And he just stuck a knife in it and didn’t bother eating any of it and went on stage. Just wanted to cut the crust. Ever since then he’s always had his own delivered to his dressing room so he doesn’t have to worry. It’s now famous, my rule on the road. Nobody touches the shepherd’s pie until I’ve been in there. Don’t bust my crust, baby. It’s written into the contract. If you come into Keith Richards’s room and he’s got a shepherd’s pie on the warmer, bubbling away, if it’s still pristine, the only one that can bust the crust is me. Greedy motherf—-ers, they’ll come in and just scoop up anything. ❉ From the book LIFE by Keith Richards with James Fox. Copyright © 2010 by Mindless Records, LLC. Reprinted with permission of Little, Brown and Company, NY, NY. All rights reserved.




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We Saw the Sea won first place in the Writers and Artists Collective memoir contest produced by the Westport Arts Center in conjunction with Ina Chadwick’s Mousemuse Productions this past October. The Arts Center’s visual arts exhibition “Memory” curated by Helen Klisser During served as the starting point for literary exploration.

We Saw The Sea

by Katharine Weber


e are walking into the ocean. He is holding me in the crook of his left arm and I cling awkwardly to the soft expanse of his chest where I am squashed against his cold skin and his perturbing chest hair. He wades deeper into the black water that laps against my thighs, and I am afraid, afraid of him and afraid of the ocean. He strides through the waves, a father going into the ocean with his little girl, and over his shoulder I see my mother in her blue seersucker shorts and her blue sleeveless shirt standing on the wet sand at the hem of the tide, taking photographs, her face masked by her perpetual Leica as she frames her picture of a devoted father holding his happy child. She takes the picture of her husband and her little girl, the devoted father and his happy child enjoying this moment of going into the 6 8 W E S T O N M A G A Z I N E G R O U P. C O M

ocean on this perfect summer day. This is a day we won’t forget, a moment we have not forgotten, because she is taking, she has taken, this photograph, the evidence of this afternoon, this spot of time in one of many summer days spent in the funny rented house on Luchon Street at the end of the block facing the dunes. Remember that summer, she will ask me from time to time for the next forty years, remember that summer, the one after the summer of John’s heart, the summer we rented the Lido Beach house with the kitchen upstairs, remember the lady across the street who put polish on the nails of her brown standard poodles? What were their names? Coco and Chanel. You remember everything, don’t you? He strides purposefully away from the shore, his enormous black swim trunks billowing under me like seaweed. He is as purposeful as the polar bears I have seen at the zoo, the ones who dip into the water, swim in a circle and clamber out, only to repeat the activity relentlessly. They have to do it. They don’t know what else to do. He is wading deeper into the ocean, turning momentarily sideways to brace against the occasional wave that breaks against us, as if this slow march towards the horizon is a requirement, as if he doesn’t know any other way to be at the beach with his child, any other way to go into



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the water with his little girl. He doesn’t know what else to do. I have never seen my father run, I have never seen him throw a ball, I have never seen him sit on the ground, I have never seen him in a bathing suit before, and now he is carrying me into the ocean, and I am seven years old and he is 52, and this is the summer we are renting the beach house at the end of Luchon Street. My father is working at his office in the city and is only here on weekends, like a guest, and he sleeps in the room we call the guest room. We are wading deeper into the ocean and a wave smacks me in the face and I am afraid and I cling more tightly to his unfamiliar arms and chest, and he says Oh ho, are you afraid? Do you want to go out? I say Yes, I want to go out, looking over his shoulder at the beach, where my mother is now sitting on the blanket beside my brother, who wears a pith helmet and digs in the sand between his spindly legs. It is the summer after the summer of his heart surgery at the Mayo Clinic, and everyone says he is fine now, but where they cut open his skinny chest is a long red caterpillar of an incision which my mother gaily calls his zipper, but I am never supposed to bring it up at all. I am supposed to act as if it isn’t there, even though it is disturbing and irresistible to

I say Yes, I want to go out. He lunges forward, deeper into the ocean, triumphantly crying, as if this is all my idea, as if he is catering to my whims, Okay then, we will go out, out to sea! He slides us toward the horizon into deeper water, and I am not sure he is even standing on the bottom any more, because it feels as if we are being lifted by the swells. A small airplane dragging a banner chugs across the sky, from the direction of Point Lookout. Who was the first to conquer space? It’s incontrovertible! A second airplane follows, dragging another banner. The advertising planes always fly from Point Lookout, past Lido Beach, past Long Beach, and then where do they go? I never see these airplanes fly back the way they came. They are forever flying from left to right. The first to conquer living space is Castro Convertible! I try to convey the urgency of my desire, try once more to correct this misunderstanding, No, no, I want to go in! And he says Fine, if you insist, we will go in, in to the sea! And he moves us into even deeper water, and he begins to sing in his tuneless way about how we joined the Navy to see the world but what did we see? We saw the sea. The Atlantic isn’t romantic and the Pacific isn’t terrific, my father hums under his breath as the unromantic Atlantic laps at my chin and gets in my mouth each time I open it to try to speak. I keep getting slapped in the face by waves. My eyes are stinging, and I keep swallowing sea water by mistake, and closing my eyes doesn’t make anything different. I cling to him but I am afraid of him. I am afraid we will drown before he understands me, and he jumps up so we are lifted with the next swell and he asks me again, Do you want to go out now?, and I say Yes! Yes! I want to go out! And like a crazy person, he answers merrily Then out to sea we will go! Now we go even deeper, and he is treading water, and I don’t know how we will ever get out of the ocean. We will drown, I will drown in his arms, we will drown together, the devoted father with his child in his arms frolicking happily at the seashore on this perfect summer day, a day we will never forget, a moment nobody will ever forget, because this spot of time is captured in the photograph my mother has just taken of the two of us, the devoted father and his happy child enjoying this moment of going into the ocean on this perfect summer day. The dogs were named Coco and Chanel. Coco had blue toenail polish and Chanel had pink toenail polish. I have no memory of the moment we turned back, no memory of the relief of being put down to stand dripping on the sand, no recollection whatsoever of not drowning. ❉

I am supposed to act as if it isn’t there, even though it is disturbing and irresistible to look at, even when she calls it his zipper, which makes me worry that he could come unzipped. look at, even when she calls it his zipper, which makes me worry that he could come unzipped. The week before we go, I tell the girl next door that we are driving to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota because my brother has a hole in his heart. I am embarrassed about being slightly confused about whether this Mayo has anything to do with the other mayo, mayonnaise (which my brother likes very much, and so I will not taste it until I am 22 years old), the way I am slightly confused about whether Castro Convertibles, which are advertised with a catchy jingle on the radio, have anything to do with Fidel Castro and Cuba. Who was the first to conquer space? It’s incontrovertible! The first to conquer living space is Castro Convertible! This conquering space, does this have to do with the space race, and Sputnik? Aren’t the Russians friends with Castro? After a neighbor telephones in concern, my mother informs me that what I have done, this terrible deed of telling our neighbors about the hole in his heart, is just like twisting a knife in someone’s back. I am ashamed that boasting about how my brother has a hole in his heart is like twisting a knife in his back, making another hole in him, because it feels like she knows this about me, that I, her six-year-old daughter who cannot bring herself to ask for clarification on the Mayo issue, am capable of stabbing people in the back with a knife, and not just stabbing them, but twisting the knife. Maybe I am. I had not known it was supposed to be a secret, but now I have learned that when somebody has a hole in his heart, it is always a secret.

Katharine Weber is the author of five novels, most recently True Confections (2010). Her previous novel, Triangle (2006), won the Connecticut Book Award and was a Finalist for the John Gardner Fiction Book Award and the Paterson Fiction Prize. Her other novels are The Little Women, The Music Lesson, and Objects in Mirror Are Closer Than They Appear, all New York Times Notable Books. Her next book, The Memory of All That, a memoir, will be published by Crown in July. Katharine has taught fiction writing at Connecticut College, the Paris Writers Workshop, Goucher College, and Yale (for eight years); she is currently a graduate thesis advisor for the Columbia University MFA creative writing program.

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10 Questions on Breast Cancer for Dr. Larry Norton, Memorial Sloan-Kettering


Norton, MD is currently Deputy Physician-inChief for Breast Cancer Programs at Memorial Sloan-Kettering and Medical Director of the Evelyn H. Lauder Breast Center. He is the founding incumbent of the Norna S. Sarofim Chair of Clinical Oncology at MSKCC and a Professor of Medicine in the Weill Medical College of Cornell University. Dr. Norton’s research concerns the basic biology of cancer; the mathematics of tumor causation and growth; and the development of approaches to better diagnosis, prevention, and drug treatment of the disease. He is involved in many areas of research including identifying the genes that predispose people to cancer or that cause cancer, developing new drugs, monoclonal antibodies that target growth factor receptors, and vaccines. A major milestone in his research career was the development of an approach to therapy called “dose density,” or “sequential dose density.” This is a new and more effective way of using anticancer drugs, based on a mathematical model he developed with his colleagues, which maximizes the killing of cancer cells while minimizing toxicity. He is currently the principal investigator of a program project grant from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) that is aimed at better understanding breast cancer in the laboratory and in bringing these advances into clinical practice. Among many awards over the course of his career, Dr. Norton was honored to receive the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s highest honor, the David A. Karnofsky Award, and was a McGuire Lecturer at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium. He is the author of more than 350 articles and many book chapters, and has also trained many cancer doctors and researchers. Dr. Norton has served as a visiting professor throughout the United States, Canada, South America, Europe, Israel, and Asia.

1. FAMILY HISTORY I have no history of breast cancer on my mother’s side of the family. If my father’s mother had ovarian cancer, is that important in evaluating whether I am at a high risk for breast cancer? 7 8 W E S T O N M A G A Z I N E G R O U P. C O M

The most common conditions that you can inherit from your parents that predispose you to getting breast or ovarian cancer are abnormalities in either or, rarely, both of two genes: BRCA1 and BRCA2. Genes are pieces of DNA that you have in almost all of the cells in your body that tell the cell how to work. Both BRCA1 and BRCA2 are important for telling the cell how to repair its DNA if the DNA is damaged, particularly during cell division (one cell giving birth to two). If you inherit a bad gene from one parent and something goes wrong in a breast or ovary cell with the other (normal) gene you inherit from your other parent, that cell cannot repair DNA normally and can go on to accumulate errors in DNA, called mutations. Some mutations make that cell cancerous. You can inherit a bad BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene from either parent, so the family history on the father’s side is as important as that on the mother’s side.

2. HIGH RISK For women who have a family history or carry the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genetic mutation, what are the current guidelines and recommendations? Recommendations for screening should really be individualized, so



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nothing replaces a quality professional evaluation. However, for women over 18 years of age who are known to carry bad BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes, it is important for them to know what their breasts feel like so that they can report an abnormal lump or thickness right away. Mammograms and MRIs of the breast can start at age 25. In addition, evaluation of the ovaries by sonogram and special blood tests could be done twice a year. As with all people, getting your skin checked for melanoma once a year makes sense and we also do not want people to forget about colonoscopy starting at age 50. There are other screening tests being studied now, particularly for cancer of the pancreas, but these are not ready for general use. These are all points to be discussed with your own health advisor. Many women who are known to be at high risk consider removing their ovaries once they are sure they do not want any or more children, and preventative surgery of the breasts is something to discuss as well.

once you consume more than one to two drinks per day, your risks of breast cancer rise enough to be of concern. A glass of beer, a glass of wine, a shot of whiskey all have about the same amount of alcohol, which is what counts. If there are health benefits from alcohol ingestion on the heart, they are at these levels: one to two drinks per day. So if someone is drinking more than that they should cut back for lots of reasons. But if someone does not drink at all I would never advise her to start drinking for health reasons!

6. SOY I thought soy was supposed to be beneficial in helping to prevent breast cancer. I eat tofu and edamame regularly, but my cousin told me that soy could have a negative effect. The one thing we know for sure is that if you consume soy in its natural form in the amounts found in the Asian diet it does not seem to be harmful. Anything else we could say would be guesswork!

3. MRI AND MAMMOGRAMS I hear of women going for MRIs and mammograms. Should all women have a yearly MRI as well as a mammogram? MRI screening is recommended only for women at particularly high risk for breast cancer. The best way to determine if you are at high enough risk is to discuss your individual case with a qualified professional.

4. VITAMINS AND HERBS I see a nutritionist who has put me on a daily regime of women’s health supplements and herbal formulations. What are your thoughts on vitamins and herbs? The only supplement that I personally advise is vitamin D3 for people with levels of 25-hydroxy-vitamin D in their blood that are too low, say below 30 ng/ml. What the safe upper limit of this test is now is a matter of discussion among experts, but I currently use the range of 30-50 as a guideline. Some people need no supplementation to be in this range, but many people do. There is no evidence that any other supplements help normal people, and many could actually do harm. One thing I am especially concerned about is that many herbs act like estrogen in the body, so women who should avoid estrogens should avoid these herbs. For more information the Web site has a guide to herbs that I recommend highly.

5. ALCOHOL I just read that alcohol could raise the risk of breast cancer. Isn’t a daily glass of wine beneficial to the heart? What about beer and hard liquor... do all types of alcohol have the same negative impact? The only way to evaluate the impact of anything on health is the “prospective randomized trial” in which people are randomly (by chance, as with the flip of a coin) allocated to one thing or another and outcomes are evaluated over time. Clearly, we have not, nor can we, do that with alcohol! People who drink a lot may do other things that harm or help them, and the same goes for people who do not drink alcohol at all. Nevertheless, if we were going to make an informed guess just from observing drinking patterns, we would have to say that

7. BIRTH CONTROL PILL What is the best contraceptive for young women? Should they avoid the birth control pill? What if there’s a history of ovarian cancer in the family? Isn’t the birth control pill supposed to help prevent ovarian cancer? There is some evidence that oral contraceptive pills (OCP) lower ovarian cancer risk, but my comments about randomized trials (or lack thereof ) apply here as well. In addition, breast cancer is much more common than ovarian cancer, and women with strong family histories of ovarian cancer may belong to BRCA1 or BRCA2 families, where the risk of breast cancer is especially high. For these reasons, I am not a big fan of the use of OCP as contraception in general, although there are gynecologic and dermatologic reasons for their use for short periods that may be reasonable in individual cases.

8. HORMONE REPLACEMENT THERAPY Is it okay to use hormone replacement therapy if I don’t have a history of hormonal cancer in the family? What about for women who have had cancer? There is now unequivocal evidence—from both prospective randomized trials and observation of populations—that HRT (particularly the kind that gives both estrogen and progesterone) increases breast cancer risk by a large amount. Women have to know that if they are having problems with menopause (and many women do not) there are many ways to deal with those problems that do not involve dangerous hormones.

9. HORMONAL DISRUPTORS I never heat plastic containers, food sealed in plastic pouches or use plastic wrap since I read it can cause hormonal disruptions. How about charred meat from a grill? My monthly exterminator spraying pesticides in my home? Can you explain hormone disruptors and what’s important to try to avoid. Thousands of chemicals in our environment could have biological effects, as individual agents and in combinations. The possibilities are too huge for us to estimate. Your best bet is to eat food that is as close



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to its natural form as possible and minimize chemical exposures that are not absolutely necessary. I think that Michael Pollan has written some excellent books on safe eating. (Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual (2010); In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto (2008); The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals (2006); The Botany of Desire: A Plant’s-Eye View of the World (2001)).

The design also reflects the evolving modalities in the treatment of breast cancer, including new diagnostic technologies, less invasive surgery, molecular pathology, more effective chemotherapies, new targeted treatments, vaccine development, and an emphasis on prevention. From the warm, natural hues and natural light used to create soothing surroundings for patients and family members, to interior waiting rooms sep-

10. THE CURE As the Scientific Director of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, I understand you are working on a vaccine to prevent breast cancer. When do you think a vaccine will be available? Many people use the term “vaccine” as a stand in for “medicinal prevention,” since vaccines have worked so well to reduce the incidence of infectious diseases. I am not sure that vaccines will be the answer to all cancers, although they clearly could play a big role when viruses are involved (as with cervical cancer and some forms of hepatitis). But there are other approaches. For example, we already know that some anti-estrogens can reduce the risk of breast cancer. So what we need is a broad-based research approach, and that is what we are conducting. We are now experiencing an explosion of knowledge about the fundamental molecular changes in cancer, much of which could help us design sophisticated prevention strategies. The bottom line is: If you want to minimize your chances of getting cancer, please help support quality research.

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• Art Therapy Services. Individual and group art therapy sessions are available to patients. In addition, one day a week there is an "Open Studio" for all patients and their family members. • Social Work Services. Social workers are available to assist with the emotional, social and physical impact of a cancer diagnosis through individual and family counseling. They also have the following extensive group support program: a weekly group for newly diagnosed adjuvant patients, a weekly group for women with advanced disease, a weekly group for young women with advanced disease, a monthly program for partners of adjuvant patients, a weekly relaxation program and a quarterly program dealing with sexual issues. Roz Kleban, 646/888-5271; Susan Glaser, 646/888-5203.

The Breast Cancer Research Foundation Dr. Norton is a founder of The Breast Cancer Research Foundation and has served as its Scientific Director and chairman of its Executive Board of Scientific Advisors since the Foundation’s inception in 1993. The Breast Cancer Research Foundation’s mission is to achieve prevention and a cure for breast cancer in our lifetime by providing critical funding for innovative clinical and translational research at leading medical centers worldwide, and increasing public awareness about good breast health. New grants are announced in October each year. In October 2010, BCRF announced grants of $33 million to 172 scientists from top universities and academic medical centers across the globe.

• Psychiatry Services. There is a clinical psychologist and psychiatrist available to see patients on an individual basis. • Rehabilitation Services. An occupational therapist is available to educate and treat patients with lymphedema or limited mobility after surgery, and to discuss a safe return to daily activities. • Nutrition Services. There are two clinical dietitians who offer individual nutrition counseling. Dietitians can address the following topics: healthy eating guidelines, management of side effects, weight management counseling, and herbal supplement information. • Special Surveillance Breast Program. Also housed at the Evelyn H. Lauder Breast Center is the Special Surveillance Breast Program for women with a family history of breast cancer or those who have had a precancerous lesion removed by biopsy. Participants visit the clinic as often as every three months so they can be carefully monitored for signs


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The Westport Arts Center in conjunction with Ina Chadwick’s Mousemuse Productions held its third writing contest, a memoir competition, at the Westport Arts Center in October. Leslie Chess Feller’s Crosswords… tied for third place.


“OF COURSE, YOU DO IT IN INK! That’s the only way to do a crossword puzzle,” my father snapped. “I didn’t raise you to be stupid!” At fifty-eight, suddenly I was tenyears-old again, a nervous little girl caught making yet another mistake. At ninety, Dad was physically frail, but his temper had not mellowed with the years. Growing up, I was afraid of him. The second of five siblings, I learned early to hide. A physician whose office was in our Brooklyn home, Dad relaxed every Sunday afternoon by doing The New York Times crossword puzzle – in ink. Opening the Magazine section, he would remove the puzzle page, attach it to a clipboard and retire to his consulting 9 0 W E S T O N M A G A Z I N E G R O U P. C O M

room. Adjusting the extra-long green plastic visor of his favorite cap, he would take his black Waterman fountain pen from its velvet case, unscrew the top, then carefully re-attach it to the other end. I used to watch from a safe distance as the golden nib steadily filled in the squares. Finishing a puzzle never took Dad more than forty-five minutes. “What’s a five letter word for bicker? What do you mean you don’t know?” he said, the one time I ventured into his consulting room while he was doing the puzzle. Sitting behind a huge mahogany desk, he called, “Come on! Bicker! You kids do it all the time!” I stood there, scared speechless. “Argue!” he said. “It’s obvious! How could you miss an easy one like that?”



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When Dad retired, my mother, a psychologist and crossword neophyte, suggested he teach her to do the puzzle. It became their weekly “date;” Dad was the acknowledged expert, Mom, the brilliant student. Word play, rife with double entendres, included frequent delighted exclamations of “Yussel!” – our mother’s pet name for our father, with whom she’d fallen in love when she was fourteen. When Mom died, Dad lost interest in doing the crossword puzzle. “I liked doing it with your mother,” he said. “What do I need it for? I’ve done a million of them.” Soon, impaired vision made reading the clues too much of an effort; his right hand, paralyzed by a small stroke, could no longer form letters. He was a physician incessantly diagnosing himself. New symptoms, all ominous, were his sole topic of conversation. “You’re not a real doctor,” he told his eldest son, a retinal surgeon. “How dare you tell me what medications I should take?” Living in my brother’s home, he was either silent or sarcastic. One day, dreading my weekly visit, I wandered through a bookstore, searching for something to distract him, anything to turn off the torrent of complaints. A collection of crossword puzzles caught my eye; the first was called “Dubious Diagnoses.” I hoped he’d find the title irresistible.

As I read the clues aloud, Dad established ground rules. I was to relearn how to write the alphabet (“U doesn’t have a tail! What kind of D is that? It looks like an O!” ) and use capital letters only. Talking while he was thinking was forbidden (“I can’t see the damned thing! I’ve got to keep it all straight in my head!”) and I was never to mention more than one clue at a time. (“Don’t jump all over the place! Focus!”) Enthusiasm was acceptable, but only at low volume. (“No shouting in my bad ear!” Which one was bad? “Both!”) The same applied to laughing, but laughter was the unexpected bonus. For once, Dad and I were on the same page. Literally. Hurrah for the torero? “OLE´!” we shouted in unison. “You’re deafening me,” he insisted with mock indignation. Loss of taste? S———JAW had us baffled. Suddenly the missing six letters popped into my mind. “SCHLOCKJAW!” I said. “Brilliant!” Dad replied. “Now you’re getting it!” Blisters from seatbelts were CARBUCKLES. Surgery for removal of a ski pole: ASPENDECTOMY. What hell has no fury like: A WOMAN’S CORNS. Clue by clue, fractured ailments emerged to heal old wounds. Soon, Dad was wearing his green-visored cap again, sometimes

"YOU'RE NOT A REAL DOCTOR," HE TOLD HIS ELDEST SON, A RETINAL SURGEON. “HOW DARE YOU TELL ME WHAT MEDICATIONS I SHOULD TAKE?" I arrived having done my homework. The night before, for the first time in my life, I’d attempted to do a puzzle. After two hours, I’d completed only half of the upper right hand quadrant. I was tempted to take a peek at the answers, but Dad hated a cheater. What began as an attempt to involve my father by appealing to his ego had the makings of an obsession. “Look, Dad,” I need your help,” I said. “I’m stuck and it’s driving me nuts.” White hair askew, he sat up in bed. “What’s a four letter word for outside, referring to anatomy?” I said, showing him my penciled-in attempt. “Ecto,” he said, then fumbled for his glasses. “Of course, you’re stuck,” he said, squinting at the page. “You’re doing it all wrong.” “Really?” I said. “Come show me. There’s better light in the kitchen.” Pushing his walker, the old man painfully made his way out of the bedroom and across the living room. Seated at the kitchen table, he took a closer look. “This is too easy,” he said. “For you,” I replied, “but not for me. I’m just getting started.” “Don’t argue,” he said. “Pay attention.” Pencils were not allowed. I was to use ink. Black ink. “Press hard! You’re much too tentative,” he said. “You always were. You have to develop confidence.”

even a smile. And I, who’d spent a lifetime avoiding my father, actually looked forward to our weekly crossword puzzle date. One day after nailing – based only on first, last and middle letters – a twist on a tricky, three-word idiom that filled a full horizontal line of the puzzle, Dad allowed himself to look pleased. “This reminds me that the person I was is still here,” he said quietly. “You’re getting really good at it, too. Just like your mother.” Our weekly puzzle partnership flourished until shortly before Dad’s death at age ninety-three. On a crisp September afternoon in the kitchen of my brother’s house, I placed the magnifier on what would turn out to be our final puzzle. “Wait,” my father said, reaching into his pocket and extracting a familiar velvet case. “I want you to have this,” he said. That day my hand guided the Waterman’s golden nib and we finished in fifty minutes. "Now we're moving,” my father said. “Pretty soon, we'll break forty-five." "No rush, Dad," I replied. ❉ Leslie Chess Feller is an award-winning journalist and poet. She's done features for the New York Times and book reviews for the New York Times Book Review. Her articles and essays have appeared in Good Housekeeping, Family Circle and More magazine. Her three poetry columns (Rhyme or Reason, Poetic License and Kidstuff) have won Connecticut Press Club awards.

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Inge Morath Inge Morath (1923–2002) was an Austrian born photographer who was associated with Magnum Photos for nearly fifty years. Married to playwright Arthur Miller in 1962, Morath and Miller resided in New York and Connecticut. Because Morath devoted much of her enthusiasm to encouraging women photographers, her colleagues at Magnum Photos established the Inge Morath Award in her honor. The Award is now given by the Magnum Foundation as part of its mission of supporting new generations of socially conscious documentary photographers. ❉


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LABYRINTH BY COURTNEY ZOFFNESS MY MOTHER won’t eat artificial ingredients, preservatives, additives or inorganic foodstuffs. No frozen dinners. No fast food. Nothing microwavable. “Microwaves cause cancer,” she says, raising the flame under a pan full of popcorn kernels. My mother avoids shellfish because it “eats the crap on the bottom of the sea.” Not to mention, she adds, shellfish isn’t kosher. Of course, neither is my mother. We, my mother’s children, my mother’s husband, never risked getting salmonella from runny yokes, never worried about mad cow disease or “hoof-and-mouth” because we stopped eating meat when the plague ran rampant. We washed our fruit clean of insecticides before we dared to take a bite, spurned “unsanitary” pork products, and knew which fish on the dinner menu were too mercury-laden to consume. If we slipped up — I ordered swordfish on her fiftieth birthday — we’d get chastised: “That one’s going extinct,” my mother would say, waving the napkin on her lap like a matador. While I re-examined my options — “Respect your mother,” my father would say with a wink — she fawned attention on my sister Sally who had the sensitivity to order ziti instead. I became well versed in food labels as a child by accompanying my mother to the grocery store. “Don’t eat anything you can’t pronounce,” she’d tell me, which naturally led me to believe that “potassium” was a veiled form of poison. On the rare occasion that I’d sneak junk food into the shopping cart, my mother would grab the box and shout out the ingredients as if she were reading my death sentence. “Cellulose gum?” she’d say, her face distorted with disgust. The guilt stopped up my swallow like a wad of Bubble Yum: Didn’t that stuff take seven years to digest? “If you want to put that into your body,” she’d say, “be my guest.” And with that, my frosted insta-cake was tossed back on the shelf. WE SAT in the cafeteria of a yoga retreat center in the Berkshires where we’d come for the weekend to “bond.” Neither of us had done yoga before, nor had we ever vacationed together, alone. Our decision to 11 4 W E S T O N M A G A Z I N E G R O U P. C O M

sign up for two and a half days of Rest and Renewal at Lost Horizon came on the heels of my mother lamenting the distance between us, though we lived just a borough apart. Yoga would “ease the tension,” she said, showing me an ad in the local paper. Plus, she said, her friend Donna raved about the place, said that the nutritionist, Jim, was “a love.” “It sounds like a nice environment,” my mother had said, foreseeing my reluctance. She added something appropriately spiritualistic like, “Company’s good for the soul.” The comment evoked my deplorable single status, reminding us both that I had crumpled my relationship with résumé-perfect Mark just three months before. Mark, my college and post-college boyfriend, was smart but not cerebral, outgoing but insecure, and as compliant and doting as my father was with my mother. By the end of our relationship, he had begun to tuck in his t-shirts and had lost most of his hair. My mother was in mourning. “Relationships involve compromise,” she often said. Was this an accusation? Had I not been accommodating? “Nobody’s perfect,” she maintained. Did she think I expected perfection? Did she not notice how unaffectionate with him I’d become? Didn’t she detect our discontent? “Lost Horizon,” my mother had said. “Whaddya think, Jill?” I didn’t care much for static exercise but reasoned that a schedule of activities would replace a conversation-dependent, argument-prone day at the beach. Jim-the-Nutritionist was explaining the center’s policy of silent dining when we arrived. He looked as dignified and as contemplative in person as he did in the poster on the wall behind him. “Everybody operates on his or her own schedule,” Jim said. “Some have just meditated, others prepare to meditate. We must respect each others’ states of mind.” My mother nodded and furrowed her brow as if she could relate. She seemed on the verge of applause. Jim caught her nod and smiled. You’ve never even meditated before, I thought — and may have said — but she was pushing toward him through the crowd. I followed.



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She was 5’4”, nearly a foot shorter than Jim, and looked reverential with her head tipped back. My father was just shy of six feet, but seemed shorter. “And this is my daughter, Jill,” she said as I approached, grabbing my hand in a spastic squeeze. “Pleasure,” he said, grinning. He had dark lips and big teeth that looked calcium fortified. “I was just telling Jim that we were first-timers,” she said. She winked at me as if to say “play along,” but I didn’t know what game we were playing. Her behavior seemed so girly, so unfamiliar, that I surprised myself by checking to make sure she wore her wedding ring — which, of course, she did. “You two should visit my garden,” he said, turning toward me. “It’s just up the hill.” Jim’s pockets concealed his hands. “That would be lovely,” my mother said. As far as I knew, she only used “lovely” on thank you cards. That, and “sincerely.” “Wouldn’t that be great, Hon? We grow one, too, you know,” she said, turning back to Jim. I wondered if he thought the “we” was she and I. My father was the one who maintained the ever-growing garden in my parents’ backyard, per my mother’s request. I had summer memories of him weeding the plot with rubber gloves and dirty knees, of hosing bleeding hearts and patting down the peat moss. I doubted he even knew what grew there. “Sure,” I replied, crossing my arms. I felt half as old as my 24 years. Jim had to attend a meeting, he said, and mentioned, with a shrug, his place, tomorrow, noon. The cafeteria’s self-serve bar included kale soup and tofu lasagna and bore a sign that read like an apology: “The kitchen adheres to a lacto-vegetarian menu and follows the yogic practice of ahimsa-nonviolence.” My mother piled her plate high with vegetables in accordance with the mantra I’d heard her recite for my entire life: “The more colorful, the more healthful!” I watched her squeeze lemon juice over the heap. There was that time, I recalled, in fourth grade, when I pulled a pack of rainbow Skittles from my backpack and emptied it onto my dinner plate. “Contraband,” Sally yelled. “Color!” I said. From my excitement you’d have thought I displayed my charms collection. Of course when my mother let me eat my dinner while she, Sally and my father ate theirs (sole, broccoli and boiled beets), the thrill of noncompliance melted into hunger. The din of ladles scraping metal bins, spoons clanking bowls, porcelain mugs striking porcelain plates striking wooden tabletops ricocheted off the walls. Overlaying the racket was a quiet as thick as fog. My mother fished a pad and pen out of her bag to copy down “Ingredients to Avoid” from the dining brochure. My poor father, I thought, who, in the last decade, had had to forego “noxious” strawberries, “suspicious” raw fish and “precarious” egg yolks. In my father’s car, Sally and I occasionally found foil balls, gravy-stained bags, and napkins smeared with grease: evidence of illegal eating. I watched my mother stab leaf after leaf of lettuce until she’d amassed a small nest on the end of her fork. “My vities!” she said, with 11 6 W E S T O N M A G A Z I N E G R O U P. C O M

the oomph of “eureka!” and placed it back on her plate. She patted her pockets for supplements, dropped them like loose change on to the table. She slid a few toward me as a gesture of good health. I slid them back. Someone nearby ordered us to “shhh.” “Oh no,” she said, tapping her forehead. “I’m missing a multi.” She lifted one knuckle-sized multi-vitamin from a pile of tablets: Calcium, vitamin E, iron and acidophilus. This was her thrice-daily ritual. “Maybe you’ll die,” I said sardonically, stopping short as my own breath filled the final vowel. I tried to look away, but couldn’t. What did I just say? I meant to say, “so what?” or “you’re missing the forest for the trees” like my father had said to me when I confessed that I didn’t love Mark, but still loved things about him. “You don’t love him,” he said. “That’s the point.” Maybe you’ll die? My mother raised her eyebrows as if stung and

“DON’T EAT ANYTHING YOU CAN’T PRONOUNCE,” SHE’D TELL ME, WHICH NATURALLY LED ME TO BELIEVE THAT “POTASSIUM” WAS A VEILED FORM OF POISON. turned her head a bit to the right, perhaps starting to say “no” but changing her mind. “Careful what you wish for,” she said. THAT NIGHT, I opted out of a “highly recommended” poetry workshop. “You never try anything new,” my mother said, removing her shoes as the sign advised. I told her I took poetry in college. “Every experience is different,” she said. “Give it a chance.” On my way through the front hall, I spied Jim sitting upright in a velvet chair. The lobby was awkwardly shaped, as if walls had been knocked down to merge several small rooms. Plants sprouted from the corners. Birds chirped from the speakers. Fat, brown beams dissected the space and I traced them from floor to ceiling, feeling briefly insecure. I settled into a corner on the opposite couch and flipped to the dog-eared page in my book. Jim peeked over the edge of the Bamboo Flute Meditations text perched on his lap. “Jill,” he said, declaratively. I raised my eyebrows before I remembered the nametag pinned to my breast. “Jim,” I said. He wore a light linen frock that revealed the musculature of his arms and chest. I tried not to stare. “Hi,” I said, meeting him anew — on motherless turf. “What are you reading?” he asked. “Some book a friend gave me,” I lied, pressing the cover to my knees. It was a romance novel I’d bought at the mini mart when my



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mother stopped for gas. “What do you like to read?” he asked. I shrugged. “Whatever.” “You read a lot,” he resolved without asking. I looked away like he’d accused me of something shameful. “Reading novels is an escapist activity, you know,” he said. I stared at the text under my thumbs. I’d reached a climactic scene in which Cruz rescues Gwen from a team of insurgents. “Fiction provides an alter-reality,” Jim said. “Often a preferred reality.” I turned to look at him or in his eyes, whose color I didn’t even notice, and felt a shock of susceptibility. It softened into intrigue when he stretched his lips into a grin so gentle that I couldn’t help but smile, too. “There’s nothing wrong with admitting dissatisfaction,” he said, standing, turning to nod at a woman waiting for him across the hall. “I hope we’ll have a chance to talk more about this tomorrow,” he said as he extended his hand to shake goodbye. He had a firm grip, which he maintained while he spoke. “Right,” I said, as if I’d forgotten. “Lunch.” Said he: “Don’t forget to bring your appetite.” JIM’S HOUSE was a good quarter mile from the main grounds up a freshly mowed incline. My mother had pulled her socks over the ankles of her pants so no deer ticks would crawl up her calves and had smothered her face in sunblock. She’d offered to put some on my face, too — “you’re so fair skinned,” she’d said — but I declined. Jim was sitting on his porch sipping lemonade when we arrived. The air felt at once more breathable. Soothing, even. I thought about our beginners’ yoga class that morning: Our instructor, Grace, who confessed that she’d recently changed her name from Amy, had advised us to concentrate on the present and “forget our commitments.” My mother had sighed as if expelling her impatience from the morning before. “I can’t wait to get away,” she’d said when we finished packing up the car. My father had stood at the top of the driveway, one hand on his hip, the other in a frozen wave like a salute above his head. “Adios,” I’d shouted out the window as we backed out, though my voice was absorbed by the radio that my mother had switched on. “Howdy,” Jim said, without standing. “Hiya, Jim,” said my mother. Ever since the front desk had informed her of this exclusive lunch, she’d been gloating. “Great weather.” She fanned herself with her visor and turned around to examine the view. “Trouble finding the place?” he asked. My mother laughed. A short silence ensued. “I saw a sign in the lobby for tonight’s Cookies with Jim get together,” my mother began. “It’s so nice how you interact with the guests like that.” Jim ran a tanned hand through his hair. “It’s nice that guests want to interact.” He turned his gaze from my mother to me. His front lawn featured white rocks arranged in a spiral formation, surrounded by ankle-high blossoms — a labyrinth, he later explained. His backyard, which he brought us around the wood-paneled house to see, extended for several acres until the forest began. Green poles, heavy with propagation, created rows.

“The vegetation’s so sweet this time of year, you can eat it right off the vine,” he said, gathering up his pants as he maneuvered between plants. Then: “Hey Jill, catch.” He’d plucked off two fist-sized tomatoes and tossed one in my direction. I didn’t even have to step to catch it. Jim watched me as he took a bite. I watched him right back. “Fran?” he offered, stepping out of the garden, handing one to my mother. “They’re choice seeds.” WHILE all alone rinsing squash in Jim’s kitchen sink — he’d premade everything but the salad — I thought about what my friend Oren meant when he said that I didn’t seem marriageable. “Not that that’s a bad thing,” he’d added. “You just seem too independent.” I thought about Mark, who was The One until he wasn’t, whose boxers I’d recently discovered in my underwear drawer and discarded. The squash was as smooth as Jim’s ringless hands; I thought about my mother. She and I had been talking through Jim since we’d arrived. “Jill works for one of those banks,” she’d said while setting the table in the other room. As if she couldn’t recall the company’s name? I’d become a lone cog in the “system” they purportedly despised. Jim entered the kitchen and his presence seemed to charge everything from the ceiling to the floor, from my neck to my feet. I needed to speak. “That was a great tomato,” I said as he stepped up to the sink to fill a glass with water. “Did you know a tomato’s nothing more than a swollen ovary?” I tried to reduce the awkwardness that seeped into my cheeks. “My father told me that when I was a kid and I never forgot it,” I said. A flimsy laugh escaped me like a hiccup. Jim’s belt buckle brushed up against my side. “So?” he said, rolling up his sleeve so it wouldn’t get wet. “What brings you to Lost Horizon?” “My mother,” I said. I smiled at the squash. “You were forced?” he asked. “Persuaded,” I said. “How does she do it?” he asked, pulling away his glass and taking a sip. “Do what?” “Convince you to do seemingly unreasonable things?” He had his hip against the counter, and one hand tucked under the opposite elbow. “Things that don’t” — he inhaled slowly, through his nose — “meet your needs?” Exhale. Ordinarily, I would’ve said something clever. “You know, Jill,” he continued, “it took me years of accommodating everyone else to realize that I’d lost sight of who I was and what I wanted.” He paused to take a sip. “Ultimately, we only have ourselves in this world. We need to make ourselves happy, too.” I’d planned to be skeptical, but instead felt overwhelmingly sad. He handed me a pepper. “I thought all this yoga-meditation business was about the ‘we,’” I said. That morning Grace, formerly Amy, had preached egolessness, confluence, interconnection. “It is,” he said, nodding as if impressed. “Your mother and you—” he began. “We’re…different,” I said quietly. He didn’t hesitate: “She’s judgmental, you’re resistant.” Despite analyzing my relationship with her for years, I’d never been able to define our differences so succinctly. My thumbs squeaked over the wet pep-



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per skin. “Are you enjoying yourself?” he asked. I could feel his eyes pressing into my face as if I were edible. Hunger set in. “I like the distractions,” I said, looking up for a blink. “Jim, where are your napkin rings?” my mother shouted from the other room. “There are only two here, and we’re three.” JIM’S dining area was a small alcove off the living room with a sliding glass door overlooking his front yard. The table was round; nobody sat at the head. “Just delicious,” my mother said, biting into a slab of meat substitute. “Fermented soybeans with a tasty rhizopus,” he said. “Specialty of the house.” “And the zucchini bread,” she said, shaking her head in disbelief. We talked about Lost Horizon, about nutrition, about how Jim got involved. While he explained the “intimate connection between body and mind,” I pressed my fork into the patty and watched brown paste rise like anthills through the cracks. If my father were here, I thought, he’d be stepping on my toes under the table. I used to raise my eyebrows at him at family meals, requesting permission to “pass” on unpalatable entrees. He would lower his chin and whisper, “It’s important to your mother.” Then, as an afterthought, “It’s good for you.” My mother was taking harried notes on Jim’s recipes. “I could never go to a place like this with your father,” she’d said on our way to sleep the night before. I didn’t have to ask why not: My father, a schoolteacher, was as provincial and as intolerant as was the Bronx neighborhood in which he grew up. “I think it would be boring to date someone who shared all my interests,” I’d replied, unsure if I meant it. “Oh, Jill,” she said, placing her reading glasses on the bedside table. “You think you know so much.” “I’m planning a singles event here next month,” Jim said. My mother held her napkin to her lips for half-a-minute too long and stared out the window. “Singles,” she said, her voice cracking on it’s way up. “I’ll have to tell Donna.” AFTER WE cleared the dishes, Jim brought us outside to walk the labyrinth. My mother “felt like moving” and sped past us, arms pumping to burn off her lunch. She was just out of earshot when Jim addressed me. “Ever done this before?” he asked, as if we were about to embark on a perilous venture. I shook my head. “A wandering but purposeful path,” he called out, in praise of the labyrinth’s contradiction. It sounded like a cheap metaphor for life and, for a milli-moment, I enjoyed it. To where was I, an unmarriageable, dissatisfied daughter, wandering? Had I a purpose? Did I need one? I surprised myself by how curious I was to hear what he’d say next. It seemed his lunch specialty had seeped into my resistant brain. “Pick a thought to contemplate,” Jim continued, as if it were as fun as “Pick a card, any card.” “Something that’s been preoccupying you.” I wish I could say that I thought of something else, but I pictured him, considered what I thought of then as his confidence and wit and candor. 11 8 W E S T O N M A G A Z I N E G R O U P. C O M

I examined his shadow on the grass, lest he read my face like a palm. Up ahead, my mother studied the instructions at the labyrinth’s entrance and began to stroll, deliberately. Mosquitoes nipped my ankles and I slapped them away. “Walking the spiral quiets the mind and orients the soul,” Jim said, breathing in through his nose, again. This time, I did the same. The air smelled ripe with dandelions. “I don’t have to walk in circles to think straight,” I said. I gestured with my chin to a nearby bench behind a tree. “What’s at the spiral’s center?” I began, but stopped. Jim had wrapped his fingers around my wrist. Mark: funny, simple, sincere. Passive. Predictable. Majored in econ, shaved twice a day, liked lobster, cuddling, mini-golf. We rarely disagreed; we never fought. Mark, like me, had reddish-brown hair and light skin. Sally said that we looked nice together, that he looked like part of the family. My mother said she wished he were. Jim had cold hands and I wanted to slide them under my shirt. When we sat, in synch, I watched his eyes scan my neck and ears and wondered how his scruff would feel against my mouth. “My mother…” I started, a schoolgirl in my parents’ living room. I studied the hair on his toes between bands of sandal. I hadn’t considered anyone since Mark and felt suddenly guilty and confessional. “My mother and I went to a drumming circle last night,” I told him, “the one on the patio.” “I know,” he said. “I was there, too.” I asked if he noticed those girls, the crazy barefooted ones, who jumped around and howled. I asked if he saw how they jerked their bodies about to no particular rhythm, if he heard their clapping, their laughter. He pushed a loose hair behind my ear. I almost didn’t care if he heard me. There was something so genuine and pure in their behavior, I told him, so uninhibited and honest, that I felt jealous. “Good,” he said. “Listening to your inner voice.” Actually, I said, my mother joined in. I sneaked back up to our bedroom. “You have to do what feels right to you,” he said, trapping my ankle between his heels. I told him that I could hear the thump of the drums and the women calling out, that with my lights turned off, I could see the glow of blissful faces in the torchlight. “My mother’s was among them,” I said, “but her body movements seemed so awkward and unnatural and—” I felt vulnerable, venting this way—“desperate,” I said. She’d had a look on her face of such anguish that I had to look away. “This type of realization strengthens relationships,” he said. “Now that you’re more perceptive, you can be more sensitive, more forgiving.” I watched his tongue move around each word. “Right,” I said. He leaned forward. “Come back to the house with me,” he said. His breath smelled like pesto. Behind us, my mother wound the path as if she swam against a current. She was still on the outer loop, twirling a twig between her fingers. I met Jim’s eyes and squeezed my thighs together. “We’re going in for tea,” I shouted, though we planned to bypass the kitchen, scurry like squirrels out the other side of the house and duck into his meditation shed. My mother nodded and flicked her wrist, like she did toward her plate when she’d had enough to eat.



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I EARNED the nickname Health Nut as a kid because of the hyper-healthful lunches my mother packed for me. Instead of pure white wonder bread on my sandwich, I got slices of multi-grain, the seeds of which inevitably wedged between my teeth like toothpick splinters. I longed for Skippy instead of gritty peanut spread, prayed for cold cuts in place of tuna fish salad (spiked with sardines for extra iron). Nobody gave up grape soda for my hormone-free skim milk, or traded me Twinkies for my pouch of dried fruit. Then, at age 10, Jody French introduced me to Kraft mac ‘n cheese. Sitting at her kitchen counter, I’d gawked as her mother emptied orange powder into a bowl and mashed in a stick of butter. How I delighted in those first forkfuls! That delectable, flourescent cheese — gooey, not gloppy — as sweet as melted ice cream, as spicy as a ballpark French fry. How it clung to the tongue long after the pasta had gone. And so it was with Jim. Curious, swift, savory. “Brevity is the soul of wit,” he said, wiping sweat from his forehead and kissing the tip of my nose. I opened my eyes and noticed the space for the first time: the tapestry affixed to the ceiling, the candelabras lin-

ers — “loyalty” and “unity” and “love” — that hung off its base. “We’re over,” she said. “We’re through.” And I knew then that she meant she and my father. THAT EVENING we dined in silence. I imagined residents like the quiet because it staved off interaction, opposition. My mother had too large a lump in her throat to swallow whole foods or supplements, so I brought her broth that she sipped from the bowl. Jim had driven us back to the main grounds in his golf cart (my mother seemed too weak to walk), and reassured her, as we bumped down the hill, that she wasn’t on her own. I wondered if he meant that others had been in her position or if he was referring to the Lost Horizon “family” as he had before. Were any situations truly alike? Didn’t she know herself alone? Drinking soup, my mother looked somber but unstressed. Behind her head, a poster exclaimed, “Don’t panic, eat organic.” Perhaps, I decided, her preoccupations existed to distract her, to divert her from her disaffection. As Mark’s unreasonable, ungrateful ex-girlfriend, I trusted her change of heart.

THAT MORNING GRACE, FORMERLY AMY, HAD PREACHED EGOLESSNESS, CONFLUENCE, INTERCONNECTION. ing the walls, the Buddha perpetually laughing at us from the pulpit. I burrowed my back into cushions meant to accommodate knees and toes, smiled at Jim and at the tingling inside my stomach, and wondered why Buddhists ate so modestly when their master was so plump. Then I admitted to having bland sex with Mark. “Why would you do that?” Jim asked, and zipped up his pants. I retraced my steps — out of the shed, into the house, and back out the sliding glass door. Kneeling at the center of the labyrinth, my mother nearly blended into the landscape, nearly disappeared amongst the trees and shrubs and flowers. I walked the radius to reach her, stepped over stones designed to point one left or right. She had her hands pressed against her mouth in prayer position and didn’t raise her head when I approached. Did she know what I’d been doing? “I’m so sorry,” she was saying, “so sorry.” She shook her head, wiped her eyes with her sleeve and sniffled. In front of her were trinkets left by other visitors, notes or pleas with faded print and a small, allweather American flag like the one my Dad had on his dashboard. “Sorry for what?” I asked and knelt down beside her, wrapped my arm across her narrow, knobby back. Guilt had begun to bubble in my chest; I didn’t know if it stemmed from having just enjoyed myself or from not knowing how to help my mother. Something about her turtle-like posture and the defeated way in which she shook her head told me that I didn’t want to know the source of her sadness. “Can I…get you some tea?” I said, doubtful that tea, as soothing as she found it, would help at all. “We’re not gonna make it,” she said, fondling the flag and the stick-

She neglected to brush or floss her teeth or apply her non-comedogenic fragrance-free skin creams before bed, but she seemed too exhausted to notice or care. “I’m sorry,” she repeated as I shut out the light, as if she’d wronged me. I promised her that I wasn’t disappointed. Or mad. In some ways, I thought, I actually felt relieved; she no longer had to fake complacency. While she dreamed, I roamed the lobby in search of something. Candy, maybe. Cookies with Jim. Inadvertently, I wandered into a room where the organic, homemade dessert was being prepared, where trays piled high with cookies awaited distribution. Inside, two women gasped as if I’d caught them kissing. They both wore aprons branded with a stalled but smiling half-sun. “Can I help you?” one of them asked. A box of store-bought, Soft Baked treats sat open-mouthed on the counter behind her. The other woman slid her body over to block it, and smiled shiftily. “We…had a craving,” she said, overstretching her frown as if to say, “don’t hate us” or “don’t tell.” She had chocolate smeared down the left side of her chin, which made her look as though her jaw were carved from wood. The refrigerator hummed. The faucet dribbled. The birds piping through the speakers squeaked one final note, resonant of spring. ❉ Courtney Zoffness’ fiction has appeared in Washington Square, Saint Ann’s Review, Tampa Review, the international Fish Prize Stories anthology, and elsewhere, and was twice nominated for Best New American Voices. She’s taught creative writing and literature at the University of Pennsylvania, Yale University, and Allegheny College, and currently mentors young writers as an Academic Fellow at Writopia Lab.

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IMAGES AND INTERCHANGE NYC MET MUSEUM STIEGLITZ, STEICHEN, STRAND Through April 10, 2011 Features three giants of photography—Alfred Stieglitz (American, 1864–1946), Edward Steichen (American, b. Luxembourg, 1879–1973), and Paul Strand (American, 1890–1976)—whose works are among the Metropolitan’s greatest photographic treasures. THE EMPEROR’S PRIVATE PARADISE: TREASURES FROM THE FORBIDDEN CITY February 1, 2011–May 1, 2011 Presents ninety paintings, decorative works, architectural elements, and religious works created for an elaborate two-acre private retreat built deep within the Forbidden City in 1771 as the retirement residence of one of China’s most extravagant monarchs—the Qianlong Emperor (r. 1736–95)—who presided over China’s last dynasty, the Qing, at the zenith of its power and wealth. CÉZANNE’S CARD PLAYERS Through May 8, 2011 Reunites for the first time the works from Cézanne’s series of card player canvases together with their associated oil studies and drawings. Also includes a selected group of Cézanne’s related paintings of peasants, several of which depict the same local models who appear in the card player compositions. 1000 Fifth Avenue at 82nd Street, New York, New York. 212/535-7710; THE JEWISH MUSEUM COLLECTING MATISSE AND MODERN MASTERS: THE CONE SISTERS OF BALTIMORE May 08 - September 25, 2011

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sculptures, and documentary material, as well as working drawings and photographs related to her 2008 redesign of the main entrance area of St. George’s Hospital in London. This is the first solo museum exhibition for the artist, whose work has been showcased extensively in international group shows and at commercial galleries. 1080 Chapel Street New Haven Connecticut. 203/432-2800; BRUCE MUSEUM THREE SISTERS & CORN MAIDENS: NATIVE AMERICAN MAIZE CULTIVATION & CUSTOMS Through June 26, 2011 Utilizing the outstanding collection of Native American art and objects in the Bruce Museum collection, this exhibition explores the role of corn in the Native American cultures of the Northeast and the Southwest. Featured objects include textiles, paintings, pottery, baskets, as well as prehistoric artifacts, including agricultural and food processing tools, all related to the use and celebration of Zea mays, Indian corn. 1 Museum Drive, Greenwich, CT. 203/8690376; ❉ Featuring 45 works of art by Matisse, Picasso, Gauguin, Renoir, Van Gogh and more from the Baltimore Museum of Art’s world-renowned Cone Collection, this exhibition focuses on the remarkable vision of two Jewish sisters and collectors, Dr. Claribel and Etta Cone of Baltimore, and the personal relationships they formed with artists such as Matisse and Picasso, as they shaped their extraordinary collection. 1109 5th Ave at 92nd St., New York, NY. 212/423-3200;

Identities in American Art from the Yale University Art Gallery features works that address, question, and complicate the paradigms that have mapped meanings onto African American bodies throughout history. The 54 works selected for the exhibition, representing the Gallery’s commitment during the past decade to growing this area of the collection, include paintings, sculpture, decorative arts, prints, drawings, and photographs. 1111 Chapel Street, New Haven. 203.432.0606;


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RURAL PALATES Remembering Sheila Lukins The Silver Palate founder leaves an indelible mark on family, friends, and American cooking by Laurie Griffith



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R U R A L PA L AT E S boss/assistant, chef/sous chef, sparring partners, and best of all, friends. We policed each other on the minutiae of recipe writing (was it 1 pinch, or 2?), we traveled together, nudged each other through deadlines on our PARADE Magazine articles, cookbooks and various other projects, and after all that, we might share a movie or check out a restaurant (and not always just at the end of the day!). Sheila was no stranger to playing hooky during work hours. We could occasionally be found hiding in a theater on the opening day of a hot movie – she with a gigantic box of popcorn peppered with Raisinettes. One of the most generous people I have ever known, Sheila would not share her movie popcorn. She was a hard worker but she liked her fun – a recurrent theme.

The Early Years Sheila was a Connecticut girl. She was born in Philadelphia, but that was just on a technicality. During his service in WWII, her dad, Morris Block, whose family was from Norwalk, moved the family to Philadelphia to live with her mom Berta’s parents; Pappy and Granny Reesman. Pappy and Granny were a frequent topic of discussion in our kitchen-slash-office. Legend has it that Granny Reesman made the lightest kreplach (small dumplings) with the quickest hand this side of Kiev, not to mention her varenikes (sour cherry dumplings), lima bean knishes, and blintzes! Her cooking left a lasting impression on Sheila. The family, including sister Elaine Yanell of Westport and brother Harvey Block of New Jersey, returned to East Norwalk in 1944, where Sheila attended Marvin Elementary School. Their old street, Ludlow Manner, remains almost the same to this day with its charming old colonial houses. In 1954, the Blocks moved to Westport, where Sheila’s mom, with whom Sheila spoke every afternoon around 5 p.m. – always some kind of hilarious conversation about current events that would have me choking with laughter at my desk — lived until her death. It was her mom’s rigorous schedule of meatloaf on Mondays, tuna fish on Tuesdays, and spaghetti on Wednesdays, etc., that I think later stimulated Sheila’s daring in the kitchen. Berta had her talents though. She was famous for her Carrot Cake. Her recipe first appeared in The Silver Palate Cookbook, and went on to appear in some form in all of Sheila’s books. In the early days of the Silver Palate gourmet takeout shop, Berta ferried in Carrot Cakes from Connecticut to sell in the shop. And her Chicken Soup is the stuff you dream about – her secret was parsnips and dill! Sheila Block graduated from Staples High School in Westport. I won’t tell you when, because she kept those details a closely guarded secret. Whenever she was telling me funny stories about high school she would run and get her Staples yearbook and show me pictures of the classmates she was talking about. I got to know these people as if they were my own classmates — Swifty, Bunny, Wendy, et al. I’d tell her that I no longer needed to see the pictures to know whom she was yakking about

because I’d seen their pictures one hundred times, but she insisted on pulling out that yearbook. She loved Staples High School. I have never met anyone who loved high school like she did. So much so that I wished I had gone there. I am sure she was a first-class crack-up and trickster if I know her as well as I think. One of the best things about Sheila was the gut busting, funny cracks she would come out with. After high school, Sheila attended Tyler School of Fine Arts in Philadelphia, and then the School of Visual Arts in New York City.

Pre Silver Palate – or, Sheila B.C. (as in Before Chicken (Marbella)) Starting her grown-up life in New York City, she shared a tiny apartment with her pal Carolyn. The way Sheila told it, they got up to plenty of shenanigans. I have heard the crazy stories over the years – the stunts were the classic, sophomoric type, but Sheila knew how to jack up the fun factor a few extra notches. She met and married Richard Lukins in New York City and then graduated from New York University with a degree in Art Education. The two packed up and moved to London for a year, where Richard produced a West End play, I and Albert. Sheila was involved too, designing the program and the theater bills. At the same time, she attended cooking classes at London’s famed Le Cordon Bleu. They moved on to Paris for the following year, where Sheila further developed a love of good food and cooking and a lifelong love of France. I think some cooking classes she took in Bordeaux at that time very much informed her unusually creative sense of layering flavors in her signature dishes. The two returned to New York City in the ‘70s and resumed residence in the landmark Dakota apartment building on the Upper West Side. They started a family with two lovely daughters, Annabel (of Boulder, CO) and Molly (of New York City). Weekends were spent at their beautiful Kent, Connecticut home, where Sheila loved tending her garden – she was proud of her huge asparagus bed, and tomato plants, and concord grape vines. She loved flea marketing and collected wonderful bits of American folk art to go along with goodies scoured from the flea markets of Paris and London. I loved her collection of painted wooden bowls, silhouettes, enamelware, and wonderful things for the table – serving bowls and platters, silver napkin rings and lovely pieces of antique lace. These things frequently found their way into photos of her food in magazines and cookbooks. Sheila wanted to stay home with her girls when they were young, but she loved to work. She had always worked, from the age of 15, and she wanted to find something to do from home. A talented graphic artist, she started out designing logos for people and businesses. Later she joked that somehow she would always end up getting stiffed – no one wanted to pay. One afternoon, she got a frantic call from her neighbor across the courtyard saying that he had company coming over for dinner that night

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R U R A L PA L AT E S and that the super’s wife, who normally cooked up a lasagna for him, was on vacation, he didn’t know what he was going to do at this late hour and could she help. Sheila, in her inimitable fashion, said, “Calm down George, I’m home with the girls and I will be happy to make you dinner.” “I’ll pay you,” he said. She cooked him a Moussaka and a Greek Salad, (all the rage at that time) sent it up the service elevator in her serving dishes, and a career was hatched. George was absolutely thrilled. Sheila got paid, at last, and had her start. From there she created The Other Woman Catering Company, with her motto, “so discreet, so delicious, and I deliver.” She would cook and deliver LAURIE GRIFFITH AND SHEILA LUKINS

delicious dishes of food to bachelors who wanted to entertain at home, and they would send her back the clean dishes and a check! She was so excited to be making money – and always bragged that never a dish was broken. These people actually paid! She never got to meet the guys – she just spoke to their secretaries. A New York Magazine “Best Bets” column featured Sheila’s enterprise, and from then the phone never stopped ringing. One of those calls was from Julee Rosso, who had eaten some of Sheila’s food at a dinner party given by her boyfriend. Julee was an advertising director in the textiles business, and she was about to host a press breakfast for a big fashion designer. She asked Sheila if she would consider catering the event. Sheila obliged with her signature flourishes. Tables, brimming with gigantic arrangements of hydrangeas, were laden with fresh figs wrapped in prosciutto, a huge baked ham studded with apricots, bowls of blackberry, raspberry and lemon mousses, baskets of croissants, and a cappuccino machine. It would be the fabulous start to their decade-long partnership.

The Silver Palate Soon after, Julee, who had been wanting to make a career change, asked Sheila if she would be interested in opening a shop, where people could come in and grab great food to take home for a simple dinner, or put together an impromptu dinner party for friends, or find fixings for a picnic in the park. They would sell the best home-cooking fare – things one might even pass off as her own – and supplement it with wonderful breads and cheeses. The Silver Palate opened in July 1977 on New York’s

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Upper West Side. It was an instant success. Sheila would recount that while she toiled away over the hot stove in her apartment a couple of blocks away (on occasion with John Lennon sitting on her counter!) to fill the store with yummy food, she’d be shocked to learn it was all gone by the end of the day, only to have to start all over again. She wasn’t cooking just any old food either. She was selling out of things no one had ever heard of: Salmon Mousse, Paté Maison, Torta Rustica, Blueberry Chicken (made with her famous blueberry chutney), Chicken Marbella, Blanquette de Veau, Ratatouille. Her signature Baked Ham always took center stage on the counter – glazed and bejeweled with a checkerboard pattern of apricots and prunes. The aromas were heavenly. Sheila’s mom’s Carrot Cake would have just arrived from Westport and Julee would be picking up croissants and baguettes in a taxi on her way into the shop every morning. It was not your usual takeout fare of pizza or Chinese. Soon the enterprise was too big to continue cooking out of Sheila’s home kitchen, and a new kitchen was found around the corner from the shop. So popular were they that the two started packaging their Silver Palate-branded wares in 1978: Blueberry Chutney, Raspberry Vinegar, Winter Fruit Compote, Sweet and Rough Mustard, and Fudge Sauce would now be available nationwide in select boutiques. Sheila and Julee’s first cookbook, named, of course, The Silver Palate Cookbook, followed in 1982, (published by Workman Publishing) to date one of the best-selling cookbooks ever, and featuring Sheila’s whimsical drawings. Chicken Marbella became a household name. Nary a person who has ever been to a dinner party in the ‘80s hasn’t been served Chicken Marbella! Yet no one had ever before heard of a chicken dish dazzled with prunes, olives and capers, and garlic, LOTS of garlic. Sheila was not shy in the kitchen – she tossed handfuls of previously parsimoniously used ingredients into her pots. The use of butter was lavish! Fresh herbs were strewn about with abandon! Lush and abundant were the code words! Later, The Silver Palate Good Times Cookbook, and The New Basics, were huge hits as well. In 1986, Julia Child passed the torch of Food Editor of PARADE Magazine on to Sheila and Julee. PARADE is the nation’s largest circulating magazine, with a readership of over 70 million. Sheila went on to share her “Simply Delicious” (the perfect name for the column) recipes with readers across the country for over two decades as Food Editor.

1981 – Enter/Re-enter Laurie Griffith I arrived in New York City fresh from my hometown in Kansas. I had first seen Silver Palate products in a fancy shop in Tucson, when I was at the University of Arizona, and had been so smitten with them (the stuff just looked so good) that I was compelled to write and ask for a job. After graduation, with no more than a phone call invitation and an agreement to turn up the following Monday, I was on my way. I took a room at The Barbizon (a famous women’s residence hotel near Bloomingdales) and started my job that July Monday at the Silver Palate, first serving up container after container of the famous Tarragon Chicken Salad and other delicacies in the shop for a year, and then going on to do other jobs in the

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R U R A L PA L AT E S business. I loved working there. It was the absolute height of the new gourmet food era. Shops were springing up around town. It was an exciting time in food! Spurred on by this exciting environment, I went off to cooking school in Paris. After nine years there, I returned to Kansas and put in only one call – to Sheila Lukins – asking her if she knew anyone who needed some help. Much to my surprise and delight, she said she did! So once again, a few days later, I was in New York and starting a new job (it was too much fun to be called a job) with Sheila Lukins. We went on to work together for nearly 20 years. Sheila would surmount several personal challenges during that time, including a crippling cerebral hemorrhage from which she courageously fought back, and a sad divorce from her husband of 30 years, but she never stopped working, or even traveling. Despite her health issues, she wrote another bestselling cookbook, called All Around the World – and she actually did go all around the world — it was an amazing show of personal strength. It is no exaggeration to say that adversity spurred her on and she was at her most focused in the kitchen. She would write three more cookbooks: The USA Cookbook, Celebrate! and Ten. All hugely successful tomes, each with whirlwind 30-city book tours to match. Sheila was a fun one to travel with. We could always be found in the off time scheming, and searching for local BBQ joints, or a good hotel swimming pool to sneak into.

A.K.A. “Lala” Sheila could not stand the idea of becoming a grandmother — until she learned she was going to become a Grandmother. Then she became known as Lala, the Grandmother of all time. Bailey came along first and was the center of our Mondays, Sheila’s day to watch her. The day would start with a rush messenger dispatched to E.A.T. – a New York City food shop – to pick up masses of fancy things to feed Bailey at lunch (Bailey hardly touched any of it). But no matter – one of Sheila’s many ways of showing her love was with lush and abundant piles of delicious food. She fed the ones she loved – abundantly! Sadly, Matthew, who came along later, was too young to experience her love for food. Most any top chef today will claim Sheila inspired him or her in some way. Many of them were actually buoyed, encouraged and supported by her. She frequented many of their early restaurant endeavors. Most of the current best-known food personalities were born from the Silver Palate era. She leaves a legacy of seven best-selling cookbooks, legions of great home cooks, scores of famous headlining restaurants and TV chefs inspired by her recipes, and, my all time favorite dish – Chicken Marbella. Sheila got her start when there was a big sea change in food. Before then it wasn’t sexy to be a foodie. It was a time when an interest in food and in cooking wasn’t cool. The economy was improving after a downturn in the ‘70s, women were entering the work force in droves, American food for the first time was looked at as a reputable, indemand “cuisine” and was starting to come into its own, and Sheila led the Parade. She introduced a style that was all her own, for which she will always be remembered. ❉ Laurie Griffith is a New York City-based freelance culinary and travel consultant. The promise of interesting food and adventure lure her to travel the world.

Lamb Tagine 3 pounds boneless lamb shoulder, cut into 2-inch pieces 1 cup fresh orange juice 1/2 cup sherry vinegar 4 cloves garlic, finely minced 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more if needed 1 onion, chopped 3 carrots, peeled, halved lengthwise, and cut into 2-inch lengths 1 teaspoon saffron threads 2 teaspoons ground cumin 2 teaspoons dried thyme 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour 1 cup canned chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained 1/2 cup pitted prunes 1/2 cup dry red wine Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste 3 ripe tomatoes, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces 1/2 cup imported black olives, such as Gaeta, Kalamata, or Nicoise, pitted 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice Couscous, for serving Fresh mint leaves, for garnish 1. Place the lamb in a large, nonreactive bowl and add the orange juice, vinegar, and garlic. Toss to combine. Let the lamb marinate, covered, in the refrigerator for 2 hours, turning the pieces once or twice. Then drain the lamb, reserving the marinade. 2. Place 2 tablespoons of the oil in a flameproof casserole over medium-high heat. Add the lamb, in batches, and cook until browned, about 10 minutes per batch, adding more oil as needed. 3. As the lamb is browned, remove the pieces to another bowl. Set the lamb aside. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the onion and carrots to the casserole. Adding more oil if necessary, cook the vegetables until softened, about 8 minutes. Then stir in the saffron, cumin, thyme, and coriander, and cook over low heat for 5 minutes to blend the flavors. 4. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the chickpeas, prunes, wine, and the reserved marinade. Season with salt and pepper. 5. Return the lamb to the casserole and add the tomatoes and olives. Simmer, covered, over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, for 11/4 hours. Stir in the lemon juice. Serve over couscous, garnished with mint. Serves 6.

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Rural Palates


Red Lulu’s Sono, CT There’s no such thing as over the top when it comes to the vibe and décor of the recently opened Red Lulu’s Cocina & Tequila Bar in South Norwalk, CT. A sister restaurant to Lolita Cocina & Tequila Bar in the

les, sausages to sauerkraut) he’s likely to do that. French Culinary Institute trained, and a veteran of Esca in New York, L’Escale in Greenwich, and Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich’s Tarry Lodge in Port Chester, Truelove now revels in his vision of “New American” cooking. On the Autumn menu, especially pleasing were spicy tuna “spring rolls” in delicate, crisp tuiles; Maine lobster bisque thick with lobster, shrimp and chives; and red and gold beets stacked between warm goat cheese croutons, with glazed walnuts and a citrus vinaigrette. Pancetta wrapped meat loaf is a sure bet for comfort seekers;

The Fez

Red Lulu’s Byram section of Greenwich, Red Lulu’s is darker, trendier, hipper, and more fun than any of the other myriad cafes and bars lining Washington Street nearby. Red flocked wallpaper, glittering chandeliers, grey hued brick walls, and black and white movies projected overhead create a dim, sensual interior. Throw in over 100 Tequilas from which to imbibe, cotton candy for dessert, and menu items such as corn bread smothered in garlic butter; barbequed brisket tacos; garlic shrimp flautas; lobster enchiladas and you’ve definitely got an upscale crowd pleaser. Did I mention that Red Lulu’s is attended by a bevy of young, attractive hosts and hostesses and peopled by young, well-attired, urban professionals? Owned and operated by cb5 Restaurant Group, which has developed over 120 restaurants around the world for such large hospitality conglomerates as Hard Rock and W Hotels, Red Lulu’s has all the earmarks of a sure-to-be-successful new establishment. It brings a level of sophistication and savvy to Sono that those seeking a multi-sensory night on the town should seek out; if you’ve got a sense of humor and taste for the unusual, stop by. 128 Washington Street, South Norwalk. 203/9391600.

Creekstone Farms filet mignon in a balsamic-soy glaze for classicists; and the “Social Burger” — 8 ounces of “prime grind” with lettuce, tomato, red onion jam, and house cured pickles on an English muffin with regular or sweet potato fries for extroverts. The atmosphere is duly pubby and clubby, with a high-topped communal table, comfortable banquets, wood paneling and a spacious lounge. Open daily for lunch and dinner. 36 Pine Street, New Canaan. 203/966-5200;

The Fez Stamford, CT

Pine Social Club New Canaan, CT As the name implies, the new Pine Social is meant to be more of an intimate local hang out than an impersonal restaurant. Executive Chef Adam Truelove aims to make his fare so good, and so memorable, that you’ll return again and again. With his focus on using organic, free-range meats, sustainable fish, and local farm produce, and making a surprising number of ingredients in house (everything from pastas to pick-

Pine Social Club

Whether the name conjures an image of the universal male headgear of the Ottoman Empire, or of the exotic city in Morocco, the conjuring is apt. The Fez, recently opened by laid back partners Eric Monte and Bharat Patel, serves up delightful Moroccan/Mediterranean cuisine in a red-walled, candle lit, cucumber scented locale in downtown Stamford. Diners can choose intimate tables in various areas of the screened and curtained dining room, or a collective meal at the central, communal dining table. Start with a house-steeped vodka, such as the Fez pickled vodka of garlic, cucumber and vinegar — for those who like their martinis dry. The menu offers three sizes of dishes, and sharing is clearly encouraged. “Snacks” are mainly finger foods

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and go well with an opening cocktail: try housemade hummus with housebaked pita chips; cerignola olives; or sag and feta spring rolls. Small plates, or appetizers, allow diners to sample a range of flavors, such as spiced lamb ribs with anchovy bread crumbs and stone ground mustard; beet salad with grapefruit, chicory and feta cheese; roasted butternut squash with flamed haloumi, watercress and pistachios; or grilled scallops with whipped hummus, parsley salad and preserved lemon. Entrees such as beef meatball tagine or chicken bastilla — a traditional dish of chicken baked in pastry dough with almonds — are served with a side of pita or rice and allow diners to savor a hearty portion of aromatic fare. Briwats, a sweet, flaky pastry similar to baklava, makes an excellent dessert, accompanied by French press coffee. Because Eric believes the best evenings are a combination of “food, wine and music,” live music is presented regularly on a tiny stage (“bring your own vinyl night,” open mike night) and the wine list is excellent. 227 Summer Street, Stamford. 203/975-0479.

In Stamford, drawing in the after-work crowd as well as hordes of young singles and couples, chef Scott Quis lays out an array of approachable yet exciting small plates. Florida Red Snapper Crudo is a twist on the usual tuna tartar appearing with regularity on menus around town, while the shortrib braised in Rioja wine with chestnuts and Kabocha squash, at the other end of the spectrum, is satisfyingly hearty. Millstone Farm eggs with white truffles— sunnyside up with a generous shaving of fresh truffles tableside — is a divine dish of exquisite simplicity. Here too goose-

Barcelona One of the area’s original tapas and wine bars, Barcelona continues its expansion — and production of events such as a pig butchering class, wine dinner series, culinary classes, and pig roasts — without the individual locales loosing their distinctive local color. In South Norwalk, Executive chef Eyhab “Happy” Hatab puts his


Kebab Factory berries feature in a lovely finish: a warm fig and gooseberry crumble with almonds and vanilla ice cream, served in a traditional South American clay pot. Sono: 203/899-0088; Stamford: 203/348-4800.

Kebab Factory Norwalk, CT

imprimatur on a number of wonderful dishes. Focusing this season on “pickles, cures, preserves and other lost arts,” he offers an astonishing array of housemade delicacies. His plate of house cured meats eschews pork in favor of veal, lamb and duck done two ways, served with smoky Kirby cucumbers, wild grapes, Beech mushrooms and kale. Duck lovers can continue with “Duck, Duck, Goose,” a sampling of duck confit with butternut squash en croute, duck crackling with concord jam and house-cured foie gras paté. Magnifique. A number of other plates are equally tempting: Porcelet a la plancha is tender pork belly over fresh shelled fava beans; house aged ribeye is served with crisp acorn squash, chorizo and spiced malt syrup. To finish, try warm caña de Cabra — a mild goat cheese — with gooseberries, Millstone Farm honey and oregano.

The Kebab Factory, a new storefront Indian Bistro in a nondescript strip mall in Norwalk, serves surpass-your-expectations kebabs, curries and small plates. Its stellar kebabs - over 20 varieties of meat and seafood seasoned with fresh herbs and hand ground spices and cooked inside the clay “tandoor” oven - are served with dipping sauces of homemade mint-coriander chutney, roasted sweet chili peppers and pickled onion. Not all are served on the traditional stick; try lamb shammi kebab: ground lamb with lentils; chicken seekh kebab: minced chicken with crushed coriander, ginger and onion; Tiger Shrimp Achari with roasted garlic, fenugreek leaves and green pickles; or vegetarian tofu and minced vegetable with split chickpea flour. For a wonderful assortment, choose the tasting kebab platter. Saucy, savory classics such as Tikka Masala (tomato cream), Saag (creamed spinach with garlic and onion), Vindaloo (fiery spices and potato) and Malaabar (coconut curry with red chili) are also available, as are a range of whole wheat and unleavened breads. For dessert, try the Shahi Tukda: a saffron flavored, light bread pudding, sliced, fried in butter, and topped with berries and sweetened cottage cheese. The Kebab Factory serves beer and wine, and is open for lunch and dinner daily, except Mondays. 203/854-1050; 280 Connecticut Avenue, Norwalk. ❉

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Like a Rolling Stone

SeaDream Yacht Club BY DEBBIE SILVER


is scattered all over the world, a small luxury cruise is a wonderful, relaxing way to gather together for a family celebration. The challenge was finding the right cruise for our family of five adults: a 7-8 day cruise, elegant yet casual, with open seating dining, no formal evenings or little kids running around. In reviewing all the award-winning, small luxury ships, I discovered SeaDream Yacht Club with its intriguing logo, “It’s yachting, not cruising.” The website boasted an impressive list of “World’s Best” accolades from Condé Nast Traveler and Travel and Leisure. But what did cruisebloggers have to say about SeaDream Yacht Club? Wow, I couldn’t get over how passionate people are about their SeaDream experiences. One site has a posting “You know you’re addicted to SeaDream when...” Each entry lists how many SeaDream trips traveled and the date and destination of their next SeaDream cruise. Like a camper who can’t

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wait to go back next summer, SeaDream cruisers express a yearning to return to this experience where they were the happiest and most relaxed. SeaDream I and II each welcome 112 guests aboard. With an award winning crew of 95, the service is extraordinary. SeaDream is all-inclusive and gratuities are included in the cost of the trip. It’s so easy to relax when you don’t have to reach for your wallet! I can’t figure out how the crew is able to greet guests by name on the first day. Passengers are welcomed aboard, handed a refreshing chilled towel with a hint of lemongrass and a glass of champagne. Take me away SeaDream! The ocean-view staterooms have the most comfortable beds with Belgian linens. Each room has a flat screen TV, DVD, and CD Player with marble bathrooms, a multi-jet shower massage with Bvlgari bath products. Love the personal fridge stocked with champagne, beer, sodas and

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water, and 24 hour room service. The first night you’ll discover a pair of cozy SeaDream pajamas on your pillow. When you notice your name has been embroidered on the pajamas, you understand why SeaDream Yacht Club is so special. They go above and beyond to get to know their guests. On the second day your waiter remembers that you like an iced cappuccino with breakfast and in the evening, your favorite cocktail. My parents’ milestone anniversary was celebrated with a cake at dinner, but that was just the beginning. When they returned to their stateroom they discovered their room had been filled with balloons, rose petals scattered on their bed, champagne, and an origami of towels shaped into two swans kissing. Every staff member is so happy to see you, checking to make sure you’re comfortable; can they be of any help? I asked the concierge for a piece of tape for my broken reading glasses. She insisted on taking them to the ship’s engineer for repair. The glasses were fixed and returned to me on a silver platter. The cuisine is outstanding. The preparation and breadth of selection is most impressive. There are no buffet lines, or platters for the masses. The presentations are beautiful and served with flair by a team of expert waiters. Lovely wines are served at lunch and dinner, each selection a winner. Oenophiles can purchase select bottles from the wine cellar for a fee. All inclusive: five-star dining, complimentary wine at lunch and dinner and open bar serving cocktails to your heart’s content. A trip aboard the SeaDream Yacht Club is a great value. The Champagne and Caviar Splash™ is a signature event on the SeaDream. Guests and crew celebrate with flowing champagne toasts and caviar served shoreside, followed by a fabulous beach barbecue,

elegantly served on china. On voyages where it is not possible to host the Champagne and Caviar Splash™ ashore, the celebration is held onboard on the Pool Deck. A variety of tours are offered at each destination and mountain bikes are available for exploring the ports. There’s plenty to do onboard: a fit-

ness center, 30-course golf simulator, an outdoor swimming pool and whirlpool. SeaDream I and II have a retractable marina with a Zodiac for water skiing, Hobie Cat “Wave” and Laser sailboats along with glass-bottom kayaks, banana boat, tubing, boarding, snorkeling, and a floating island. The Spa onboard offers a beautiful menu of Thai massages, body treatments and La Prairie Facials. Rows of Balinese Dream Beds are available for lounging or sleeping under the stars. Each one of us felt transformed by the end of the week. The tension and exhaustion of everyday life had lifted and we discovered true relaxation. It was such an intimate experience, as if we were aboard our family’s private yacht and there were simply a few other folks along for the journey. The most extraordinary staff cared for my family. There’s an important difference between being pampered and being cared for. The SeaDream staff is endearing; they are the heart of what makes this experience so memorable. The destinations are wonderful and beautiful but we could have stopped anywhere or not stopped at all. Being on board the SeaDream was what we cherished most. It was the best trip of our lives! SeaDream Yacht Club: 800/707-4911;

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Like a Rolling Stone Le Cep Beaune, France Attention wine lovers, history buffs, gourmets and sensualists. In the region of Burgundy, known worldwide for its excellent wines, lies the exquisite Medieval town of Beaune, with the marvelous Hotel Le Cep at its center. This is a hedonist’s destination extraordinaire. Beaune is historic, prosperous and

suites, grand salons, candle-lit cellars and famed restaurant in several adjoining, period buildings, surrounding an intimate garden courtyard. Richly furnished with antiques and period pieces, yet with modern amenities such as air conditioning, spacious baths and internet, the hotel offers a sumptuous base from which to explore the town and nearby terroir. Meeting rooms and a modern fitness center are swathed in the elegance of yesteryear. Breakfast is served in the stonewalled cellar on delicate porcelain, with croissants, crusty rolls, local butter and preserves as good as any to be had anywhere. The Michelin-starred, gastronomic restaurant Loiseau des Vignes presents a memorable tasting menu with wine pairings, or a la carte selections. Plan a tour and tasting visit to nearby vineyards through the concierge, and enjoy the vintages of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Gamay and Aligoté. Member, Small Luxury Hotels: 800/5254800;

Hotel des Academies et des Arts Paris, France


cosmopolitan, with magnificent Burgundian architecture, fashionable shopping, and dining as fabulous as the wines that have been produced in the nearby vineyards and Chateaux for generations. Stroll the pedestrian thoroughfares, sample the wares of numerous wines shops and enjoy la vie en rose. As the hotel claims, you will truly “experience another world.” Family owned and run, Le Cep hotel is comprised of 64 rooms and


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Looking to immerse yourself in la vie boheme on a visit to Paris? On the street where Modigliani had his studio and across the road from the famous Académie de la Grande Chaumière, (of which Gauguin, Giacometti and others were members) the Hotel des Academies et des Arts offers a mod base from which to experience the Latin quarter and indeed the entire city. The hotel is a design boutique hotel on the left bank— near the Luxembourg Garden, Montparnasse and Saint Germain des Pres— with signature touches by contemporary painter Jérôme Mesnager and sculptor Sophie de Watrigant. What the hotel’s 20 petite guest rooms lack in size, they make up for in style. A mix of classic design and contemporary materials, rooms are decorated in hues of taupe and plum or brilliant scarlet, with throw blankets, luxury linens and fine bathroom amenities. The hotel offers free Wifi and internet access, video and music on demand, air conditioning, and some rooms with tiny balconies. An excellent, complimentary continental breakfast of croissants, pastries, yogurt, a selection of jams and Illy coffee or teas from Le Palais des Thés is a wonderful way to start the day. The hotel’s “Chez Charlotte” tea room, open in the afternoon, serves a fine selection of teas and macarons by famed Pierre Hermé, “the Picasso of Pastry.” Also to be explored nearby are the Cartier Foundation for Contemporary Art, holding permanent and temporary exhibitions; The Musée du Luxembourg; the Musée Zadkine; and the Musée Eugène Delacroix. Airport transfer in eco-friendly vehicles is available upon request.

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Chateau St. Gerlach

Bagni di Pisa is both a resort and Medical Spa, offering just such a program, as well as glorious accommodations in an 18th century villa formerly the summer residence of the Grand Duke of Tuscany. The multi-disciplinary program provides physical activity, psychological support, as well as a balanced diet, rich in the flavors of Tuscany, accompanied by education on healthy eating habits and necessary changes in lifestyle. All this in a hotel imbued with the beauty of original frescoes, soaring ceilings, grand salons and charming terraces surrounded by gardens.


Maastricht, Holland A beautiful country house estate outside of Maastriccht, Chateau St. Gerlach has been restored to its former glory and made available to guests seeking an idyllic local for business or pleasure in the Netherlands. As a beaming photo at reception attests, President George Bush stayed here on a visit to the nearby war cemetery in Margraten. Set amidst extensive parks overlooking the Geul Valley and adjacent to the Ingendael nature reserve, the grounds of the Chateau offer a sculpture garden, rose garden, kitchen garden, orchard and vineyard; as well as outbuildings and Medieval church with working bell tower. 58 rooms in the main chateau are individually and luxuriously decorated, while 39 apartment suites with two bedrooms and bath, kitchen, and living room are located in the former stables. The hotel’s gastronomic restaurant offers a creative a la carte menu, accompanied by world-famous wines, in a formal dining room with original frescos and hand painted ceilings. The Bistrot de Liege, located in the former kitchen, dining room and sitting room of the baronial homestead, serves more casual fare in a charmingly rustic setting. Original wide planked floors, old cupboards and entry through the open kitchen lend a country appeal to the fresh, locally sourced cuisine. In warmer weather, al fresco dining is offered on the terrace. An intimate spa and wellness center, created out of the cellars, offers herbal baths, body treatments, and exercise therapy. Use of the Romanstyle indoor swimming pool, sauna and Turkish steam room is complimentary for hotel guests. Elegant meeting and banquet facilities can accommodate from 10 to 250 people. The hotel provides a shuttle service into downtown Maastricht, (less than 8 miles away,) with its lively shopping, dining, monuments and historic sites. Inquire at the concierge for touring routes for walkers, cyclists, or by car.

BAGNI DI PISA Pisa, Italy Imagine a luxury hotel and spa that offers a “Lose weight in Tuscany” program. A personalized, weeklong agenda of dining, access to indoor and outdoor thermal pools, consultation with medical and aesthetic teams, spa treatments and exercise classes, set amid the beauty and splendor of Pisa, Italy.

Many visitors come to Bagni di Pisa just as a place of well-being, relaxation and rejuvenation. One of three sister spa resorts that form the STB Group, Bagni di Pisa offers a hammam, a natural cave with steam bath and over 100 wellness treatments in its elegant, serene spa. Dei Lorena, the hotel’s gourmet restaurant, serves traditional Italian regional fare for those on a less restrictive meal plan. Meeting rooms and the American Bar Shelley are also on site. Nearby lie Pisa with its leaning tower, Lucca surrounded by Medieval walls, and Forte dei Marmi with tantalizing beaches and nightlife. Golf, tennis, bicycle tours, hiking and horseback riding are also available. Member, Leading Small Hotels of the World.

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Like a Rolling Stone


“uncompromising performance”

Ten years ago, KJUS

(pronounced “tschuss”) was nothing more than a dream. A vision, a bold idea. KJUS was to become synonymous with the best skiwear in the world. Nothing less. An ambitious goal. Or perhaps even presumptuous? Prophecies of doom were heard. Skeptics raised a warning finger. Nobody was waiting for KJUS, but the founders of KJUS did not allow such resistance to divert them. They persevered. Consistently implemented their ideas. With uncompromisingly high standards of quality and perfection. With plenty of hard work to develop the product and the brand. With passion and enthusiasm. They were driven by the firm conviction that they would set a new standard in the world of skiwear with KJUS. Fast forward to 2011; KJUS enters its second decade. The mission, continue to raise the bar and push ski technology even further. In addition to the KJUS SKI Collection, Spirit Collection and Juniors Collection, KJUS has evolved into a year round business partner with the introduction of the KJUS Performance Lifestyle Collection — due in stores late January. Available at premium ski boutiques and retail stores throughout North America. Sign up for KJUS|KLUB to stay in the know about all things KJUS.;

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Like a Rolling Stone

PASTA AND PISTE Venice and Cortina D’Ampezzo Londra Palace The Londra Palace is a stunning hotel with an enviable location just a few steps from St Mark’s Square, the Doge’s Palace and The Bridge of


native Venetian, strives to preserve the cultural livelihood of her city and became passionate about reviving this property on the Giudecca Island. Opening in February, Villa F has eleven individual apartment-style accommodations and is great for those seeking independence. Each residence features living room space and a quaint mini-kitchen that provide guests with a home away from home. Highlights of the estate include a lovely glass-enclosed atrium and winter garden, an expansive outdoor garden patio, and an exclusive swimming pool. Guests will be thrilled to find such a property just moments away from the heart of Piazza San Marco. Villa F is a five-minute boat ride across the Grand Canal from the Bauer Il Palazzo and BAUER properties near Piazza San Marco, and steps away from the Bauer Palladio Hotel & Spa. Guests can visit Palladio to dine at the Palladio Bar & Restaurant, and book treatments and massages at the spa. Using the Bauer’s private, solar-powered shuttle boat, the BMare, guests may travel across the Grand Canal to dine at the Bauer’s popular De Pisis restaurant.

Dining at Antico Pignolo and Do Forni

Sighs. This stone palazzo was originally two hotels joined together in the 1850’s and renamed Londra Palace in the 1970s. The hotel’s contemporary design of cream leather and glass offers a refreshing contrast to the heavy-handed opulence of other five star hotels in Venice. The hotel’s 53 rooms are furnished with elegant fabrics and Biedermeier antiques. The Londra Palace has the quintessential view; one hundred windows overlook St. Mark’s Basin. When Tchaikovsky stayed in room 106, he wrote the first three movements of Symphony no.4. The hotel pays tribute to the renowned composer – an original letter written by Tchaikovsky to his benefactress is etched on a glass pane in the lobby lounge. The rooftop terrace of the Londra Palace is the spot for savoring a glass of prosecco and a 360degree view of Venice. Do Leoni offers fine dining in the hotel as well as a magnificent outdoor café. VILLA F What a spectacular setting for dining and watching the gondolas float by. Member, Small Luxury Hotels of the World. 800/525-4800;

Villa F Venice is home to a new and unique luxury accommodation with the restoration of a charming 16th century villa by Bauer Il Palazzo owner and CEO Francesca Bortolotto Possati. This abandoned, regal property was once one of Venice’s chicest addresses. Ms. Bortolotto Possati, a

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Two exceptional restaurants in Venice — Ristorante Antico Pignolo and Do Forni — belong on the top of your list. Both are longtime favorites of celebrities and dignitaries and are worth the splurge. If weather permits, Antico Pignolo has a beautiful garden for outdoor dining. Begin with a Bellini (fresh peach juice and prosecco) or a sensational cocktail of grapefruit gelato, vodka and prosecco blended until frothy. Every dish is expertly prepared: shrimp scampi with sautéed onions and slivered baby artichokes; pasta with baby clams; saffron risotto with shrimp and asparagus. For the finale, Grand Marnier crepes are cooked tableside, filled with a vanilla pastry cream and drizzled with an orange marmalade. At Do Forni you find yourself saying, “This was the best I ever had.” Whether it’s a platter of delicate prosciutto, tagliatelle Bolognese, or a sliced chateaubriand with Béarnaise sauce served with fried potatoes and zucchini. Lemon soufflé surrounded by crème anglaise, with chocolate sauce for dessert. If there are restaurants in heaven, I know that Antico Pignolo and Do Forni will be there.;

Getting There: Limo International I always want to get picked up in Italy. By International Limousine Service, that is. Cortina is a two-hour ride from Venice; take the stress out of your arrival and departure by arranging for a chauffeured car to drive you. International Limousine Service can also assist in organizing and planning your trip. The thirty-year-old company offers a handsome collection of vehicles and their multi-lingual drivers are professional and personable. Sit back, stretch your legs and enjoy the ride to the Dolomites.

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Cortina d’Ampezzo It’s Saturday evening in Cortina d’Ampezzo, one of Italy’s exclusive mountain resorts. The pedestrian walkway is alive with townsfolk and tourists out for a drink, dinner and “la passeggiata,” the evening stroll. The town is an intriguing combination of quaint alpine village meets Prada. Many of Italy’s elite have second homes in Cortina, yet the town isn’t overrun with expensive boutiques like Aspen. The posh boutiques are simply a part of the quaint landscape of this historic town. Cortina d’Ampezzo, known as the “Queen of the Dolomites,” is located in the magnificent UNESCO World Natural Heritage area of the Dolomite mountains. When the sun sets in Cortina the mountains take on a rose hue


that deepens to purple as night falls. Cortina was known as a summer resort until 1956, when the town was selected to host the Winter Olympics. Once the international community discovered the resort, Cortina became Italy’s exclusive winter holiday destination. Cortina is a gorgeous playground for both intermediate and advanced skiers. It is part of an inter-connected ski area that takes several days to fully explore. The Italian alps are best experienced with a ski instructor/guide, and Paolo D’amico is the man. Everyone knows Paolo in Cortina; he grew up in the village and has been a top ski instructor for almost 30 years, working with Warren Miller Films and Sylvester Stallone on location in Cortina for the movie “Cliffhanger.” His local knowledge transforms a good ski day into a fascinating history lesson. This unique corner of Northern Italy was Austrian until the end of WWI; Paolo will take you on a ski tour to see the tunnels and trenches built into the mountains. The Cristallo and Faloria areas are easily accessible from the center of town. Cortina’s on-mountain restaurants are known as rifugi and offer traditional fare overlooking the snow-covered peaks. The lasagna is excellent at Rifugio Capanna Tondi set 2340 meters on Monte Faloria. Head to the Tofana area for its signature cruising runs, the long and swooping Canalone and the super speedy Olympic Downhill (1956) ski run - a truly hair raising ride back in time. Heading further west,


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Like a Rolling Stone Cortina’s overwhelming beauty is on full display, as you ski around the massive rock formations of the Cinque Torri area. Stop for pasta and jaw-dropping views at Rifugio Averau, before continuing the trek west to the wide open and mostly expert Lagazuoi area. In the evening, travel up the mountain by ski lift after dark, or for the more adventurous, by snowmobile or snowshoes, to enjoy themed din-


Dining In Town A few steps from the Hotel Ambra Cortina is Dall’Ava — a Prosciutteria Ristorante — serving platters of a variety of prosciuttos. Here and around town you’ll see people drinking a bright orange cocktail that looks like Dayquil. It’s an aperitif called Aperol, typically served with soda water as an Aperol Spritz. Venturato Caffe is a very hip coffee and cocktail lounge along the pedestrian walkway. Ristorante Ra Stua, Via Grohmann, 2 is very good for grilled meats and traditional dishes.

Hotel Ancora

ners in traditional mountain rifugi. Spend the night at altitude or enjoy a moonlit descent by ski lift, on skis or toboggan. The Moonlight Sledge is organized by the Cortina Adrenalin Center and is all about enjoying the snow at night. It is a unique opportunity to admire Cortina by night while experiencing the thrill of sledging down the valley. When the weather permits, one can stop to watch the stars at the Astronomical Observatory of Col Drusciè. Generations of Cortina’s original families have remained in town, preserving its heritage and traditions. What you see in Cortina is a continuity of generations proud of their bond to their home.

The Ambra Cortina Hotel Most hotels have been family run for generations. Elisabetta Dotto, the daughter and granddaughter of hoteliers, runs the Ambra Cortina Hotel set right in the heart of Cortina. The Ambra Cortina is ideally situated in the center of town, just a short walk to the ski lift and the pedestrian walkway. The twenty-five-room hotel overlooks Monte Faloria and has a cozy mountain charm. There’s a fireplace lounge and terrace and a breakfast room. The staff is lovely and eager to assist with any request.

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The Hotel Ancora is the oldest hotel in Cortina, dating back to 1826. Flavio and Renato Sartor are the owners of the hotel, located across from the town bell tower. Its outdoor terrace overlooks the pedestrian walkway and is undoubtedly one of the best spots for people-watching in town. Dining at the restaurant at the Hotel Ancora is elegant indeed. Tuxedoed waiters present each course in a synchronized lifting of the domes from covered plates. Austria’s influence is woven into the traditional dishes of Cortina. You’ll find ravioli stuffed with beets and sprinkled with poppy seeds; risotto prepared with red chicory, Taleggio cheese and Amarone wine, giving it its unusual plum hue. Grilled beef from Piemonte is wonderful, served sliced with roasted potatoes and bacon.

Sweet Delights Eurochocolate, the sweet festival that draws a million visitors to Perugia, made its ski debut in December in Cortina d’Ampezzo. Eurochocolate Ski invites guests to experience the pleasure of chocolate both on the mountain and in town. Enjoy a chocolate treat directly on the slope, or warm up with a delicious cup of steaming hot chocolate in one of the many traditional high altitude restaurants. The town is host to a variety of chocolate events, like the original Chocolate Slalom. There are exhibitions dedicated to chocolate, fun and educational events for children, chocolate tasting classes for adults, as well as a chocolate spa and beauty treatments and a chocolate market.

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the RedLevel has a private check-in area that serves as a lounge with a nightly complimentary happy hour. Guests in each of the 131 suites have access to a private, adults-only pool with Bali beds, complimentary full breakfast, and a breathtaking view of the sea or verdant garden property. The emperors amongst you should stay in one of the oceanfront villas. Frequented by R&B star Usher and actress Roselyn Sánchez, these exceptional oceanfront villas have their own private plunge pools.


Puerto Rico has never seen a resort quite like the Gran Meliá. Imagine: a 486 all-suite resort with expansive views of the ocean, golf course, and rainforest; Puerto Rico’s largest lagoon-style pool with four integrated whirlpools, a world-renowned YHI Spa, and the Trump International Golf Club, complete with two 18-hole championship golf courses designed by PGA pro, Tom Kite. For the ultimate in luxury, check into the RedLevel. Fit for a monarch,

Experience the inherently restorative healing properties of the rainforest at the YHI Spa, one of Puerto Rico’s premiere resort spas, spanning 12,000 square feet. The Spa’s Wellness, Hydrotherapy Ritual, and Relaxation centers feature more than 50 unique treatments, a salon, and a lifestyle boutique. The 80-minute Rainforest Signature Treatment begins with a body scrub of granulated brown sugar poultice dipped in warm cocoa-mint oil. Next comes a coat of honey and citrus juices blended in shea-aloe cream and thermal blanket wraps, finished with hydrotherapy and a soothing massage using the Signature Rainforest lotion. Now back to the water for a swim and a seat in the pool at the Wet Pool Bar and Grill. A creamy Kahlua Colada or perhaps the smooth, aquamarine swirls of a Blue Parrot for a salute to the tropics. Absolute bliss! After lounging poolside, choose from a variety of activities, ranging from three lit tennis courts, nightly entertainment at the lobby bar, casino with blackjack tables, roulette, and slot machines to salsa and merengue dance classes, an activities center and a Kid’s Club.

Dragonfly Adventures



Even with the Gran Meliá’s wide array of activities, there’s a jungle out there to explore at El Yunque, one of the few rainforests in the US, located just minutes from the Gran Meliá resort. Dragonfly Adventures is a full-service destination management company dedicated to enhancing guests’ Puerto Rico experience by providing personalized airport transfers, efficient ground transportation, and exciting tours and excursions. Try a Bacardi tour, explore New and Old San Juan, take a fishing tour, or one of Dragonfly’s unique trips to spectacular bioluminescent bays, filled with small plankton that release a glow into the night. Don’t miss Dragonfly’s ecotourism adventures to El Yunque. You can choose a tour by ATV, mountain bike, or horse. While the ATVs are challenging to control on the narrow dirt paths, the guides are eager to assist beginners and demonstrate their knowledge of the rainforest, all while pointing out the spectacular sights on the ride. As you arrive in the foothills, prepare to be dazzled. The entire rainforest is perched on some of the island’s highest points, lending it the name “the Cloud Forest.” The tour culminates at a creek, where riders can swim and relax in the water. After a long day of adventuring, it’s time to explore Puerto Rico’s mixology and gastronomy at the Gran Meliá Golf Resort Puerto Rico. Take your pick of the resort’s collection of lounges and bars: Avenue Bar: Enjoy a savvy selection of cocktails in a setting of lush tropics at the lobby area. Martini Bar: The perfect spot for pre-dinner cocktails or after-dinner cordials.

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Like a Rolling Stone TEMPO

Tempo The resort’s executive chef, Efraín Cruz, serves lighter Italian fare at Tempo. For starters, try the fried trio of crunchy calamari, zucchini, and shrimp topped with a light red sauce. A hint of sweetness is a pleasant surprise in the eggplant parmesan. The sea bass, served with a garlic sauce and side of shrimp and mussels, is the fish to reel in before the night is up. The lamb chops served with rosemary-topped roasted potatoes is another winner. Love the crème brûlée topped with berries. A Member of Preferred Hotels and Resorts. 200 Coco Beach Blvd. Rio Grande, PR. Reservations: 787/657-1040;

Trump International Golf Club & Residences Puerto Rico Coco Lounge: An elegant and private venue, with tropical music, cocktails, and TV screens. Wet Pool Bar & Grill: Casual swim-up pool bar open during the day. RedLevel Exclusive Pool Bar: An al fresco bar located at the Exclusive RedLevel adults-only swimming pool.

Pasión by Chef Myrta Pasión by Chef Myrta serves up a delectable twist on traditional Puerto Rican cuisine. Run by Chef Myrta Perez, a nun-turned-star chef, this eatery fuses rich island traditions with modern techniques and flavors. Begin your culinary adventure with Myrta’s tangy mango mojitos and a delicious Pasión Trio appetizer of shrimp, calamari, and scallops with Puerto Rican salsas and a lemony red snapper ceviche. The stuffed snapper is a tempting combo of shellfish and lightly seasoned fish. Landlubbers might enjoy the steak and mofongo, a smoky variation on mashed plantains cooked in garlic. A similar dish, fufu, comes with sweeter plantains. The portions are hearty and the vibe is festive!

Nami The Gran Meliá’s Asian fusion restaurant, Nami, melds Latin and Asian flavors together to create a fabulous menu. The Gran Meliá Cancún roll combines Mexican staples, like refried beans and chipotle sauce, with New York cream cheese and Asian chicken tempura. The Criollo roll layers zesty steak with milder avocado, plantains, and cream cheese. Step outside the sushi area into a classic dining room that takes an even more ambitious approach with its food. Go crazy for the drunken coconut shrimp served with a creamy “coquito” dipping sauce. The crab potstickers are another standout appetizer, offering a local twist on a Japanese classic. For the main course, try the seared salmon with an avocado aioli. But dessert at Nami may be the best part of the evening, highlighted by the egg rolllike fried cheesecake that oozes deliciousness. Also not to be missed is a dessert sushi, with sweets on the inside and a chocolate wrapping.

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The Gran Meliá Golf Resort Puerto Rico is adjacent to Trump International Golf Club & Residences Puerto Rico. Plan a vacation around the PGA’s Puerto Rico Open held here each March. Some of the world’s top golfers come here to play in front of crowds of 100,000 spectators. The tour event is played on the Championship Course, one of two courses on the property and the only PGA-style course on the entire island. The slightly smaller International Course offers another 18 holes and spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean to the north and El Yunque rainforest to the south, a terrific backdrop for a foursome. Relax, Trumpstyle, at the 46,000 square-foot-clubhouse, restaurant, greens lounge, and men and women’s locker and lounge facilities, complete with massages, saunas, and Jacuzzi. Trump International Golf Club and Residences offer the affluent golfer a Caribbean home with five-star Trump services. Select from the exclusive Trump Founders Residences, Trump Beach Villas, Trump Golf Villas or Trump Estate Homes. It’s a Trump lifestyle, complete with an expansive Beach Club, bi-level pool, fitness center, Tranquility Spa, Golf Club, and indoor and outdoor dining. ❉




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Advanced Dentistry Of Westchester Part of the DaVinci Dental "Extreme Makeover" Team as seen on ABC-TV The practice is called Advanced Dentistry of Westchester because it offers patients of all ages the latest in dental care well before others in the profession. Using minimally invasive techniques such as computer-guided implants, which can provide “teeth in an hour” and laser “drill-less” fillings and soft tissue treatment, Dr. Kenneth Magid and Dr. Sabrina Magid provide an amazing and unique experience for the dental patient. This advanced treatment even extends to treating snoring and mild obstructive sleep apnea with the new Somnomed oral appliance, that can often replace the CPAP for patients unwilling or unable to use it. Named one of America’s Top Dentists by the Westchester Magazine survey and the Consumers’ Research Council of America, Dr. Magid is an Associate Professor of international and honors esthetics at NYU College of Dentistry and teaches other dentists from around the world the techniques and artistry of creating beautiful smiles. Part of the DaVinci Dental “Extreme Makeover” team as seen on ABC-TV, Dr. Magid has also created the beautiful smiles of celebrities and your Westchester/ Fairfield neighbors. Under the guidance of Dr. Sabrina Magid the practice has set up the services to treat deaf and hard-of-hearing patients including text and instant messaging for appointments, a knowledge of American Sign Language, and an understanding of the special needs of these patients. By carefully communicating with their patients and working together with their team of dedicated specialists, hygienists, assistants and patient coordinators Drs. Sabrina and Kenneth Magid create a plan to achieve the highest level of health and beauty within their patients’ scheduling and financial comfort.

“Named one of America’s Top Dentists by the Westchester Magazine survey and the Consumers’ Research Council of America”

Kenneth S. Magid, D.D.S. Sabrina B. Magid, D.M.D. 163 Halstead Avenue Harrison, NY 914 835 0542

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                                                                            

   



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An Ageless Pursuit: The Quest for Health, Beauty & Fitness By Isabel Stoltzman


atest statistics show the economy has had little impact in slowing the ever increasing appetite for looking and feeling one’s best. You could say the triumvirate of health, beauty and wellness represent the holy grail of aging gracefully. To help educate and inform women interested in knowing more about enhancing their appearance, Fifth Avenue Plastic Surgeon and Fairfield resident Dr. Andrew Kornstein hosted a special event on Wednesday, November 10th. This informative evening, attended by members of the Weston Racquet Club, was held in Dr. Kornstein’s home in Fairfield. To start, guests were served refreshments and light

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hors d’oeuvres. The main course? Insider information on some hot topics related to maintaining a youthful appearance. Experts in personal training, cosmetic dentistry, and skincare were Dr. Kornstein’s cohosts, happy to share their knowledge and answer questions on subjects that are often misrepresented. Struck by the magnificent setting, Dr. Kornstein purchased the home a year ago with the vision of serving both his family and his patients. “Our practice has a large patient population that lives in Connecticut and Westchester. For those who don’t want to commute to the city, I thought they would appreciate the comfort, convenience and privacy of being treated in their neighborhood, so to speak.” Shortly after moving in, Dr. Kornstein transformed the lower level of the house into an office that would complement his primary location on 5th Avenue.

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“If you invest in beauty, it will remain with you all the days of your life.” - Frank LLoyd Wright

“When my friend walked in I couldn’t stop looking at her face. She was radiant and had an incredible smile. After staring at her for a few minutes she then told me she had a facelift with Dr. Kornstein. I had her tell me the whole story. It was exactly what I wanted to hear. A few months later I flew to New York to meet with Dr. Kornstein.” “Friends or colleagues frequently tell me how amazingly well I look, how well rested I seem and how much retirement agrees with me; new acquaintances are amazed to learn that I turned 60. Yet no one has ever asked whether I had surgery because everything looks completely natural. “

... artistry speaks for itself.

Photo by Figuura

andrew n. kornstein, md, facs 1050 5th avenue new york, ny 1 3 7 3 re d d i n g ro a d f a i r f i e l d , c t

212.987.1300 ny

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203.292.9190 ct

a thoughful approach to timeless beauty



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According to statistics released by the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, close to 10 million cosmetic surgical and nonsurgical procedures were performed in the United States in 2009—an increase of 147% since 1997. Botox is the most popular nonsurgical alternative, with breast enhancement, liposuction, eyelid and tummy tucks the most popular surgical procedures. New techniques, devices and innovations continue to flood the market. Can all the promises made be kept? “The world of cosmetic rejuvenation can be confusing. People have a difficult time discerning the real deal from hype. Since rejuvenation is not something you can ‘try on,’ it’s fertile ground for disappointing results that are not easily fixed. That’s why I thought an evening in an informal, less clinical atmosphere would offer a great opportunity for guests to gather information directly from me and colleagues I trust.” Dr. Kornstein spoke to the group about how to choose a plastic surgeon and the intricacies of surgical vs. nonsurgical procedures. Before and after photos were shown in which he highlighted the specific elements he focuses on and what nuances contribute to a great result. Dr. Kornstein’s journey began with aspirations of becoming an architect. Fate intervened and he was encouraged to apply to medical school, where he was inspired by his freshman advisor, a cardiologist. Surgery became his calling, and when his plastic surgery rotation was complete, it was no coincidence he discovered his professional “home” in a specialty where the perfect blend of medicine, art and architecture reside. Dr. Kornstein’s philosophy is that a keen aesthetic eye, judgment and 3D visualization are gifts that cannot be taught. This distinction is important since most cosmetic patient’s greatest fear is looking “different” or “obvious” as opposed to “natural” and “rejuvenated.” Cosmetic dentistry is a close cousin to cosmetic surgery. The American Dental Association reports the yearly revenue brought in by services like teeth whitening, dental veneers, and dental bonding is projected at an average of half a million dollars per dental practice. Simple whitening costs approximately $500, but at higher end practices, patients can spend close to $20,000 on a smile makeover. Smile boutiques touting dental perfection are an integral part of the landscape. Eric Klein, D.D.S. offices out of Norwalk where he has put smiles on the faces of Fairfield County since 1987. His approach is personal and relaxed while emphasizing the very latest in dental equipment and techniques. Like Dr. Kornstein, Dr. Klein spends a considerable amount of time educating patients on choosing not only the right procedure, but the right practitioner. “It’s critical that brilliant marketing not be automatically associated with brilliant training and technique. Veneers and bonding are very technique dependent. A full mouth restoration takes incredible skill. Not every dentist is a cosmetic dentist.” In fact, Dr. Klein’s resumé includes continuing education in advanced cosmetic dentistry to keep him on the leading edge of discoveries and innovations. His practice has invested in CEREC restorations, which have quickly become one of the most popular patient requests. “The teeth can be restored in a single session lasting about an hour. No impressions need be taken and a second visit isn’t

required. The new crown is natural looking because it is made from tooth-colored ceramic material. When you smile, there are no silver fillings apparent and the high grade, plaque resistant material wears beautifully for years while its precise nature helps me save more of the healthy part of the tooth.” Dr. Klein lives in Westport and is an avid tennis player—a very appropriate interest considering the evening’s guests. Rhea Souhleris, owner of La Suite skin care in Greenwich, led an interesting discussion on skincare. Rhea’s background extends far beyond the latest potions and lotions chatter. With degrees from the renowned Catherine Hinds Institute in Boston and her training at the Decleor Institute in Paris, she has established herself as a true skin care specialist over the past 20 years. “Skin care is pertinent for all ages. Women spend incredible sums of money on jars full of empty promises. The best skin care routine is one that is easy to follow, unique to the individual and delivers results. With due respect to my colleagues, Botox, facelifts and fillers will smooth, lift and create volume, but they won’t change the texture and tone of your skin. Veneers and whiteners might actually accentuate skin that is sallow and pigmented.” Rhea practices in her self-described “chic and intimate space” in the downtown area where innovative treatments are the “real deal.” To Julie Migliaccio, personal trainer, it is ‘survival of the fittest’ every day in Westport at her private studio, named Evolution Sports and Fitness. According to IBISWorld USA, a global industry research company, membership rates at gyms and fitness clubs continue to enjoy solid, growing demand. Over the next five years, as the population ages, an even greater value will be placed on staying fit. Julie’s take-no-prisoners philosophy bears a close resemblance to Jillian’s on The Biggest Loser TV hit. “My programs are for people who are deeply committed to change. Regardless of what shape you start with, if you work the program with intensity, strength, conditioning, endurance, flexibility, power and speed will be your reward.” It’s difficult to argue with Julie. Her knowledge of the human body, training, rest/recovery and adaptation is considerable. Her certifications range from National Academy of Sports Medicine, Crossfit, a level 1 coach from Optimum performance training, one of the most prestigious coaching programs available and a black belt in Tae kwon do. Members of the Racquet Club were of like mind discussing workouts with Julie and how they could increase their individual levels of fitness. The evening proved to be enjoyable for both hosts and guests. Attendees left with gift bags. A lucky few received raffle items of complimentary Dysport and Restylane treatments, skin care products by Skin Medica, Clairsonic and Latisse. More important, everyone brought home valuable information on how to sift through the latest buzz on beauty, health and fitness from those whose opinion is grounded in science and experience—not hype. ❉ Isabel Stoltzman is a freelance writer based in Dallas, Texas. She is a frequent contributor to national and regional publications including New Beauty, D Magazine and GLOW focusing on health, beauty and wellness issues. Isabel has also written for Luxe and is the author of 'The Perfect Home Series' Leading Custom Home Builders.

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All of us take all of you very personally

Greenwich Hospital recognizes that no two people are alike. People work, they play, they have friends and families and hobbies. So for a healthcare experience to be extraordinary, it needs to address every part of you. Understanding all aspects of your life helps us create a more complete treatment窶馬o wonder we have received The Press Ganey Summit Award for patient satisfaction for the past 3 years. Greenwich Hospital. For all of you.

Press Ganey Summit Award



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the ideal winter blend of deep snow, charming towns and fun for your whole family. Charlie’s comprehensive guide is also available online at

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The Only Ski Guides You’ll Ever Need Charlie Leocha’s Ski Snowboard America and Ski Snowboard Europe pack in all the essentials for planning your next ski trip anywhere in the world. Discover

The K2 Rictor is a high performance advanced level ski, built for any terrain the resort can offer. K2’s new BASELINE™ technology blends the latest “all-terrain rocker” design with an ideal waist width and sidecut that allows the Rictor to perform with power and versatility that will make you whoop and holler. The ski also floats beautifully in powder, and is nimble in trees and bumps. This is the one ski that can do it all.

W I N T E R WA R M E R S For the single malt drinker, with a yen for things from the East:

Suntory Yamazaki aged 12 years From Japan’s oldest distillery and made with the same pure water used in Japanese tea ceremonies; Matured in 3 different oak casks: American, Spanish, and Japanese. Has a delicate and mellow taste with a lingering, woody, dry finish. Yamazaki single malt 12 Year Old: $41 retail.

For those who enjoy a Kosher, classic Scotch:

The Glenrothes Alba Reserve From Glenrothes, one of only three Speyside distilleries to hold ’top class’ status, comes Alba Reserve, their first certified kosher scotch. Matured exclusively in American oak

17 8 W E S T O N M A G A Z I N E G R O U P. C O M



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PICK ME UPPERS M·A·C New Sheen Supreme Lipstick Gloss may be good while the sun shines, but bold lipsticks are great for dull winter months. Sheen Supreme updated formulas provide strong, sensual, saturated color with a pearl or creme finish. Moisturizing with no sticky feel.

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Yon-Ka Gel Lift Yon-Ka Paris is a French-made, family-owned skincare line created in the 1950s. Products contain plant extracts and essential oils – a synergy of aromatherapy, phyto-therapy, fruit acid therapy and marine therapy. Gel Lift is a new, smooth, fast-absorbing gel that lifts, firms, smoothes and tightens the neck, décolleté and bust. An extension to the popular Advanced Optimizer collection, Gel Lift contains hibiscus peptides, sweet almond proteins, soy peptides, marine collagen and horsetail extracts. Yon-Ka products and treatments are offered in spas and salons nationwide. For locations, call 800/533-6276. ❉

refill bourbon casks. On the palate it is soft and mellow with notes of crème brulée and berry fruits, with a smooth, sweet finish. $59.99

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Mount Gay Extra Old Aged golden rum from the original rum distillery on the island of Barbados. A beautifully balanced blend that embodies the Mount Gay style and heritage. Aged 15 years in Kentucky oak. $49.99


future future future snorer? snorer? snorer?

The The TheGelb Gelb GelbCenter Center Center Michael Michael MichaelGelb, Gelb, Gelb,DDS, DDS, DDS,MS MS MS

12 12 12 Old Old Old Mamaronek Mamaronek Mamaronek Road,White Road,White Road,White Plains, Plains, Plains, NY NY NY 914.686.4528 914.686.4528 914.686.4528 635 635 635 Madison Madison Madison Avenue, Avenue, Avenue, 19th 19th 19th Floor, Floor, Floor, New New NewYork, York, York, NY NY NY 212.752.1662 212.752.1662 212.752.1662


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Children Children Children who who who are are are mouth mouth mouth breathers breathers breathers tend tend tend tototo have have have growth growth growth patterns patterns patterns that that that differ differ differ from from from the the the rest rest rest ofofof the the the population. population. population. Their Their Their lower lower lowerjaws jaws jaws are are are smaller smaller smaller and and andshoved shoved shovedback, back, back, their their theirlips lips lipsdon’t don’t don’tclose, close, close, and and andtheir their theirnoses noses nosestend tend tendtototo develop develop develop aabump. abump. bump. The The The dropped dropped dropped lower lower lower jaw jaw jaw usually usually usually causes causes causes the the the tongue tongue tongue tototo fall fall fall into into into the the the back back back ofofof the the the throat. throat. throat. 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The The Theresulting resulting resulting disruptive disruptive disruptive ororor fragmented fragmented fragmented sleep sleep sleep prevents prevents prevents individuals individuals individuals from from from getting getting getting the the the needed needed needed deep deep deep delta delta delta sleep sleep sleep and and and causes causes causes fatigue, fatigue, fatigue, forgetfulness, forgetfulness, forgetfulness, and and and irritability irritability irritability upon upon uponawakening. awakening. awakening.Kids Kids Kids can can can even even even become become become hyperactive. hyperactive. hyperactive. The The The good good good news news news isisthat isthat that with with with the the the right right right diagnosis diagnosis diagnosis and and and treatment treatment treatmentchildren children children can can can breathe breathe breathe through through through their their their noses. noses. noses. ENTs ENTs ENTs and and and orthodontists orthodontists orthodontists can can can change change change the the the shape shape shape ofofof children’s children’s children’s faces-giving faces-giving faces-giving them them them aabeautiful abeautiful beautiful smile smile smile and and and aapleasing apleasing pleasing profile profile profile with with with aaa strong strong strong chin chin chin and and and full full full lips-and lips-and lips-and enhance enhance enhancechildren’s children’s children’sdaytime daytime daytimeperformance performance performanceby by byopening opening openingairways airways airwaysand and andeliminating eliminating eliminating headaches, headaches, headaches, neck neck neck aches, aches, aches, ear ear ear ache ache ache and and and snoring. snoring. snoring. 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Keeping You Together elcome to The Residence at Cannondale, a new concept in assisted living for seniors. Reminiscent of a New England Bed & Breakfast, the building is designed to accommodate both couples and individuals with a private bathroom for each bedroom. Apartments will include garden access or balconies for added pleasure. Staff will be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to provide housekeeping, meals and assistance with the activities of daily living. All programs at The Greens at Cannondale will be available to the residents, including our innovative, activity-based Evergreen Program for persons with Alzheimer's and related dementia. Residents will also have priority access to on-site Wilton Meadows Rehabilitation and Health Care Center.


Amenities at The Greens at Cannondale include: • Wellness & Fitness Centers • A Beauty Salon/Barber Shop • A Café, Movie Theater & Card • and Game Rooms • On-site Banking • Membership to the YMCA and • Pool and to the Four Seasons • Racquet Club • A Library Area with Computer Access • Landscaped Garden Walkways • and a Putting Green Space is limited, so call (203) 761-1191 today to learn how you can reserve a place at The Residence at Cannondale.

Residence A Unique, Luxury, Assisted Living Residence in a Beautiful Country Setting

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Helping Families Find The Courage To Recover Recovery from chemical dependency is a process that no one can achieve alone. Seabrook House helps individuals and their families reclaim their lives in a safe, healing environment. Founded by Jerry and Peg Diehl in 1974, Seabrook House is licensed and CARF-accredited to provide a range of programs, including specialized opioid detox. Our main treatment center is only 90 minutes from New York City, nestled on a 40-acre manicured estate in rural Southern New Jersey, offering a beautiful, tranquil setting for self-discovery. You can rebuild your life. Treatment works. Most insurances are accepted. Call to find out about scholarships through the Seabrook House Foundation.

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The Center for Hyperbaric Medicine and Wound Healing at Greenwich Hospital is a very hopeful place. Here, with unparalleled teamwork

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to conventional treatment. Our Hyperbaric Oxygen Unit has the largest monoplace chamber available…so you’re more comfortable. Dr. Sze

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Tips on How Buyers Can Sift through Housing Inventory Effectively and Efficiently B Y . G A I L L I L L E Y Z AWA C K I


et me tell you about a fellow realtor I know who recently established a personal record. He showed one client 45 houses. And then the client made an offer... for the first one he had seen! That first home had everything the buyer wanted, but he (and my realtor friend) went through nearly four dozen others before he was satisfied that he was getting the most for his money. That says a lot about today’s housing market. Not only is there an unusually large inventory of homes out there for sale, but given how all of us have heard so much about foreclosures and short sales, many of today’s homebuyers are convinced that the deal of their dreams is waiting for them, if only they just keep looking and looking. And so, even when pre-approved for a mortgage, they have a hard time saying “yes.” With this in mind, here are some ideas from RISMedia Real Estate News on how to successfully make your way through the inventory: Get to know the local market. Each market has its own character, which means homebuyers need to adjust their expectations accordingly. If they don’t they’ll just continue looking for a home that doesn’t exist. Use your emotions as a guide. With so many buyers assuming there’s a better deal around the next bend, a lot of people are resisting love. They aren’t letting themselves fall in love with a home. Looking solely at price and condition only contributes to their uncertainty. Leaving emotion out of the equation makes it difficult for buyers to commit to a purchase. Decide if a distressed property is really right for you. Foreclosures and short sales offer buyers great value when it comes to price per square foot, but these properties tend to have their own limitations. Foreclosures often, though not always, have serious condition issues and are almost always sold “as is,” meaning the seller won’t do anything to address those issues. As a result, buyers may need to carry out extensive repairs after purchasing. Short sales, while usually in better condition, can take months to get to the closing table, and in some cases these transactions eventually fall apart as the lender,

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seller and buyer fail to reach a final agreement. So in a short sale, buyers need to make the decision going in, “Do I have the patience, and the flexibility, to pursue this deal?” Don’t focus too heavily on price, as you may fail to consider the other benefits of purchasing — like the tax deductions that go with owning instead of renting and the current historically-low mortgage rates. Be ready to negotiate. At least be willing to initiate a negotiation. If you find a house you like, consider an offer at a price you’re comfortable with, even if it’s well below the listed price. At worst, the seller won’t negotiate, but these days most sellers don’t want a viable buyer to walk away. In this housing climate, it’s the sellers who tend to do most of the compromising. Get plenty of advice but trust the professionals. Not all advice is created equal... especially in the housing market of today. By all means, talk to your friends and family about a potential home purchase, but take it with a grain of salt. Unless the advice comes from a local real estate professional — a lender, agent, inspector or appraiser — it won’t be grounded in detailed knowledge of the current market. And don’t let the negative comments about the housing market scare you off. Don’t lose sight of the many positives in the current market, such as the fact that home affordability is at its highest in decades, or the fact that investors in the market are snapping up bargains in all-cash purchases. Keep your eye on the numbers that directly impact your purchase — property prices, interest rates and how those translate into monthly payments. Gail Lilley Zawacki, International President’s Premier Realtor for fifteen years with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage at 472 Riverside Ave, Westport, CT. Member of the Westport/Weston Board of Realtors and providing information as a Top 5 Member. You may reach her at 203/682-9444 or Website:

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Waterproof! Because Your Kids Aren’t the Only Ones Afraid of the Basement BY . MEGAN MCGRATH


o You Want To Sell Your Home? I am often asked by potential sellers what to do to make their home “market-ready.” The more receptive to constructive suggestions the seller is, the more successful our venture will be. My first advice is, don’t rely on your own opinion! We usually can’t be objective about our own homes. There are two options: 1) Ask your agent/broker to spend some time walking through the house with you and get a pad and pen out; and 2) Call three recommended “stagers,” see who you relate to the best, then hire one. Here are some considerations that are important: Exterior: Curb appeal cannot be understated. Be sure the exterior property around your home is clean and well tended. If the front door or trim hasn’t been painted in years... now is the time to do it. Also check for peeling on the trim, windows, and shutters around the perimeter of your home. One or two filled planters near your front door also makes a nice first impression. Interior: The easiest way to make your home shine is to give the rooms a new coat of paint (yes, the trim around doors also). The trim should be a lighter color than your walls in a semi-gloss finish. If your basement is unfinished, a coat of hunter green semi-gloss paint on the floors will warm it up immediately. When someone walks into your home, a pleasant aroma of anything from plug-ins to scents of cinnamon, apple or vanilla is great. The best words to describe your entire home should be "clutter-free." Remember, “Less is More.” If you have wall-to-wall carpet and hardwood floors underneath, take the carpet up - especially on the first floor and in hallways - as the majority of buyers today want to see hardwood floors. If your home does have hardwood floors, let them shine by having them either waxed or refinished. Buyers look seriously at kitchens and baths. If your kitchen cabinets are good quality wood but you have old counter tops, replacing the counters with granite will give you a modern look. If you need to replace the cabinets but do not wish the expense of replacing them, have them re-faced. It's a wonderful way to give an old kitchen a face-lift. In baths, an old sink or commode can be replaced with an inexpensive one from Home Depot or Lowe's. Another beneficial way to improve an old bath is to have a reputable Re-glazing company 'paint' the tiles (which can include sink, tub and toilet) a fresh white. A finishing touch to your now sparkling home is the element of light. Buyers relate positively to a sunny room. Open up those drapes and let the light shine in through clean windows. When showing your home for sale, I also suggest lighting/adding some lamps to make the rooms even more welcoming. Your home is your biggest investment. The old adage “it takes money to make money” is true. By spending a little time and money in getting your house “market-ready,” the rewards will be well worth the effort.


omeowners know how frustrating basements can be. Between spiders coming out of the walls, strange noises that scare the kids, and whatever that smell is… it’s easy to see why so many people avoid their basements, especially in winter. To understand the basement problem, it’s important to start when the foundation is complete and dirt is filled in around it. For some, this is the beginning of a lifetime of idyllic homeownership; for most, the reality is different. Water that naturally runs underground seeps easily into this fill dirt, which is less densely packed than the earth around it. Pressure from this water, along with seasonal freeze and thaw cycles, deteriorates the exterior waterproofing that was originally applied to your home's foundation. Once this barrier is gone, the hydrostatic pressure forces water into the cracks that appear in the now-porous concrete. Now, your foundation is compromised. There are several signs your foundation is no longer waterproof. Cracks in the walls, often attributed to a house “settling,” are, in fact, the result of the hydrostatic pressure throwing your foundation off balance. A cold basement is often a porous foundation bleeding your home's heat into the ground. Bugs and mice that appear in your basement are often attracted to its dampness. And then there's that smell: mold and mildew. “And that's when there's real trouble,” says Charles Pellaton, founder of Quality Dry Basements, in Wilton, Connecticut. “Beyond losing value on the home, and ruining whatever's stored in the basement, the mold and the bad air quality are the real health issues here, especially for kids.” When enough pressure builds, water moves against gravity, upward through the walls in a process called “capillary action.” This causes mold and mildew to grow in the walls of your home's living spaces, often manifesting in asthma, allergies, even Stachybotrys chartarum, or Black Mold Lung Disease. Yet many homeowners continue to put off proper waterproofing measures. Pellaton explains, “Most of the homes I see already have issues; the kids are sick, stored furniture is ruined, and the walls are damp. It's so much easier to waterproof as a preventative measure... Most people don't realize they need it, until it's too late.” As you prepare for the season's foul weather, keep in mind that not all waterproofing systems are equal. However, all good waterproofing companies will complete the seven steps of waterproofing a basement: moisture barriers, diverters, drainage, sump pumps, back-up pumps, structural repair, and the almighty service (and free repair) guarantee. Some companies guarantee for a number of years; others, like Pellaton's, for two homeownerships. “Waterproofing means peace of mind for your home, wallet, and family,” says Pellaton. Suddenly, the basement's not so scary anymore. Quality Dry Basements, Inc., established 2005 by Charles Pellaton, is based in Wilton, Connecticut, and services homes and businesses throughout the tri-state area. ❉

Michele Flood, Coldwell Banker, Rye, New York. The Number One Producing Agent, Westchester County (MLS-2009).

Megan McGrath is a freelance writer based in New York City.

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A Sojourn in


upper floors can connect — ideal for families. This hotel is about Style — a contrast of modern, antiques, original art and a bit of whimsy. I wish there were headphones for a guided tour of the eclectic sculptures, statues and paintings. The New York City paintings by Peter Rocklin on the lower level are so lifelike they could be mistaken for photographs. There’s a dog theme in the lobby with comic book covered dog statues sporting dog collars with their respective names. Heads up: there’s a 10-foothigh Jaume Plensa sculpture of a human head created from letters of the alphabet. The life-size polar bear bookcase on the lower level is one of just a handful in the world. The Drawing Room is a sumptuous guests-only lounge with fireplaces, deep sofas and original art that leads out to a sculpture garden, a quiet sanctuary for hotel residents and their guests. THE CROSBY STREET HOTEL The Crosby Bar stretches

THE CROSBY STREET HOTEL Crosby Street is one of those obscure downtown streets known to confound cabbies. Only four blocks long, this quiet cobblestone street is actually in the center of Soho, one block east of the bustle of Broadway between Prince and Spring Street. Ever wonder what it would be like to live in a loft in Soho? Sojourn in Soho at the Crosby Street Hotel. This is the first U.S. property of Kit and Tim Kemp’s esteemed London boutique hotel collection, The Firmdale Group. Kit Kemp’s interior design is original and quirky. Every hotel in the collection has its own logo, and the Crosby Street’s signature is Kit’s kneehigh purple suede boots walking a dog on a leash. The Crosby Street Hotel has 86 bedrooms and suites on 11 floors. Suites feature the most amazing floor to ceiling warehouse windows overlooking the rooftops of Nolita and the Lower East Side. Rooms are designed in different color schemes of fuchsia, persimmon and pomegranate, with exotic dressers inlaid with mother of pearl. Silk curtains trimmed in Indian beads frame a cushioned window seat that runs the length of a bedroom. You can get lost in the view stretched out like a contented feline in the window seat. One and two bedroom suites on the

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release to a classic, with a short film is screened beforehand. 79 Crosby Street, New York, NY. 212/2266400;


DINING LUXE AND LUSH TARTINERY NOLITA Whether you’re in the Nolita neighborhood morning, noon or night, Tartinery has a delightful French meal for you. Experience a classic café breakfast with their Petit-Dejeuner Tartinery: coffee, hot chocolate or tea, freshly squeezed orange juice, an assortment of fresh croissants and baguettes with butter, jams or honey in the first-floor bar area, with floor to ceiling windows and chalkboard-lined walls. This handsome new arrival boasts a below street level dining room clad with brick and lit by candles, where tartines, exquisite, open faced sand-

from Crosby Street all the way to Lafayette Street. This is a restaurant/bar that belongs on top of the list of Soho restaurants to check out. What a cool space! Wall lighting out of vintage telephones, a series of four pictures of Queen CALVISIUS CAVIAR LOUNGE Elizabeth sporting hats of seasonal florals and feathers. Notice the oversized wooden dodo bird hanging over the pewter bar. The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and my favorite, high tea. A beautiful glass of champagne heralds the beginning of tea, which features tiers of sandwiches, scones and sweets to accompany a pot of unusual loose-leaf tea like coconut chai. Crosby Street Hotel has three stunning rooms that can work for a private dinner party, cocktail party, or business meeting. This includes a state-ofthe-art screening room with 99 seats, advanced technology in sound and projection, and the latest digital capabilities, including 3D. The screening room is a fun combination of outrageous orange leather seats and walls of violet wool. A Sunday Night Film Club is open to hotel guests and members of the public. It’s a great deal: dinner and a movie for $50 per person, or, cocktail, bar plate and movie for two people for $25 per person. Dinner is chosen from a three-course set menu. The movie is screened in the hotel’s state-of-theart cinema at 8pm. Dinner and Cocktails are served beforehand in The Crosby Bar. Each week a different film is shown, ranging from a recent

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wiches on crusty French sourdough bread are the piece de resistance, served for lunch and dinner. From the Fall/Winter menu, enjoy a tartine of Thon Cru—shaved raw tuna, wasabi mayo, fennel, scallions, lemon juice, and a touch of olive oil; Confit de Canard —duck, cucumber, scallions an TIELLA plum sauce; smoked salmon with crème fraiche, lemon and fresh dill; or homemade foie gras, sea salt, and fig jam. Tartines are recommended as a main course, or to share as a starter. The ravioles de Royans, traditional baked cheese ravioli in a cream sauce with truffle oil, and the assiette de charcuterie, a selection of dry sausages, cured hams and pickles, are additional fine appetizers to enjoy singly or with companions. Other excellent main courses include steak tartare, seasoned, raw ground beef served with toast points and arugula; or filet au poivre, filet mignon with caramelized onions, pepper sauce and potato gratin. For dessert, do not forgo a hot tarte tatin, tartine of nutella and banana, or fondant au chocolat. If you can’t get to Paris anytime soon, this is as good as it gets. 209 Mulberry Street. 212/300-3858;

CALVISIUS CAVIAR LOUNGE MIDTOWN Ahhh, beluga caviar! The taste of the delicate pearl-like eggs of the female sturgeon are savored the world-over. Unfortunately, decades of over-fishing and illegal poaching have led to the beluga sturgeons’ near extinction, requiring strict quotas and in some cases, the banning of the importation of wild beluga caviar. But caviar connoisseurs don’t despair, a sustainable aquaculture farm in Calvisano, Italy, Agroittica Lombarda Farm, is producing world-class caviar with highly advanced, eco-friendly technology. Located within a pristine wildlife park, the fishery produces the purest and most delectable caviar money can buy. And, Calvisius Caviar has been hailed as one of Europe’s best and most sustainable caviar. Enthusiasts can indulge in the “black gold” at the Calvisius Caviar Lounge on the ground level of the Four Seasons Hotel in New York City. The perfect spot to mark a special occasion or for a pre or post-theater bite, the caviar bar will enchant even a Russophile’s palate. The intimate locale, designed by renowned architect James D’Auria, is very chic with its 1930’s Art Deco styling. The white onyx bar, red leather banquette and handsomely displayed specialty bottles accentuate the real star of the show, the caviar. Malassol, with large dark gray pearls, has a nutty and delicate quality, while the Oscetra, a bit more intense in flavor, has a firm texture which explodes on the tongue. Both are served the traditional way: with crème fraîche, blini, and toast; or the Italian way: in a martini glass with warm potato purée. Service is fit for a king; orders arrive by the tin, atop a glass dome filled with ice with mother of pearl spoons. The perfect complement includes a brilliant selection of fine Italian sparkling wine, French champagne, and specialty vodkas. To feel really special or to make someone feel really special, a visit to the Calvisius Caviar Bar is a winning choice. 58 East 58th Street (Four Seasons Hotel). 212/207-8222;

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TIELLA UPPER EAST SIDE The food at Tiella in New York City is fantastic. Co-owners Mario Coppola and Giuseppe Castellano are friends from Napoli and no strangers to the restaurant business. The only problem is deciding on what to order while listening to the chimes of nearby diners voicing their amazement with the various dishes they ordered. Decisions… decisions. The Tiella was a pan used by the poor in Napoli in which to cook, fry, grill, and bake. To celebrate this special and versatile pan, the menu boasts exquisite miniature tiella pizzas with toppings such as stracciatella cheese, prosciutto, and shaved truffles; or prosciutto and foie gras. Trying a tiella is a must, but be ready to sample the rest of the menu. The majority of pastas are homemade. One popular choice is served in a crispy Parmesan cheese cup with fresh cherry tomatoes, mozzarella, eggplant, and basil. The risottos are rich and delicious, such as the risotto loaded with crisp asparagus tips and creamy cheese garnished with an asparagus puree. The menu changes seasonally, and along with their much talked about eggplant parmesan, this winter you can look forward to main dishes such as sliced duck breast in a balsamic reduction with stewed strawberries and sautéed spinach. The restaurant is small, handsome and intimate, with attentive, handson service. For a rave-worthy lunch or dinner, visit Tiella on 1109 First Ave. 212/588-0100. ❉




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Marlboro College Marlboro, Vermont

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INDEPENDENT SCHOOL GUIDE DAY SCHOOLS Ridgefield Academy Building a Strong Foundation from Preschool to Grade 8 Ridgefield, CT A child’s early educational experience significantly impacts the way they see themselves and the world around them. Research indicates that the critical education years from preschool through grade 8 are when skills are developed, confidence is built, character is formed, and a love of learning is instilled. At Ridgefield Academy, they know this best. For over 35 years, Ridgefield Academy, an independent coeducational day school located in Ridgefield, Conn., has helped educate children in a nurturing environment dedicated to building skills, confidence, and character. RA is intentionally not associated with a high school in an effort to focus on these formative educational years. Graduates leave the school well prepared for their secondary school experiences and with the tools to help them live successful adult lives that are filled with purpose.

An Engaging and Challenging Curriculum Ridgefield Academy’s innovative teaching staff and small classroom environment help to nurture students with individual attention and encouragement. Through an emphasis on the whole child and high standards of achievement, Ridgefield Academy strives to help children become thoughtful, independent, and confident learners. Classroom environments are a safe place for children to express ideas and take risks. RA’s curriculum combines the traditional, core subject areas of language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies with a rich program of music, art, and drama designed to inspire students and spark their creativity.

A School Built on Values The RA school community is a caring community built on a foundation of shared values. In all areas of school life, students model and reinforce the principles of respect, responsibility, fairness, and service to others. Service learning is incorporated into the curriculum to engage children in meaningful activities that reinforce the importance of service to others.

personal graduation speech that highlights the success of RA’s Public Speaking Program.

Focus on Communication

The Right Secondary Placement

An important part of becoming a confident learner is mastering the tools to effectively communicate ideas to others. Research supports that children who are taught communication strategies and provided with weekly practice at an early age are more adept at informal and formal public speaking. At Ridgefield Academy, children are taught oral and written communication skills as early as preschool. In second grade, children engage in a formal public speaking curriculum and are given ample opportunity to practice these skills through the curriculum. Every graduate completes his or her educational journey with a

Ridgefield Academy dedicates itself to helping each student find the right secondary school for the next step of his or her educational journey. This is their commitment to every eighth grade student.

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The RA Difference Many families have discovered the difference the Ridgefield Academy experience can make in their child’s confidence and development. By utilizing a comprehensive curriculum delivered in a supportive school environment, Ridgefield Academy helps students build a strong foundation for future success.; Libby Mattson: (203) 894-1800 x112.

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Wooster School Danbury, CT What do you look for in a school? Challenging academics? Competitive sports? Innovative arts? Dedicated teachers? Small classes? The latest technology? A beautiful campus? WOOSTER SCHOOL

geography; field trips integral to the curriculum; studio art, sculpture, and photography; private music lessons; and technology-infused learning. Athletes may try out for the 32 Upper School teams. Upper School (9 to 12) provides an outstanding college preparatory curriculum within the context of a strong liberal arts tradition. Academic excellence is promoted through independent study, colloquia, honors, and Advanced Placement courses. Sophomores are eligible for our unique Year Abroad Program in France or Spain; all seniors participate in Senior Independent Study; “self-help” is a community philosophy wherein children and adults act as stewards of the School; and 100 hours of community service are required. We have talented, professional artists and musicians who bring their passion and skills to their classrooms. Sports teams compete in a 45-member Association as well as in New England Tournaments. Experienced counselors support students in the college application process. They explore their intellectual aspirations, personal goals, and career plans. Recent graduates have attended Amherst, Bard, Barnard, Boston College, Brown, Cambridge (UK), Carnegie-Mellon, Cornell, NYU, Pratt, Princeton, RIT, RPI, Tufts, UMichigan, UPenn, Wesleyan, and Williams. Wooster School: 91 Miry Brook Road, Danbury, CT. 203/830-3916; CONNECTICUT FRIENDS SCHOOL

These are important qualities of a fine school, and Wooster is one of the finest. Since 1926, Wooster School has provided the premier educational experience in Northern Fairfield and Westchester counties. But a first-rate education is more than just the sum of its parts: Maybe what you’re really looking for is the best place for your child to grow up! Located on the Ridgefield/Danbury border, our scenic campus of over 100 acres provides a safe and peaceful environment that offers a variety of habitats for experimentation, direct study, and outdoor fun. Central to its educational mission, Wooster has maintained a longstanding commitment to diversity in its student body, staff, faculty, and Board of Trustees. We cultivate the intellectual, creative, athletic, spiritual, and ethical development of our students – for their benefit and for the good of the world. Lower School (Pre-K to 5) emphasizes the joy of learning, integrating language arts with reasoning to create lifelong readers, writers, and problem solvers. A science lab, a foreign language initiative, computer skills, thematic units, varied athletics and recreational facilities, and a myriad of innovative events and programs are just some of our unique features. Middle School (6 to 8) offers a challenging curriculum taught in small groups by dedicated teachers. Students work with their advisors to navigate through the waters of early adolescence, while preparing to become autonomous learners. We feature classes in Latin, French, and Spanish; math classes grouped by ability; hands-on science; required


Connecticut Friends School Pilots Lunch Program with French Chef Wilton, CT Santé is the name of the catering company that provides lunch once a week to Connecticut Friends School (CFS) students and staff. It means “health” and “cheers” in French, which is appropriate as Chef Alex Gunuey’s goal is to offer delicious and nutritious food. He and

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INDEPENDENT SCHOOL GUIDE his wife and partner, nutritional consultant Amy Kalafa, are Weston residents and use a commercial kitchen in Ridgefield to prepare nutrient-dense meals that children will enjoy, expanding their palates gradually. Nearly 80% of CFS students and almost all full-time faculty are participating in the lunch program. Typical menus have included quinoa pasta with sauce made from locally grown tomatoes, turkey tacos with fresh homemade corn and black bean salsa, and vegetable lasagna with squash “noodles.” Chef Gunuey and Kalafa are taking into consideration student feedback from a survey and a face-to-face discussion in planning future menus. They are also thinking about international themes such as Chinese, Italian, and so forth. (One student requested Moroccan food!) Both Santé partners have dual backgrounds. Gunuey was a broadcast journalist for almost 20 years, and then transitioned to working on independent features and documentaries, editing several music videos and a feature documentary for Yoko Ono. He also worked for five years as a staff editor on the Emmy-winning Martha Stewart Living television show. Kalafa is a documentary filmmaker and editor. She and Gunuey produced the award-winning Two Angry Moms, about the need for healthier school lunches. Connecticut Friends School: 317 New Canaan Road, Wilton, CT. 203/762-9860;; LAURALTON HALL

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Academy of Our Lady of Mercy, Lauralton Hall Empowering Women for Life Milford, CT Academy of Our Lady of Mercy, Lauralton Hall, is a Catholic college preparatory high school founded in 1905 by the Sisters of Mercy. The school is over one hundred years old - a major milestone in the life of any school but even more significant for a Catholic girls’ school. Set on a beautiful 30-acre campus centered around a Victorian mansion built in 1864, the school prepares girls to become competent, confident and compassionate women. Students are challenged to not just succeed in a rigorous academic program, but to give of themselves — especially to those in need. The well-rounded curriculum fully prepares students for the rigors of college study, with demanding honors and advanced placement classes offered in all academic disciplines. Known for its many competitive sports teams, Lauralton also has a proud history of athletic excellence. In addition, numerous clubs and activities are offered to meet the interests of every girl. Since Lauralton believes character formation is as essential as academic achievement, the school’s unique mission incorporates the core values of its founding organization, the Sisters of Mercy: compassion and service; educational excellence; concern for women and women’s issues; global vision and responsibility; spiritual growth and development; as well as collaboration. Students are encouraged to pursue knowledge, recognize truth and respond to the needs of others. As the oldest Catholic college-preparatory high school for girls in Connecticut, Lauralton attracts more than four hundred students from throughout New Haven and Fairfield counties. Centrally located in historic downtown Milford and within walking distance of the train station, students arrive by train, car or bus, seeking the same rigorous preparation for college as the more than 6,000 alumnae who have passed through Lauralton’s halls for over 100 years. Lauralton Hall encourages all interested young women in grades six, seven, and eight as well as transfer students to consider the Lauralton advantage for their high school years. Students are welcome to spend a day at the school visiting classes and meeting faculty and students. For more information, please contact the Admissions Office at (203) 877-2786, Ext. 144.

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Villa Maria Stamford, CT “Villa Maria changed my son’s life…” “My teachers were always very patient and understanding and always encouraged me...” “The environment, the support and encouragement offered to both the students and parents are the reason our daughter is where she is today…“ These are just a fraction of the many testimonials that the Villa Maria School has received over the years. Villa Maria is a private, co-educational day school serving students with learning disabilities in grades kindergarten through nine. Established in 1973, the school believes that education for those with learning disabilities must be patient, compassionate and creative. Because the child’s physical, intellectual, emotional, social, and spiriVILLA MARIA

gences of the students. Reading instruction uses a variety of materials and incorporates the Lindamood-Bell processes, Preventing Academic Failure, and Orton-Gillingham strategies for reading decoding, comprehension and spelling. For afternoon classes, students are grouped by grade level. The curriculum includes science, social studies, study skills, art, music, keyboarding, word processing, language development, and religious or ethics instruction. Visual and auditory perception instruction is integrated into the younger students’ curriculum. The physical education program emphasizes individual goals, self confidence, and all facets of visual motor development. A formal social skills program is also incorporated into the curriculum. The school social worker conducts social skills classes and also meets with individual students as well as small groups who share similar issues. In conjunction with the Student Council, the program provides opportunities to develop citizenship, leadership, responsibility, community outreach, and moral standards of behavior. Villa Maria is a transitional school whose goal is to remediate academic weaknesses. On average, students leave Villa Maria after two or three years and return successfully to a more traditional school setting. After leaving Villa Maria, data indicates that students have done very well in both public and private elementary and secondary schools. A vast majority is equipped to reach academic and lifetime goals and most follow a college preparatory program in high school. Villa Maria School: 161 Sky Meadow Drive, Stamford, CT. Mary Ann Tynan, Admissions Director: 203/322-5886 x104;

DAY/BOARDING SCHOOLS Eagle Hill School Greenwich, CT tual needs are interrelated, the academic program at Villa Maria promotes the growth of the whole child, providing small, highly structured classes where instruction is personalized and multisensory. Students work at the appropriate skill level, while teachers provide remediation necessary to bring achievement to grade level. Villa Maria is a state-approved special education school and is also accredited by the State Department of Education and the Connecticut Association of Independent Schools. For the latter, Villa Maria received a rating of “exemplary” in 9 out of 14 measured categories and a rating of “above average” in the remainder. In addition, all of Villa Maria’s classroom teachers are certified in special education. Morning classes focus on development of reading, math and language arts skills. Students are grouped according to their abilities and skills in these subjects. Teachers employ an eclectic approach, adapting and modifying methods of instruction to meet individual student needs. Lessons are multisensory and address the multiple intelli-

Parents of children with learning disabilities are often searching for what they fear is an impossible dream – a school that offers a specialized education within an environment as traditional as possible; a school that provides customized learning that suits their child’s strengths and needs; a program that also includes art, music, athletics, and the specialists that EAGLE HILL SCHOOL

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their child might need (e.g. speech and language therapists, motor training specialists, and psychologists) on the premises and included in the Kent, CT tuition. Welcome to Eagle Hill School in Greenwich! Eagle Hill School is an independent, coeducational day school and A Marvelwood education is characterized by intensive personal attenfive-day boarding school enrolling 250 students in grades 1-9 from the tion to the individual student, featuring honors and Advanced tri-state area. The hallmark of Eagle Hill’s curriculum is an individuPlacement courses, English Language Learning, private Strategies and alized, child-driven program, with a student-teacher ratio of 4:1 in the Math Tutorial Programs, and a dedication to experiential education. Lower School and 5:1 in the Upper School. Eagle Hill provides individualized educational MARVELWOOD programs for children with average or above average cognitive ability who are diagnosed with a specific language based learning disability. Our mission is to provide short term, intensive, academic remediation to help children develop the skills, strategies, and confidence necessary to transition successfully to a more traditional learning environment. Eagle Hill is a transitional placement with a typical length of stay of three years. The admissions process is designed to carefully screen candidates to ensure students will be successful within our program. When we accept children at Eagle Hill, we believe they will do well here. We know that for most of our new students, learning has been a struggle. That is why our program is not only child-driven but also child-friendly. We are committed to making learning enjoyable, and to providing our students with a sense of accomplishment as they make their way through each day. Our students are happy to come to school. Because learning disabled children do not all learn through the same teaching method, one of several programs Our experienced and dedicated faculty delivers a superior educational may be used at Eagle Hill to instruct academic skills, using our total program, attuned to individual strengths and weaknesses. In every language development approach. Student skills and needs are way, the structure of the School is thoughtfully designed to support assessed continually, and instruction is tailored to accommodate college-bound students in their efforts to achieve positive intellectual, each child’s learning profile. Because learning disabled youngsters social, personal, and moral growth. Marvelwood graduates go on to often experience difficulty in social skills development, remediation top colleges including Purdue, Brown and Syracuse. of these skills is also provided. Close communication between Our beautiful 83-acre campus is two hours from New York City. teachers, specialists, and administrators allows each child’s total Nonacademic programs including weekly community service, visual and program to be consistent, well structured, and highly individualperforming arts electives, an impressive slate of interscholastic and nonized. By the time our students leave Eagle Hill, they are well on competitive sports offerings, and a variety of leadership opportunities their way to developing the self-assurance they need in order to increase the potential for engagement and success outside the classroom. learn, and the confidence to advocate for themselves. The Marvelwood Summer Program prepares students for the rigors We invite you to explore our website ( and of all levels of high school and features classes for credit or enrichment, watch the five-minute-long video (click on “About EHS,” then on SAT and TOEFL preparation, ESL, and our Leadership Workshop. “EHS at a Glance”) featuring Eagle Hill students and parents. Then Small classes, experienced faculty and a dedication to each student’s consider scheduling a visit to our campus – the very best way to gain individual success distinguish Marvelwood’s Summer Program and a complete understanding of the Eagle Hill experience. We look forprovide a solid foundation for academic success. The Leadership ward to working with you to determine if Eagle Hill can provide an Workshop features rock climbing, canoeing and kayaking, hiking, appropriate program for your child. peer mediation, and community service. 45 Glenville Road, Greenwich CT. For information call The Marvelwood School: 476 Skiff Mountain Road, Kent, CT. (203) 622-9240 or visit 860/927 0047; 2 2 6 W E S T O N M A G A Z I N E G R O U P. C O M

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The Storm King School Cornwall-on-Hudson, NY Gaining Independence at an Independent School

King extends beyond academic studies. “I have been surprised at how important art is,” Lois said. “Lily was a very rigid book learner. She tended to give the safe answer. Her art teacher, through the use of journaling, has pulled out of her other ways to interpret things. It gives her an entirely different view. Her writing changed. It took the fear factor out of being wrong.” Independent schools can offer intensive courses led by world-class faculty. At Storm King, the instructors include a member of the Metropolitan Opera who teaches voice, a famous choreographer teaching dance, and a rock-and-roll musician teaching music theory and composition. The school offers extensive theater opportunities through several full productions each year and private lessons on a wide range of instruments. Students dive in. There are numerous opportunities for leadership. “When Mr. Meisel spoke about forming a Provisional Community Government, I knew that I was going to be on it,” Lily said. “I didn’t know what position to run for, but even though I am just a sophomore, I had confidence. I knew that if I didn’t win, it wouldn’t be a big deal because people would not laugh at me. They are there to support you.” Lily ran for—and won—the position of President. When asked how she has changed, Lily responds, “Oh, my gosh. I’ve changed so much in the past year and a half at Storm King. As a person, I’m much more independent. If I had a problem with a teacher before, I went straight to my mom. Now, I go to the teacher. I’ve learned to think outside of the box, to express myself, and to trust my own ideas and creativity. Before I paid attention to what others were wearing. No one here follows what others are wearing. Everyone values individual thinking and we are encouraged to create our own ideas. We think for ourselves.” For more information, visit or call David Flynn at (845) 534-9860. Lily and the rest of The Storm King School community are eager to welcome you for a visit. 314 Mountain Road, Cornwall-onHudson, NY 12520

Overlooking the Hudson River, The Storm King School’s safe and scenic campus rests on the crest of Storm King Mountain. An easy drive or train ride from anywhere within the Tri-State area, the School creates success from potential for students in grades 8-12. One Saturday morning when Lily Snyder was in eighth grade, her mother woke her and said they were going to visit The Storm King School. Lily’s response was, “No!” Her mother was persistent. Lois Snyder said, “After the Open East Hampton, NY House, we climbed into the car, and Lily exclaimed, ‘I love this school!’” Teachers at Storm King offer a personal and supportive approach. Students go beyond “getting the right ROSS SCHOOL answer” and are pushed to develop their own thoughts. “At Storm King, she is allowed to think for herself, encouraged to create her own ideas, and taught to express herself,” Lois said. “She is treated more like a college student. There is mutual respect.” Lily echoed that sentiment: “I can’t believe how different my relationships with my teachers are than at previous schools. Here I am comfortable eating dinner with my teachers. I email and telephone my teachers at home. I wasn’t invited to do that before.” Students who struggle in other schools often find success at places like Storm King. The independence that students develop at Storm

Ross School A Global Education, Right Around the Corner

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INDEPENDENT SCHOOL GUIDE Classrooms filled with active learners. Electives that take place on the beach, in the woods or on a farm. A global curriculum that offers a chance to travel the world. This may sound like a utopian vision of education, but it is alive and well at Ross School. Serving students in pre-nursery through grade 12, Ross School is located in the Hamptons, just two hours from New York City and Connecticut. The Upper School is nestled in the woods in East Hampton while the Lower School is surrounded by farmland in Bridgehampton. This private institution also boasts an innovative and thriving boarding program for students in grades 7–12. Now in its third year, the program has grown exponentially, starting with five students and growing to include 75 boarders. A major draw is the school’s dynamic learning environment. Cultural history is at the core of its global curriculum, weaving together math, science, language arts, visual arts, performing arts, media studies, technology and physical education/wellness. Students are provided with a 21st century skills set and are encouraged to become environmental stewards and compassionate citizens, following the school’s motto, “Know Thyself in Order to Serve.” With an education that focuses on cultures and peoples around the world it is only fitting to have a student body that represents all corners of the globe. The Ross curriculum has always been global in nature, but with the boarding program, the School has been able to truly expand its student body beyond the immediate region. The current student body represents China, Brazil, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan and the United States, including students from Texas and New York City. Fara Kaner has been attending Ross School for the last four years, first as a day student and now as a boarder. Originally from New York City, she attended the United Nations International School before coming to Ross. “The best thing about Ross would have to be the innovative nature of the curriculum and the warm environment the classes create to make learning enjoyable,” she said. Boarding students follow the same integrated curriculum as day students and are expected to maintain strong academic standing. A support network of house parents, faculty and the Director of Residential Life offer boarding students assistance at every turn. There are two options for housing. Boarders can choose between living in a family-style home or with a host family. The boarding houses offer beautiful, spacious living environments and are supervised by Ross faculty house parents. Students living with host families are able to experience life in a home with siblings who are, in most cases, Ross students themselves. Hosted students are encouraged to attend all boarding house activities and excursions as well. Ultimately, the boarding program at Ross exposes day students to their peers from across the globe and around the corner, while providing boarders with a home away from home. “Being a boarder as opposed to a day student is a very unique experience. I feel that it creates a sense of independence that I would not have necessarily developed living at home,” said Fara. “I also believe that it creates long lasting bonds between people who would not have necessarily formed strong friendships unless under these circumstances.” 2 2 8 W E S T O N M A G A Z I N E G R O U P. C O M

• Ross School is accredited by the Middle States Association (MSA), with an International Credential; it is a member of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) and the Association of Boarding Schools (TABS). • Boarders eat breakfast, lunch and dinner in the Ross Café. The Café uses regional, organic, seasonal and sustainable foods and serves a variety of fresh, healthy and flavorful meals each day. There are always meat and vegetarian options. • Ross High School students can take international trips as part of Winter Intersession, or M-Term. Students and teachers work intensively on group and individual projects for three weeks, including service projects, either home or abroad. • Ross School’s state-of-the-art athletic facilities feature two gymnasiums, a dance and martial arts studio, four multi-sport fields that can be configured for soccer, lacrosse and baseball, six indoor/outdoor Har-tru tennis courts, an outdoor basketball court, and a Fieldhouse. • The School has excellent college placements, including Columbia University, Duke, Emerson, Oberlin, Tulane and Yale. Since 2001, 418 students have received 1637 acceptances at over 497 colleges and universities both in the US and internationally. • The Ross School boarding blog, updated regularly, features a review of weekend activities as well as upcoming events, photos, and changes in school schedule or travel alerts. Parents and students also get to view the dinner and weekend breakfast/brunch menus. Visit Ross School: 18 Goodfriend Drive, East Hampton, NY. 631/907-5400;;

Stoneleigh-Burnham School Small School, Big World Greenfield, MA Stoneleigh-Burnham School, founded in 1869, is a girl’s boarding school nestled in the Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts. Educating girls grades 7-12 on its beautiful 100-acre campus, the School’s mission is to inspire its students to become their best selves, to value intellectual curiosity, to embrace diversity and to act with integrity. As a college preparatory school, Stoneleigh-Burnham offers the full array of challenging academic courses that launches students into focused study and leadership as they go to college and beyond. As a candidate to become an International Baccalaureate World School in Fall 2011, Stoneleigh-Burnham will raise its expectations for global awareness to another level as it positions itself to provide the best of 21st century learning. Stoneleigh-Burnham students deepen their cultural understanding by interacting with classmates from all over the world. A MultiCultural Club and Community Alliance group work to educate the community on international traditions, holidays and customs to engender cross-cultural appreciation. The academic curriculum incorporates international issues and cultural awareness in all disciplines,

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and many events at the school are coordinated with this goal in mind. In addition to robust academic offerings, Stoneleigh-Burnham provides opportunities outside the classroom for a well-rounded educational experience. These include an array of sports, clubs and afterschool activities as well as nationally recognized equestrian, debate and performing arts programs. Summer Programs are available to girls ages 9-17 in riding, debate and dance as well. Stoneleigh-Burnham’s Riding Program is one of the most extensive and challenging in the country. Riders of all levels receive instruction in Hunters, Jumpers, Equitation, Dressage and Combined Training. The program’s competition schedule includes USEF, USEA, NEHC and IEA competitions both on and off campus. StoneleighBurnham riders have been IEA national champions four times. Stoneleigh-Burnham’s Equestrian Center includes stabling for 63 horses, an extensive indoor riding complex, two outdoor sand rings, a STONELEIGH-BURNHAM SCHOOL

European-style Derby Field, a cross-country course, a bridle path surrounding the campus and a newly renovated paddock area.

The Stoneleigh-Burnham School Debate and Public Speaking Society encourages students to articulate ideas with power and clarity. Members participate in public speaking tournaments, planned crossexamination debates, extemporaneous debates, Lincoln-Douglas debates and parliamentary debates. Nine Stoneleigh-Burnham students have ranked as world competitors in debate and public speaking, and countless others have gone on to careers in law, education, advocacy and government. Stoneleigh-Burnham’s Performing Arts curriculum fosters success in individual creativity and a critical awareness of one’s cultural identity. Students participate in a rich and extensive array of arts courses and may choose to focus on an independent study while preparing a

college portfolio through studies in Instrumental Performance, Studio Art, Vocal Music, Music Composition, Dance and Theatre. Girls develop best when they are in a community that knows them and where they feel connected. At Stoneleigh-Burnham, students live in a safe and inspiring environment that allows them to take risks, find their strengths and gain confidence. Each student is encouraged to explore who she really is, discover her individual passions and to find her own voice. Contact to schedule a visit or learn more. 574 Bernardston Road, Greenfield, MA. 413/774-2711;

Hampshire Country School Rindge, NH Hampshire Country School is a small boarding school designed for boys of high ability who want to please their teachers but whose impulsivity or idiosyncrasies keep getting in the way of their good intentions. It may be a good option for the boy who has managed elementary school because of supportive teachers and a comfortable structure but who is likely to struggle with the complex demands of a large middle school. The school offers a friendly environment, a good education, a peaceful rural setting, and a wide variety of after-school and weekend activities. The best entering age is 8 to 11 years old. Students may remain into high school. The elementary education program, through 6th grade, is designed to strengthen skills and knowledge in reading, writing, math, science, and social studies while accommodating students who may be significantly advanced in some areas (perhaps, reading) and seriously deficient in others (perhaps, writing). The secondary program, beginning with 7th grade, is more traditional. Students move from one subject teacher to another for courses in English, history, science, math, and a foreign language. A typical class has 3 to 5 students. School work is important at Hampshire Country School, but so is life after school and on weekends, when students have time for scheduled activities and also for spontaneous play. Boys who have been afraid of organized sports discover the fun of informal HAMPSHIRE COUNTRY SCHOOL

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PRE-COLLEGE/ SUMMER PROGRAMS Pre-College Programs at Brown University Summer 2011: A Truly Residential College Experience Providence, RI Summer@Brown attracts serious college-bound students from around the world. As a student, you’ll live in a Brown University residence hall, eat at Verney-Woolley, or other Brown dining halls, and join your fellow students on The College Green—just as you would if you were a Brown undergraduate. You will be surrounded by peers from diverse backgrounds and cultures—all sharing a passion for high-level academics and a desire to succeed at a selective institution like Brown University. A student who completes a Summer@Brown course is better prepared, more confident, and better positioned to succeed during one of the biggest transitions of his or her life: the move to college.

Brown University: 250 Years of Academic Excellence Brown is known in the Ivy League for an innovative open curriculum 2 3 0 W E S T O N M A G A Z I N E G R O U P. C O M

that challenges students to be actively engaged in their own intellectual development. Summer@Brown is an opportunity to explore this stimulating learning environment. Academics are at the program’s core, with more than 250 courses in one- to seven-week sessions. Dive deeper into a subject you love or a new area of learning you may never have considered. You will face exciting challenges and accomplish more than you can imagine. Come to Summer@Brown to prepare for college success and experience life in the Ivy League. Brown University Office of Continuing Education, Providence, Rhode Island.


soccer or Wiffleball. Those who have been isolated find other students who share their interest in Legos, complex board games, or obscure bits of knowledge. Those who have been without friends in other places realize that the boys with whom they explore a stream, build a fort, and sled down “death-defying” hills are, in fact, their friends. All this happens because Hampshire Country School is a manageable world where life can be exciting but is not overwhelming. Both scholastic and behavioral expectations are high but with the realization that bright, sensitive, energetic children may become stubborn, move around too much, blurt out remarks they should not, or explode in unnecessary meltdowns. Hampshire Country School is not for the child who intentionally misbehaves and needs aggressively imposed limits, but it can be the place for a boy who gives in to his frustration and regrets it later. The school is also for boys who seem a bit different and have never before found a setting where they fit intellectually and socially. For the right boy, Hampshire Country School can be an ideal world and a place to discover abilities, develop a love for life, and build some of the happiest memories of growing up. Hampshire Country School is located at 28 Patey Circle, Rindge, NH. For more information, contact the admissions office at or 603/899-3325; or visit

ASA Summerfuel College Experience and Study Abroad Programs ASA Summerfuel has 28 years of experience creating unique, quality summer programs that give high school students the opportunity to make many new friends and create extraordinary memories while being better prepared for college. ASA challenges you to use your summer in a unique way for a valuable experience that allows you to develop academically and socially and feel inspired to reach new levels of achievement. Led by a dynamic team of world-class experts, directors and staff, programs focus on everything from language immersion to college admissions prep. The challenge and enjoyment of discovering some of the world’s most beautiful locations and prestigious university campuses and the friends you make, are essential qualities of the experience. Students return from an ASA summer experience with broadened horizons, increased maturity and confidence. What we do has been followed by other companies. How we do it is, we believe, still unique. ASA partners with leading universities and hand picks academics, local experts, writers, producers and language experts that represent the best and brightest in their fields for an exceptional summer experience of learning and fun. Students choose morn-

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COLLEGES Beacon College Leesburg, FL Private and co-educational, Beacon College is the nation’s only fouryear accredited college exclusively for students with a specific learning disability, AD/HD, or gifted learning disabled.

Enrollment Fall 2010 Term: 141 Students Spring 2011 (Projected): 157 Students

Age 17 to 33, with the majority between 18 and 25 years old ASA SUMMERFUEL

Class ing and afternoon classes for the duration of the program. Classes range from SAT preparation to politics, Spanish, psychology, law and medicine. Teachers are hired not just for their academic credentials but their ability to engage with students and create a dynamic classroom environment. Teachers are enthusiastic about their subject and passionate about the learning process that takes place naturally in an environment that is free from the familiar stress and pressure of the academic year. Students learn by doing and developing a dialogue with their classmates and teachers as opposed to worrying about test scores and exams. College experience programs at Stanford, Yale, UC-Berkeley, Tufts, Columbia, UMass-Amherst and Oxford give an authentic taste of college life. Students live on campus, have classes and meals in the very same facilities used by undergraduates and also have full access to the sports and recreational opportunities of these dynamic and prestigious campuses. ASA students live in fully supervised accommodations and are overseen by an experienced team of residential advisors and senior residence staff. Equal attention is given to the activities and social time spent on campus with a daily array of sports, entertainment, discussions and guest speakers that draw upon the resources of the host institution as well as the nearby cities of San Francisco, Boston, Los, Angeles, New York and London. ASA Summerfuel study abroad cultural immersion programs in Spain, France and Italy allow students to go beyond tourism and take advantage of daily language classes, cultural visits and excursions. In Spain there is the option of living in a university residence in Barcelona or living with a homestay family in one of four different coastal Andalusian towns. Similarly in Nice, France and Florence, Italy students get day to day exposure to the culture, tradition and history of these spectacular locations by living like locals. From Barcelona to Berkeley, ASA’s college experience and study abroad programs balance expert instruction, scheduled activities, travel and freedom to foster greater independence and personal growth. Return home with greater insight into yourself and the world around you. ASA Summerfuel: 375 West Broadway, Suite 200, New York NY. 212/796-8340;

15% Seniors, 12% Juniors, 31% Sophomores, 42% Freshmen BEACON COLLEGE

Degrees, Majors, Minors Degrees: Associate of Arts (60 credits) Bachelor of Arts (120 credits) Majors: Liberal Studies, Human Services, Computer Information Systems – Web & Digital Media Track Computer Information Systems – Information Systems Track Minors: Business Management, History, Psychology, English/Literature, Computer Information Systems, Web & Digital Media, Education

Special Features Beacon College students can expect to receive appropriate academic accommodations and support services inside and outside the classroom. Field placement opportunities are built into all majors. Emphasis is on small classes and supplemental instruction with outstanding faculty, learning specialists, and academic advisors who have the education and/or training needed to work with students with

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INDEPENDENT SCHOOL GUIDE learning differences. A campus-wide critical thinking model is infused into all course content and student life. Degreed academic learning specialists work individually with each student. Students have the opportunity to participate in a “student life” program that includes participation in clubs, organizations, and leadership opportunities. Students also can participate in an exciting summer international study, travel abroad program.

Marlboro College Marlboro, VT

Marlboro College in Vermont is known for its self-directed approach to liberal arts education. Students work with faculty advisors to design an individualized curriculum. Each senior is responsible for creating a Plan of Concentration that demonstrates the capacity for clear writing and critical thought developed through their studies. Location What distinguishes a Marlboro student is his or her penchant for interdisciplinary study. The encouragement to choose courses in all Beacon College is located approximately 50 miles northwest of areas during the first two years, with no distributive requirements, Orlando, Florida. The Orlando International Airport (MCO) is the contributes to a creative approach for formulating a course of study. A most convenient major airport. Local points of interest include: Walt student involved in the social sciences might incorporate visual or perDisney World, Busch Gardens, Sea World, Silver Springs, MGM forming arts into their Plan; while another whose chief interest is natStudios, Daytona Beach, Universal Studios, and a number of museums, ural sciences may discover important ties in the humanities. Marlboro concert halls and sports venues. Leesburg offers a small, friendly town also provides several different avenues to travel abroad for independatmosphere that students will find welcoming and comfortable. ent or group study as well as internships. Admission Requirements A maximum enrollment of 330 and a student/faculty ratio of 8 to 1 ensure unparalleled access to tenured faculty. There are no teaching · Standard HS diploma or GED assistants running classes in vast lecture halls. An average class size is · College essay/personal statement 10 students, while seniors are given the liberty of developing tutorials · Required Documentations: (1) Educational evaluation (adult cognitive tailored to a specific subject. measure within three years) including full scale, cluster, and subtest scores; While students are given an academic freedom that extends as far as (2) diagnosis of a specific learning disability or ADD/ADHD or Gifted their imagination takes them, ultimately they must communicate a LD as the PRIMARY handicapping condition; and (3) Achievement thorough understanding of their studies in order to graduate. Testing with grade level scores in reading, writing, and mathematics (WJ Marlboro’s lone requirement is the Clear Writing Requirement, which or WIAT II preferred). SAT/ACT scores are not required. every student must pass within his or her first two semesters by pre· Three recommendations/references from teachers, professors, guidsenting a 20-page portfolio of expository writing. Upon graduating ance counselors, tutors, or employers are needed for full consideration. from Marlboro, students quickly realize the combination of written · Interview is required for additional information and/or personal conand oral presentation work required for Plan prepares them for the tact with an applicant to fully assess each applicant. rigors of graduate school or gives them an advantage in the workplace. Applications available by mail or online at Marlboro utilizes a community governance structure modeled on the Beacon College: 105 East Main Street, Leesburg, FL. 352/638-9731; New England Town Meeting, where each community member has an; equivalent vote in shaping campus policy. Faculty, students and staff also serve together on committees that oversee myriad aspects of campus life, from shaping admissions standards to conducting faculty searches to planning campus activities. The original campus facilities were converted from 19th-century farm buildings into dorms, classrooms and administration buildings. Over the years, the College has added modern performance spaces, science labs, a student center, health center, gym, climbing wall, and a three-story library without compromising its rustic beauty. Most students take advantage of the year-round, outdoor sports opportunities afforded by using the 17 miles of trails on campus for hiking, mountain biking, snowshoeing and crosscountry skiing. MARLBORO COLLEGE: PO Box A, 2582 South Road, Marlboro, VT. 800/343-0049 (admissions); MARLBORO COLLEGE 802/257-4333 (main); ❉ 2 3 2 W E S T O N M A G A Z I N E G R O U P. C O M

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The Knox School A Home by the Shore St. James, NY The Knox School was founded in 1904 in Briarcliff Manor, New York by Mary Alice Knox, the former principal of the Emma Willard School. After moves to Tarrytown and Cooperstown, in 1954 Knox settled on Long Island’s North Shore in the Village of Nissequogue in St. James— on 48 beautiful acres bordering Stony Brook Harbor. Originally an allgirls school, Knox became fully co-ed in the 1970’s, and currently serves both boarding and day students in grades 6 through Post Graduate. Knox has always been a close-knit community, with alumni and students alike referring to it as their “home by the shore.” They serve fewer than 200 young men and women and have a student to teacher ratio of 6:1, so every student has a voice. Here, young people can take that AP course, captain the team, become a student council officer, and earn a role in the play. And in such a warm and safe community, everything they do is geared toward helping individual students become exceptional scholars and people. Knox students thrive as they develop a strong sense of belonging to the community and become part of something bigger than themselves. It’s THE KNOX SCHOOL

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easy to do so with all of the varied and cherished traditions at Knox. Students love to ring the Victory Bell after athletic contests; each year the entire community, faculty and students, participate in a yearlong “Red Team vs. White Team” competition; and their Lantern Parade, annual allschool trips, and daily Morning Meetings become part of the fabric of life at Knox, leading always to a one of a kind shoreline graduation ceremony. Their academics include Advanced Placement offerings in every subject area, outstanding Visual and Performing Arts, a 5-level ESL program and a support program called BOOST for students who have mild learning differences or simply require additional support for test taking strategies and overall skill building. Their athletics include standards like soccer, basketball, volleyball, baseball and tennis, but they also have a nationally renowned Equestrian program, and they recently added a crew team. Clubs and activities abound, keeping their students engaged in meaningful endeavors not only on campus but all over the country and abroad as well. A rigorous college preparatory program in a family style setting; proximity to the wonders of the North Shore and the endless cultural opportunities of nearby New York City; a profoundly optimistic and dynamically diverse community—this is The Knox School. Contact; 631/686-1600 ext.414. 541 Long Beach Road, St. James, NY

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INDEPENDENT SCHOOL GUIDE Solebury School New Hope, PA Walking around Solebury School’s bucolic 90-acre campus in Bucks County, PA, there is something that might grab your attention immediately: the look on the students’ faces. It is impossible not to notice that the students actually look happy to be here. Far from the stereotypical scowling teenagers, these 7th-12th graders have wide smiles as they spend time in the dorms and travel from class to class, engaging each other in conversation, laughter and friendly debate. A closer look SOLEBURY SCHOOL reveals that there are a few key ingredients creating this dynamic. Talking to the students here reveals a striking commonality in the descriptions of what they love about Solebury School. They mention the wide array of classes that sound more like college seminars than high school courses, from Robotics Theory to Shakespeare and Film. “At Solebury, students are given the opportunity to find their passion,” said Peter Ammirati, head of Solebury’s History Department and a former student himself (’82). “There is a perfect mix of independence and guidance, which allows each student to create the academic path, and ultimately the life path, that is right for them.” Students here also repeatedly speak of their relationships with teachers who seem passionate about, and inspired by, the subjects they teach. They talk of being consistently challenged, but also of being supported and respected. Far from the adversarial relationships many of us once had with our teachers, these teenagers want to do well largely because of their affection for their teachers. “You don’t want to let your teacher down,” said Olivia Hagerty, a senior. “You know how much they put into it, so you want to repay that by participating and by doing your best.” They also discuss the camaraderie, the feeling of being part of a family. While students naturally talk about striving for success, it is clear they would not be happy if it came at the expense of those around them. It is a school that thrives on a cohesive and caring student body, where acceptance is the norm, and being a member of the Peer Tutoring Team is as cool as being the star of the school play or the captain of the soccer team. 2 3 4 W E S T O N M A G A Z I N E G R O U P. C O M

Part of Solebury School’s winning formula undoubtedly comes from its size. With just 235 students, Solebury has maintained an intimacy throughout its 85-year history. Everyone knows each other, and this knowledge creates an environment where students and teachers grow to appreciate that which makes them distinctive as well as that which connects them. And with a teacher/student ratio of 1:6, and an average class size of 11, parents know that students receive individualized attention and can’t simply fall through the cracks. Solebury School parents also seem to appreciate Solebury’s commitment to a balanced life. There may be more than 100 challenging courses and two dozen honors and Advanced Placement offerings, yet academics here doesn’t come at the expense of humanity. Students can excel in the classroom, while also exploring rock climbing or life drawing, volunteering in the community or taking a class trip to France. “My child takes a full academic load including honors and AP classes, serves on school committees, is active in a club, and plays varsity sports,” says Whitney Parker-Klimpel (parent of Andrew ’06, Morgan ’09, and Spencer ’14). “Solebury does a great job of encouraging each student to develop all aspects of their personality. Solebury fosters balance in its students and encourages them to develop beyond their set knowledge, experience and expectations. Solebury is a special place!” This balance is possible because of the vibrancy of the community — the wide array of weekend activities, the clubs students can join, the strength of the sports and arts programs, and the unique opportunities for students like our Teach2Serve program. Head of School, Tom Wilschutz, says he is proud to be part of Solebury School. “Part of what drew me to Solebury is my sincere belief that the school is not only producing superior intellectuals, but superior citizens and people,” he said. “Our students love to learn, but they see the potential value this learning has as a means of affecting positive change in the world.” And they’re doing it with a smile. Solebury School: 6832 Phillips Mill Road, New Hope, PA. Beverly Berkeley, Director of Communications: 215/862-5261 x 136. ❉

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right from the start When you’re three, four, or five it’s good to have people around you who know you’re curious. Curiosity is the first step toward learning. We have teachers who believe you’re smart, creative, compassionate, and destined for success. Our teachers save the calculus for later, but they get started on the curiosity right away.

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Wooster School’s Study Abroad in France or Spain “Having lived in two very different environments, I can now relate to each one in a unique way, and my mind is much more open. I’ve also gained a larger world perspective.”

A year… in the land of Monet or Cervantes; learning a language buying baguettes and olives; continuing a 40-year Wooster tradition; discovering why old cities offer the coolest, new experiences; meeting a welcoming host family; leaving behind old ideas, and bringing home unforgettable memories.

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Wilbraham & monson academy a Global experience • The Center for Entrepreneurial & Global Studies • The Mark R. Shenkman interactive trading center • Hands-on entrepreneurial experience through The Global EcoLearn Project® • The advancement of financial intelligence • An extensive travel program to Asia, South America, and Europe • A full AP curriculum • Championship athletics • A fine & performing arts program including theatre, music, fine arts, and dance • College counseling program beginning in sophomore year Founded in 1804, Wilbraham & Monson Academy is a boarding school of 380 students in grades 9-postgraduate. The Academy is dedicated to preparing students for successful competitive college admission and facing the challenge of global leadership.

Please Contact the Office of Admission at 413.596.9108 or 423 Main Street, Wilbraham, MA 01095

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Westover School is a rigorous college preparatory program for girls in grades 9 -12 located in Middlebury, Connecticut. Our community includes students from 17 countries and 16 states. These bright young women enrich one another with their varied backgrounds, talents, interests, and ideas.

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Ages 6 - 16 Register now for 2011 Summer Academic Programs! 45 Glenville Road

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A co-ed day and boarding school for children in grades 4-9.

Schedule your visit today! Christine LeFevre Director of Admissions (518) 523-9329 ext. 6000 • 4382 Cascade Rd. • LAKE PLACID, New York • 12946

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Contact Pat Meissner Director of Admissions 603 654-2391 ext. 109 222 Isaac Frye Highway Wilton, NH 03086

The summer before her senior year as a criminal justice major at Rutgers, Karina Martinez of Lyndhurst, New Jersey, studied child labor laws in Ghana as part of an effort to raise awareness about human rights.

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High aspirations call for a global education EF International Academy New York is a private boarding school with a global focus. It offers rigorous academic programs, including the world-renowned International Baccalaureate Diploma curriculum, and its campus is home to students from around the world. Nurturing academic excellence • Pursue the International Baccalaureate Diploma • Prepare for top colleges and universities • Master skills valued in the global marketplace • Governed by EF Education First, a worldwide leader in international education An international experience • Students from over 30 different nations • Experienced faculty members have lived and worked around the world. • Campuses in New York, Oxford and Torbay

Safe and secure campus • Scenic campus in Tarrytown, New York, is 40 minutes by train from Manhattan • Private grounds on Hudson River feature historic buildings and modern facilities • Campus includes science labs, theaters, library, interactive classrooms and full boarding accommodations • Comprehensive sports facilities include fitness center, pool, sports fields, tennis courts and more To request a brochure, e-mail

| New York | Torbay | Oxford | EF International Academy, 100 Marymount Avenue, Butler Hall, Tarrytown, NY 10591 (914) 597-7241,

Celebrating 350 Years

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Small School. Big World.

Stoneleigh-Burnham School is an academic community for girls grades 7-12 based on honor, respect and intellectual curiosity. We encourage each student to explore her individual passions and discover her own voice. The School offers nationally-recognized equestrian, debate and performing arts programs. Stoneleigh-Burnham School is a candidate to offer the International Baccalaureate Program in Fall 2011.

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Small, Collaborative Classes Coed, Boarding & Day, Grades 8-12 Beautiful, Safe Campus Diverse Community Honors & Advanced Placement Classes Outstanding Visual & Performing Arts Competitive & Club Athletics Support for Students with Learning Differences “I have a special bond with my Storm King teachers, who are encouraging and supportive. They have helped me discover abilities and talents that I never knew I had.” —Lily Snyder ‘13

THE STORM KING SCHOOL 314 Mountain Road Cornwall-on-Hudson, NY 12520 (800) 225-9144 or (845) 534-9860 ♦


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Solebur S o leeb b y Schooll

Where “college-prep” is inspiring, not draining

Where both gifted students & those with learning differences thrive

Where peers are supportive and teachers are allies

Where mom or dad are just a couple of hours away

Boarding and Day School - 235 Students Upper School Grades 9-12 6832 Phillips Mill Rd. New Hope, PA 1893-9682 Phone: 1.215.862.5261

Let’s start with


Your dreams. Your goals.

Your drive, and your idea of what learning should be. There aren’t a lot of schools that do that. You’re Invited to Preview Days

In fact, we can only think of one.

Monday, February 21 at 9 a.m. or Saturday, April 9 at 9 a.m. RSVP: 800-440-9107 or

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Academic & Leadership Program 4 weeks: July 3–July 30, 2011 Classes for enrichment or make-up credit, study skill development, rock climbing, canoeing, peer mediation and community service.

Caitlin Lynch, Director of Summer Admission

476 Skiff Mountain Road Kent, CT 06757 860–927–0047 ext. 1005 A coeducational boarding school for grades 9–12

SHP’s Biking Adventures LIVE BEYOND THE MOMENT Nothing strikes fear in the hearts of parents like the thought of their teens spending the summer on the sofa watching reruns of Scary Movie. As the summer months approach and the 11th hour arrives, the decision to do something of value is more critical than ever before: Like sending your teen to cycle through the country roads of New England or on the cobblestone streets of Amsterdam. Help your teen Live Beyond the Moment and send them on a SHP Biking Adventure, where they can check out the Tour de France when biking from Amsterdam to Paris, jump in a Vermont lake or bike across the Golden Gate Bridge. They can even bike cross-country!


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Ready. Set. Prep. SAT | ACT | GMAT | GRE | LSAT | MCAT Premier Private Tutoring Our Premier tutors are simply the best in the business. They have achieved stellar score improvements, elicit the highest praise from their students, and are unparalleled in their expertise. They each leverage over 1000 hours of tutoring or relevant work experience to provide exceptional results for their students. Their insight and ability allows them to anticipate student needs and give solutions that work. These tutors are professionals who know the tests and the test-writers like no one else; they develop our content, train our classroom instructors, and work with hundreds of students each year.

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Thinking of Visiting the Hamptons? Think Ross School. Boarding for grades 7–12 in beautiful boarding houses. Two campuses in East Hampton and Bridgehampton, New York, just 2 hours east of New York City. Easily accessible by bus, train, ferry and air. Global, integrated curriculum to educate the whole child for the whole world. Opportunities for independent study, advanced classes, competitive athletics, extracurricular activities and travel. UPPER SCH OOL 18 GOOD FRIEND D RIVE EAST H A MPTON, NY





At The Knox School, everything we do is geared to helping young people become exceptional in the sizes, and students that care as much about good values as they do about strong academic achievement. At Knox, all our students learn to be exceptional. Contact us at 631-686-1600 or online at


541 Long Beach Rd. St. James, NY 11780 • A Coeducational Independent Boarding and Day School for Grades Six-Post Graduate

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Villa Maria School Stamford’s “Jewel on the Hill”

Making Success a Reality for Children with Learning Difficulties Since 1973

A co-educational day school A language-based curriculum in grades K through 9 A professional faculty fully certified in special education 4:1 student-teacher ratio Culturally diverse student body For more information on our year-round or summer programs please call 203.322.5886 x104 or email



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Hampshire Country School Rindge, New Hampshire

A small, friendly boarding school for 25 boys. Best entering age: 8 to 11 years old. Students may remain into high school. For the high-ability boy who needs a good education, a manageable world, and an unusual amount of adult attention. 603-899-3325

• Creative, hands-on, interdisciplinary K-8 grade program • Rich, varied arts and culture (dance, theater, drumming, music, art) • Inclusive Quaker values: simplicity, peace, integrity, community, equality and stewardship of the earth • Main campus on five wooded acres; a second, 15-acre campus used as a “living” classroom • Outstanding faculty with advanced degrees and conflict resolution training • Outdoor education and leadership program 317 New Canaan Rd / Wilton, CT 203-762-9860

SHP’s Biking Adventures LIVE BEYOND THE MOMENT Nothing strikes fear in the hearts of parents like the thought of their teens spending the summer on the sofa watching reruns of Scary Movie. As the summer months approach and the 11th hour arrives, the decision to do something of value is more critical than ever before: Like sending your teen to cycle through the country roads of New England or on the cobblestone streets of Amsterdam. Help your teen Live Beyond the Moment and send them on a SHP Biking Adventure, where they can check out the Tour de France when biking from Amsterdam to Paris, jump in a Vermont lake or bike across the Golden Gate Bridge. They can even bike cross-country!


800-343-6132 or visit

Give your child the summer adventure they crave!



9:52 AM

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Darrow School

A College-Preparatory Boarding and Day School for Grades 9-12

Small Community. Big Opportunities. That’s Darrow. And there’s more…  Challenging Academic Program – Real-world learning using a unique combination of classroom instruction and community involvement

 Hands-to-Work/Community Service – A tradition that cultivates an appreciation for purposeful work and builds connection to the community

 Individualized Approach– Inspiring  Inclusive Athletic Opportunities – classroom environment and one-on-one Eight competitive team sports and several Tutorial Program offer strategic mentoring non-competitive sports, including skiing for academic success and snowboarding five days a week  Commitment to Sustainability –  Visual and Performing Arts – Robust Responsible stewardship of environmental art offerings, in-depth music curriculum, resources and environmental awareness and a dynamic theater program foster permeate the Darrow culture creativity and collaborative learning

Please join us for an Open House! Experience the Darrow School Community Attend a Darrow class, meet our dedicated faculty and enthusiastic students, enjoy lunch, and take a tour of our distinctive campus. Ask questions, hear the chorus sing, learn about Shaker history and so much more! You may register by sending an e-mail to or online at If you are unable to attend an open house, we also welcome visits throughout the year. Call (877) 432-7769 to schedule a visit today!

110 Darrow Rd., New Lebanon, NY 518.794.6000 | Accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools

Canterbury School New Milford, CT

Grades 9-12 • Boarding & Day • (860) 210-3934 •

If your CHILD is

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hen your child isn’t getting the grades you think he or she should, call Huntington Learning Center®. Our certified teachers will find out what’s holding your child back and create an individualized program of instruction designed to fix the problem. Huntington can improve your child’s learning skills, so your child can overcome frustration with school, as well as develop confidence and motivation. Call Huntington today. We’re nearby and affordable. We know your child can succeed in school, because we know your child can learn.



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Emma Stories: Shibani “My Emma story is about confidence and self-improvement.”

“Emma has made me a more confident person… not just in academics but in sports, social life, extra-curricular activities—all aspects of my life. “I have learned to communicate better… to be a leader in the community… to balance my activities… skills for college and beyond. “Emma feels like home.” An Amazing Girl. Shibani helps others as a leader of PHILA, a student-run philanthropic organization assisting nonprofits from Troy to Mumbai. 2 8 5 P AW L I N G A V E N U E , T R O Y, N Y 1 2 1 8 0 5 1 8 . 8 3 3 . 1 3 2 0

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{COMMUNITY.ROOM} IT ISN’T ALWAYS BLACK AND WHITE By Megan Smith-Harris I’M A CANADIAN WOMAN married to an American man. We have an eleven-year-old son and live in a small Connecticut town. I am white and my husband is black. In this day and age, that fact shouldn’t be particularly noteworthy, but in some parts of this great country – in most parts – it is. Though not many people will admit it, seeing a white woman and a black man together touches a raw nerve. When my husband and I are out in public, people notice. When we’re with our mixed race son, they really notice. I confide this to friends and they’re shocked, “But the world has changed,” they protest. “It’s not like that anymore. We elected Barack Obama!” As an afterthought they add, “Anyway, your husband is so light-skinned…” as if a lighter shade of brown renders him almost white (or maybe just quasi-black) and therefore, less likely to be the target of racial prejudice. Walk a mile in my shoes, or better yet, spend a day in my husband’s size-13 loafers and you’ll gain a new perspective. My litmus test for racial bias is admittedly unempirical: if the hairs on the back of my neck stand up, someone in our vicinity is noticing us and passing judgment. Initially I didn’t understand the array of reactions our presence induced. My husband explained that the psychic and emotional wounds wrought by slavery still run deep and that just as Germany has come to terms with the shame of its Nazi past and South Africa continues to experience the reverberations of apartheid, America will always bear the legacy of systemic racial injustice. My background is liberal, artsy and accepting. I grew up in Toronto, a cosmopolitan city where most citizens embrace a live-and-let-live philosophy. When I fell in love with my husband – yes — I was aware that his skin happened to be darker than mine, but it was a non-issue. My husband grew up during the turmoil of the American civil rights movement. Racism – overt or covert – has been part of his daily life from the moment he took his first breath. He’s been shunned by staff in restaurants, watched helplessly as women clutch their purses when they see him, and yes, he’s been called the “N” word. More than once. After witnessing my spouse routinely mistaken for retired football players, television sports anchors and weathermen – including jovial 5’ 8” Al Roker – I realized something was up. But what? “Being black and excelling in the world of entertainment or sports is acceptable – almost expected,” he explained, playing color commentator. “The assumption is, I wouldn’t be at an elite social event unless I was a waiter or somebody famous, so they think I’m a celebrity. Never a judge, a doctor or a CEO, because it doesn’t occur to people that a black man would succeed in those professions.” He said this so matter-of-factly it broke my heart. Not long ago a white woman marrying a black man was not only dangerous but also illegal. In 1967, 17 states still had anti-miscegenation laws on the books. That same year, the Supreme Court ruled these laws unjust, illegal and “designed to maintain White supremacy,” but the state constitutions of South Carolina and Alabama weren’t amended until

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1998 and 2000, respectively. It just wasn’t a priority. As newlyweds, we moved to an idyllic town in Connecticut, but soon discovered our mixed-race family was ill-equipped for the challenges of integrating into a staid New England community. Once, at a cocktail party held at an exclusive Greenwich yacht club, the only people of color were my husband, a quartet of Hispanic male waiters and a solo black bartender. I wandered onto the patio to introduce myself to some partygoers who graciously included me in their group. My husband approached bearing two flutes of champagne. The hairs on the back of my neck stood straight up. I introduced him quickly before anyone could request more vodka tonics, and as the notion that we were actually married permeated their consciousness, a pall fell over the crowd. Finally a bejeweled dowager stepped into the conversational abyss, “Our church sponsors a group of inner-city African-American children,” she said, gazing at him intently. “They’re so grateful…” she added, eyebrows arched in anticipation of his response. Everyone stared, waiting for…? Commendation? Yes. My husband blinked, smiled politely and backed away towards the shrimp platter. The conversation resumed as if nothing bizarre had occurred. On the drive home he broke the heavy silence, “Why do people always talk to me about race? Do you talk to a bald man about all the other bald men you know? About how much you like bald men? Why can’t people talk to me about sports, the economy and real estate like everybody else?” My husband and I forget about the black/white thing until someone chooses to remind us by word, deed, or in some instances, slack-jawed, eye-popping Gomer Pyle stares (that was in Dallas.) Some people still baffle me, like the stranger at the playground who whispered in my ear, “My daughter is in love with an African - her father is devastated.” Or the gala chairwoman who mistook my husband for the bandleader even though we’d paid $250 a ticket to attend the event like everyone else. Explaining to our son that his father was not stopped by the police for a traffic infraction, but for the crime of D.W.B (Driving While Black) was tough. In our quest to find a town where the hairs on my neck don’t stand at continuous attention we moved – a lot – eventually settling on Wilton, a small, predominantly white town with excellent schools and a welcoming attitude. Though America continues to grapple with its racial history, the seismic aftershocks are getting smaller. My color-blended family represents only an infinitesimal part of that struggle. President Obama has inadvertently bestowed upon us added social cachet: it’s now chic to be a mixed race couple. Fifty-seven years ago Martin Luther King, Jr. exhorted us to judge someone by the content of their character, not the color of their skin. Our country has definitely taken one giant Simon Says step toward racial parity, but making the claim “Mission Accomplished” would be dangerously premature. The Change Train is indeed chugging down the track, it’s just running a bit late. ❉ Megan Smith-Harris is a writer and filmmaker. Currently, she is producing and directing TRIAL BY FIRE: Lives Re-Forged, a feature length documentary about burn survivors, ( and putting the finishing touches on her new screenplay, BEHIND THE HEDGEROWS, a psychological suspense set in East Hampton.

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upper east side magazine winter-2011  

weston magazine group, publisher of 7 hyper-local regional lifestyle magazines serving the affluent northern suburbs of the greater nyc metr...

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