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Features 84

WHERE THE HELL ISâ&#x20AC;Ś MATT? Westport's Matt Harding is a YouTube sensation.


WHITE BOY SINGS THE BLUES by Robert Wilder Looking for a new way to walk, talk, and think about the wider world.


THIRD EYE: AFRICA photography/text by Vivian Simons Will the game preserves and safe havens endure?


FICTION: LAST STOP IN VENICE by Kathryn Walker The deprivation of a glorious city unseen, or no one with whom to see it.


FICTION: SPACEMAN BLUES: A LOVE SONG by Brian Slattery In Which a Man Disappears, and Several Parties Are Held.

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142 151


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D e p a r t m e n t s 24 38 46 54 64 72

TRAIN OF THOUGHT by Cynthia Kaplan Perilous trips not taken. TOWN HALL by Chief of Police John Troxell Weston's New Police Car. ACTS OF KINDNESS SCHOOL ROAD by Sheryl Wengel Advice to college students: know thyself. RURAL PALATES New from the Fancy Food Show of 2008. APPRAISED AND APPROVED Great local aesthetic services; Naturally sweet products.


BUYERS AND SELLERS by Gail Lilley Zawacki Update on the Weston real estate market.

268 278 282 286 294

THE HEALING AGENT Transitional living for troubled teens at Silver Hill. TECHNOLOGY High definition robotic surgery at Norwalk Hospital. BALANCE SHEET Uncertain times require a certain type of financial planner. THE GREEN ROOM by Lynne Meadow The Weston sabbatical. COMMUNITY ROOM Follow the annual Weston/Westport Holiday Art Trail.

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Tan t

We s t o n Editor & Publisher

Eric S. Meadow


Celia R. Meadow

Art Director

Tim Hussey

Executive Editor

Debbie Silver

Travel Editor

Susan Engel

Editors at Large

Bert Engel

pis .

Howard Jacobs Paula Koffsky Rich Silver General Counsel


FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT Perhaps it is a result

of the astonishing surfeit of survival shows on TV, or the fifteen-year-old holiday card I came across recently, depicting my husband and his buddy Bill in hiking boots and do-rags, astride motorcycles in some remote corner of Thailand, or perhaps it is my secret love for expensive performance outerwear, but it has suddenly occurred to me that I may never have an adventure in a foreign country. I didn't have the guts to do it in college or in my twenties and now that I feel ready it's too late, because I'm saddled with the husband and children I always wanted. And, coincidentally, as if the point needed hammering home, I seem just as suddenly to be finding myself in conversations with people who once lived in a hut at the base of Kilimanjaro, or hiked across Indonesia with only a Nikkormat and a spoon, or thumbed their way through Ireland getting thrown out of pubs — people who dedicated a reasonable period of their young adulthood to adventure travel, the upshot being that their minds are expanded, their bodies possessed of certain intangible but unimpeachable foreign sense-memories, their photo albums of serious interest. They are semi-fluent in several languages and have acquired a bevy of international friends and acquaintances whom they will visit and who will visit them for the rest of their natural lives. When you talk to them, all their sentences begin with “I met Dominique in Budapest...” and end with “ we climbed Machu Picchu.” Some of their adventures were actually altruistic. These trips were about following the conscience, wherever it took them. I didn't have any of those, either. In the past three months alone, I have discovered that

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Bruce Koffsky, Esq.

Contributors: Matt Harding, Lauretta Harris, Josh Jamner, Cynthia Kaplan, Brigitta Kroon-Siorita, Lynne Meadow, Cathryn Prince, Allie Silver, Brian Slattery, John Troxell, Kathryn Walker, Sheryl Wengel, Robert Wilder, Gail Lilley Zawacki Contributing Photographers: Vivian Simons McBride/Retna Parr, Bruce Plotkin, Ellen Strauss Illustrator: Dave Cutler

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Advertising Sales Rep. Barbara Greenhouse Pam Lustig Jill Roy Distribution Manager Richie Smith Advertising Inquiries (203) 227-5377 Editorial Inquiries

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Weston Magazine/Meadow's Country Capitalist, presented by Weston Magazine, Issue #36, is published 4 times per year by Weston Magazine, INC. P.O. Box 1006, Weston, CT 06883. Tel: 203/2275377. Email: Copyright 2008 by Weston Magazine, INC. All rights reserved. Weston Magazine/Country Capitalist is a trademark of Weston Magazine, INC. The contents of this publication may not be reproduced either in whole or in part without the consent of the publisher. Weston assumes no responsibility for unsolicited materials. Print subscription rate: four issues, $100. Back Issues, $10. Attention Postmaster: send address corrections to Weston, P.O. Box 1006, Weston, CT 06883. Printed in Canada.

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trainofthought friends of mine variously taught elementary school in the Congo, built bridges in Nicaragua, and gave out eyeglasses to impoverished Mayans. Their sentences begin with “Then, when we were with Médecins Sans Frontièrs, sorry, that's Doctors Without Borders...” and end with “ that year we spent Christmas handing out Hershey bars to orphans in Colombia... sorry, it's just... (Sob.)” It has never occurred to me to climb Machu Picchu, much less join the Peace Corps. Extreme altitudes make my head ache, and I have a rational fear of rebels armed with AK-47s. While I have rallied to a number of causes I believed in, none of those rallies took me beyond a three-mile radius from my home, unless you count the address on the envelope I

calling each other by our trail names: Gopher, Birdman, Princess Pine, Cranky Cuss. Neither my brother nor I was sent to live on a kibbutz and harvest olives, which I am not even adventurous enough to like. I grew up in a family where the adventures were, thank God, tuh tuh tuh, over by the time my parents were born. Their parents had made the arduous trip from the Old World to the New World and that was certainly enough adventure travel as far as everyone was concerned. They had risked their lives for us and now we owed it to them to just stay home and enjoy the fact that we have carpeting. When my mother finished college, her parents sent her, with two friends, on the grand tour of Europe. All their hotels and flights were

For years to come, these world-travelers/do-gooders will dine out on their stories, and do-nothings, like me… will listen with a mixture of envy and annoyance. put the check in. I've never even worked on a political campaign, stumping around my own country, staying up all night to make signs or cold calls, or blow up balloons. I didn't meet my husband at a caucus. I've signed a few petitions in my time, but I never traveled by bus to Washington and stood in the rain on the Mall waiting for Jesse Jackson to speechify or Pete Seeger to sing. I did stand all night in a freezing rain outside Madison Square Garden waiting for Springsteen tickets to go on sale. He sings that old song about war. Anecdotally speaking — and what other way of speaking is there, really — I have nothing to offer these buccaneers in return. Which I resent. What else do humans do besides sit around and tell stories that make them look cool? I've certainly never heard of a dog rhapsodizing about a threeyear tour teaching English as a second language to children in Mauritius. (...and by then the flood waters were as high as the tree stumps they use for desks! Woof!) So, what I usually do, because I don't want to be left out of the conversation, is make a big deal about some little event, tell a grandiose tale of a weekend car camping or hunting for old doorknobs or some other pointless endeavor. And I put a funny spin on it. Then there was the time at the party for Bob's seventy-fifth birthday when my hair was attacked by a horde of freaked-out luna moths. Hah hah hah. Woof. I am sure it is horrible when the only route out of the ancient ruins is washed away in a mudslide, and one might certainly have second thoughts about one's calling after moving to a third-world country and wearing the same pair of underpants for a week while digging irrigation ditches. But there must be, or they all wouldn't talk about it so much, an enormous sense of accomplishment at having done it, survived it. I've seen the looks of pride on the mud-covered faces in the photographs, the shiteating grins and sinewy, tanned bodies. (Sound romantic? Does to me!) The wages of sweat equity. And the wages pay dividends. For years to come, these world-travelers/do-gooders will dine out on their stories, and do-nothings, like me, with neither the experiences nor the tales they inspire, will listen with a mixture of envy and annoyance. I did not grow up in an adventurous family. We never went camping out West, or sabbaticaled in New Zealand, or walked the Appalachian Trail

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arranged in advance. During the day they went to museums and at night to restaurants where they wore white gloves and foreign boys politely asked them to dance. The single story that has endured lo these many years is the one about the evening in Paris, when my mother's best friend, Sugar Silverman, who preferred her hair jet-black, colored the light roots with an eyebrow pencil before going out. She danced all night long with her head nestled on the shoulder of a young Frenchman, and left a large dark splotch on his white dinner jacket. My legacy. Unfortunately, my own experience of la vie Française lacked something, or, really, everything, of the romance so fondly recalled by my mother. In the winter of my junior year in high school, I lived for a month with a family in France as an exchange student. I was the only student whose correspondent was of the opposite sex, and we didn't exactly bond. He did not find me attractive enough to try to have sex with me and I was obsessed with the fact that he wore the same outfit to school for an entire week. Everyone else became best friends with their hosts and even shared clothes, which, given what I now knew about French habits of dress, seemed inexplicable. Still, the girls walked to school arm in arm, in the French style, and I trailed Jacques by several meters. They were having a different experience than I was, a happy one, a freeing one, and it ignited in them dually an urge to travel and a sense of perhaps belonging somewhere other than Connecticut. Some of them got Eurail passes and spent the summers hopping from city to city, seeing the sights, making friends, and having sex with men with foreign accents. One girl moved to France for the rest of her life. She became an expat. In literature, expats always seem to lead groovy, romantic, if slightly seedy, Somerset Maugham lives. They learn the language, eat sweetbreads, shower less often. When this girl came home for the holidays, her conversation was sprinkled with clever little foreign expressions. Mon cher. Tant pis. Merde. What has stayed with me, all these years later, a tiny souvenir of my brief sojourn in France, is Florence. Florence was Jacques's little sister. And while I remember little of her actual personage, and have no particular reminiscences of our relationship, sometimes her name just comes to me, out of nowhere. Not Florence as we say it, FLOORence, but



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trainofthought Florence in the French way: FloorAHNCE-uh. FloorAHNCE-uh. Another obstacle to my global emancipation was that sometime in my late teens I developed a fear of flying, which has not diminished with the passage of time. Come on, how is it that we just get on airplanes, la dee da, as though it doesn't require, if we think about it for a second, a breath-stopping, life-shortening expense of will to suspend disbelief? And it's not just that I was afraid to travel, I was also afraid to actually leave. I was sure that if I left my little life, such as it was, something amazing would go on while I was gone. The life that I had always hoped to live would suddenly start while I wasn't there. Party invitations would come in, men would call for dates, lastminute acting opportunities attended by influential people would material-

schnauzers, and desperate, childless strangers lurking in department stores top the list. My body as I have known it has evaporated into the cosmos and its particles have been reconfigured, and it has returned, postpartum, as the force field from Lost in Space. My job now is to protect my children, not myself, except to the extent that I, the force field, am obliged to remain alive and well and in the general vicinity of said children in order to be effective. Also, or, rather, more to the point, I have begun to imagine myself to be, in my new, unself-conscious manifestation, a buccaneer. Handing out eyeglasses. Joining that club for polar explorers. Flying on airplanes. As long as my children are safely on the ground, well, la dee da. This revelation may account for the feeling I now have that I've been living in a snow globe.

In literature, expats always seem to lead groovy, romantic, if slightly seedy, Somerset Maugham lives. ize. Of course, I stayed home a lot and none of this ever transpired. In college, when other people were making plans to take a semester abroad, I assumed that if I left for that long, I'd lose all my friends, or they'd become better friends with each other than they were with me, which I think they were anyway. They'd have all these outrageous experiences, urban myth-forming experiences, experiences they'd spend the rest of college reminding each other of and laughing about in front of me. I wasn't just paranoid. All I had to do was go to sleep, and life happened without me. One cold winter night, after I'd yawned myself back to my room off campus, four of my friends ventured out in the predawn freeze to paint the front steps of a house on Spruce Street pink and green, a mock tribute to the preppy boys who lived there. This prank became something of a legend that was told and retold for years after. Often people assumed I'd been involved, and I did not dispossess them of this notion. Strangely, none of the men I know who are husbands and fathers feel the same way — that they missed out on something important, perhaps mind-altering or life-changing, before they settled down. They don't want to be anyplace or anyone other than where and who they are (except, maybe, on a tropical island, divorced, with hair), because they did the big things first. And perhaps they were able to do those things because sperm have the same half-life as a sea turtle, somewhere between eighty years and oblivion. Of course, women, too, go on trips and to graduate school and have careers, but in the back of their minds (and if I'm not talking about you, or you've read any of the three gazillion books recently written on this subject, feel free to skip this part) they are tormented by the presence of a very persistent voice, a nudge. The nudge, who might sound a bit like your mother — that's not uncommon — says that it's fine to venture out into the world and make something of yourself, but while you're at it you should get married and stay home and have kids. The nudge understands the desire for freedom but is having a hard time living the dream. And the worst part is that the nudge speaks a modicum of truth: you can't argue with biology. Now that I actually have, among other things, a husband and two children, meaning, I don't need to hang around trying to get them anymore, something quite remarkable has happened. My fear of mudslides, guerrillas, etc., has all but disappeared. My fear for my own safety has been supplanted by my fear for that of my children. The old worries have been replaced by an entirely new set, wherein windpipe-sized gumballs, nippy

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Maybe the kind with music, sure, but I have been, for most of my life, happy to look out on the world from the relative safety of my winter wonderland and gasp with amazement and admiration at the derring-do of others, at their selflessness, at the ease with which they have inhabited the real globe. While I wouldn't trade my life right now for (almost) anyone else's, I'll say this, though it was recently the plot of a failed sitcom: I wish I could take how far I've come and go back to where I was, just for a little while. Or perhaps I would simply be gratified by some kind of retroactive inclusion in the occasional anecdote, if once in a while at a social gathering a friend said something like, “Hey, Cin, remember when we were holed up in that lean-to on Rainier?”

CODA My twentieth high school reunion began auspiciously; I was having a goodhair night, and in the eyes of my former classmates, it seems I had made a reasonable success of my post-adolescent life. I lived in New York City! I was a writer! And an actress! For the first time the popular boys showed some interest. (You'd think twenty years later I'd have stopped caring, but no.) In fact, it appeared that I had been the adventurous one. I felt fine, virtually vindicated. A group of us settled with our drinks and hors d'oeuvres at a large round table and everyone but me began reminiscing. I'd heard some of these stories before, and that familiarity, along with my newfound popularity, afforded me a certain license to pretend I'd been more integral to them than I actually had been. Which was not at all. Yet I nodded and laughed along like a pro. I took big slugs of my drink and mock-choked on it. Ha ha ha ha ha. It was dangerous, I knew, but I was feeling bold, even cocky, and I thought I could handle it. Which is something drunks and drug addicts say after they wake up at three in the morning in a strange city. Anyway, I should have made a break for the steam table while I had the chance, and before an ex-soccer player named Chris Cahill posed the following question: “Remember when Peg got her head stuck in the railing at McDonald's?” The place exploded. People could barely speak. Bits of hors d'oeuvres spewed forth. This event was obviously one of the highlights of my senior year of high school. The story, such as could be relayed between fits of coughing and howling was as follows: one autumn night, after a soccer



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trainofthought game against New Milford, a cheerleader named Peg Sealy poked her head through the wooden railing that separated two booths at McDonald's and got it stuck there. One of the perks of going to an away game was the opportunity to have dinner at McDonald's before the bus ride back to school. If you played field hockey or girls' basketball, as I did, there was a certain amount of female camaraderie and bonding at these dinners. They occasionally turned raucous but, let's face it, all-girl events where neither drugs nor alcohol were present were not the stuff of legend. If you were a cheerleader, however, every away game was an actual social event. You traveled on the bus with the boys' team and then went out to dinner with them after the game. Furthermore, every game was a party to which you were required to wear a tight sweater, a very short skirt, and bobby socks. Amazingly, perhaps inevitably, it came to pass that on game days the cheerleaders wore their cheerleading outfits to school in the morning. Never in my life did I attend a party dressed like that, even on Halloween, when every girl I know dressed like a whore — not literally, but when my friends dressed as pirates, they wore eye patches, hot pants, and fishnets. They were like pirate whores. Or punk whores or flapper whores or Native American whores — whatever. The year of the pirates, junior year of college, I dressed as a St. Bernard rescue dog. God knows why. Because I was a f-cking idiot, that's why. But I digress. The rest of the evening I spent in a blur. The giddiness of the Peg Witnesses could not be simulated. I was a good actress, but not that good. Oddly, the seemingly central question of why Peg Sealy poked her head through the railing never came up. I realized this was because it was irrelevant. Maybe she was trying to talk to some boys at the other table, or just make a joke, but all these years later, it doesn't matter. What matters is that I, at this or any other point, would never be in the Time and Place Where Things Happen. I will most probably be stuck forever in the Place Where You Wait and Just Sort of Hope for the Best. Tigers don't change their stripes. Bearing witness to Peg Sealy's imprisonment at the New Milford McDonald's is not the herald of an adventurous life, exactly, but a connection can, and should, be made. You are either in the best yearbook group shots or not. You've either traveled to Bangladesh for the International Red Cross or not. You are either the subject of the story or the unfortunate person who has to hear it over dinner. It began long, long ago and it will probably never end; it has parked itself in the cerebral cortex and erupts, like an aneurism, at regular intervals. Key words set it off: any talk of foreign travel or selfless volunteerism, any anecdote that inspires either knee-slapping or worse, tears. Sometimes the internal hemorrhaging starts spontaneously when I am just sitting around minding my own business, walking on the street, or feeding my children, or shopping for a roll of duct tape. It floods the brain like a mantra: “Remember when Peg got her head stuck in the railing at McDonald's? Remember when Peg got her head stuck in the railing at McDonald's? REMEMBER WHEN PEG GOT HER HEAD STUCK IN THE RAILING AT MCDONALD'S?” So, what to do? While most of my peers lie awake at night conjuring images of larger apartments and luxurious vacations, I fantasize about all of the gritty, dangerous places I've never been and the perilous, character-building things I haven't done. (I even dream about a triumphant return to high school, although clearly it is way too late to learn to backflip off a human pyramid.) And maybe one day, when the kids go to col-

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lege and I get a divorce, I'll embark on a journey someplace to which jetBlue does not fly. I will get a job as a foreign correspondent, wear hiking boots and a tan vest with many pockets. There will be others of my kind, smart-talking women, and probably, hopefully, men with English accents, and we will sit up at night in foreign hotel bars, drinking whiskey and trading outrageous anecdotes. Oh, the stories I'll tell. W Cynthia Kaplan, a graduate of Weston High School, is the author of two widely acclaimed collections of essays, Why I'm Like This and Leave the Building Quickly. Her work has been published in many magazines, newspapers and anthologies. Most recently she is the creator of a video blog entitled Confessions of Cap'n Scruffy, which can be viewed on the website www.smartmandaily. She lives in Manhattan with her husband and children. Visit her at, if you wish. Go Trojans!

An original voice, razor-sharp prose and an almost pathological willingness to tell the God's honest truth has made Cynthia Kaplan's books essential reading. Kaplan has that rare ability to write about her own life in a way that makes you feel as though she is writing about yours.

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CAR #46 WESTONâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S NEW POLICE CAR I MOVED HERE IN 1972 when I was in the 8th grade, and I remember when the police department was established in the summer of 1975. I am nostalgic about the town in many ways and proud to be the third chief of police here. I designed Car #46 with the idea that Weston is a small town with history. I wanted the car to celebrate the year that the department had been established. Also, the blue and gold colors are the Weston High School colors. That is my reasoning for using blue and gold lettering. I also wanted the letter font to represent a more traditional, small town police department. Most police departments now are going for a more "metropolitan" look with their lettering. I also raised the eagle and shield from the Weston Police patch and had that placed on the cruiser. I am also very patriotic and wanted to have the American flag visible on the car. The camera system (Digital Ally) is in the vehicle so that the Standardized Field Sobriety Test (SFST) that is administered by an officer at the scene of a motor vehicle stop during DUI enforcement can be recorded. The SFST establishes probable cause for the arrest at the scene prior to the breath test, which happens after the arrest at police headquarters, determining the Blood Alcohol Content (BAC). The Mobile Data Terminal (MDT computer) is in the cruiser so that officers have vehicle, license and all other information at their fingertips without having to over burden a dispatcher. The tinted glass on the rear windows are added privacy for those who may be arrested and detained in the rear of the cruiser. Fleet Auto Supply in West Haven, CT provided and installed the new emergency vehicle equipment. I think that the police cruiser fits Weston and the Weston police department well. W John Troxell is the Chief of Police of the Weston Police Department.

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DONORSCHOOSE.ORG Today's public schools often lack resources for students to thrive. As a result, teachers are spending $1 billion from their own pockets each year on supplies. makes it easy for any individual to address this inequity, one classroom at a time. Launched in the spring of 2000 by Charles Best, a public high school teacher in the Bronx, is a nonprofit web site where teachers describe, and individual donors can fund, specific student needs.

Since its expansion to Connecticut in 2007, has raised more than $230,000 to fund nearly 700 classroom projects. These funds have come from donors in 43 states and have helped 17,000 Connecticut students. 85% of these students come from high-poverty schools. “A key aspect of is the element of “citizen philanthropy,” says Thalia Theodore, Northeast Deputy Director. “No matter how small a contribution, the ordinary citizens who fund projects on our web site are treated to a level of service normally reserved for established philanthropists.” On the website, “citizen philanthropists” can fund specific project requests such as microscopes for middle school students in Bridgeport, or pedometers for a third grade gym class in Stamford. The resources are delivered directly to the teacher's school and donors receive photos and thank you notes from the classroom they support.

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This back to school season, has received a $25,000 grant from the Fairfield County Community Foundation (FCCF) to fund classroom proposals in Bridgeport, Danbury, Norwalk, Stamford and Stratford. The grant will be implemented through an online “Double Your Impact” campaign — an innovative combination of technology and philanthropy. The campaign enables the FCCF to fund 50% of any project submitted by teachers in the five school districts, and local citizens are invited to match the offer by donating the remaining dollars needed online. As the name suggests, the Foundation's $25,000 “Double Your Impact” campaign aims to generate twice as much giving to high-need Fairfield County classrooms this school year. To join the FCCF in supporting local schools and teachers this fall, go to For further information, contact: Thalia Theodore at 212/239-3615 ext. 225 or; or Rebecca Wolfe at Fairfield County Community Foundation at: 203/750-3200; W

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ARE OUR COLLEGE STUDENTS PREPPED FOR THEIR JOURNEY? Insights students need to gain through self-discovery will help drive their career paths and success

This was the third summer in a row that I have been in a social situation with a friend in June when the subject of their young adult child who had just graduated from college was the key topic of the evening. What should have been a cause for major celebration had quickly turned to anxiety for both the grad and the parent. After four years at top colleges and universities, many of our young scholars are graduating without a job, and more importantly, without a sense of who they are and where the next stage in their life can take them. My most recent encounter with such a friend included a heated discussion of “a liberal arts education which teaches students how to learn” versus a more experiential learning college experience where a student comes out with applicable knowledge which makes him/her more marketable upon graduation. Just as competitive as it is for our high school grads to get into the college of their choice, it is as or more competitive for our college grads to land jobs upon graduation. As a retained executive recruiter, my career is focused on helping companies find the right people for senior level positions. The “right” person is a combination of relevant experiences, skills, and most importantly, “fit.” Fit is the qualitative elements that is the make or break component of the hiring process. While companies determine what “fit” means for their environment, my belief is that many of our kids don't know who they are to help them determine what the right path and “fit” is for them.

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As a result of these post graduation conversations, I have spent time in late June for the past three summers with recent college grads who should be on top of the world, but instead walk into my world with their heads down, confidence at an all time low, and feeling like

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schoolroad they've failed themselves and in many ways their parents because they don't know who they are and are uncertain where their short term career may take them and of possible paths to follow. I ask simple interview questions and am shocked with the complete silence that awaits me. We quickly move on to questions about how they would describe themselves, what they are passionate about and how key people in their lives would

What You Are Personality Type tool through Naviance, which provides students with insights on themselves, how they make decisions and the types of subjects and careers that could be of interest to them. Colleges have similar tools; how many of our college students take advantage of these tools? In a discussion with a Director of Career Placement at a highly regarded Northeast liberal arts college, he shared that for students

Many of our kids don't know who they are to help them determine what the right path and “fit” is for them. describe them. We then talk about what makes them unique and brainstorm possible paths leveraging their passions, skills and unique points of differentiation. Woven in there is a wake up call that they may have to invest in doing something that they don't love upfront to help them lay the foundation for future opportunities. We put together parallel paths and deliverables. We then re-visit the interview questions and talk about how they can answer these questions based on the discovery process. I have told each of these young adults that they are the driver of their career plan and that their “decisions will determine their destiny.” The greatest gift that I get from these sessions is that the young adults walk away with a sense of selfbelief and confidence based on insights that they have gained about themselves and the knowledge that the road to success will be self-defined and driven by them. While we can debate the effectiveness of college career placement offices and their role in helping to guide our children, I believe that our children need to take the initiative in the self-discovery process throughout their time in college, and learn to advocate and help themselves. As a parent of a Weston High School student, I am impressed with the tools that our students are given, such as the Do

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choosing this educational path, it provides a safe haven from making a career choice coming in the door. He also shared that most of the students entering these top schools have a fear of failure, and that attending these schools with other such high achievers is a reality check and the career exploration process is quite intimidating.

Recommended Path EXPLORATION: Students should determine what their passions, skills and interests are and what career paths may be a fit. The Do What you Are tool is an excellent means to get the process started. This should be started during the freshman or sophomore years in college. EXPERIENTIAL: Gain experiences through internships during the school year and/or the summers between academic sessions in different fields of interest. These positions should be explored through college career placement offices, college alumni contacts and personal networking through friends and family. These experiences should start at a minimum during the summer between sophomore and junior year. PURSUE: Starting at the beginning of the student’s senior year, he/she should meet with the college placement office for assistance in resumé preparation, company target list, interview preparation and follow up. CARPE DIEM… as our young adults go off to college, let's charge them with growing academically and experientially, and as importantly, with using this as a time of self-discovery and empowerment. W Sheryl S. Wengel is a Senior Partner with Satterfield & Associates, a retained search firm, and the Managing Partner of Cornerstone Group LLC and Mirror A Mentor LLC. For additional information, please visit her website:

What do they say about Wooster School?


hen my friends from other schools visit the colleges of their dreams, they are amazed at the intellectual atmosphere and community feeling on a college campus. I'm unfazed; I've been going to a school like this for eight years now.” –Nick, 12TH GRADE Wooster student since 4th grade


’m now in high school, and it’s been the most positive experience I’ve had yet. School just gets better and better.”


ou can be anything you want to be at Wooster. Even more, you can be yourself.” – ISABELLE, 7TH GRADE New to Wooster


lot of my friends and my older brother’s friends from my town say their schools have bullying. The kids here are nice, and all the teachers care about how we treat each other.”

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love my new school!”

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New to Wooster

We are a Pre-K through Grade 12, coeducational, college preparatory, independent day school.




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RURAL PALATES culinary adventures and discoveries By Debbie Silver The Gourmet Institute It’s never too early to start planning your next culinary adventure. One that packs a wallop is the seventh annual Gourmet Institute, to be held next October in Manhattan. Check for 2009 dates and details. Gourmet Magazine unites the world’s top culinary talents for an exceptional three-day weekend of intimate chef demonstrations, seminars, wine tastings, and exclusive dinners in New York City. The Gourmet Institute offers epicureans an insider’s view of the magazine’s Times Square epicenter, and the opportunity to meet Editor in Chief Ruth Reichl. Learn the latest culinary techniques first-hand from the likes of Daniel Boulud, Tom Colicchio, Masaharu Morimoto, JeanGeorges Vongerichten, Todd English, Marcus Samuelson and more.

Discoveries at the 2008 Fancy Food Show VESTRI VELLUTATA Vestri Vellutata is aptly named — vellutata, in Italian, means velvet. This unique hazelnut chocolate spread is made with hazelnuts harvested from the Piemonte region in Italy. The exclusivity of Piemonte hazelnuts is comparable to the distinctiveness of the grapes from the Champagne

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region in France. These hazelnuts, combined with the organically grown Dominican cacao from the Vestri farm, make for an unparalleled chocolate experience. Vestri Cioccolato has shops in Arezzo and Florence. ( In Manhattan, Vestri chocolates are available at the Food Emporium Fine Chocolate Shop at the Trump Palace, 1175 3rd Avenue. 212/249-6778;

SANTOMIELE FIGS Dried in the warm Italian sunshine, Santomiele's white Cilento figs are featured in a line of exceptional, artisanal products such as: Raw paper



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figs with pistachios, cinnamon, almonds; Scugnizzi – Figs covered with cinnamon, brown sugar, and cocoa.



basket of figs stuffed with nuts and wild fennel; Cilento Figs stuffed with almonds wrapped in fig leaves; “Salami Log” of figs with their peels; Sweet Capicollo: figs with dark chocolate and almonds; Arabic Capicollo:

Bissingers’ Blueberry Acai Gummy Bears were awarded “Outstanding Confection” at the 2008 Fancy Food Show in New York City. They’re yummy, packed with organic ingredients, and made without artificial sweeteners or colors. The antioxidant value of one serving is equivalent to a 1/2 serving of fresh blueberries. Also available in: Blueberry Acai Gummy Pandas; Pomegranate Gummy Pandas with White Tea; Green Tea Gummy Pandas with Spiced Peach. $13.50 for a 1 lb. bag or $11.75 for three 4 oz. bags.

SOUTHERN ALPS From the very first sales in London's Borough market, Lotte Garner's muesli “Southern Alps” has garnered attention. Southern Alps selects quality fresh fruit and allows it to ripen and dry slowly in slightly warm air so there’s no need for additives or preservatives, and mixes it with crunchy organic grains and seeds. Southern Alps muesli is a chunky, chewy delight. W



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



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We s t o n r e s i d e n t D r. Laurence M. Milgrim opened his new Facial Plastic Surgery and medical aesthetic practice, The Split Rock Aesthetic Center, at the prestigious Retreat at Split Rock on September 3rd. Dr. Milgrim was asked to bring his skills to the Retreat at Split Rock by its owner, facial plastic surgeon Neil Gordon, MD. The new Split Rock Aesthetic Center, serving both men and women, specializes in both surgical and non-surgical rejuvenation for the face and body, including the most advanced laser treatments, body sculpting procedures and facial contouring fillers. According to Dr. Milgrim, “I’m delighted to be the one to put the ‘final jewel in the crown’ so to speak, at the Retreat at Split Rock. Neil has done an amazing job in creating a perfect rejuvenation retreat here with his expertise in the deep plane facelift and Dr. Restifo’s focus on breast and body sculpting. With my addition of non-invasive procedures and my specialty in nose reshaping and mini facelifts, there’s not a thing a patient might want that we couldn’t provide. There’s simply no reason to go into the City for expert aesthetic care; we have everything here—including a quiet, private retreat to recover in luxury after your procedure.” Indeed, the vast array of rejuvenative services available at Split Rock makes it the only facility of its kind in the area, offering a full menu of plastic surgery procedures for face and body, on-site surgery, at a quaint New England inn, a day spa and now a complete facial rejuvenation center under the guidance of Dr. Milgrim. Exclusive Surgeon for Cosmetic and Reconstructive Facial Surgery Dr. Milgrim has been in practice for 15 years, seven of which have been in Connecticut. Dr. Milgrim obtained his medical degree at UMDNJRutgers University and went on to complete Internship and Residency training in Otolaryngology-Head and Neck and Plastic Surgery at Albert-

Einstein/Montefiore Medical Center in Bronx, New York. After deciding to devote his studies to facial plastic surgery, Dr. Milgrim was one of a select few to be awarded a Fellowship in Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery from the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, which he completed at the prestigious Mount Sinai Medical Center in Manhattan under the auspices of renowned facial plastic surgeons Sidney Feuerstein, MD and William Lawson, MD. After completion, he was selected to do an externship in cosmetic facial surgery with Frank Kamer, MD of the famed Lasky Clinic in Beverly Hills. His double-board certifications (he is board certified by both the Board of Otolaryngology and the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery) place him in an exclusive class of surgeons who are experts at performing both cosmetic and reconstructive facial surgery.

An Instructor as well as a Surgeon Dr. Milgrim has been called upon repeatedly by his peers to instruct his fellow surgeons on operative techniques for facial surgery at the Academy of Otolaryngology and the Academy of Facial Plastic Surgery medical meetings. Says Milgrim, “It’s always a thrill to share knowledge with other surgeons. As a result of teaching others, I’ve continued to stay at the forefront of the latest techniques and the newest developments in technology, such as lasers. Teaching is fun for me— it’s nice to know that they appreciate what I’m sharing with them.” Dr. Milgrim has been an active author as well. Along with multiple contributions to peer publications such as the Archives of Otolaryngology and Laryngoscope, and the Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery, he has written textbook chapters on facial plastic surgery, most recently contributing to the medical text Cosmetic Facial Plastic, Reconstructive and Trauma Surgery. Dr. Milgrim is a fellow of the Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery; the Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and the American Society of Cosmetic Surgery. He also has been honored with repeated recognition in Castle-Connelly’s “Best Cosmetic Doctors and Dentists in America.” “It’s always nice to find my name in a ‘top doctor’ publication, but to be honest, the most satisfying part of my job is seeing patients admire how they look. That reminds me more than anything of why I became a plastic surgeon,” says Dr. Milgrim. “People who look better, feel better about themselves—more confident. And that confidence affects every aspect of their lives, at home with their families and in their careers as well.”



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Split Rock Aesthetic Center 539 Danbury Rd. Wilton, CT 06897 203.834.7700

Nose Reshaping a Particular Specialty In 1995, while Dr. Milgrim was in private practice in Texas, he was featured repeatedly on NBC news programs as well as in the San Antonio Times for his expertise in plastic surgery and facial rejuvenation procedures, particularly chemical peels and rhinoplasty. Dr. Milgrim states, “I’ve become an expert in nose reshaping and mini facelifts over the years. Noses are particularly challenging—you might say that they are really the most difficult specialty, for two reasons. One, because a millimeter can make a huge difference in the final result and two, because the shape of one’s nose is so important to the balance of a person’s face. If a patient gets a less-than-perfect result in a breast augmentation it’s not apparent under clothing, but the face is in full view of everyone, and the nose, in particular, can make or break the balance of the facial structure.” Locally, Dr. Milgrim has been featured in papers including the New York Times, Westport Press, Trumbull News, New Haven Register and Milford Mirror, as well as in interviews on Channel 12 news-Hartford regarding cosmetic facial surgery and rejuvenation.

A member of the Community Being in the spotlight is nothing new for Milgrim, the only child of the late Seymour and Arlene Milgrim, who were celebrated for their parties with socialites and pop artists of the ‘70s, including Warhol and Hockney. He has retained that love of art with his own large collection of fine pop and abstract art. Dr. Milgrim has been an active board member of Park Avenue Synagogue and extended his philanthropy to Harry Winston’s charity events. He’s been invited to three presidential inaugurations and was a guest of Israeli Prime Minister Yzhak Rabin in Israel. Although seen in the spotlight many times, he prefers his life in Weston, where he resides with his wife of 20 years, Rana, and their daughter. Red Salon & Color Bar Red Salon & Color Bar, formerly the Nuwave Salon, is an attractive and innovative salon located in Westport. It is owned by Vicky Rose and staffed by experienced stylists, who keep on top of the latest styles and trends. The salon, which has been open for about a year, specializes in color treatments, but also offers a variety of cuts and styling. Red Salon's color bar is



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APPRAISED & APPROVED unique in that it allows stylists to mix the color right in front of the client, and gives them the opportunity to explain the processes every step of the way. Vicky's appreciation of the magic of coloring and its ability to change someone's look, make the hair textured, shinier, healthier, and younger, led her to focus her salon on delivering clients that magic. While visiting Greece and Italy, Vicky perused the European salons, finding that color is everything. This influenced her decision to focus her treatments around coloring. All stylists take regular classes on cuts and color to learn the new styles and color for the season, to stay on the cutting edge of the salon industry. Red Salon is founded on the principles that customer service is key, and the atmosphere must be friendly, clean, and inviting. They offer flexible hours and appointments to fit every schedule, from mornings and evenings to after school. Clients who cannot schedule appointments during the day, can work with their stylist to find time after hours. Walk-ins are always welcome. Cuts start at $55 and colors at $65, but prices vary because each color and cut is so tailored to each individual. L'Oreal products are available for purchase so clients can keep up with their new treatments at home. Red Salon stylists work their magic on people across the age spectrum, with an emphasis lately on the teen generation. Red Salon's clientele comes from across Fairfield County, from Weston and Westport to Darien and New Canaan, most from word-of-mouth recommendations. Vicky Rose has been in the hair care business for over 24 years. This experience affords her the ability to offer anything and everything when it comes to hair treatments. The unique color bar at Red Salon & Color Bar allows stylists to customize and tailor the treatment to each individual client, each step of the way. Clients can join the VIP Email Club to hear about Red Salon's latest promotions, and events held throughout the year. 877 Post Road East, Westport. 227-3374; Good Enough to Eat! GoNaturally™ organic candy is available in six delicious flavors: Ginger, Honey, Lemon, Cherry and Honey, Pomegranate and Apple, in 3.5 ounce recyclable bags and 8 ounce tubs. This is a tasty and better-for-you organic hard candy. GoNaturally is hand made, gluten free, kosher, and USDA certified organic. Using organic evaporated cane juice and organic

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The Green Living Centre, conveniently located at the Westport train station, (24 Railroad Place) is now open for everyone seeking greener solutions. Local co-founders Brian Cleary and Adam Lutsky formed the company hoping to spread a positive environmental message throughout Fairfield County and become the community’s gateway to innovative green solutions, technology, and design. The Metro-North station directly across from the shop is a constant reminder of the need for green transportation. This spurs the company to sell electric bikes and scooters, with 25 miles to a charge and 0 emissions, to help reduce your carbon footprint and keep money in your pocket. The electric bicycles are among dozens of eco-savvy products available in the store. The owners have made a commitment to cover every aspect of modern day living: cleaning, home décor, fashion,

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beauty/health, gadgets, gardening, building and design, renewable energy, and more. Every product has its own unique green story; handbags made from recycled billboards, solar-powered cases and gear for your blackberry or ipod, natural soaps made in a wind powered factory, and customized green gift baskets made of 100% recycled packaging, are just a few interesting examples. The Green Living Centre provides the resources and expertise to beautify and green your home from top to bottom, with high-efficiency solar paneling for your roof and sustainably forested flooring for your living room. Going green also means saving money at the Green Living Centre. The company offers certified energy audits for commercial and residential building owners. Recognized by Energy-Star, they can lower your energy costs by 30-50%, or help you build a more sustainable future with LEED AP services for efficient green construction. With the cost of electricity, heating oil, and fuel continually rising, this is the perfect time to learn about the many clean, efficient, and renewable energy solutions available with financing in their showroom. Whether you’re looking for composting and rain water collection solutions or to build a green roof, the green team at the Green Living Centre has you covered. Many green workshops, field trips and community programs are planned for fall 2008, and much more for 2009. At the Green Living Centre, the future is bright green. 293-4369; W



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att is a 31-year-old deadbeat from Westport, Connecticut who used to think that all he ever wanted to do in life was make and play videogames. Matt achieved this goal pretty early and enjoyed it for a while, but eventually realized there might be other stuff he was missing out on. In February of 2003, he quit his job in Brisbane, Australia and used the money he'd saved to wander around Asia until it ran out. He made so he could keep his family and friends updated about where he is.

A few months into his trip, a travel buddy gave Matt an idea. They were standing around taking pictures in Hanoi, and his friend said "Hey, why don't you stand over there and do that dance. I'll record it." He was referring to a particular dance Matt does. It's actually the only dance Matt does. He does it badly. Anyway, this turned out to be a very good idea. A couple years later, someone found the video online and passed it to someone else, who passed it to someone else, and so on. Now Matt is quasi-famous as "That guy who dances on the internet. No, not that guy. The other one. No, not him either. I'll send you the link. It's funny." The response to the first video brought Matt to the attention of the nice people at Stride gum. They asked Matt if he'd be interested in taking another trip around the world to make a new video. Matt asked if they'd be paying for it. They said yes. Matt thought this sounded 8 4 I S S U E 3 6 . 2 00 8


like another very good idea. In 2006, Matt took a six month trip through 39 countries on all seven continents. In that time, he danced a great deal. The second video made Matt even more quasi-famous. In fact, for a brief period in July, he was semi-famous. Things settled down again, and then in 2007 Matt went back to Stride with another idea. He realized his bad dancing wasn't actually all that interesting, and that other people were much better at being bad at it. He showed them his inbox, which, as a result of his semifamousness, was overflowing with emails from all over the planet. He told them he wanted to travel around the world one more time and invite the people who'd written him to come out and dance too. The Stride people thought that sounded like yet another very good idea, so they let him do it. And he did. And now it's done. And he hopes you like it. W



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Matt lives in Seattle, Washington with his girlfriend, Melissa, and dog, Sydney. He hasn't had a real job since Stride called him up. Matt doesn't mind working, but he doesn't much care for having to show up at the same place every day. Matt is not rich. Matt also doesn't have some magical secret for traveling cheaply. He does it pretty much the same way everybody else does. Matt thinks Americans need to travel abroad more.;;


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in a town so white that our celebrity holy trinity consisted of Martha Stewart, Paul Newman, and Jason Robards. Westport had all the offerings of a cake eater's paradise: a yacht club, a golf club, and a polo club, none of whose grounds I ever set foot on except to let loose the boats, steal the carts, and tear up the greens by dragging boats behind golf carts. Even with my self-inflated radical teenage behavior, growing up in Izod heaven made me an absolute dumbshit when it came to ethnicities that didn't sail freely on the Mayflower. My nine-year-old daughter, Poppy, knows far more about Martin Luther King, Jr. and civil rights than I did in my freshman year in college. Until I was twenty, I was a happy cracker idiot wearing my collar up, eating crustless cucumber sandwiches, and dreaming of never having to wear socks inside my loafers. In high school, my interests weren't very wide. Besides soccer, drama, and trying to convince girls that they should use my pool for skinny-dipping, the only hobby I had was a secret affinity for music, the way I suppose most teenagers do. My hidden passion started with my dad's love of jazz, swing, and The Most Happy Fella soundtrack, which played too loudly on our RCA in the living room. As I grew older, my tastes mirrored the sounds coming out of my older brother's dank bedroom: classic rock like AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, and The Who, then less classic offerings from Bad Company and, rather unfortunately, the Stray Cats. I graduated from high school in 1984, not a great year in music, but still before Madonna could even spell Kabbalah and Michael Jackson became famous for his more childish pursuits. I hauled my whiteness and bad taste in music less than an hour

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WHITE BOY SINGS THE BLUES north to Wesleyan, a college all the guides referred to as Diversity University. My sophomore year, I gathered enough nerve to sign up for a course called the History of African American Music, taught by a music professor who had once played trombone for James Brown's touring band. This professor had a radical-looking beard, deep-set eyes, and black-rimmed Malcolm X glasses, and spoke with a hipness I'd never heard shopping on Main Street in Westport. The few African Americans we had in my high school didn't live in our town, and we

high school fund-raiser. Even though the bid I received was by far the lowest of the evening and made by my brother Tom out of pity, I knew I should harbor deep shame. In Professor Cool's class, I hid on the fringes with my eyes wide, ears open, and mouth clamped shut. I would sometimes quietly laugh along with the professor's joke about sticking it to the Man, not fully realizing that all my dad's friends were the Men and that I, in fact, was the Man-in-Becoming. After our time was up, while the rest of the

I WAS SO COOL THAT I SNAPPED MY FINGERS INSTEAD OF OFFERING THE LAISSEZ-FAIRE GOLF CLAP SO POPULAR AT SUMMER CONCERTS IN MY HONKY HOMETOWN. treated them more as exotic exchange students from a land with flashy footwear, hair products in unfamiliar packaging, and a national anthem performed by the Sugar Hill Gang. The music class was held in a limestone-block-and-glass building erected in the 1970s, that rose from the ground like a giant ice cube. I was surrounded by a storm of people of different races, genders, and sexual orientations. Lesbian dancers sat elbow to elbow with black militants and anarchists who hated apartheid. In that dim room, I felt the same way I would later in Amsterdam while viewing my first live nude bed show: titillated, frightened, and severely unnecessary. Professor Cool, as I called him, moved his body like a shadow dancer and said things like “Mother is only half a word” and “Dig it, baby.” He had us read Amiri Baraka, who shocked me by breaking all the rules of conventional grammar by spelling business bizness and suppose s'pose, and Charlie Mingus, who had claimed to f-ck twenty-three girls in one night even though, from what I could tell from the cover photo, he was grossly overweight. Needless to say, in Professor Cool's course, I felt like I'd showed up at basketball tryouts with my ice skates on. Realizing I had some serious cultural catching up to do, I'd steal away late at night and head up to the listening library to check out these new things called CDs. Strapping on cushy headphones the size of loaves of bread, I'd repeatedly listen to Mingus' “Goodbye Pork Pie Hat” and the music of artists such as Jelly Roll Morton and Billie Holiday. Lost in the beats and chords, I imagined myself at the Cotton Club in Harlem with a scratchy goatee on my chin and a beret on my head, smoking a bidi and sipping scotch and milk. In my diasporic dream, I was so cool that I snapped my fingers instead of offering the laissez-faire golf clap so popular at summer concerts in my honky hometown. My deep love of this music and my new hip attitude would disguise my taste for baron of beef and Yorkshire pudding, as well as the fact that I was once auctioned off as a slave for a day at a 9 6 I S S U E 3 6 . 2 00 8

class trotted off to O'Rourke's Diner to discuss signifying monkeys and code switching, I ran to the gym to slip on my jockstrap with a roomful of soccer players hosting athletic mullets on their heads. At the end of the semester, we were supposed to do a final project of our own choosing as a culmination to the course. I hadn't given it much thought because Professor Cool hadn't really assigned us any graded work all term, and even after all that reading and listening, I still felt out of place. Sure, I liked to think I could eventually f-ck like Charlie Mingus by using the methods so vividly described in his book. I'd even tried to speak like Baraka, peppering my language with profanity and academic-sounding words I didn't know the meaning of. No one took me seriously, though. When I told my older brother on the phone that “a white motherf-cker like me don't s'pose his bizness will contain the vicissitudes of verticality,” he just thought the drugs were better at my school than at his. So when Professor Cool began class one day by asking each person what their project was on, I started to sweat. Each student's project sounded so smart and, using my new lingo, all racial and shit. “I'm going to show how the Rolling Stones inappropriately appropriated black culture by stealing the blues and amassing capitalistic goods and services based on this most heinous hijacking,” a Hispanic kid in a Bob Marley shirt said, drumming his ring-covered fingers on his desk. The Asian girl next to him whispered, “Amen, brother.” “I'm going to research the Barbados slave songs that arose after the passing of the Slave Consolidation Act of 1826,” another hipster offered. “Right on.” When Professor Cool called on me, I squeaked out, “I'm going to sing the blues in Central Park.” I don't know where either the idea or the high voice came from, but there was a brief pause where I almost believed I'd been accepted into this happening collective. I saw my pale face inserted into the class photo like the United Colors of



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Benetton ad campaign so popular at the time. Then everyone laughed at me, the guy with the athletic mullet on the left side eyeing the fire exit. The professor did too, then adjusted his glasses and joked, “You're gonna need some brothers to go with you,” winking at some black students from Malcolm X House seated in the front row. Professor Cool stepped closer to me and must have realized that I hadn't uttered one “amen” or “solid” all semester. He didn't even know my white man's label. Nodding, he said, “I'm gonna hold you to that. You don't follow through, you fail.” I turned even whiter than I already was. “Better get someone to film it,” he said before moving on to the next student, a bald girl in military fatigues. “This, my brothers and sisters,” he said, raising one finger in the air, “is the era of proof.” I was f-cked. I could neither sing nor play a kazoo, let alone a guitar. I didn't even know where Central Park was located in Manhattan. At the time, I shared a broken-down house off campus with two goalies from the hockey team. The more sensitive of the netminders played guitar, so I casually strolled by his room and asked him how long he thought it would take me to learn, say, a simple blues tune on the guitar well enough to sing it. “You?” he asked, eyeing me in a bemused way. He was a clean-cut boarding-school kid and his room was covered in plaid banners and posters, forever reminding me of that pedigree, a degree of whiteness higher than my feeble beginnings.

face on the sign offered a smile, you could go in and choose from the drawersful of pot, mushrooms, acid, or sometimes more exotic fare like mescaline and Ecstasy. The sad face meant you had to go back to your Grateful Dead albums and smoke the seeds. The refreshing thing about the house (and its sign) for those of us who got into the school based mostly on athletics was its distinct lack of academic snobbery. Like restaurants in El Paso with color photos printed on the menu, illiteracy wasn't a barrier to nourishment. I went to see two soccer buddies who were known around campus for their good looks, cavalier sense of adventure, and ability to smoke copious amounts of weed. They were handsome Aryan versions of Beavis and Butt-Head. Luke, the guitar player, was strikingly tall and thin, with a deep stoner's laugh. Wes, my future cameraman, had a cherubic face that let him get away with the kind of crimes money can't buy. When I called on them at their apartment, the duo had just pulled an all-nighter. This was fairly common for them after the season. It was not unusual to fetch them for class only to find them giggling like two drunk monkeys at typewriters, producing unintelligible essays. On this day, they had been trying to construct a two-tiered loft without plans or instruments of the measuring kind. I don't even know if they had tools. When I arrived, each man-child was in a hysterical mass in opposite corners of the room. The loft looked like it had been

I WOULD SOMETIMES QUIETLY LAUGH ALONG WITH THE PROFESSOR'S JOKE ABOUT STICKING IT TO THE MAN, NOT FULLY REALIZING THAT ALL MY DAD'S FRIENDS WERE THE MEN AND THAT I, IN FACT, WAS THE MAN-IN-BECOMING. “Play and sing at the same time?” he asked, slicking back his neat hair with the palm of his hand. I shrugged. “That's kinda the idea.” He nodded toward my hairstyle, what some called “business in the front, party in the back.” “About as long as it would take me to grow my hair like that.” I needed to find someone talented enough to play the guitar and another person stupid enough to film me getting the crap kicked out of me. Luckily, our mediocre soccer season had ended, so the guys who'd stayed clean all fall had gone out and bought enough drugs to last until Christmas break. At Diversity University, there was a place on campus where you could buy drugs 24/7. In the front window of this small, low-rise apartment hung a two-sided cardboard sign. If the

nailed together by the construction team of Ray Charles and Stevie Wonder. The top level was too narrow, so the stained futon curled like a moldy burrito; the bottom boards had been sawed too short, so the futon flapped over the end like a diseased tongue. Even with its monumental flaws, they ended up keeping the splinter dispenser. Wes figured that since they didn't really fall asleep per se, just kind of collapsed each night, the wooden mess would do just fine. And, since they'd run out of nails, they were ready for a road trip. All that week I'd been searching for the most simplistic blues song in the listening library and settled on “Love in Vain” by those damn culture criminals, the Rolling Stones. I felt I could connect with the lyrics even given my severe racial and cultural handicaps. It was possible that I'd be waiting for a train in a station sometime during my life with a suitcase in my



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WHITE BOY SINGS THE BLUES hand. And hell, most of my love for girls on campus was in vain, so I had that to inspire me. After a take-out order at the Casa de Smiley Face, we all piled into my Chevy Chevette and drove the forty-five minutes south to my father's house, marveling at the fall foliage, swirling like colored oils along the Merritt Parkway. I think wow was the operative word on that ride, covering everything from the crimson oak leaves to Luke finding that his pants actually had a zipper. When we reached Hillandale Lane, I instructed the pair to dash into my house like criminals, pick up the video camera and whatever supplies we could scavenge, and then get the hell out. My dad was in the yard, stacking wood left over from a recent splitting. Once a year, he rented a log splitter and cleaved more wood than Lorena Bobbitt. The three of us fell out of the compact car like stoned Shriners. “Hi, Dad,” I yelled, waving as I ran onto the porch. We ducked into the house, trying to gather everything as fast as we could. I grabbed the dusty camera and a tape that read “Eddie's First Steps.” I figured we all knew my brother's goofy walk by now; why would anyone care if I erased the mea-

stumbling down Central Park West, but the video camera jammed up, and he stopped to fix it in front of the Dakota. I was about to say something to Luke about John Lennon when Carly Simon walked out of the building. I shouted to Wes to start filming and for Luke to pull out his guitar. Carly had a rather large head with fanned Farrah Fawcett hair and teeth the size of sugar cubes. I couldn't believe my luck. Here was a fellow cracker who had actually managed to shed some of her whiteness by singing soul music. I vaguely recalled that my dad had done some business at the bank with her family, so I had a valid reason to engage her and describe my quest. I walked up and explained who I was and who my father was, and described my project for Professor Cool. Her famous mouth shifted from a wide smile into an O of deep horror. I now realize what she saw: a stoned slob in stained thriftstore clothes with a Lurch look-alike waving a piece of glossy wood around behind him. I crept closer to the singer-songwriter, babbling nonsense while Wes swore loudly at the malfunctioning machine and Luke struck some dissonant chords. Our bum rush must have seemed like a musical act based on the life and times of

PROFESSOR COOL AND ALL THE OTHER HIPSTERS WOULD SEE THAT I WAS NOT DESTINED TO WEAR WEB BELTS WITH WHALES, MONOGRAMMED SHIRTS, AND TOP-SIDERS THE REST OF MY LIFE. ger beginnings? I walked into the kitchen and froze. My dad had his arms crossed over his sweaty white T-shirt. Wood chips in his graying hair, he was staring at Luke and Wes, whose faces were smeared with Baker's chocolate. Each stoner held a candy bar in one hand and a slice of leftover pizza in the other. “Rob?” My dad raised one eyebrow, extending my name into three or four elongated syllables. He cocked his head. “Is this some sort of fraternity stunt?” “It's for a class, Dad,” I said, throwing him the excuse I still employ today to get me out of tight jams or embarrassing situations. This academic alibi gets me a 20 percent teacher's discount at Borders even if I'm buying chapter books for London's birthday or the latest Green Day CD for Poppy. In the English office at Prep, it comes in handy if the image of a scantily clad Heidi Klum on my computer screen seems a bit randy for the department head peering over my shoulder. But back at my house in Westport, the excuse stalled my father long enough for us to pile back into the car while he scowled on the porch, arms crossed over his barrel chest, waiting for a wheel to fly off the car. Even though we looked like three messed-up musketeers, no one seemed to notice on the busy streets of Manhattan. Wes filmed us 9 8 I S S U E 3 6 . 2 00 8

Mark David Chapman because I couldn't believe how fast a woman Carly's size could run away in heels. Even though I had freaked out the singer who had supposedly balled Cat Stevens, Warren Beatty, and Mick Jagger, I was not to be deterred. Professor Cool and all the other hipsters would see that I was not destined to wear web belts with whales, monogrammed shirts, and Top-Siders the rest of my life. I would never speak in Larchmont lockjaw, use summer as a verb, or name my children Chip or anything that rhymes with fluffy. We walked across the street to the park, which looked more like the Killing Fields than Strawberry Fields. This was 1985, five years after Lennon was shot and four years before wilding would become a term for something other than Elizabeth Taylor's second husband, years before Rudy Giuliani swept all the homeless under the concrete rug. I nudged over a sleeping hobo so Luke could sit next to me on a slatted bench. This area of the park was swarming with an obscenely eclectic group of people. The kooky congregation was like my music class, only larger, more menacing, and with many visible wounds. As Luke tuned up, I watched as tourists snapped photos, panhandlers hassled the tourists, and junkies and drunks mixed it up like trained bears in a



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Russian circus during an earthquake. I realized that soon mine would be the loudest voice in this clusterf-ck and that all these people would be staring at me. My heart rate started to speed up, and my ass seemed wet. What the f-ck was I doing? I couldn't sing. Why did I need to prove anything to a group of people who saw me as an oppressor? And what had I been thinking when I got this haircut? “Okay, dude.” Luke patted his guitar. He was ready. “Hurry up, battery's dying,” Wes called from behind the camera. Luke strummed the guitar, and I began to sing, “Well, I followed her to the station, with a suitcase in my hand.” At the sound of music, people turned to face our bench. Wes was standing across from us, so the gawkers didn't really notice him, even though the camera was the size of a child's coffin. “Yeah, I followed her to the station, with a suitcase in my haaannd….” “Shut the f-ck up, asshole,” a homeless guy in a wool cap yelled, shaking a fingerless-gloved fist in my general direction. “It's hard to tell, hard to tell, when all your love's in vain.” It felt like I was singing in the middle of a tornado, only instead of houses and cars flying past me, it was all these different kinds of freaks. They say that music hath charms to soothe the savage breast, but in Central Park it incited the opposite. The guy next to me snored away, but others hurled urban profanity at me and anyone within shouting distance. Japanese tourists snapped my picture with the same sense of odd enthusiasm they had when photographing a building or purse snatcher. I sang the whole song, three verses and chorus, without stopping, even though I almost got punched and one angry guy launched a spit gob just past my eye. “What'd you think?” I asked Wes as I stood up from the bench. He shrugged. “Battery died a while ago. I think I got you singing the first line, though.” “Dude, you were sitting in that guy's chunder.” Luke pointed to my spot on the bench. Sure enough, the sleeping guy's vomit was smeared all over the slats and on my ass. On the tape I showed during our final presentations, you could see

me singing with my pale chin sticking out and my small hands slapping my thighs, trying to eke out something resembling soul. The class laughed at a close-up of the homeless guy sleeping next to me, but Professor Cool kept quiet, rubbing his beard as he watched my free fall concert in the park. When the tape ended, you could hear Wes cry, “Oh f-ck!” as the battery died, then my father's voice came on without pause, urging my brother Eddie the toddler to take a few more steps before he fell, like me, flat on his face. “Give me that tape,” Professor Cool yelled to the AV geek running the video player. Even though he never addressed me directly, you could see that he was pleased with the effort. “This is what I'm talking about,” he shouted, slapping the cassette. “Those deans say I don't teach a rigorous class. What the hell is this?” He slapped the tape again. “I taught a white boy to sing the goddamn blues in Central Park! Stupid mothers. Wait till they see this.” As Professor Cool left the class muttering to himself, I couldn't help believing that somehow, like my brother on the video, I was taking my first steps toward something bigger — a new way of walking, talking, and thinking about the wider world. This white boy from Connecticut actually had had a hand in sticking it to the Man. And even though I still wasn't invited to the café that final afternoon with all the young radicals in Etch A Sketch facial hair, I had a place that would welcome me with a smiling face in the window, no matter the color of my skin. W Robert Wilder grew up in Westport, a country block away from Martha Stewart. He now lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, with his wife, artist Lala, and their two children, Poppy and London. Daddy Needs A Drink, his critically acclaimed, best-selling first book, is now in paperback and was optioned for sitcom adaptation. His new book of essays on teaching, Tales From The Teachers' Lounge, also optioned for sitcom adaptation, was released by Delacorte in 2007.

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A Stopover in Venice by Kathryn Walker Watching the train roll out of the station, picking up speed, it occurred to me that I had been impetuous. Disappearing down the track, within that train, were the only human beings of my acquaintance in northern Italy â&#x20AC;&#x201D; in all of Italy, for that matter, if you didn't count Guido, the ingratiating concierge briefly known at our hotel. My husband and his band of not entirely merry men were speeding away to Verona, to Milano, to Bologna, on and on until they would arrive in Roma, the Eternal City, in several weeks' time. 11 8 I S S U E 3 6 . 2 00 8

And where was I?

There was no sign that I could see on the narrow platform. It was, I think, the second stop the train had made since leaving Venice. Venezia the beautiful, the sinister, the enchanting city of water and light. Venice, the place I had not remotely experienced in the days I had just spent there. That's how the argument must have started. My regrets. My regrets dismissed and so on, until I found myself there, outside the train. And the argument? I couldn't remember. It hardly mattered, whatever it was, it was the same thing. It's true, isn't it, that the long dispute that is marriage, for the unlucky anyway, loses its energy after a few years of failing to reveal much to anyone? It loses its optimism, its hope of revelation; the whole thing dissolves into a miasmic pall, a kind of weather. A miserable way to live. The damp penetrates the spaces between, then gathers and rains down the usual resentments, barely spoken, of no particular interest to anyone. Neither party seems to retain much apparent hope or regret, and that in itself is unbearable. So I couldn't remember how it started, the blank amnesia of low-level numb despair brought on by these events. We spoke probably; few words are necessary. I do remember the familiar sensation of gloom rising and the awful visceral sense of entrapment that I feel in that sullen climate, as if my body is trying to conceal itself in back of itself. Also the certain knowledge that there would be no help found in the present company. Encircling doom. I would sit in a bitter fog for however long it took to get to Verona. Lovely Verona, no doubt. Encountered in misery. One more unexperienced destination. Then something unusual happened. I stood up, stepped over my husband's long legs, not particularly carefully, dragged down whatever piece of my luggage was stashed above our seats, and got off the train. That, after eight years of marriage, had taken a mere five minutes, the time required for the train to pull in, halt briefly, and pull out of the station. How? What desperate, gagged Ariel in my beleaguered soul had struggled free in this lunge for the air? And what did Antony think? That I was still on the train? Sulking in the club car? The train was gone. The track and the platform were empty. I was standing next to an unoccupied green bench. I was aware of being marooned in every sort of emptiness. My suitcase looked unfamiliar. I felt light-headed and disoriented. The afternoon was blustery and threatening. Lightning actually cracked. I did not speak Italian. I pictured myself sitting in the now vanished train and felt like a ghost. These regrets of mine, the previously mentioned problem with these trips, these tours, rather, was that we went to wonderful places,



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wonderful cities all over the world. We went, just as we went to Chicago and Cincinnati, and it made not a bit of difference wherever we might happen to be. It would always be a late arrival at an upscale corporate hotel, a five-star something that could be anywhere, room service, sleep, room service, sound check, performance, exhaustion, and moving on â&#x20AC;&#x201D; or doing the same thing the next day, with a possible brief interval of shopping or lunch. I was not exhausted because I had nothing to do. Nor did I seem to have the courage to find transportation from a venue miles from the city to explore alone a place I'd never seen. Though I longed to. The being-aloneness of the effort tended to overwhelm the impulse. Or had. I am not well suited to be a solitary traveler. I'm not gregarious, too cautious, too shy in a way, and had not usually, not ever, done the research necessary to enable me to move swiftly in determined pursuit of places of interest in a huge unfamiliar city. Also, I couldn't see where the pleasure would be. That was what companions were for, no? The whole day before us and what shall we do? Companionship made all things possible, delightful, if I remembered. That was my fantasy anyway, time spent traveling to rise every day like a little cake, a treat to be savored. Companionship. That was the real issue, of course, disguising itself as another sort of deprivation, the deprivation of a glorious city unseen, a city passing by like a smear on the windshield, which had often, in fact, been literally the case. Oh, that was Brussels? I wish it weren't dark. I wish we could see it together. Of course that wasn't what we were there to do and I had no right to this self-indulgent resentment. I was free to do whatever I liked but other people were working. If I was so miserable, I could always stay at home and do whatever it is I do there. Or go home, for that matter. Life would go on; I had a credit card. I had a credit card. It had begun to rain. I couldn't just stand there for the rest of the day. Alone and palely loitering. I didn't know the geography of Venice but felt sure I could locate the Gritti Palace Hotel, or someone could do it for me. A Doge's palace.

Truly, anciently Venetian. A dream. I would check in; later I would have room service, compose myself for whatever would happen tomorrow, and go to sleep. I did not miss the irony. I crossed the track and hailed the inbound train. Not much could be viewed of the Grand Canal from the cabin of the water taxi; the windows were curtained and opaque with steam. Outside the cabin door, water was everywhere, the only thing to see, above, below, huge sheets of spray to each side. A high-speed shipwreck, I thought. And then we were there. The lobby of the Gritti Palace Hotel is neither palatial nor even particularly opulent; it is, as it happens, cozy, small, and wood-paneled. Still, I sensed that one should sweep in here with an excess of expensive luggage and a retainer or two; one should not be alone, apprehensive, and without a reservation. Nevertheless the desk clerk was charming and welcoming. My single suitcase was not embarrassing and I was dressed in black, the all-purpose disguise. Disguising what? He was sorry to tell me but the hotel was full, except for one or two small rooms on the side of the building undergoing some renovation. Would that be all right for tonight? He might be able to move me later. So relieved was I by his friendliness that I thanked him effusively and offered my credit card, saying it would be fine for me and how grateful I was to be able to stay. It crossed my mind briefly to wonder what this might cost, even the small room. Antony would be disapproving. He would assume one of those disdainful, sour expressions that make even his face ugly. To indulge myself in this way! If indulging myself was, in fact, what I was doing. On his money. Unspoken naturally. And so I was shown to my accommodation. I had to laugh. The room was a cell. Tiny, a narrow bed, pretty furniture apparently, although it was hard to know since the single window was shuttered tight and only a dim lamp illuminated the gloom. The window opened an inch or two, but any attempt to move the shutters was frustrated by scaffolding pressing from the outside. A little five-star cave. No wonder the desk clerk was amused and accommodating. Or perhaps he was sin-


cere about the move, but really, what did it matter? The room had all the features of a hideout, and wasn't that what I was doing, what I'd done? All I seemed to have achieved so far was an extemporaneous flight to a sumptuous little grotto like some decadent eremite on the run. I had no idea what I was doing. The bed was hard, for which I was grateful. I wanted to wash away the travel film and think. The afternoon was getting on, the rain had stopped. Having come this far I felt I should at least set foot on the pavements of Venice, glimpse the famous light, but that would require going outside and I lacked the will. I had spent so many hours in hotel rooms, so many hours by myself, laying down my Russian novel and thinking, Yes, I am alone, but my enviable husband is out there somewhere and will come back. If only to get his clothes, as had sometimes crossed my mind. The shocking idleness of that life, the waiting, the emptiness, the pointlessness. As if I had been partially paralyzed. There is some sort of wasp, I think, who, already having enough to eat, paralyzes his victims to keep them fresh and immobile, ready and waiting, should his appetite return. A harem must be a similar event. Antony was in Verona by now. I had his itinerary but he didn't have mine. Was he alarmed? Annoyed? Postponing a reaction until he checked in, worked out, and had dinner? Until he found himself alone in his room, something he can hardly bear? All performers, I suppose, have a double personality, but Antony's seemed extreme. He was so glamorous and engaging onstage, so generous and embracing, boyish in some way but passionate, like a human searchlight throwing its golden beam across the adoring crowd. I myself was still subject to that seduction when I watched from the wings. W Kathryn Walker attended Harvard University and was the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship. She has appeared in leading roles on and off Broadway and has received an Emmy Award for her performance in the PBS series The Adams Chronicles. She lives in Tesuque, New Mexico and Washington, Connecticut.

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IN WHICH A MAN DISAPPEARS, AND SEVERAL PARTIES ARE HELD The Last Hurrah It is his last day, and by six in the morning he is already drinking, drinking and shot up, eyes frantic, limbs flailing like he's ready to explode. At seven he is on the wasted docks across from Manhattan starting fights with the winos and the mechanics; by eight-thirty he's up in Washington Heights playing dominoes on a fire hydrant some kids are getting ready to crack open with a sledgehammer because it's so damn hot and the Hudson's so dirty and the ocean is too far away. By noon he's been thrown out of thirteen bars. He gets hit by a bus, gets drunk again with some boys in Spanish Harlem bobbing to bachata out of a static-ridden radio. The afternoon he spends smoking sweet tobacco and watching old movies in Arabic with the Egyptians in Astoria. He kisses Daoud's hand in Egypt Cafe, whispers something in his ear; then he rides the G back into Brooklyn, hops trains to Brighton Beach, where it's getting dark and the families are getting ready to go home. The men on the boardwalk totter with vodka, chase women, and eat boiled eggs, and he goes from club to club to tell the Russian mafia he's leaving, he won't bother them anymore. By dark he is face-up on the pier at Coney Island, watching the first suns flare in the sky, the first stars of summer, out for that rare time when the humidity breaks and all is quiet, like the city is taking a breath, swelling the land under it, diverting water in the river and the bay to places farther out, deeper places; then it exhales, and all that was dis1 2 6 I S S U E 3 6 . 2 00 8

placed returns, all that was disturbed tilts back into place, settles, grows quiet. And then, Manuel Rodrigo de Guzman Gonzalez vanishes. Poof. For twenty-six hours, nobody knows he's gone. Everybody thinks he's with someone else, like the time he went to the Philippines and everyone thought he was in Jersey. He never answers his telephone anyway, they say. He tells people to call so he can let it ring twenty, thirty times. He has a phone from the sixties with a fire alarm bell on it; it helps him get to sleep. Then his apartment explodes, blows apart the outside wall and rains bricks, plaster, timber and glass, burnt paper, shredded clothes in the street, but leaves the rest of the building standing, untouched. The news spreads in a widening circle of shock, people are talking about it up and down the street, voices crackle across the air and over wires. He's gone, he's gone, it goes in letters, in words flashing across flickering screens, it is written by planes in the sky. It spreads from the city and moves to the end of Long Island, into New Jersey, Connecticut, upstate, across New England; it moves across the continent over the miles of thrashing grain, the ragged heights of the Rockies, down into the deserts and dense forests and to the opposite shore, where men hear it on shortwave radios at the place where the Mexican border falls into the Pacific Ocean, and the waves roll in gigantic and break against the rocks and sand with a force that ensures compliance. It passes along the piers of Eastern Europe, syl-




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lables slipped between knife points and rusting rifles; on the shores of Angola they wail at the ocean, beat their feet into the sand, turn back toward crumbling cities. The news burns bodies in the Bronx, things are cast adrift in the deep water of the East River, people depart into the sky, there are meetings in drainage systems, encoded signals broadcast in the flight patterns of birds, machines stir, motors grind into action at frequencies only subterranean people can feel. And people begin to congregate in the places that Manuel loved. They want to know what happened, they want to understand, but being the kind of people they are, all that wanting turns into partying. In Astoria, Egypt Cafe is jammed to the ceiling, people walk over other people to get inside, they spill out onto the street in front of the laundromat, they raid the delis and liquor stores and close down Steinway, they make a party so big that the police see it and just throw up their hands, set up roadblocks, join in when they get off duty. At the Maritime Lounge in Red Hook, some Congolese soukous band appears out of nowhere and plays for two days straight, they have to coat their fingers with glue in between numbers to keep the skin on, and the crowd crashes in and chokes on seven different kinds of smoke and laughter, they pour beer and whiskey all over each other and dance to break floorboards. The place runs out of alcohol after eighteen hours but people keep bringing in more, they toast Manuel again and again, wish to God you were still here. They end up in the water of the harbor, holding their drinks high and setting them on fire until the end of the second day rolls by and they go to sleep in the street, they crawl home in a blind drag. They pass out in subway cars, they wake up feeling like their brains are cut in half. They go home in pairs and wake up naked with each other, their furniture upended, dishes broken, sheets ripped into long shreds, clothes plastered somehow to the ceiling. And Wendell Apogee weaves home alone in the dark, through the cheers and the falling confetti, the flash and bang of fireworks, all the way back from Red Hook to Astoria where the crowd is dead from dancing; and he goes to his apartment, opens the window to the stifling summer air, drenches himself in freezing water, and then falls on the floor and cries.

Our Hero He wakes up the next morning escaping from heat-troubled sleep, thrashing to life in the sun that's already baking concrete, melting the antennae of cars. Downstairs he can hear his old landlord moaning, a World War Two refugee who will spend the day spitting at his fat dog and sweltering into his velour armchair. In the apartments around him, people have their shirts off and are hanging out the window, running soaked towels over their arms. Two women lounge in bikinis on the roof with a radio playing a melted Cuban cassette, they fan themselves with newspapers and fling Spanish curses to the boys on the fire escape who whistle at them between dousing swigs of frozen malt liquor from frosted plastic bottles. All across the city it is like this, you feel heat flow from every surface and multiply, push under your skin and cook you off your bones. People crawl into their blasting air conditioners, sixteen of the eld1 2 8 I S S U E 3 6 . 2 00 8

erly pass away, vagrants and runaways wade into the filth of the East River, kids break open Siamese plugs on buildings and lie in the gutter in their underwear, letting the water crest over them, over their hands and hot faces, knowing they'd felt cold once, oh, not six months ago; but the heat is like the flu: three days into it and you can't remember what it was like to be well. For the nascent Church of Panic, it's part of its mythology. In robes of black and white, its members hover four inches over the pavement, gliding in formations of three up and down major thoroughfares. They jostle the quality on Lexington south of 96th, pass through the South Americans on Brooklyn's Fifth Avenue, collide with Dominicans at Broadway and 160th. The heat is a portent, they say, a sign of the chaos to come. We are the Prophets of Fear, the Angels of Paralysis. Begin stockpiling weapons now. They seem serious. The authorities are investigating the explosion in Manuel's apartment, collecting testimony from witnesses and neighbors. There was first a warping sound, they say, a rush of air that rattled windows and stripped hats from heads. Then the fire shot straight out in a column of wide flame that broke against the building across the street, rolled across its face, and was gone. Neighbors who peered into the hallway afterward saw smoke snaking from under the door, through the keyhole. Now the police are calling every name they can find in what remains of Manuel's things. Come to his apartment for an interview, they say. It will not be like a wake. But it is. The door to Manuel's apartment is charred around the edges; shocks of black streak from the corners, through the locks. Inside, all is ruin. The couch is burned down to melted springs and withered struts, chairs and tables are blown into shadows. The walls are tortured plaster, fused wiring, the appliances a pile of slag. And at the apartment's edge, nothing: just the open air above the street, the last step to suicide laced by police tape, framed by swinging cables, nails, burnt walls, silent pigeons. "Mr....Apogee?" "Yes...?" "Inspector Herman Trout. My partner, Lenny Salmon. We recognized you from this." The policeman holds up a bubbled, half-melted photograph, a close shot of Wendell and Manuel, their faces smiling, almost cheek to cheek, arms around each other's backs. The angle of Wendell's shoulder tells you that he took the picture himself, holding the camera out in front of him while the two of them squinted into the flash. In the background, throbbing lights, raving hands reaching toward them. "Where did you find it?" "In the oven with his birth certificate," Salmon says. "Mr. Apogee â&#x20AC;&#x201D;" " â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Wendell." "Wendell." Salmon says. "Would you say that you were friends with Mr. Gonzalez?" "I...friends? Yes, we were...very good friends, we..." "Would you say that you were familiar with his friends?" Trout says.



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"Yes. Well...some of them, he had so many friends..." "Mr. Apogee," Trout says. "We have compiled a list of over eightyseven people who describe themselves as close, personal friends of Mr. Gonzalez. Now here is the conundrum: none of them can say where he went." "They have some interesting ideas," Salmon says. "A certain Lucas Henderson..." Trout licks his thumb, flips through the pages of a small notebook. "Yes, here, told us that quote Manuel's vanishing is not a disappearance, it is an apotheosis unquote..." "Some of them said he went to Hungary. Or Mars." "Or Senegal." "Something about running Soviet-era weaponry to African revolutionaries." "Money laundering for certain government officials in Turkmenistan, taking a percentage of their profits in the Central Asian opiate trade, which appears to be quite lucrative." "We've heard a lot of stories today, Wendell. Want to know how most of them end?" "...I don't know, do you think I want to know this?" "They told us to ask you where he went." "...what?" "That's right." "..." "..." "But I have no idea where he is." "They said you would know. They said he told you everything. They said you knew him best." The night before his last day, Manuel visited Wendell at two in the morning, swung hand over hand along the power lines to his building and slid through the open window. He must have watched Wendell sleep for an hour. He walked around the bed, put a hand on the shoulder that pushed up a ridge under the covers, and sobbed until Wendell woke and put his arms out to comfort him. Manuel told him many things that night, piteous and cruel, but it was nonsense, Wendell understood so little of it, he just wanted his baby to be calm, to roll into his arms and go to sleep. It's too much, Manuel said. I'm going, I'm leaving everything and going. You can't leave me, Wendell said. Don't go away from me. And he locked his arms around Manuel's chest and Manuel slowed, as if coming to some sort of peace. He said he would not go, he seemed to rest; but he must have changed his mind again, or maybe he was lying, because he was gone now, gone leaving Wendell's hands clutching at air, frayed nerves buzzing, looking for their ends. "I thought I knew him. I really did," Wendell says. He walks back to the subway in a heat like the sun is coming closer, a tendril of nuclear fire reaching out to lick the surface of this hapless planet, run a scorch mark a thousand miles across a continent, string up a chain of smoking cities, ashen farmlands. At the

corner near the subway stop, men and women have gathered, they're shielding their eyes with their hands. One of them saw something up in the sky and they're talking about it. It was like a jellyfish, all eyes and hungry limbs, writhing in the air. A creature of heat stroke, someone says. The squiggling image of the sun burning into your retina. And this from a trio of priests of the Church of Panic: it begins. There are twenty-six messages on Wendell's machine when he gets home. The first is from Lucas Henderson: he is having a party that night for Witnesses to the Ascension of Gonzalez, bring etcetera. Then twenty-three more from various friends of Manuel, informing him of said party, love it if you'd come, be great to see you, how are you holding up, need to stick together. We all miss him, really we do. Then a long rambling message from the policeman he just talked to, Inspector Salmon. Sorry if his questions were upsetting, he could tell they made Wendell uncomfortable. He wanted to make clear that nobody considered Wendell guilty of anything and they wanted to keep in touch, please call if he found anything or just wanted to talk about it. A cough. Then message twenty-six: a woman's voice drenched in a Spanish accent, crackling with distance. "The phone is about to ring," she says. "Do not answer it." The phone rings. "Do not answer it." Wendell does, a hello...? that pinches down his throat and comes out meek and scared. At first, nothing answers, there is only the sound of his own breath and the ambient noise of the street filtering through the receiver; but then a hiss emerges from this, a hiss that widens as if something is approaching, voices become distinct from one another, the sounds of men, women, and children, and at first it seems as if they are whispering, no, they're chanting, but then Wendell can hear it for sure: they're screaming, screaming above the keen of engines and now a howl that dives down from the sky and tears the earth apart. A giant hand wriggles through the phone line and strains through the sieve of the receiver to enter Wendell's head, push its fingers into his brain, and the phone slips from his grasp, swings on the cord and smacks against the floor; and Wendell teeters like his feet are on a fulcrum, and the ground has rotated to accept him. Lights out. W The 2008 Connecticut Book Award has selected Brian F. Slattery's Spaceman Blues: A Love Song as one of its four finalists. His second novel, Liberation: Being the Adventures of the Slick Six After the Collapse of the United States of America was released in October. He lives just outside of New Haven, Connecticut with his family.



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arrivals & departures >I’M READY TO GO NOW TRAVELING IN STYLE ON YOUR SCHEDULE: CHIEF EXECUTIVE AIR If you have used the directive “Wheels Up,” you are among a growing group of elite travelers that enjoys one of life's supreme indulgences and best conveniences — flying privately. With commercial air travel getting more difficult by the day, more people are turning to private aviation, and with good reason. Your car pulls up to the door of the plane, you get on, the door closes and off you go — on your command. No crowded ticket counter, no milelong security line, no dreary waiting lounge, no last minute delays. You simply show up, and you leave. You don't have to own your own plane to fly privately; there are several ways to enjoy the ultimate in air travel ease and comfort. The most popular avenue is private jet charter, which sits at the intersection of convenience and value. Compared to fractional ownership or pre-paid jet cards, both of which can require a lot of money up-front, chartering a jet matches your particular needs for a trip with the right aircraft where and when you need it, and offers the most flexibility. Business trip with four colleagues? Golf trip with the guys? Family vacation to the islands? Companies like Chief Executive Air, ( a New York City based private aviation company specializing in private jet charters, make sure you not only get the right plane to fit your needs at the right price, but that your experience from beginning to end is flawless. Most travelers worry about getting a bag of pretzels and watching a decent movie, but those lucky enough to fly privately have a purely customized experience. There's a fully stocked bar and snacks as you would expect, along with a broad selection of music and movies, but companies like Chief Executive Air take it way beyond the “usual.” Each client has a dedicated charter specialist who handles all aspects of the trip, including coordinat-


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ing services on the ground, if desired. From in-flight massages and yoga, to meals from top restaurants around the country, Chief Executive Air works to deliver amenities that exceed every client's expectations. A private flight can become a highlight of the travel experience, not just the means by which you arrive. Recognizing both the need to serve clients and the need to balance social responsibility, Chief Executive Air has created the industry's first Carbon Offset program. Through a partnership with TerraPass, a leading retailer of carbon offsets focused on the development of energy efficient products, clients chartering a jet can have their carbon footprint calculated and, for a nominal fee, purchase carbon credits, which fund alternative energy sources such as wind power to directly offset the emissions left by a particular trip. With an ever-expanding focus on environmental responsibility, programs such as Chief Executive Air's Carbon Offset program will become an increasingly important differentiator for customers choosing charter companies. Learn more about Chief Executive Air by visiting or calling 888/FLY-CEAIR.

LAN Airlines is the premier airline serving the countries of South America, and has garnered international awards and recognition for its superior service. LAN's luxurious first class includes a pre-boarding preferential check-in and VIP lounge, and sommelier selected wines while on-board. First and premium business classes offer full-flat horizontal seats with individual ondemand video system and audio selection. Economy class offers passengers individual digital entertainment systems with over 80 programs. While most airlines are struggling to maintain profitability, LAN is thriving. The airline offers the best selection of air travel to Latin America from the U.S., Europe, and Asia, and has nonstop and connecting flights to over 50 destinations in South and Central America via the LAN alliance. The Alliance is comprised of LAN Airlines and its divisions, LAN Argentina, LAN Ecuador, and LAN Peru. LAN is also part of the One World Alliance, an international organization of ten of the world's best airlines. In addition, LANPASS, the airline's frequent flyer program, allows passengers to accumulate miles toward free flights and upgrades on LAN and its One World partners. With LAN's South America Airpass, travellers can purchase one-way tickets to multiple destinations in South America at discounted rates and visit more than 50 destinations in Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and Brazil. Discover South America with LAN's South America Airpass, the easiest and most convenient way to travel around this beautiful continent. W

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ave you ever considered volunteering a weekend of your time to build and maintain trails in a national or state park? Maybe you'd prefer to photograph sharks, experience a weekend astronaut adventure, or hike a glacier? Whatever your helping, learning, working, caring, or playing dream might be, chances are you'll find it covered in Weston resident Sheryl Kayne's new book, Immersion Travel USA: The Best And Most Meaningful Volunteering, Living, And Learning Excursions (Countryman Press, $19.95). Designed to be a resource and idea book, this guide provides practical information about immersion travel, special considerations and costs, and how to plan and take vacations, sabbaticals, side trips, and more.

CONTEXT TRAVEL Founded by National Geographic writer Paul Bennett and designer Lani Bevacqua, Context is a network of English-speaking scholars and professionals — including art historians, writers, architects, and gastronomes — who organize and lead fascinating walking seminars across seven cities: Rome, Florence, Naples, Venice, Paris, London, and New York. In May 2006, Travel + Leisure named Context one of the top European tour companies for its innovative approach to travel and the depth of its programs. Context’s family walks are led by docents from the Context scholars network who have experience in the educational departments of museART HISTORIAN MEREDITH BERRY LEADS ONE OF CONTEXT'S "FAMILY PROGRAM" WALKING TOURS OF ROME'S CAPITOLINE MUSEUM. PHOTO: PAUL BENNETT

WHERE TO GO WHEN: THE BEST DESTINATIONS ALL YEAR ROUND When you go can be just as important as where you go — either because you need certain weather (skiing) or you want to avoid it (typhoon season). Where To Go When: The Best Destinations All Year Round from DK Eyewitness Travel is the ultimate trip planner, highlighting the world’s most spectacular places and the best time to visit them. Six different vacation themes are offered for each month — Natural World, Festivals & Culture, Family Vacations, Luxury & Romance, Unforgettable Journeys, and Activity Breaks. The worldly travelers at DK help you arrive in time to enjoy local festivals, seasonal food, or just go when the hordes have gone. Copyright © 2007, DK Publishing Inc. Hardcover, 336p, full-color throughout, $40.


ums and who have been trained in VTS (Visual Thinking Strategies), a cutting-edge approach to teaching children how to think critically about art.

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CREATIVE DIVERSIONS WHEN STRANDED IN AN AIRPORT 1. Hound your CPA to finish your tax return so you can get your refund earlier. 2. Create intriguing, soap opera-like background stories for other waiting passengers. 3. Play the "count the Starbucks® in the terminal" game. 4. Count how many times in one hour "do not leave your bags unattended" is announced. 5. Count how many people you can get to smile back at you. 6. Check the payphones and vending machines for change. 7. Count - and admire - bad ties. 8. Hog all power outlets by charging your phone, laptop and iPod at the same time. 9. Buy $15 margaritas and $10 sandwiches for all your "new friends." 10. Return all the unclaimed smart carts. From CSA Travel Protection, providing value-priced travel insurance and 24hour emergency assistance services for travelers.

ALINE – BILATERAL FOOT ALIGNMENT SUSPENSION TECHNOLOGY ALINE insole suspension incorporates 21st century materials and engineering to be both rigid and flexible. It is based on a ribbed design that supports the arches and helps align the lower leg, without locking off the natural functions of the foot and ankle. In just a short time, ALINE insoles have found their way under the feet of elite athletes in sports such as skiing, snowboarding, golf and cycling. ALINEs have been worn to over a dozen Winter X-Games medals, three PGA event championships and eight national mountain bike championship wins.

WATSON ADVENTURES All that’s needed to participate in a Watson Adventures scavenger hunt is a sharp mind and a good pair of shoes. By exploring museums, parks and historic neighborhoods in such places as New York, New Jersey, Boston, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Washington DC and Chicago, hunters end up seeing their world – and maybe even their teammates – in a new light. The hunts are ideal for private events, such as corporate team building and birthday parties. Watson Adventures also offers public hunts in Baltimore, Boston, Connecticut, Los Angeles, New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Chicago, Santa Monica and Washington DC. For more information about Watson Adventures, please visit

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he Canyons Resort, nestled in the beautiful Wasatch mountains at the edge of Park City, Utah is the perfect spot for your next family ski vacation. With an average snowfall of nearly 30 feet per year, the Canyons virtually guarantees endless terrain for every style and ability. Boasting $10 million of resort upgrades, it's a 3700-acre playground of incredibly varied terrain with eight mountain peaks. Whether you choose to tame the moguls on 9990, rip up the black diamonds on Apex Ridge, or enjoy the peaceful backcountry experience of Dreamscape, the slopes are rarely crowded, ideal for families, group skiers or snowboarders. The Canyons Resort is a self-contained village of slopeside shops and lodging. It offers three hotels: The Sundial Lodge, the Silverado Lodge and its signature Grand Summit Hotel, a AAA Four Diamond THE CANYONS RESORT

resort with an outdoor heated pool, gourmet dining, ski storage and an easy ski in, ski out location. All three offer hotel room and condo style lodging designed for family travel. After a long day on the slopes, the Grand Summit Health Club and Spa offers a variety of massages, facials and body therapies to rejuvenate and revitalize. For families, the hotels provide licensed daycare offering a variety of indoor and outdoor activities, including gondola rides, sledding and access to the Canyon's ski and snowboard school. Only three miles away is Park City, one of Americas great ski towns. Its historic Main Street, with over 100 bars and restaurants, is a great place to enjoy nightlife, dining, and shopping. In addition, the kids might want to try


the Tubing park or the ultimate adrenaline rush of the Olympic bobsled run. The Canyons Resort is easily accessible from the east coast with non-stop service from New York to Salt Lake City, and it's only a short, 35 minute ride from the airport to the resort. You can actually leave on the early morning flight and be on the slopes before noon. And with the Park City Quick Start Program, you can show your boarding pass at the lift ticket sales window and get a free same-day lift pass. Also check into the Ski Free Packages featured on If you book one of the three lodging properties, you'll get two ski-free passes along with breakfast with every night of your stay. Now those are great deals! Hard-core skiers should check out The First Tracks program. On Wednesdays and Saturdays, you can be the first on the lifts and the first to make tracks hours before the general public. You'll be floating through untouched powder and groomers with just a handful of lucky skiers and boarders. It's a skiers dream come true and includes breakfast (but not your lift ticket) for only $59. For a great slopeside experience, make the Canyons your next ski destination. 866/604-4171;

VAIL PLAZA HOTEL & CLUB Colorado The Vail Plaza Hotel & Club is one of the newest additions to Vail Village, part of the extensive redevelopment project happening in Vail, Colorado. Vail Plaza Hotel & Club has fast become the new place to stay in Vail Village, with its state of the art meeting facilities, lounge, restaurants and spa. The sophisticated, Alpine-inspired lobby welcomes you in any season â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

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on the coldest winter day or after a summer bike ride. The hotel and its private ski and boot storage is conveniently located just a few minutes walk from the Vista Bahn lift, which accesses all of Vail's massive 5200 acres of world class skiing. Not up for skiing today? Try dog sledding, snow-tubing, VAIL PLAZA HOTEL & CLUB

snowshoeing, or horseback riding. Those who prefer the warm summer months can enjoy golf, mountain biking, hiking, even hot air ballooning. The hotel, situated in the center of the pedestrian Vail Village, is surrounded by a seemingly endless array of shops, art galleries, restaurants, and nightlife. After a long day of alpine play, relax in your sumptuous guest room featuring warm, custom furnishings, Egyptian cotton sheets, and feather down comforters. For those seeking further relaxation, a visit to the Sorrento Spa for a massage or skin treatment does the trick. The hotel also has a top-of-the-line fitness center, heated outdoor pool and hot tub, along with two restaurants. Da Vinci offers Mediterranean-influenced cuisine; Galileo serves Italian-style bistro foods and is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Those wishing to enjoy all that Vail has to offer, relax and rejuvenate, or meet for a business conference, will find all they need at the new Vail Plaza Hotel & Club. Fractional ownership opportunities are available. 877/888-1540;

lenge of the famous Valluga. Otherwise, you can easily hire a guide in town to accompany you as you ski from village to village, taking in the beauty of the Austrian Tyrol. Be sure to visit the village of Lech, with its gentle skiing and breathtaking views. St Anton is suited to the hard charging skier and late night partier, whereas Lech caters to a refined clientele with its fine European shopping and café lifestyle. Along with skiing, the region offers skating, sleigh riding, hiking and lots of après ski enjoyment long into the night. The most famous watering spot is the Mooserwirt, located on the way down the mountain. Skiing after a stop at the Moosewirt is an adventure in itself. There are countless lodging options, from two to five-star, to fit everyone's taste and budget. Breakfast and dinner are typically included. The Karl Schranz Hotel St. Anton am Arlberg offers a homey Austrian experience, while the Post Hotel ( is located right in town. The region has a wide array of restaurants, from traditional to more contemporary European fare. Lunch at the Balmalp Ski Hutte atop the Kriegerhorn lift in Lech is not to be missed. What a spectacular setting! With it's easy access — non-stop service from New York on Swiss International Airlines — and just 2 and 1/2 hours from Zurich airport via shuttle service, ( the Arlberg is a wonderful choice for a great European ski vacation. For further information, visit:

SKI AUSTRIA ST. ANTON AM ARLBERG “The Arlberg” is the name given to the five stunning, picturesque towns in western Austria, and the 85 lifts and scores of ski runs that connect them. St. Anton is the largest and the most famous, a true international skiing destination. The scenic and exciting Tyrolean Pedestrian Village is the model for many of the Austrian-style villages built at ski areas around the world, except this is the real deal. St. Anton boasts activities for all ages to enjoy year round, but of course the most famous is skiing the Alps. There are countless options for abilities from beginner to expert. For the really adventurous skier, there is the chal-

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WHAT’S NEW AT ASPEN/SNOWMASS by Paula Koffsky Aspen, Colorado, a skier's Mecca and a vacationer's paradise. Made up of four ski mountains: Snowmass, Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands and Buttermilk, Aspen/Snowmass is one of Colorado's premier ski destinations. For the 2008-2009 season, skiers will be further wowed with Aspen Skiing Company's infusion of $35 million worth of improvements. Snowmass will sport a new detachable quad chairlift to keep you comfortable on your way to the summit. The new Sheer Bliss chair lift will service 700 acres of some

Lifts begin running on November 27, 2008 when Snowmass and Aspen Mountain open, with all four open for the season on December 13, 2008. Aspen Highlands and Buttermilk will close on April 5, 2009, while Snowmass and Aspen Mountain will close on April 12, 2009. The Aspen Winternational FIS Alpine World Cup takes place on Aspen Mountain, November 28-29. 2008. The ESPN Winter X Games 13 will bring the most extreme snowsports athletes to Buttermilk, January 22-25, 2009.



of the best terrain in the Big Burn area. The new lift can carry up to 2,000 people per hour and takes riders 2,212 vertical feet, both further and faster than the old Sheer Bliss chair. Aspen Highlands, known as the “local's mountain” and home to the challenging Highland Bowl, has added additional acres of skiing and riding in the Deep Temerity area of the mountain. At Buttermilk, home to the ESPN Winter X Games, a new Olympic-size, 22-foot halfpipe will be up and running. The new halfpipe, four feet higher than before, will send skiers and riders further skyward. Gnarley! At Aspen Mountain, a new and improved Gondola Plaza will make it easier to load the gondola. Snowmass, the mountain for a perfect family vacation, has undergone a renaissance in the last two years with the development of the base village. This grand revitalization includes 64,000 square feet of new shops and restaurants, a community aquatic center, a 246-unit hotel, and two new luxury residences, the Little Nell Residences at Snowmass and the Viceroy Resort Residences at Snowmass. The epicenter of the new village is the Treehouse Kids' Adventure Center, a 25,000-square-foot center with ski and snowboard check-in, rental and retail shops and a family après entertainment all under one roof. Snowmass has it all, including the Village Express six-pack lift, the new Elk Camp Meadows learning area and Meadows lift, Elk Camp Gondola and the Sky Cab Gondola. Aspen, home to the famous Aspen Music Festival, the Aspen Institute, the picturesque Maroon Bells, and unbeatable nightlife, just keeps getting better and better. Aspen Skiing Company: 800/525-6200;


No need to fly with all your gear; Aspen Sports will take care of your rental equipment needs. Skiers and boarders can make advanced equipment reservations online at and equipment will be waiting at one of their seven convenient locations throughout Aspen and Snowmass. Benefits of reserving equipment on line include: up to 20% off rental packages and kids 12 and under rent free with every renting adult (except on black out dates). Customers may also use the computer sign-in process at one of the shops to rent equipment. Repeat customers are able to retrieve their equipment details from previous trips, so that a certain boot, ski, or snowboard can be easily duplicated. Along with professional and friendly service, all of the shops use the Snowell ski tuning system, the same system that the U.S. and Austrian ski teams use in the World Cup. Aspen Sports offers a Gold Club option, the ultimate in convenience and deluxe rental service. Skiers can reserve their equipment in advance through the RentSkis Gold Club option on the website. Gold Club guests are guaranteed a specific brand and model of ski or snowboard. Equipment will be preset and waiting for your arrival in the special Gold holding area of the designated Aspen Sports rental location. If you are bringing your own boots, you will be directed to a dedicated station, where your equipment will be adjusted. Complimentary overnight equipment storage is also included with the Gold Club service. W

Snowmass Resources Snowmass Mall (slopeside) 970/923-6111 Outlet at Snowmass Center 970/923-3566

Aspen Resources Gondola Plaza 970/925-1360 Cooper Avenue Mall 970/925-6331 St. Regis Hotel 970/925-6332 Sky Hotel 970/925-6333 Hyatt Hotel 970/429-9100

the travel book 2008

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WINTER FUN! BY RICH SILVER UVEX X-RIDE MOTION HELMET A ski helmet's main function is, of course, safety, but while providing it the Uvex XRide Motion takes this essential piece of ski equipment to another level. It's durable hard shell construction keeps you safe, and adjustable air vents keep you comfortable, while the sleek new design has you looking good. But it's the X-Ride's Blue Tooth technology that will help you really rock the slopes. Compatible with most Bluetooth capable devices like cell phones and mp3 players, Uvex makes it easy to stay connected to family and friends or stream the latest music, all while perfecting your skills on the hills. You're focused on a lot of things while tearing up the mountain and wires shouldn't be one of them. Rock the slopes with the Bluetooth X-Ride technology from Uvex. X-Ride Motion Helmet, suggested retail: $120; Bluetooth X-Factor, suggested retail: $200.

SKI THINGS IN A NEW LIGHT Skiers and snowboarders constantly face the problem of changing light conditions on the hill. There are many days that start out sunny, only to see the clouds roll in, making it difficult to see. Until now, the answer has been to carry two pairs of goggles, or to switch to the inferior protection of sunglasses. Uvex has solved the problem with high performance ski goggles that make difficult light conditions disappear with the touch of a button. Uvision Magic uses state-of-the-art liquid crystal technology applied to a double lens to produce a goggle that darkens on demand, instantly switching from a high-contrast lens ideal for flat light to a


darker lens ideal for bright sun. It couldn’t be easier; just press and your goggles respond. It’s like two pairs of goggles in one. Suggested retail: $250.

EUROSOCKS Stay warm, stay dry and stay comfortable on the slopes. With an eye toward innovative design, Eurosocks uses performance fibers and natural yarns to produce products that deliver unmatched fit, function, and comfort. With padding and support in just the right places, the Ski Silver and Ski Supreme socks will keep your feet dry all day. And now with the introduction of the new Digits line, with it's anatomically correct left and right footbed engineered to assure the perfect "foot to boot fit," Eurosocks offers one more way to put your best foot forward on the slopes. Suggested retail: $19-$35;

SOFA SKI SCHOOL INSTRUCTIONAL VIDEO Want to make this the year you improve your skiing and break through the intermediate rut? Here is just the instructional video to help you. It's called The Sofa Ski School and it's an interactive instructional video for intermediate level and above skiers, bringing five different lessons and over one hour of instruction right into your living room. With instruction by European and Mammoth Mountain ski instructor Klaus Mair, the video provides visuals and drills you can practice on the mountain to help you work on the exact parts of your skiing that need improvement. It addresses the most common mistakes that might be holding you back from moving from intermediate to expert, and pays special attention to teaching you how to carve like a pro. The DVD package also comes with three reminder cards for people to take with them skiing — to help make the connection easier between the sofa and the slope. If this is the year you're committed to improving, then this is the video for you. Check out the demo on line or purchase at; approximately $40.

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Deep Chocolate and Moon Dust

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nderstandably, some vacationers are hesitant to try cruising; formal dress codes, endless buffets, and the dreaded hard-sell for overpriced art don't seem like the best way to relax and unwind. There is, however, a better way to experience a luxury cruise with all the sophistication of a refined hotel vacation. Windstar Cruises

was conceived in 1984, as an alternative to the typical cruising or resort vacation. The concept is an enormous success, as Windstar has been recognized for excellence many times over since its inception. Recent accolades include being named one of the “World's Best Small-Ship Cruise Lines” by the readers of Travel & Leisure magazine, and making the Annual Gold List of “Best Cruise Lines” by Condé Nast Traveler. The


Windstar fleet includes three motor-sail-yachts (msy) with a ratio of almost one staff for every two passengers. The Wind Star and Wind Spirit, with lengths of 440 feet (including bowsprit), have a capacity of 148 guests. Wind Surf, originally the Club Med I, has been extensively renovated and accommodates 312 guests at 617 feet in length. The ocean-view staterooms are generously sized with a queen bed (or two twins), a sitting area, and marble bath. Recent multi-million dollar enhancements include remodeled bathrooms, an expanded beauty salon and spa. Hi-tech additions include Apple iPod Nanos, Bose SoundDock speakers, wireless Internet, luxury linens, and L'Occitane products. Windstar itineraries include some of the world's best, hidden treasures. Larger cruise ships can't access these smaller, lesser-known ports, so you won't run into hoards of travelers once on land. Always looking to add new and exciting ports, Windstar's European sailing will include a Venice itinerary comprising Croatia's picturesque Rovinj, Split and Dubrovnik as well as Koper, Slovenia. Also new, May of 2009, Wind Surf will visit the port of L'Ille Rousse, France on the island of Corsica with it's charming seaside villages, towers and citadels; and the island of Ischia, Italy with its rugged natural beauty and thermal spas. In the summer through the early fall, Windstar sails the Greek Isles, where guests experience beautiful blue waters, stunning white beaches and the romance of ancient gods. The ships make their way to the tranquil Caribbean waters in the late fall, with sailings from Barbados and St. Thomas. For an exotic journey with lush rainforests and pristine

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beaches, Windstar sails from Puerto Caldera, Costa Rica. Windstar provides several land excursions throughout the cruises, ranging from easy walks to more challenging hikes. Destinations include everything from cultural sightseeing to exotic beaches for a snorkel or even a scuba dive adventure (for certified divers). When suitable, the ships' Marina

Deck provides complimentary kayaking, windsurfing, sailing, ski-tubing and waterskiing. For a dose of intellectual stimulation, the Signature Collection Host Series offers guests the opportunity to rub elbows with distinguished personalities in the fields of wine making, art, cooking, and sports. Dining aboard a Windstar Cruise means gourmet meals from a choice of restaurants. The ships’ four restaurants offer everything from elegant dining to informal grilled fish and steak deckside. True to the relaxed attitude of Windstar Cruises, there are no seating assignments or strict dining times. Contrary to what you might imagine on these sailing vessels, they all have spacious, wide-open teak decks as well as some private alcoves where you feel as though you're on your own verandah. The Windstar slogan is “180º From Ordinary.” Check out the newly renovated WindSpa and you'll feel just that. The assortment of treatments and therapies range from traditional massage and aromatherapy to comprehensive hydro and synergistic therapy. For a rejuvenating facial treatment try the Algae Detox, or the purifying Oxygen Lifting Facial. Unique massage treatments like the Aroma Stone Therapy, which uses Balinese stones to unlock the energy trapped within the body's Chakras; and Reflexology, or the ancient Asian pressure point foot massage, are some of the enticing massages. WindSpa also offers a full gym and a schedule of classes such as yoga, Pilates, Kai-Bo, and cardio kickboxing. For a more personalized service, WindSpa offers one-on-one training, diet consultation and body composition analysis. The experience on a Windstar Cruise is akin to being on a private yacht, unobtrusive pampering and splendid adventures included. When the billowing sails unfurl, breathe in the fresh sea air, sit back and enjoy. 800/258/7245; W

the travel book 2008


My idea of paradise changes every day.

Find your place in the sun, Windstar style. Sun-drenched islands in the Caribbean. Exotic rain forests in Costa Rica. The breathtaking spectacle of the Panama Canal. Your idea of paradise may change with the winds. But the best way to get there remains the same: the romantic ships of Windstar. Elegant yet intimate, our ships are right at home among the private yachts sailing to some of the world’s most exclusive ports and beaches. For some, paradise is more than a place on the map. It’s freedom from schedules and fussy dress codes. Or feasting on fine wines and five-star cuisine. Being one of only 148 or 312 pampered guests to experience the pure joy of sailing. If this is your idea of absolute bliss, welcome to Windstar style.

Your passport to paradise is here. Contact your favorite travel professional today, or call us at 1-87-STAR SAIL ext. 015 Ships’ Registry: Bahamas CARIBBEAN } COSTA RICA } PANAMA CANAL } GREEK ISLES } EUROPE

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hen I finally quit Weston to retire to somewhere warm, I don’t think it will be to Florida, or even to popular Costa Rica. I’d like it to be to Casa de Campo, in the Dominican Republic. Everything conspires to draw me here in my imagined leisure days: the balmy climate, gentle people, accommodating service, nonstop activities, options, language and cost of living. Before my tennis elbow finally gives out, I can play endless doubles on any one of 13 outdoor, lighted Har tru courts. I can take continuous lessons from the staff of worldclass tennis pros, or just hit with a staff player to improve my strokes, as

I’ve been trying to do for all these years. I won’t have to run needlessly on my aging legs; a youthful ball boy will gather up all my mis-hits. My husband will finally have the time to play a full round of golf, and can choose from two world-renowned, Pete Dye designed courses: Teeth of the Dog, edging the Caribbean Sea, or Dye Fore, high in Altos de Chavon overlooking the Chavon River. He can play year round with anyone who comes to visit us, or any of the new friends we’ll make down there. I still have no intention of learning the game. Spread out over 7000 acres, Casa de Campo offers a myriad of real



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estate options. Deluxe hotel rooms clustered around the central swimming pools, reception and shopping areas; Condominiums overlooking the yachts, dining, shopping and nightlife down at the Marina; and villas galore in every size, variety and architectural design scattered around acres of beaches, polo fields, golf courses and tennis courts. All of these are available for long term stays such as I envision in the future, or regular vacations, which is the reason most people come any time of year. I’d love to purchase one of the sprawling, open-air four bedroom villas with its own swimming pool and garden, en-suite bathrooms and outdoor lanai. A maid, butler and gardener are standard help in these homes. When we’re not in residence, we can offer it back to the hotel and it will go into the holiday rental pool, to help defray expenses and ensure maintenance and upkeep. I often pretend I like to cook because I have a family to feed. But we lament that we don’t entertain enough at home, because it’s too much time and effort. When I’m retired at Casa, I’ll utilize the visiting chef program in the villa; a chef will come to my home and prepare wonderful island or continental banquets in my gourmet kitchen for as many people as I’d like to invite. I can be a gracious hostess without any of the hassle. Or clean up. When we want to eat out, there are almost two dozen international and ethnic restaurants on the resort from which to choose. The Beach Club by le Cirque, overseen by NYC’s famed Maccioni family, offers exquisite continental fare in an incomparable setting on Minitas beach. Tropicana steak house serves up one of my favorite cuts of beef: churrasco (skirt steak) with a fabulous chimichurri (oil, garlic, cilantro and lime) sauce. Scattered around the quaint Altos de Chavon stone village, CASA MINITAS

are numerous eateries: El Sombrero with wandering musicians for Mexican; La Piazzetta with an overflowing antipasto bar for Italian; Café del Sol for pizza out of a traditional wood-burning oven. Seafood and fish are the specialties at La Casita, another elegant, open-

air gem situated on a jetty of the Casa de Campo marina. Try the fish baked in salt, which arrives flambé and is filleted tableside, or the heaping paella with langostinos, shrimp, clams and mussels. La Caña bar, at the center of the resort, offers drinks, dancing, and live music nightly; up in Altos de Chavon, Club Onno’s offers tapas and a late night disco. Attire in the evening at the resort’s more elegant eateries is Caribbean chic, (long pants and collared shirts for men) but shorts are


acceptable at the more casual venues such as the Sports Bar, or Lago Grill. La Kandela is a Vegas-style, Caribbean floor show performed weekly in the Altos de Chavon outdoor amphitheater. With spectacular choreography, costuming, special effects and music, and gorgeous performers, La Kandela is a fiery delight. One must be prepared to get up and Merengue during the grand finale, which includes fireworks, confetti, flames and dancing in the aisles. While up at Altos, we also love to visit the 18th century colonial church, and take a ride on Margarita, the donkey. I’m a spa person, and the ever-evolving Casa has recently upgraded and updated its spa facilities and menu to satisfy any spa aficionado. With the help of international holistic health consultant Jacqueline Banks, the new Cygalle Healing Spa offers a serene setting for the realignment of body and spirit. A wide range of massages, facials, body wraps, scrubs, energy therapies, healing body treatments, water rituals and on going, nutrition and lifestyle consultation are available. All of the treatment rooms are luxurious suites that can accommodate individual services, or simultaneous treatments for couples or family members, with private bathrooms and changing areas. Cygalle products are based on pure, organic plant oils and essences in green packaging, and can be taken home to continue their good effects.

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ONTHEBEACH service resort in the sun. Perhaps one day this will be our home away from home, our “house in the country.” For now, any one can visit this tropical paradise on vacation, and is strongly encouraged to do so.




Visitors can start their healing journey with a walk in the spa’s mindclearing labyrinth, followed by a Hot/Cold Water Ritual with a suggested 20-minute format for using the sauna, steam bath, and hot and cold water plunges to experience water’s healing power. Those who want to rejuvenate the spirit, relax the mind and cleanse the body in an open-air setting, can try a CHS signature massage in the spa’s private beach gazebo, with the sound of the waves in the background and a breeze cooling their skin. Jacqueline Banks will continue clients’ lifestyle makeover with regularly scheduled, one-on-one, over the phone consultations no matter where you live. With a three-pronged approach of nutritional guidance, mental optimism and incorporating more movement into our daily routines, Jacqueline’s techniques have a big impact on stress relief and improved quality of life with simple steps clients can undertake day by day. Shooting, horseback riding, water sports, and kids activities are all offered at Casa de Campo. Direct flights are available from NYC to Santo Domingo, a pleasant one and a half hour drive that allows visitors to see the island before entering the gated community; or via Miami or Puerto Rico into La Romana, which is only ten minutes away. In reality, my retirement is years from now. But all this does not have to wait, because Casa de Campo is a hugely popular vacation destination. When February or April school break rolls around, we’ll return time and again — kids, friends and relatives in tow — to enjoy this wonderful, full


Nevis, West Indies What a spectacular setting! It's no wonder the Nisbet Plantation is so popular for destination weddings and honeymoons. Originally built as a sugar plantation in 1778, the Nisbet Plantation Beach Club is set on thirty beachfront acres on the tranquil Caribbean island of Nevis. The plantation is comprised of a beautifully restored Great House and 16 plantation-style stucco cottages and lanai suites. Guests can choose from premier and deluxe suites, garden suites, and superior rooms, all of which face the water. Activities include an island-style croquet lawn, tennis courts, golf at Nevis' Robert Trent Jones championship golf course, and a state of the art fitness center. Relax on the beach or by the freshwater pool and rejuvenate with a massage and a facial at the Palms Spa. Two al fresco restaurants are set right by the sea; for breakfast there's Coconuts, while the Sea Breeze serves lunch. At the Great House, enjoy a Plantation daiquiri in the cocktail lounge before dinner in the formal dining room. Families are welcome to enjoy the Nisbet Plantation experience, and babysitting is available for an additional charge. The 87-person staff is always ready to assist guests. If you're looking to scrunch your toes in silky white sand, let the sound of lapping waves lull you to sleep, and soak up the sun under the palm trees, visit the Nisbet Plantation for a relaxing, intimate vacation experience. Want to give your family a truly memorable holiday this year? Try a Thanksgiving Feast on the Beach, or a Christmas vacation at Nisbet Plantation Beach Club, the Caribbean's only historic plantation inn on the beach. 800/742-6008;

THE RITZ-CARLTON Palm Beach, Florida Reopening after an eight-month renovation, the newly designed Ritz Carlton Palm Beach is stunning. It's light and airy, casually elegant, like you've come home to your waterfront estate. The lobby lounge has intimate seating areas of plush sand colored sofas. Tables are appointed with beau-

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tiful shells, candles and sterling silver framed historical photos of Palm Beach notables. The ocean view beckons, as dramatic waves envelop the beach like the famous scene in From Here to Eternity. You half expect to see Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr rapturously entwined on the sand. The Ritz Carlton Palm Beach sets a new standard of luxury, whether you're on a romantic getaway or taking the family away for a week. Guests can select from Club Level guestrooms and suites, Lanai terrace guestrooms and suites, oceanfront suites, ocean-view guestrooms, and resort-view guestrooms. Indulge in a private ocean front cabana with your personal concierge; what a lovely way to spend the day! The hotel offers two pools to all plus a third “tranquility” pool for adults only. Coming early 2009, a 41,000 square foot spa with 19 treatment rooms, a polish and scrub bar where you pick out your own scent, a movement studio, pilates, beauty salon, and an interior courtyard offering guests an invitation to stay and relax after a treatment. Angle is the hotel's signature restaurant, offering chic, modern American food with regional influences. The acclaimed restaurant is designed with a

drink, there's Stir Bar and The Terrace. Breeze is the place to go for a cocktail and light fare on the ocean's edge. The Ritz-Carlton, Palm Beach's Oceanfront Cabana Dining is a private cabana with a special menu from the chef customized to fit the guest's needs, right on the ocean's edge. In the evening, relax around the firepit on the 3,000-square-foot oceanfront terrace. It's a perfect gathering spot, with couches and beaded evening wraps for curling up with a platter of fire-roasted s'mores. The family programs are terrific. Ritz Kids AquaNuts is a program for children ages 5-12 offering supervised sports, games, arts and crafts, swimming, and nature tours for either full or half days, and evening programs with a climbing wall, a stage for theatricals, arts and crafts and activities. There's even a Bubble Butler who will arrange Bath Science bubble test tubes for important bathtime experiments. Teens will be psyched when they check out Coast, the hotel's teen lounge for guests ages 13-17. This supervised hangout offers a pool table, music, video games, DVDs and games. There are 4 MAC workstations with a staff member on site for assistance. Kids can make their own music mixes, download onto their ipods, burn CDs and broadcast their mix from a professional DJ radio booth. Teen girls have their own upscale salon right next to Coast — Beauty@ Coast — where they can do their own makeup application, hair styling, and manicures. There's a closet filled with funky outfits, costumes, and jewelry for teens to dress up and pose against a photo studio backdrop. Friends can shoot each other's glamour



glass-enclosed wine cellar and a handsome, underlit onyx dining table for sophisticated community dining. Temple Orange is a zesty ocean-view restaurant featuring contemporary Italian cuisine. For a light lunch or

shots as they pretend to be the next America's Top Model. Adults who are away with their kids but have to stay in touch with their office will love the new executive bungalows adjacent to the hotel's new business center, The Golden Parachute. The executive bungalow is your individualized office by the pool, offering the ability to step inside for a conference call, receive a fax or send an email. There you have your personal business center with computer, fax and phone. The executive bungalow functions as a great family meeting spot as well. The Golden Parachute has been designed to meet all business needs and comforts, with a plasma TV broadcasting MSNBC, workstations, an espresso bar and beautiful meeting rooms. W Whether it's for business or pleasure, you'll love the Ritz Carlton Palm Beach. 100 South Ocean Boulevard, Manalapan, FL. 561/533-6000;

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gonorth GREEN MOUNTAIN PLEASURES OKEMO MOUNTAIN RESORT LUDLOW, VERMONT Okemo Mountain Resort's reputation as a worldclass winter vacation destination is not something this independently-owned resort takes lightly. The resort is continually enhancing its snow quality, grooming, family programs, slope-

side lodging, dining and guest services. New this season, Okemo is the first-in-the-East to install lift loading, a technology popular at European resorts. This new conveyor-belt carpet will load and unload skiers more easily, more efficiently, and with less waiting. The resort is also implementing new laser-guided superpipe cutting, upgraded grooming technologies and more ener-



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gy efficient snowmaking. Okemo continues to make snow on over 97% of the mountain, boasting the most snow coverage in the industry. Originally a small community-run ski hill, Okemo Mountain Resort was one of the first ski areas to develop ski in/ski out slopeside lodging in 1961. Tim and Diane Mueller purchased the ski area in 1982, and began to transform it into



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a world-class resort. Today, Okemo features southern Vermont's highest vertical drop, an immense network of quality trails and one of the largest inventories of mountainside accommodations in the East. The Jackson Gore Inn opened in 2002 as the resort's crown jewel, the center of its newest base area. The Inn's courtyard features everything from lift ticket windows, children's' daycare, a ski school, ski/snowboard rentals and a video arcade. Recently added are Adams House and Bixby House, additional luxury accommodations equipped with fully outfitted kitchens, stereo systems, hot tubs, and more. First class services like valet parking, bellman service, concierge, heated walkways, full-service restaurants and lounge, and underground parking make vacationing that much easier. Plans are in the works for additional slopeside accommodations, a conference center and a gondola that will deliver skiers and riders from Jackson

Gore to the summit of Okemo. Okemo's Cutting Edge Learning Center offers skiers and snowboarders opportunities to improve at any level. First timers can take advantage of Okemo's First Tracks program, where for $95 (age 13 through adults) or $85 for juniors (age 7-12), skiers or snowboarders receive a complete rental package, morning and afternoon group lessons, and unlimited use of Okemo's lower mountain lifts. Double Tracks, at $135 (age 7-12) and $150 for (age 13-adults) is a two-day package, which includes a second day morning ski class along with a full mountain lift ticket. The Learning Center also offers one-on-one instruction as well as private group sessions for up to four people of similar ability. Various adventures are offered throughout the season for intermediate and advanced skiers and riders which explore Okemo's varied and expert terrain. No matter what your skill, there are plenty of new challenges and chances to improved confidence. You won't go hungry at Jackson Gore; there is a multitude of dining options. For an unforgettable meal, order the Ski Vermont Burger at the Coleman Brook Tavern. This delicious dish is the result of a partnership between the Vermont Ski Areas Association, the Agency of Agriculture and the Vermont Beef Producers Association. The project not only supports the small community of 200 farming families that make up the Vermont Beef Producers Association, but it also helps maintain the historic beauty and legacy of Vermont. Other facilities at Jackson Gore include The Penguin Playground, offering everything from day care to Saturday evening's Kids' Night Out. The Springhouse, an 18,000-sq. ft. fitness and aquatic center with a health club, indoor/outdoor swimming pool, whirlpool spas, racquet ball court and cardio equipment. The Ice House is a skating and summer sports pavilion, and the Nordic Center features 22 km of tracked and skate-groomed terrain for skiers, as well as 13 km of snowshoeing trails. Okemo's Nordic Center

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trails are designed to accommodate all ability levels and are groomed daily. The Nordic Shop offers demos, equipment rentals, repairs and waxing, and even a golf simulator for die-hard golfers. Okemo offers the perfect blend of New England charm and a world-class ski resort. For those interested in ownership, real estate options at Jackson Gore vary from quarter share to whole ownership, for year-round family enjoyment. 800/78-OKEMO (786-5366);

SUICIDE SIX WOODSTOCK, VERMONT Despite the dire name, Suicide Six is a wonderful family ski area with slopes for all levels and activities for many tastes. Skiing has been a tradition in Woodstock since 1934, when the first ski tow in the United States was rigged up on a slope just outside the village. The Suicide Six Ski Area opened in 1937 just over the ridge from that historic site, and throughout its charming evolution has continued to be a popular ski and stay destination. Today the Suicide Six ski area offers both Alpine and Nordic skiing, as well as snowboarding, with two double chair lifts serving 23 downhill trails, and varied terrain for cross country and snow shoeing. The mountain is large enough to satisfy for a weekend or a week, yet manageable for families with members of varied ages and abilities. It’s easy to find each other at the cozy base lodge, after ski school, or in the ski shop, or to split up and ski with friends at an individual level. Owned by the Woodstock Inn, which offers several stay and ski packages, the mountain can be reached by a convenient, complimentary shuttle, which eliminates the hassle of far off parking and carrying gear. A stay at the Woodstock Inn resort offers families a relaxed, country visit with both outdoor exhilaration and indoor pampering. The Inn boasts three popular restaurants, 142 refurbished guestrooms, large, comfortable bathrooms, fireplaces in delightful public areas, health and fitness facilities, and a setting amid “one of the prettiest small towns in America.” Nearby, guests can visit galleries, a historic covered bridge, a working dairy farm from the 1800’s, and numerous boutiques and eateries. Golf and tennis are available in the warmer months. 800/448-7900;



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hat makes Buenos Aires so seductive? Is it the passion of the tango? The dulce de leche? Just imagine living in a city where decadent caramel sauce is as essential as salt and pepper. And, what could be more alluring than the Argentine peso's exchange rate with the dollar. A vacation to Buenos Aires is three times less than vacationing in the U.S, five times less than Europe and seven times less than London. Buenos Aires is known as the “Paris of South America,” for its French architecture, wide boulevards and café society. It is considered to be the most European city in South America, a thriving center of culture, music, nightlife — or should I say “all night” life. Yet, unlike European cities, Buenos Aires is one of the most inexpensive, cosmopolitan capitals in the world. No wonder it has such a thriving expat community.

FOUR SEASONS HOTEL Buenos Aires The Four Seasons Hotel Buenos Aires is one of


Buenos Aires' premier hotels, located in the exclusive La Recoleta district. The hotel is unique in offering two distinct environments adjacent to one another. La Mansión at the Four Seasons is one of the oldest palaces in La Recoleta, with just seven grand suites and five banquet rooms. Its Belle Époque splendor has been fully restored by the same design team that refurbished the city's famed Colon Theater Opera House. It's a favorite haven for celebrities and dignitaries. After a million dollar renovation, the Mansion now serves a wonderful Sunday champagne brunch. The outdoor, heated pool is stunning, situated in the hotel gardens; it is the perfect setting in which to relax or cool off after a long day. The Four Seasons also encompasses a contemporary hotel, with 138 guestrooms and 27 suites. As with all Four Seasons hotels, you can expect a first class experience. Le Mistral, the hotel's restaurant, serves a fabulous buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner. Satuday nights at 11 there's a tango show at Le Dôme, a handsome lounge adjacent to the lobby. Four Seasons Hotel Buenos Aires has the most advanced fitness facility in Buenos Aires, with a staff of certified trainers on hand. The Health Club and spa offer a menu of massages and treatments using natural products from the earth called Pachamama, a name that derives from the time of the Inca civilization. The spa uses 100% natural products native to the region, clay from the Precordillera, thermal mud,

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Patagonian algae, yerba mate and local fruits. For a most sensual treatment, experience the hot stone Porteño massage set to Tango music. The Four Seasons is ideal for a conference or business meeting as well, with an impressive selection of spaces and a seasoned support staff. Meeting rooms feature the newest technology to accommodate demanding presentations. LA MANSIÓN AT THE FOUR SEASONS

There's much to experience and discover in Buenos Aires, and the Four Seasons staff are eager to make recommendations. Favorite Argentine steakhouse? Where to buy Malbec wine? A gourd for mate tea? Answers are on hand. It's easy to pursue these inquiries by taxi; even a 20-minute ride will cost just a few dollars. 800/819-5053;

And the elephants, and the butterflies, and the entire world of colors, shapes, and ideas. That only a child can imagine. Your child’s artwork. Kid art! Precious expressions of childhood innocence and creativity. Where do these masterpieces end up? Stuffed away in boxes. Stashed in closets. Not anymore. Now there’s Artimus Art, your veritable Noah’s ark of preserving, sharing and celebrating children’s art.

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The Gypsy Guide to Buenos Aires by Allie Silver HOSTELS MINI HOSTELS Airfares may be out of control, but there are an endless number of affordable hostels in Buenos Aires for the budget traveler. Mini Hostels is a group of funky hostels across South America that offer a 10% discount on each night of your trip with a membership card. Buenos Aires has hostels in all different neighborhoods, prices, and styles. Whether in a dorm or in a private room just for you and your travel companion, hostels are a great way to enhance your travel experience and meet other adventurers from all over the world.

BAIT HOSTEL 5115 El Salvador, Palermo Soho

Right in the heart of Palermo Soho, and two blocks away from Plaza Serrano, one of BA's most entertaining bar and restaurant strips, Bait couldn't be in a more perfect location. In Palermo Soho you're surrounded by eclectic boutiques, European-style outdoor cafes, and cobblestone streets. With a lovable, friendly, and fun staff, there is never a dull moment at Bait Hostel.

PUERTO LIMON HOSTEL 1080 Chacabuco, San Telmo Incredibly clean with a fabulous, hip decor, the living room of Puerto Limon hostel is accented by purple couches and vintage Andy Warhol posters. If you want to be close to most of the major sites, you are within walking distance of Plaza de Mayo, the famous San Telmo Sunday antique fair in Plaza Dorrego, and a short cab ride away from the La Boca



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neighborhood. Puerto Limon is a great place to enjoy your time in Buenos Aires, with a friendly staff and chic environment. As their slogan goes, “This is Puerto Limon, Smile, Please.”

LIVE MUSIC Peña de Colorado; Güemes 3657 Peñas, by definition, are community gathering places where folkloric music and dance are showcased. Buenos Aires is still in touch with this old tradition, and has many peñas scattered throughout the city. A great way to dig into the local flavor is to go to a Peña on the weekend, get a nice steak dinner with Malbec wine, and enjoy the show. Nightbirds should stay for the late night, traditional guitar jam sessions that usually kick up past 2 am, which will be an unforgettable night of bonding with the locals.

LA BOMBA DE TIEMPO AT THE KONEX CULTURAL CENTER 3131 Sarmiento, Abasto Every Monday night at 7 pm, the Konex Cultural Center explodes into “the pure trance of rhythm” with the percussion group Bomba de Tiempo (the Time Bomb). The group's musicians and director create improvised jam sessions every week by communicating through a unique system of hand signs. Fun for all ages, the spirit and energy that fills this converted warehouse turned cultural center is an experience that you will only find in Buenos Aires. Check Konex's website for a variety of other funky cultural activities, including an impressive production of “Rent” in Spanish.

AFROMAMA JAMS Makena Cantina Club, 1517 Fitzroy, Palermo Who knew Buenos Aires was harboring an underground funk scene of James Brown fanatics wearing Bootsy Collins sunglasses? Every Sunday night at Makena Cantina Club in Palermo, the underground funk scene of Buenos Aires surfaces. The night always begins with an opening funk band, following by an open stage to anyone who thinks he can bring the groove. A great way to spend any Sunday night. Try a Quilmes beer and the delicious thin crust ham pizza. Gypsy Travel Tip: One of the greatest secrets of the city is its plethora of tiny cultural centers, which offer different types of classes, lectures, and gatherings, as well as live music at night. For a really authentic local experience, seek out some of these tiny cultural centers; the area of Abasto is chock full of them!

RESTAURANTS LA CABRERA Cabrera 5099, Palermo Probably the most popular restaurant for tourists in BA, but for very good reason. La Cabrera is an authentic Argentine parrilla, which is a meat grill or barbeque. Not only will you sample some of the finest meats in the city, but each entrée comes with a tasting plate of different dips, sides and sauces, ranging from apple puree to eggplant dip to creamed corn. A sheer delight for the food-lover, only made better by the average price of 40 pesos per entrée, not even $15 for some of the finest dining in the city!

CUMANÁ Rodríguez Peña 1149, Recoleta An old favorite. Cumaná specializes in comida criolla, which is more traditional Argentine food from the countryside. Extremely inexpensive and one of the best restaurants in the city, Cumaná is mandatory for any traveler visiting BA. They have some of the most delicious empanadas you will ever find, cazuelas (casseroles) that I still have dreams about, and a mate tea hour in the afternoon if you want to get a taste for the authentic Argentine experience. Gypsy Travel Tip: There is always a long line outside Cumaná that may deter you from waiting. However, walk straight to the back and order takeout, and carry your delicious cazuelas to go in no time. You won't regret it!

KRISHNA Malabia 1833, Palermo The reputation of the carnivorous city of BA may be a bit intimidating to the vegetarian. But never fear — there are many vegetarian hideaways here if you know the right places. Krishna, an Indian vegetarian palace

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gosouth tucked into the folds on Palermo Soho, is a true gem. Decorated like a mini Indian palace, the bright pink and blue walls hold pictures of Indian gods and illustrations of Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix. The food is a lovely break from the constant meat-eating porteño (locals of BA) culture, with interesting chutneys and ginger lemonade. It is worth going just to have lunch in such a funky setting.

CLUBS MUSEUM Peru 535, Monserrat-San Telmo One of the reasons why I love this country — Wednesday night might as well be a national holiday in Argentina. All over the city, “after office” parties lure young professional Argentineans from their cubicles, to go out dancing at some of the city's finest clubs. From about 7 pm until 2 am (an early night according to Argentine standards) accountants, lawyers, you name it, are getting down to ‘80s tunes and techno on the dance floor. Museum, most famous for their Wednesday after office parties, is located in the area of Montserrat. The club is indeed a converted Museum designed by George Eiffel, (who also designed some Tower you may have heard of) turned massive discotheque. Especially for the traveler without work in the morning, there is no excuse not to go.

KIKA Honduras 5339, Palermo Kika is one of my favorite clubs in the city. Right in the heart of Palermo, Kika has a neon pink exterior that is hard to miss when you are roaming around the nearby boutiques and cafés during the day. But by night, Kika transforms into a two-room disco, one with standard electronica, and the front room offering a diverse and fun mix of anything from Red Hot Chili Peppers to Daft Punk to Britney Spears. Not too overwhelmingly large like Museum, it's an ideal place to go dancing with friends on a Saturday night. • For other, bigger clubs, check out Crobar, Jet, Pacha, or Mint, any of which will keep you dancing until 7 am, for a true Latin America dance party experience. • For more laid back bars, check out Plaza Serrano. Formerly known as Plaza Cortazar, Plaza Serrano is one of the centers of Buenos Aires social life. A large plaza filled with bars and restaurants with outdoor seating, BA's temperate climate usually allows for the plaza to be filled with porteños drinking and snacking outside from 10 pm to 8 am. Cronico, a personal favorite, is covered in collages of movie posters, and


a great place to have a late night/ early morning Fernet Branca and cola. Fernet Branca is an Italian liquor that's a Buenos Aires favorite, paying tribute to the city's European roots. Gypsy Travel Tip: Never, never go to a club before 2 am. One of my first nights in Buenos Aires, I showed up at a discotheque at 1:30 am. To my dismay, I was laughed at by the doorman, who told me the club was not even open yet. Take naps. Expect to be out from 2 am to 7 am, and grab a medialuna, an Argentine glazed croissant, for breakfast on your way home.

FOODS TO TRY ALFAJORES Traditional South American cookies you can find at your local kiosk, consisting of dulce de leche sandwiched between two sweet biscuits and covered with either icing or chocolate. Jorgelin are an Argentine favorite, but foodies should try one from Havanna, the Argentine Starbucks equivalent.

MATE If you've had a Starbucks “Mate Latté,” you haven't even come close to the true maté experience. In Argentina, the loose tea, yerba, is placed in a gourd, called the mate. Hot water is added to brew the leaves and is then sipped through a filtered straw, called a bombilla. It is traditionally refilled and passed around in a circle of friends, but beginners should try the mate hour at Cumana to get some real criollo flavor.

MALBEC Malbec wine is one of Argentina's finest exports. Grown in the eastern region of the country, most notably in Mendoza, this little grape is quickly gaining popularity all over the world. If you have time, take a trip out to Mendoza for a weekend of asado, the equivalent of an Argentine steak barbecue, and a biking wine tour through the vineyards. Gypsy Travel Tip: Go by bus to Argentina's must-see destinations. You'll be surprised that taking an 18-hour bus ride up to Iguazu Falls or to Mendoza can be quite delightful. Most buses are more luxurious than first class on a plane, and have seats that fold back 180 degrees to create a full bed. They are extremely inexpensive and often include the choice of champagne or whiskey after dinner! W WHS grad Allie Silver is a senior at Northwestern University, majoring in Radio, Television and Film. She studied abroad at the University of Buenos Aires last fall and returned this past summer to shoot a documentary film on radio therapy.

the travel book 2008

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goeast IN COUNTRY:

A JOURNAL OF VIETNAM A FATHER’S WAR A DAUGHTER’S UNDERSTANDING By CATHRYN J. PRINCE Like a giant bubble, the fishing net floated through the air before dropping into the Hoi An River. Upon seeing my two children – Nathan, 10 and Zoe, 7 – the wizened fisherman in the next boat broke into an enormous grin and waved. We waved back. And so it was as we traveled Vietnam from North to South – friendly exchanges between two distant lands. When I told my friends I was planning to travel to Vietnam this summer I received many surprised looks. Some couldn’t understand why I’d want to visit a tropical country in the height of summer, a place where you’re cautioned to brush your teeth with bottled water, take anti-malarial medication, and avoid street food. The reason for the trip comes from a deeply personal need to travel to the site of my father’s war, with my father. I was born in 1969, five years after he returned. My father, Marvin Prince, served as a captain in the Air Force from 1962 to 1964. I can't think of a time when I didn't know he had served. Vietnam simply hung around the corners of our life. Finally, after years of planning this journey we are here; my father, my mother, Norma Prince, my husband, Pierre Saldinger, and our two children. For the next two weeks we will travel from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City. We planned to visit many of the places where my father, who was a flight surgeon during the war, had spent time, including Da Nang, Da Lat, Nha Trang and Saigon. I’m wearing the flight wings he wore in country – they haven’t seen this landscape for decades. My father gave them to me on the birth of my first child, my son. I wear them as a bracelet. We arrive in Hanoi, on the other side of the world from Weston. Even under the ceiling fan of the open-air bar at the Metropole Hotel it’s steam bath hot. We raise our glasses in honor of this long-awaited journey, but my father looks a thousand yards away. “It was like a kaleidoscope of my life – I saw myself as 28 years old, and then sitting there with you and Nathan and Zoe,” he said the next day as we toured Ho Chi Minh’s grounds.



It was 1963, and although most Americans refer to this time as early in the war, it wasn’t early for anyone who was there, Americans or Vietnamese. They bled and fought the same. In fact, it was a turning point in policy and my father played his part. Duty prompted my father to join the Air Force in 1961. This country welcomed his immigrant parents from Austria and Poland. And like

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As a flight surgeon my father spent a lot of time in this area, working out of many young boys who came of age during WWII, he relished hero movies. “I still feel you have an obligation to serve, but the glory part is long gone. field hospitals, awaiting calls to accompany an operation in the Central It’s a myth,” he says. “War isn’t like the movies. Movies don’t smell. ‘Saving Highlands or the Mekong Delta. The first stop after Hanoi was to see the Imperial City of Hue. Here at this Private Ryan’ may have wonderful special effects but it doesn’t really communicate the smell, sound or sense of it. When you’re going someplace and complex of temples and palaces, it really began to sink in just how far from you have a tough landing ahead, people on helicopters are scared. You can home we were. Hue rests on the left bank of the Perfume River, halfway between Hanoi and Saigon. Modeled after Beijing's Forbidden City, the comsmell it; the sweat, fear, gun oil, hot metal on the floor. It all has smells.” My dad was assigned to General Robert Rowland, chief of Air Force plex covers almost 2.5 square miles. War destroyed most of the original Section, Military Assistance Advisory Group, (MAAG) Vietnam. My father buildings, but UNESCO has been working to restore the site. trained Vietnamese flight surgeons attached to the Vietnamese Air Force, which was already conducting combat operations against the Viet Cong. Within the year the number of “advisors” increased from 1,000 to more than 15,000. Physicians were still being drafted while my father was in medical school. So he enlisted under the Berry Plan so he could choose his branch of service. Stationed in New Mexico, my father flew Chrome Dome, or air alert missions. He experienced the Cuban Missile Crisis first hand, waiting on the tarmac next to B-52s, fully loaded, engines roaring. Then came Vietnam. Today, two-thirds of Vietnam’s population was born postwar. Yet, the war has touched everyone we met. “They did what they had to do to protect the nation, but war is crazy,” says Tom Ha Tung, 34, our tour guide in NATHAN SALDINGER, 10 AND ZOE SALDINGER 7, ON AN ELEPHANT RIDE AT Hanoi. Ha Tung’s father lost an arm during the war and his THE IMPERIAL CITY OF HUE, VIETNAM uncle was killed in Khe San in 1968.


Upon leaving Hanoi, we hug Tom good-bye. I’m surprised how hard it is to say good-bye to this man, whose father fought against my father. It doesn’t surprise my dad. “My experience is, a soldier is a soldier is a soldier. There is a tremendous commonality between individual soldiers no matter what uniform you wear.” After Hanoi we head south for Hue, Da Nang and Hoi An. Where I see sprawling cities, he sees the ghosts of past civilian and military casualties.

Nathan had recently read The Land I Lost in his fourth grade class, a book about a Vietnamese boy living during the French-Vietnam War. The book was brought to life for him during a ride on the Perfume River, where we saw water buffalos and sampans, and the Central Annamite mountains rising in the distance. From Hue we drove to Da Nang, which served as a strategic air and seaport during the war. During the war a few bars dotted the beach, and thick vegetation grew everywhere. Needless to say my father barely recognized the city that now looks like Miami Beach. According to Vietnam News Agency, the airport hopes to handle six million foreign arrivals a year by 2025. We arrived at our hotel in Hoi An, about a half-hour from Da Nang, just as the setting sun shimmered over the South China Sea, rendering it periwinkle blue. Fishing boats bobbed in the distance, their lamps looking like fallen stars. The sight of tourists lazing on lounge chairs poolside unnerved my father. Though pleased to see Vietnam moving forward, he is dismayed by the idea that the war may be forgotten. Hoi An proved to be a festival for the eye. Colorful pagodas, narrow houses, and rainbow-colored lantern shops adorn the 16th Century port. The kids loved ambling through the maze-like market, pointing at heaps of maggots, squirming crabs, and wriggling eels. It was definitely not your neighborhood Stop and Shop. From Hoi An we ventured further south to Nha Trang. No Rolling Stone’s ‘Paint it Black” accompanied us as we stood on the beach. In fact, a hotel has replaced the field hospital, Miss Universe signs plaster roadside billboards, and high-rise hotels race for space.

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goeast Even so, we got to glimpse the past. Our tour guide, who also adopted the American name Tom, brought us to the site of the former American airstrip. Tom’s uncle worked in the Nha Trang field hospital during the war and his father worked for the government in Saigon. “He was sent to a reeducation camp after the war – for four years,” Tom, 37, mentions, unwilling to discuss it further. The Vietnamese military now operates the airfield in Nha Trang, so getting on site took some ingenuity. Tom pretended we wanted to eat at the restaurant that occupies one of the buildings. While he chatted up the host, we wandered to the windows. It was my father’s first time back. “I see the constant back and forth of helicopters. I remember sitting in T28s on the runway, under the plastic canopy. It was so hot waiting to take off,” he murmers. In January 1963, during the Battle of Ap Bac, the vastly outnumbered and outgunned Viet Cong routed the South Vietnamese Army. In June, the Buddhist monk Thich Quang Duc, self-immolated in protest of Diem’s antiBuddhist policies. In November, the South Vietnamese Army staged a coup. General Rowland, now deceased, was heavily involved in the CIA, as were many people in MAAG at that time. “I was Roland’s boy and I assumed what I was telling him was being passed on,” my father explains. One day, two Vietnamese officers knocked on the door of my father’s BOQ. “They were very uncomfortable,” he says. “They told us a story, that there was going to be a military coup and that the current government


was going to overthrow Diem and Nhu.” The message was passed. On November 1 the U.S.-backed coup was carried out; the South Vietnamese Army stormed the grounds of the Presidential Palace. Diem and Nhu were assassinated inside an armored personnel carrier. Today the Presidential Palace, since renamed Reunification Palace, gleams. All signs of the fierce fighting have been obliterated. “This is the first time I’ve stepped foot inside here since the coup. It looked like a hurricane



had come through here,” says my father, who had toured the building hours after the incident. He showed us where the South Vietnamese Army pushed through the gate, where his headquarters was in relation to the Palace. Having watched the History Channel and chanced upon a broadcast about the coup, Nathan and Zoe were particularly eager to see the basement level bunker, war room, and map rooms. For my Dad, only ‘Good Morning Vietnam’ accurately portrayed the enormous disorganization and schizophrenia of the conflict. “Part of the insanity was I’d fly out of Saigon during the week and then fly back in on a Friday, change out of my uniform and be on the Rex roof,” he comments during dinner at the Rex Hotel. “There would be Vietnamese women singing songs in English. I’m eating steak and drinking whiskey and over the Saigon River we could see flares go off.” Now, instead of a woman wearing an ao dai, western music pulsates from the loudspeakers. No matter what happened, Vietnam as a country itself was never derided in our home. “They were among the sweetest, nicest people I ever met in my life. So it’s not such a great leap to think of guys on the other side as Vietnamese too. Why would I hate them?” The affection was mutual. For anyone considering a trip here, know that Vietnam is not only American-friendly, it’s incredibly child-friendly. Many Vietnamese asked to snap photos of themselves with Nathan and Zoe — from students at the Temple of Literature in Hanoi to the vendors in Da Lat. At first my husband and I were wary of strangers pinching our children’s cheeks. But when our tour guide explained that people were just so excited to see Western children, particularly American children, we relaxed and began to relish the interaction. There were numerous ways for Nathan and Zoe to connect culturally to Vietnam — from the Buddhist monks in My Tho, in the Mekong Delta who proffered Dragon fruit as a blessing on them, to the artisans at the lacquer-ware factory in Saigon who let each child try his or her hand at the art. In the end, these were the moments that truly connected our children to this land and its people. It’s our last day in Saigon. We’re sitting on the porch, under a ceiling fan in the Hotel Continental, the place where countless writers and journalists stayed during the war. My father hands me a birthday gift. It’s his travelworn copy of Bernard Fall’s Street Without Joy, which he received here in Saigon so many years ago. W Cathryn J. Prince is a freelance journalist and the author of Shot from the Sky: American POWs in Switzerland and Burn the Town and Sack the Banks: Confederates Attack Vermont!

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Range. The city's traditional Spanish-Pueblo Indian architecture is awash in captivating shades of brown and taupe. And a visit to Santa Fe guarantees that you will appreciate the city's deep connection to its Spanish-Native American heritage.




anta Fe, the capital of New Mexico, is undeniably the cultural center of the Southwest. Visitors should plan to stay long enough to enjoy the many museums and rich offerings of this charming, adobe-filled town, where the landscape as well as the architecture is a feast for the eyes. At 7,000 feet above sea level, Santa Fe is surrounded by dramatic scenery: the Sangre de Cristo Range, the Ortiz Mountains, the Sandias, and the Jemez


the travel book 2008

The city boasts many “authentic” inns and hotels, but one Santa Fe resort stands out as a tribute to the area's history and sensibility. As a member of the RockResorts portfolio, La Posada de Santa Fe Resort & Spa offers all the luxurious amenities and exceptional quality of a world-class property, situated in an artfully designed pueblo-revival style resort. Nestled on six acres of beautifully landscaped terrain, La Posada is just two blocks from historic downtown Santa Fe, celebrated Canyon Road art galleries, several renowned museums, and world class shopping. With an eye towards indigenous décor, the resort has just completed a $6 million renovation in partnership with the Museum of New Mexico Foundation. The 157 adobestyle guest rooms range from cozy artist studios with Kiva fireplaces and luxury fittings, to the elegantly appointed 1,200 square foot Peyton Wright Suite. Artwork

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GEORGIA O’KEEFFE MUSEUM on loan from prestigious local galleries is on display throughout the resort. Some of the activities offered at La Posada include Santa Fe history and culture lectures by museum directors, guided tours of the resort's own art collection, wine and cheese tastings with La Posada's sommelier and chef, and local shopping advice by the Santa Fe Shopping Expert. La Posada's hub is the historic 19th century Staab House, once home to the prosperous German merchant, Abraham Staab, and his family. The grand Victorian offers guests a stylish bar, library and lounge, and the Staab House eatery, where jazz can be heard three nights a week. Handsome Victorian period furnishings, wallpapers, and textiles add to the building’s authentic feel. On the house's second story are four genuine Victorian guest suites; daring visitors may want to stay in the infamous Julia Staab suite, said to be inhabited by its former owner's spirit. Unwind after a long day of museum touring and gallery shopping at the resort's newly renovated, 4,500 square foot RockResorts Spa. Blissful treatments include the signature Spirit of Santa Fe: a massage based on the four directions of the Native American medicine wheel, including a blue cornmeal and tobacco scrub, ceremonial sage tea, a cedarwood oil message and sweetgrass tea herbal wrap. Spa treatments are based on the RockResorts philosophy of a balance between nature and humankind, and are dedicated to a spiritual connection with the natural surroundings. It's hard to resist body treatments like the Desert Rain, which starts with an exfoliation using crushed wildflowers, followed by an herbal wrap. Top it off with a warm shower and a slathering of high-desert herbal body lotion, and chase that with the Margarita Manicure and Pedicure, which ends with a silver coin margarita. The Spa also includes a fitness center, eucalyptus steam rooms, and yearround heated swimming pool and Jacuzzi. Fuego is La Posada's AAA, Four Diamond restaurant, where indigenous ingredients are also featured. Newly appointed Executive chef Mary Nearn, most recently from Miraval Resort in Tucson, AZ, offers 25 years of culinary expertise. Her philosophy is to utilize local ingredients in a fresh and simple method; creative and hands-on, Chef Nearn brings a new level of skill and quality to the Staab House, new Viga restaurant, and the already celebrated Fuego restaurant. This winter, the resort entices women to grab their girlfriends and embrace

sisterhood in famed artist Georgia O'Keeffe's Santa Fe with the “Girls Rock” package. January 1, 2009 through March 31, 2009, “Girls Rock” rates start at $888 for two and include: Two nights accommodations; One 50-minute Dancing Wind Massage or Essential Facial per person at the spa; Free passes to the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum; Complimentary coffee table book from the museum, A Sense of Place, and a Georgia O'Keeffe biography; Tapas tasting and champagne at the Staab House. Package is based on double occupancy and a two-night minimum stay is required. Blackout dates and restrictions apply; Parking and resort activity fee included. 866/331-ROCK (7625);

THE BISHOP'S LODGE RANCH RESORT & SPA The history of Bishop's Lodge Ranch Resort & Spa begins in 1540, when a group of Spanish conquistadores set out in search of the Seven Cities of Cibola, said to be made of gold. Instead of riches, Francisco Vasques de Coronado and his fellow conquerors stumbled upon mud and stone villages. De Coronado called these villages “pueblos,” the Spanish word for towns. The inhabitants were descendants of the Anasazi people from the west; one village used irrigation to grow corn, squash, and beans. These Pueblo Indians lived in the Tesuque Valley by a stream whose source was the 12,000 feet high surrounding Sangre de Cristos Mountains. Feeling thwarted, the Spanish did not return to colonize for fifty or so years. Fast forward almost 300 years to 1851, when Jean Baptist Lamy, a Missionary priest from France, came to Santa Fe as New Mexico's first bishop. After many long and dangerous journeys traversing the Santa Fe Trail, he finally established his American Southwest Diocese in Santa Fe. During the next 36 years, Lamy's priority was to improve the welfare of all people in his “Desert Diocese:” Indian, Hispanic, or Anglo-American. He built a cathedral, a hospital and Santa Fe's first orphanage and school. Through these efforts he demonstrated a commitment to bringing fine architecture to the region. Lamy also began to build his own private ranch retreat; he purchased 152.8 acres (for $80) in the Tesuque Valley, including the small tributary with the natural irrigation system. Native American pottery shard can still be found by this stream today. Here Lamy fulfilled his love of horticulture, planting gardens and an apple, pear, peach and apricot orchard with trees imported from his native France. He frequently invited guests to take pleasure in the splendor and serenity of the area, thereby establishing a tradition of hospitality. In 1918, a Denver industrialist named James R. Thorp purchased 450 acres, including the ranch and surrounding area. He named the ranch “Bishop's Lodge” to honor the resort's historic origins. Over the next eighty years, Thorpe and his wife, “Mamacita,” expanded the ranch resort with an eye towards keeping the old New Mexico spirit alive. Today, Bishop's Lodge Ranch Resort & Spa is an excellent choice for

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vacationers seeking rich culture, THE BISHOP’S LODGE family adventure, and an outstanding spa experience. The resort is just three miles from historic Santa Fe Plaza, with its Native American wares and numerous art galleries. Accommodations offer traditional Santa Fe rustic charm with a sophisticated appeal. In addition to the 111 smartly appointed rooms, the resort recently completed the Hills & Villas at Bishop's Lodge, two- and three-bedroom homes nestled into the foothills of the Sangre de Cristos Mountains. The villas offer sweeping views of the San Juan and Jemez Mountains, and also have their own pool and hot tub. For an adventure, saddle-up and take a horseback ride on one of the many trails. The ranch accommodates riders of all abilities in the Western style; each horseback ride begins with an orientation covering cues, horse behavior and basic safe-


ty. For more experienced riders, some foothill trails include trotting and cantering. Early risers can go for the “Breakfast Ride,” which concludes with eggs and bacon, tortillas and cowboy coffee at a picturesque lookout. The “Barbeque Ride” includes a delicious rancher's dinner. Or, after a rugged day in the saddle, enjoy a gourmet dinner at Las Fuentes Restaurant, serving American cuisine with local ingredients. The Champagne Sunday Brunch is legendary in Santa Fe. For the ultimate in pampering, the resort's award-winning SháNah Spa and Wellness Center is a sanctuary of spirituality with a focus on wellness. The SháNah name means “vitality and energy” in Navajo, and the spa will relax and rejuvenate even the most hardened of us Easterners. The Purification Polish body treatment incorporates Native American customs like blending blue corn with mineral salts and aloe vera gel for a refreshing and nourishing body scrub. The treatment is followed by a Vichy Shower and light hydrating massage. For the ultimate in physical and mental well being, the Chakra Balancing Massage balances the seven energy centers of the body through scent, sound and attuned touch. Treatments can be enjoyed in one of the private outdoor verandas or the Native American Teepee. The spa also offers a hot tub and Watsu pool, fitness center and classes, tennis courts and a heated, outdoor pool. Bishop's Lodge is committed to preserving the heritage and spirit of the old West and combining it with a top-notch family resort and spa. The Bishop's Lodge is a great vacation destination. In the midst of having a blast you'll pause, take in the fantastic scenery, the smell of piñon pine, and be touched by its glory. 800/732-2240; W

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Now in its first Broadway revival, South Pacific, winner of seven 2008 Tony awards, has been playing to sold-out houses since the first preview in March 2008. Three time Tony nominee Kelli O’Hara and Tony winner Paulo Szot lead the marvelous cast of 40, directed by Tony winner Bartlett Sher. The Vivian Beaumont Theatre at Lincoln Center, 150 W. 65th St. Tickets available at

IN THE HEIGHTS Experience an exhilarating journey into one of Manhattan's most vibrant communities, where the coffee from the corner bodega is light and sweet, the windows are always open, and the breeze carries the rhythm of IN THE HEIGHTS three generations of music. 2008 Tony Award Winner — Best Musical, Best Original Score, Best Choreography and Best Orchestrations. The Richard Rodgers Theatre, 226 West 46th St. Tickets available




Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre’s production of August: Osage County has audiences riveted and critics raving. This thrilling, new, Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Tracy Letts has earned five

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2008 Tony Awards, including Best Play, and now stars Academy Award-winner Estelle Parsons as the pill-popping mother, Violet. Music Box Theatre, 239 West 45th St. Tickets available through

BOEING-BOEING Winner of Best Play, Revival, and Best Actor award at the 2008 Tony Awards. Boeing-Boeing’s a comedy about an architect living in Paris who has been juggling three flight attendant fiancées, with his housekeeper reluctantly playing romantic air-traffic controller. Longacre Theatre, 220 West 48th St. Tickets available through

very own fully-staged variety show of questionable entertainment. Absinthe alternates performance dates with the world premiere of a daring new theatrical circus, Désir. Inspired by the sexual, intellectual and artistic adventurers of early 20th century Paris. Before Moulin Rouge, before Folies Bergere, there was Désir, the jewel of Paris. Speigelworld is locatABSINTHE ed at New York City’s South Street Seaport, under the Brooklyn Bridge at Pier 17. Tickets, ranging in price from $25 - $69, with dinner/show packages available for $100, can be purchased through or by phoning Ticket Central at 212/279-4200. COMIX

THIRTEEN With an unforgettable rock score from Tony Award-winning composer Jason Robert Brown, Thirteen is a hilarious, high-energy musical for all ages about discovering that cool is where you find it, and sometimes where you least expect it. Bernard Jacobs Theatre, 242 WEsto 4th St. Tickets available through

THE THIRTY-NINE STEPS Alfred Hitchcock's classic spy thriller, The 39 Steps, brilliantly and hilariously recreated as the smash hit, Olivier Award-winning Best New Comedy. This wonderfully inventive and gripping comedy thriller features four fearless actors, playing 139 roles in 100 minutes of fast-paced fun and rousing action. Cort Theatre, 138 West 48th St. Tickets available through

ENTERTAINMENT SPIEGELWORLD 2008 Spiegelworld is back with two Spiegeltents and an all new version of the wildly popular burlesque circus, Absinthe, featuring the filthy-rich host “The Gazillionaire,” in the premiere of his


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COMIX Comix is New York’s hottest new comedy nightclub, featuring headline comedians and established New York area comics, the best of cutting edge alternative comedy, improv and sketch comedy, as well as music and variety programming. Perfectly situated in Manhattan’s booming Meatpacking District. November 20-22: JB Smoove - from HBO's "Curb Your Enthusiasm." 353 West 14th Street (just east of Ninth Avenue). 212/524-2500;


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i’lltakemanhattan rant, The Harrison also features a $40 pre-fixe, Sunday Supper that changes each week, for which Freitag prepares a three-course meal of home style favorites. Open for dinner only. 355 Greenwich Street and Harrison Street. 212/274-9310;



DINING THE HARRISON Tribeca Ahh, the unexpected. The surprise and thrill when you discover a dish so brilliantly prepared that it becomes a treasured food memory. Executive Chef Amanda Frietag comes to The Harrison with a track record at some of New York’s most acclaimed restaurants, including Gusto, Verbena and Cesca. Her culinary philosAGO ophy perfectly meshes with that of owner Jimmy Bradley, of Red Cat fame. Here is New American cooking at its best, simple and seasonal. Farm picked green beans in pesto are so wonderful, you can’t believe it’s possible to swoon over green beans. The duck fat fries bring crispiness to a new level, and hot parmesan fritters are stuffed with Black Forest ham and smoked mozzarella. Sardine lovers will delight in the grilled sardines topped with crunchy garlic crumbs. A fresh black mission fig stuffed with blue cheese and layered with a fine slice of prosciutto is a beautiful starter. Entrees are a nod to both American and Mediterranean traditions. I will forever remember the pork chop with coco beans, escarole and thyme as “the ultimate pork chop.” Other entrée’s include grilled trout with parsley root, horseradish and almonds; local monkfish with favas, peanut potatoes, preserved lemon and ramp broth; and English-cut lamb chop with rosemary, baby carrots, anchovy and fennel. Complementing Freitag’s seasonal fare are the desserts of celebrated pastry chef Colleen Grapes, who offers decadent delights like a s’mores parfait, a lemon tart with fresh blackberries, and a chocolate pretzel tart with malted anglaise and sea salt potato chips. The Harrison features an award-winning, 300-label wine list of both New and Old World selections, enhanced by approximately 30 half-bottles and about 20 wines by the glass. During the spring and summer, the restaurant adds 40 additional seats along the Greenwich Street sidewalk for al fresco dining. In keeping with the idea of the traditional neighborhood restau-


Tribeca It must be terrific to live in Tribeca. You reap the benefits of having a neighbor like Robert DeNiro, who brings what he loves to his Tribeca neighborhood. There’s the Tribeca Film festival, his restaurants — Nobu and Tribeca Grill, and now, Ago, adjacent to his new boutique hotel, The Greenwich. Agostino Sciandri —“Ago”—came to prominence in the ‘80s as co-owner and executive chef of Toscana in Brentwood, CA. Ago has been lauded for popularizing Tuscan cooking, along with attracting a loyal celebrity clientele. In 1997, Sciandri partnered with Hollywood heavyweights Robert DeNiro, Bob and Harvey Weinstein, and Tony and Ridley Scott to open Ago in West Hollywood. Eleven years later, Ago L.A. is still a celebrity hotspot and today there’s Ago Miami, Vegas and now, New York. Located on the corner of Greenwich and North Moore streets, Ago has become a new Tribeca landmark. It’s hard to imagine that this stunning restaurant was formerly a parking lot. Ago has been handsomely designed and crafted by Grayling Design (Balthazar and Pastis.) The restaurant’s bar and dining room evoke an Italian ristorante, with exposed brick walls, hand finished wood paneling, and antique glass mirrors salvaged from New York’s famed Flatiron building. Best known for its authentic, Tuscan-style Italian fare, Ago’s menu features antipasti, soups, pizzas, pastas and risottos, and second course options of fish and meat. Fresh pastas are made in-house, such as the gnocchi di patate con astice e zucchine, (potato gnocchi with lobster, cherry tomatoes & zucchini); garganelli al sugo di salsiccia e bieta (garganelli with sausage ragout and Swiss chard); spaghetti with baby clams and rapini; and the signature ravioli al pomodoro, stuffed with spinach and ricotta and served in a traditional tomato sauce. Main dishes include branzino, Mediterranean sea bass infused with tomato and basil and served over roast potatoes; Sciandri’s signature Fiorentina, a 28 oz. certified Angus T-bone steak, and the costata di manzo, a 20 oz. certified angus rib-eye prepared in Ago’s wood-burning oven. The wine list is impressive, with over 600 selections and 17 wines by the glass. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and Sunday brunch. 377 Greenwich Street (at North Moore Street). 212/925-3797;

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ALLEN & DELANCEY Lower East Side When I think of Delancey Street – once the home of Ratner’s Delicatessen — my Lower East Side recollections are of cherry blintzes, cabbage soup and corset shops. Today, Ratner’s cabbage soup has been replaced with carmelized bone marrow, caviar and shallot puree at Allen & Delancey. Chef

light, you will be groping to find your way through the velvet curtain into the dining area, lit just a couple levels above a blackout. The hostess reassures, “Your eyes get used to it.” In the darkness you can make out what appears to be a beautiful interior of exposed natural and painted brick, dark walnut paneling accented with beveled mirrors, a collection of art work and lots of votive candles. Happily, once you’ve ordered (by the light of a votive) and don’t have to strain to read the menu anymore, your eyes do adjust to the dim lighting. First to arrive: Peekytoe crab ravioli with Sicilian pistachio and avocado, and an appetizer of shavings of hamachi, pink grapefruit beads, pickled fennel and mint. Next, red snapper, with artichokes and a bacon-tomato compote, and a risotto with chanterelles, sweet corn and parmesan. To conclude: a crisp peach strudel with ice cream and warm blackberries, and a divine chocolate peanut butter tart with whole milk sorbet and a whisky vanilla shake. It’s a fabulous meal. Allen & Delancey has just received one Michelins star. 115 Allen St. 212/253-5400;




Neil Ferguson holds an impressive culinary pedigree from the three-star Michelin restaurants L'Arpege in Paris and L’Esperance in Burgundy. His sophisticated, modern American menu at Allen & Delancey has created a buzz, putting Delancey Street on the map once again. This time though, there are no pickles on the table. The contemporary dining experience at Allen & Delancey requires an adventurous palate and a large flashlight. Even if you enter the restaurant in the day-

Nolita/Soho This place is fun, friendly, noisy and not too expensive. With the opening of Delicatessen, Mark Thomas Amadei and Andrew Glassberg, original partners in Chelsea hotspot Cafeteria, collaborate again to bring a neighborhood feel to the crossroads of SoHo and Nolita. Open for breakfast through late night seven days a week, Delicatessen is bustling. Executive Chef Doron Wong adds a creative spin to the deli/diner menu. The breakfast list includes not only omelettes, pancakes, and French toast, but also the Delicatessen Benedict, made with pastrami and spicy spinach hollandaise sauce. Wong’s noontime menu features appetizers, soups and salads, hot and cold sandwiches, entrée salads, and entrées. Selections run the gamut, from a delicious appetizer of Halibut Tacos, to the classic Delicatessen Reuben, to a yellow fin tuna Nicoise salad. The dinner menu starts with a number of playful appetizers, like Reuben Fritters and Cheeseburger Spring Rolls. The fritters are stuffed with corned beef, sauerkraut, and Swiss cheese and served alongside Chef Wong’s housemade Thousand Island dressing, while the spring rolls are filled with ground hamburger, onions, and cheese, and served with housemade red pepper tomato ketchup. Soups, salads, and sandwiches like the Delicatessen matzo ball chicken soup, smoked trout salad, and pastrami on rye recall the food of an authentic delicatessen. Entrée highlights include braised short ribs “Stroganoff;” crispy fried chicken in a bucket accompanied by spicy cole slaw, a jalapeño biscuit, and housemade ranch dressing; and BBQ meatloaf. Desserts are both seasonal, like the peach tart tatin, and uniquely indulgent, like the ovaltine pudding parfait. In addition, Delicatessen offers an extensive cocktail, beer, and wine menu. The restaurant offers seating for approximately 130, two full-service bars, and a 40plus-seat sidewalk café. 54 Prince Street between Lafayette and Mulberry Streets. 212/226-0211.

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i’lltakemanhattan TRUMP INTERNATIONAL HOTEL & TOWER NEW YORK n 1492, those who spent their lives on an endless quest to discover and claim the world's most valuable properties were called “explorers.” In 2008, they're “real estate developers.” Columbus Circle pays tribute to Christopher Columbus with an imposing marble statue of the Italian explorer atop a column surrounded by fountains. How fitting that the 52-story Trump International Hotel & Tower is directly across the street. The hotel address, One Central Park West, is one of Manhattan's jewels. Trump International’s 167 luxury guestrooms and suites are complete with European-style kitchens, marble bathrooms, entertainment centers with stereo/CD player, video player and DVD, fax machines, high speed and wireless internet access, personal computers, feather down comforters, fresh flowers, bathrobes and slippers. Floor-to-ceiling windows offer unsurpassed views of Central Park or the Manhattan skyline. The actual distance between the hotel and the park is much shorter than that of other luxury hotels boasting a park view. From a suite at the Trump International Tower, the lush greenery of Central Park appears to be your personal 843-acre estate. A stay at the Trump International Hotel and Tower is synonymous with exclusivity, luxury, and service. Once you've experienced The Trump Attaché it will be a challenge to resume civilian life. The Trump Attaché is on hand 24/7 to serve guests' needs, before, during and after their stay — from preparation of personalized business cards and stationery, to prearrival grocery and floral requests, to arranging for in-suite chef or personal shopping services. The hotel has a 6,000-square-foot spa and fitness center and indoor pool. You don't even have to leave the hotel to experience one of Manhattan's finest restaurants; the Trump International Hotel and Tower is home to Jean Georges, the premier restaurant of Michelin-starred chef Jean Georges Vongerichten. Under the direction of Vongerichten, Jean



Georges has been designated Five Stars by Mobile Travel Guide, Five Diamonds by AAA, and Three Stars by Michelin Guide. Additionally, it has earned two four-star ratings from The New York Times. Just imagine… even room service at the Trump International Hotel and Tower is from the kitchen of Jean Georges. For casual dining, there's also Nougatine, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. Member, Leading Hotels of the World. 888/448-7867; For The Ultimate In Culinary Luxury, Trump International Hotel & Tower New York Offers The Jean Georges Culinary Master Course Three-Night Experience Includes Private Demonstration With Chef Vongerichten, and Three-Course Champagne Dinner Trump International Hotel & Tower New York now offers a master class with one of the world's most famous chefs, Jean-Georges Vongerichten. Designed for a minimum of two persons and a maximum of four, the Jean Georges Culinary Master Course includes a private, two-hour cooking demonstration by Vongerichten in the kitchen of his namesake restaurant. Guests may choose to learn the magic behind the cuisine of one of his New York establishments: Jean Georges (French), JoJo (Mediterranean), Vong (Japanese), Spice Market (Asian) or Perry Street (New American). The experience includes accommodations in an Executive Park View Suite (minimum three-night consecutive stay with arrival on Thursday; maximum two persons per suite), breakfast for two daily at Nougatine, and a three-course dinner for two at Jean Georges with champagne. Guests receive a signed copy of Vongerichten's new book, Asian Flavors of Jean Georges, featuring beloved recipes from Spice Market, Vong and 66. W Minimum 30 days' notice required to book; reservations based on availability. The Jean Georges Master Culinary Course is priced at $8,999.

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WILLARD INTERCONTINENTAL There is no better time than during an election year to walk in the footsteps of our nation's leaders. Washington, D.C., our capital, is full of sights and monuments dedicated to this country's illustrious history. It's accommodations, like it's history, is second to none. Among the city's magnificent hotels is one which can claim to have hosted every U.S. President since Polk. As early as 1890, the landmark Willard Hotel had been dubbed “The Residence of the Presidents.” That year, The Times remarked “that from this building, every president from Polk (18451849) to Cleveland went forth to be inaugurated…” The Willard InterContinental, located in the heart of downtown one block from the White House, is a first-rate luxury hotel steeped in history, tradition and style and is rivaled by no other hotel in D.C. The history of “The Residence of the Presidents” is lengthy enough to fill a book, but a few notable incidents illuminate this national landmark. On Feb. 23rd, 1861, due to assassination rumors, President-elect Abraham Lincoln was secreted into the Willard at dawn by Allen Pinkerton, then a relatively unknown detective. Lincoln, his family and personal servants lived at the Willard for ten days before his inauguration on March 4. He held staff meetings in the lobby of the hotel, and his first presidential paycheck went to pay his Willard bill of $773.75 (including food!). It was also in 1861 that poet Julia Ward Howe stayed at the Willard. Awakened by soldiers marching under her window singing the popular song “John Brown's Body,” (an anthem for the troops) she felt that the cause deserved more dignified words; she arose and penned the words to the immortal “Battle Hymn of the Republic.” * After a long day in the Oval Office, President Ulysses S. Grant (our 18th President, 1869-1877), was known to enjoy a brandy and a cigar in the main lobby of the hotel. Many would-be power brokers would approach him there on their various causes; Grant called these people “Lobbyists” and coined the phrase. Charles Dickens described the hotel as The “Washington Monument of Hospitality,” and the Rev. Martin Luther King finished his famous “I Have a Dream” speech at the famed Willard.


In the 1950's the hotel was vacant and fell into disrepair. After an attempt by the owner to demolish the building in 1969, preservationists were spurred into action and in 1974 the hotel was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. Today, after sixteen years of planning and three years of extensive restoration and renovation, the Willard InterContinental has been magnificently restored with a commitment to historical elegance and modern amenities. Taking the lead from Theodore Roosevelt, the nation's 26th president and a leader in this country's conservation efforts, the “Willard

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The force behind Jaleo is José Andrés, Washington D.C.'s highly celebrated chef, author, and restaurateur. Often referred to as Spain's unofficial ambassador to the United States, Andrés is also the host of Made in Spain, a 26-episode PBS television series focusing on food and wine throughout Spain. At Jaleo, Andrés offers over 50 mouth watering hot and cold snacks, including selections to accommodate diners who are allergic to dairy, egg, soy, fish, shellfish, tree nuts and gluten. With many awards to its credit and popularity among casual diners, Jaleo is just right for an informal dinner out with friends for a night of merry-making. 480 7th Street NW Washington, D.C. . 202/628-7949; 7271 Woodmont Avenue, Bethesda, MD. 302/913-0003; 2500-A Crystal Drive, Arlington, VA. 703/413-8181.



InterContinental — The Next 100 Years” project is the hotel's commitment to becoming a sustainable landmark hotel. Some of the hotel's impressive achievements include being the first urban luxury hotel to be completely supported by 100% wind renewable energy credits, a 10% reduction in electricity consumption, the use of green cleaning products, the elimination of oilbased paints, recycling wastes, organic composting and 100,000 gallons of water savings. The hotel even offers its guests a Lexus Hybrid SUV for use during their stay in an effort to help reduce emissions. Staying at the “grand dame” of American hotels is an opportunity to tread in the footsteps of many great people who came before us, a thrill every American should treasure. 1401 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 202/628-9100;

D.C. DINING JALEO Jaleo is Spanish for “uproar, revelry, and merry-making,” and the restaurant which carries this name reflects the attitude precisely. The restaurant's interior is lively, with colorful murals and Spanish flamenco music. The menu is a collection of irresistible tapas, small offerings of hot and cold dishes. In Spain, tapas are enjoyed with wine, beer, or sherry, and sharing these delectable dishes with friends is a quintessential part of the Spanish social scene.

Celebrity Chef José Andrés brings another exotic culinary experience to the heart of Washington's Penn Quarter, with his intriguing and highly acclaimed restaurant, Zaytinya, (pronounced Say-tin-yah). Zaytinya means olive oil in Turkish and the restaurant combines the ingredients and flavors of the Mediterranean countries of Greece, Turkey and Lebanon. The innovative menu is made up of mezze — small servings of tantalizing food popular in the Greek Isles and the eastern Mediterranean. Bathed in azure blue and whites, the atmosphere is relaxed yet sophisticated; the interior, intended to create the atmosphere of an outdoor terrace overlooking the Mediterranean on Santorini in Greece does just that. The bar is a hot spot among locals, seating up to fifty with an additional dining area outside. Some may come for the bar, but none leave without trying the food. For starters, there’s an assortment of delicious spreads served with freshly baked, homemade pita. Selections of seafood mezze include herb marinated salmon with roasted garlic yogurt and micro cilantro; butternut squash purée in phyllo over yogurt, topped with arugula honey vinaigrette and sautéed shrimp, dill, shallots, mustard and lemon juice. Meat and poultry mezze such as beef and wheat fritters stuffed with almonds, pine nuts, and currants served with labneh; and marinated chicken with a roasted red pepper and walnut sauce are some of the many not-to-be-missed choices. The wine list includes many Greek wines with their unique combinations of grapes and winemaking traditions. Roberto Alvarez, Andrés' partner, believes the secret to their restaurant successes “…lies in our careful research of ethnic trends…the staying power must be attributed to the entertainment value we deliver to diners, along with delicious, moderately priced cuisine, and service which provides a travel experience through food.” When next in D.C. , take a trip to the Mediterranean and enjoy the taste and feel of the Greek Isles. 701 9th Street NW, Washington, DC. 202/638-0800;

INTERNATIONAL SPY MUSEUM Did you ever dream of being a spy or wonder what it would be like to go undercover on a covert operation? Spy wannabes take note; Washington

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CIT YLIFE D.C. offers visitors the first public museum solely devoted to everything there is to learn about the history and tradecraft of espionage. Wander through a maze of fascinating exhibition spaces and learn the inside story of real spies, from biblical times to the 20th Century. Discover the fascinating advances in espionage technology, the motivation it takes to become a spy, and how spies are recruited. A special exhibit on celebrity spies includes singer Josephine Baker, Chef Julia Child, movie director John Ford, and actress Marlene Dietrich. The presentations on spying, from World War II , the Cold War, Post-war Berlin and the Stasi, to the fall of the Soviet Union, will make you want to make a phone call from your shoe a la Maxwell Smart. The museum's final exhibit addresses the challenges which exist in the 21st Century for intelligence professionals worldwide, and makes visitors realize how important the trade continues to be today. To unleash the spy within, Operation Spy is an hour long, packed, immersive experience where participants take on the role of a U.S. intelligence officer who has received an anonymous tip that a top-secret, nuclear-triggering device has gone missing. The device must be found before it falls into the wrong hands! Unless you work for the CIA, this is as close to the real thing as you'll get. This project was developed over two years, during which the Museum consulted with leading experts including KGB Foreign Counterintelligence, the CIA, and the National Security Council. Participants gain a true understanding of what it's like to live in the world of espionage as they decrypt secret audio conversations, penetrate a high security compound, and polygraph a suspected agent. Don't miss this exciting museum when next visiting our nation's capital. And good luck; This page will self destruct in 10 seconds… 800 F Street, NW, Washington, DC. 202/393-7798; FOUR SEASONS HOTEL


FOUR SEASONS HOTEL/WASHINGTON D.C. Hail to the Chief! There will be a fifth presidential suite at the Four Seasons Washington D.C. in 2009. Designed by David Rockwell and Pierre Yves Rochon, the suite promises to be the most luxurious in the nation's capital. But, you don't have to be a president or stay in a presidential suite at the Four Seasons to be treated like a VIP. The Four Seasons, renowned for its exemplary service, is a magnet for business and leisure guests, dignitaries and celebrities. This foremost five star hotel is set in Georgetown, just twelve blocks from the White House. The hotel offers 211 elegant guest rooms, including 51 suites, which overlook the historic Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, Rock Creek, and the hotel garden courtyard. All rooms feature down duvets and pillows, (non-allergenic pillows and bedding are available), premium toiletries, a fully stocked private bar, high speed Internet access, and a DVD player. Guest services include twice-daily housekeeping, and a 24-hour multilingual concierge. The Four Seasons Washington, D.C. is proud to have implemented a series of green living initiatives: a guest room program entitled “It is Easy Being Green” and “Shades of Green” for its meeting spaces. Because of this, the hotel is the recipient of the 2008 Good Earth Keeping Award by the Hotel Association of Washington D.C. Known for its award-winning cuisine, the hotel's Seasons Restaurant serves modern American cuisine in an inviting atmosphere. The Garden Terrace is a comfortable oasis with plush seating and live piano in the afternoon and evening, the ideal setting for an evening of alfresco dining. ENO, a wine, chocolate and charcuterie bar, will open on the hotel grounds on M Street in 2009. The Four Seasons is equipped with a 24-hour business center and offers over 12,000 square feet of meeting and banquet space. The hotel's premier fitness facilities feature state-of-the-art equipment, while for those who would rather release some steam than generate it, the Private Spa Room is a fully equipped spa with services like hot stone therapy, Cherry Blossom champagne body treatment, scrubs, facials, and an assortment of packages. Families visiting the Four Seasons can enjoy a wide array of children's' amenities including board games, video games, children's menus, coloring books, milk and cookies at evening turndown, and cribs, bottles, warmers, diapers, and high chairs. Babysitting services are also available upon request. Washington, D.C. is a world-class cultural destination with attractions and activities for all ages. The city is home to over 60 museums, over 70 art galleries, a variety of public performance venues, and some of the most historic attractions in the country. Plan your trip and check out DC Insider Tips at 2800 Pennsylvania Avenue N.W., Washington, D.C. 202/342-0444;

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vintage railroad posters evoke "the good life" of a bygone era. It's a casual American saloon offering good food, drink, and value. Clyde's of Georgetown serves lunch, dinner, late-night fare and Sunday brunch. 3236 M Street, NW, Washington, DC. 202/333-9180;


GEORGETOWN DINING CITRONELLE For some, the most memorable moment in Washington D.C. is seeing the White House, or a tour of the Capital. For others, (like myself) it's dinner at Michel Richard's Citronelle in Georgetown. In the past two years, Chef Richard has been honored with numerous James Beard Awards, including Outstanding Chef, and Washingtonian Magazine has named Citronelle the #1 restaurant in Washington, D.C. This celebrated French chef has made an indelible imprint on the Washington restaurant scene with Citronelle and his new restaurant, Central Michel Richard, in downtown, D.C.. I suggest that the U.S. Mint skip the presidents, and put Chef Richard's jolly face on a coin. He is a true national treasure! 3000 M Street, NW in the Latham Hotel, Washington, DC. 202/625-2150;

CLYDEâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S OF GEORGETOWN Clyde's of Georgetown opened in 1963 in Washington's most historic neighborhood. Its long oak bar, plank flooring and popular Back Bar with


1789 RESTAURANT 1789 Restaurant is the quintessential Washington, D.C. dining experience. Chosen by readers of Gourmet magazine as one of America's Top Tables, its inspired creativity is delivered in relaxed country-inn elegance. Decorated with American antiques, period equestrian and historic prints, and Limoges china, its five dining rooms offer comfortable surroundings in a renovated Federal house. 1226 36th Street NW, Washington, D.C. 202/965-1789;

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CIT YLIFE CHICAGO SHERATON CHICAGO HOTEL & TOWERS The Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers is the popular business and convention site located in the heart of downtown Chicago. The hotel offers 1,209 guestrooms and a 120,000 square foot, state-of-the-art meeting venue. Sheraton Chicago is home to the largest hotel ballroom in the

Guestrooms are newly decorated in an inviting, contemporary style featuring the Sheraton's ultra-comfortable Sweet Sleeper. Beds are designed to inspire deep, rejuvenating sleep with crisp cotton sheets and hypoallergenic pillows. Guests have access to the hotel's fully equipped health club, with cardio and weight-training machines, saunas, massage therapies, and an indoor pool. Located in the hotel are Shula's Steak House, the Riverside Café and Java Bar. Situated in the heart of downtown Chicago, the Sheraton Chicago is within walking distance of Navy Pier and Millennium Park. 301 East North Water Street Chicago, IL. 877/242-2558;

STEPPENWOLF THEATRE COMPANY Did you know that the 2008 Best Play on Broadway, “August: Osage County,” is a production of Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre Company? Now in its 33rd season, Steppenwolf Theatre Company is an international performing arts institution located in the Lincoln Park neighborhood, right in the heart of Chicago. Founded in 1976 as an ensemble of nine actors, Steppenwolf has grown into an internationally renowned company of forty-one theatre artists whose talents include acting, directing, playwriting, filmmaking, and textual adaptation. Steppenwolf has redefined the landscape of acting and performance by spawning a generation of America's most gifted artists, like John Malkovich, Gary Sinise, Laurie Metcalf and Joan Allen. 1650 N. Halsted Street Chicago IL. 312/3351650; Steppenwolf on Broadway: Ensemble member Tracy Lett's August: Osage County. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize; Winner, 2008 Tony Awards: Best Play; Best Performance by a Leading Actress and Featured Actress in a Play; Best Direction of a Play; and Best Scenic Design.




Midwest, with 34 breakout rooms for meetings. All rooms are equipped with the latest technological advancements. A convention services team is available to assist with all details.


Shochu is Chicago's new restaurant/lounge featuring Shochu, a distilled beverage similar to vodka but made from ingredients such as rice, sweet potato, barley, and brown sugar. Shochu pluses: it has 1/3 the calories of vodka, doesn't give you a hangover and produces an enzyme called Urokinase, which breaks down blood clots and helps prevent heart attacks and strokes. The restaurant offers an exotic shochu cocktail menu. Try the Bloody Dragon, made with rice shochu, blood orange juice, Malibu, and soda.

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internet access and daily paper. Complimentary shoe shine, overnight laundry service and 24-hour room service are available. Faneuil Hall, the Freedom Trail, the North End, the financial district, the New England Aquarium, and the waterfront are only blocks away. Hop in a car or taxi and you’re at any one of the area’s numerous colPOWERHOUSE RESTAURANT AND BAR leges and universities in minEver imagine you'd be dining at a white tablecloth utes, especially now that “the restaurant in a former power plant? Chicago's North big dig” is done. Western Railway power plant has been transformed into Currently in its 19th celebrata striking space that celebrates Chicago's industrial ed season, the Langham’s past. Powerhouse Restaurant and Bar serves innovaChocolate Bar dessert buffet is tive American cuisine in a truly high powered setting. a Boston attraction not to be Love the Louis Armstrong prints! Try the hot, sweet potamissed. Indulge in dozens of to doughnuts with cinnamon sabayon and apples for a chocolate creations, including powerhouse dessert experience. This historic Beaux-Art chocolate chip cookies made landmark in Chicago's Fulton River District also offers POWERHOUSE RESTAURANT AND BAR before your eyes; chocolate café seating outdoors. 215 N. Clinton St., Chicago, IL. crepes made and flambéed to 312/928-0800; order; “snickers,” s’mores, and Sacher Tortes. Open Saturdays from noon to three. Be sure to make a reservation. A Sunday Jazz brunch and Afternoon Tea are also popular offerings at the hotel’s renowned Café Fleuri restaurant, otherwise serving brasserie-style Mediterranean fare. Fitness programs and Chinese treatments are available at the hotel’s LANGHAM HOTEL Chuan Body + Soul spa, which incorporates techno gym cardio equipment The Langham Hotel in downtown Boston offers AAA, four-diamond luxury accommodations, top rated dining and gracious service, in a beautiful, as well as a heated indoor pool; options for meetings, events and wedhistoric setting. Once the Federal Reserve Bank, this handsome stone dings are myriad and can accommodate from eight to 400 people. 250 landmark houses 318 spacious rooms and suites flush with modern Franklin Street, Boston, MA; 617/423-2844; such as marble baths, lavish décor, plush linens, ipod docs, Member, Leading Hotels of the World. W There’s also an exceptionally creative menu of Asian small plates. Signature maki rolls include lobster with truffle aioli and shrimp with bacon. The Blueberry Teriyaki Quail with quinoa spaetzle, served with miso lychee aioli and black sesame seeds is wonderful. Shochu also serves an Asian-inspired brunch menu with highlights like Lobster Mizuna Benedict accented with truffle hollandaise, a Shitake Goat Cheese and Scallion Omelet and Pear Ginger French Toast. 3313 North Clark Street, Chicago, IL 773/348-3313.


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Barcelona, Spain


alk into the Hotel Claris and you enter an art lover's paradise. Originally the landmark, 19th century Verdruna Palace, the building has been brilliantly transformed into a haven of art and splendor. The modern renovation and fashionable interior are sufficient to satisfy travelers seeking beauty and inspiration; but the icing on the cake is the impressive collection of 400 works of art, from modern to ancient, displayed throughout the hotel. The Hotel Claris has its own Egyptian Museum, exhibiting 30 antiquities ranging between 2,500 and 4,000 years old, as well as 2,000-year-old Roman sculptures, and mosaics dating from the third century. The distinguished guest rooms are adorned with Indian sculptures from the 2nd to 10th century, engravings of Egypt commissioned by Napoleon in 1812, antique furniture, and 19th century Turkish kilims. The hotel has 120 luxurious rooms, including forty which are either duplexes or junior suites. All are air-conditioned and have the usual amenities: fax-modem connection, satellite TV, CD player, safe and mini bar. The sophisticated décor mixes classic and modern furnishings. Hotel Claris offer guests a guided tour of Barcelona either by Segway, Barcelona-style — on motor scooter, or by foot. The hotel is centrally located near Gaudi's monuments, the Picasso Museum, the Gothic Quarter, and Paseo de Gracia. After a day of touring, the roof-top swimming pool, sauna, gym and La Terrazza restaurant afford guests a respite from the bustling city, as well as great views. You don't have to leave the Claris for innovative, delicious local flavors. East 47 offers gourmet dining in a chic setting; the décor is highlighted by a series of Warhol's vibrant, Marilyn Monroe lithographs. For breakfast, El Claris restaurant serves a scrump-


tious buffet, including local cheeses, olives and smoked fish under an inspiring Klimt-like ceiling mural. Melding antiquity with the avant-garde, rich in art and architecture, and offering gastronomy and luxury, the hotel provides an exceptional experience in the heart of Catalonian culture. Member, Small Luxury Hotels of the World: 800/525-4800; Book your reservation through the Small Luxury Hotels of the World website, and enjoy this special package through December 28th: • Two nights in a double bedroom • Welcome bottle of Spanish red wine • Daily breakfast buffet and newspaper • Use of a Mercedes smart car for a half day to enjoy Barcelona at your leisure • Late check-out • Tickets to the Barcelona Egyptian Museum, with the option of a guided tour with an Egyptologist • Guided tour of central Barcelona Rates start at Euro 219 per room, per night; two night minimum required.

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he Black Forest in Southern Germany, bordering Switzerland and France, offers an authentic European countryside experience. It’s as if you’ve stepped into the story of Heidi; glorious green mountains are everywhere, cherries and berries are picked from the yard, families eat together, everyone hikes and bikes. Here one can find a wholesome way of life, where local traditions blend easily with modern existence.

THE GREMMELSPACHER GUEST HOUSE St. Peter, Germany Berta Gremmelspacher has run a Bed and Breakfast in the quaint town of St. Peter since 1978. The Guesthouse is set on a quiet street close to the town center, with a beautiful view of St. Peter Church and the rolling hills of the Black Forest. Children are welcome and can enjoy a swing set and sandbox ST. PETER

wonderful, typical Alsatian restaurants. FURTWANGEN (distance: 30 km) offers Germany´s greatest clock museum. The Black Forest Panorama Road is one of the most beautiful roads of Southern, Upper Black Forest, leading you from Waldkirch via Glottertal, St. Peter and St. Märgen to Hinterzarten. MOUNT FELDBERG, the highest Black Forest mountain (1,500 m); by car 45 minutes from St. Peter. Lots of nice hiking paths; in winter alpine and cross-country skiing. FREIBURG: By car you reach this university town in 30 minutes. Worth seeing: the cathedral and the lovely old town of Freiburg, lots of museums, the concert hall, the theatre of Freiburg and its cinemas. TRIBERG: Highest German water falls; One hour from St. Peter. STEINWASEN ZOO AND FUN PARK: By car it’s a 30 minute ride via Stegen, Kirchzarten and Oberried; animals, chairlift, summer toboggan run, and an adventure suspension bridge.

OBERKIRCH Oberkirch is situated at the foothills of the Black Forest. Wine and fruit have been cultivated here for centuries, and Oberkirch’s vineyards and orchards give the countryside an almost Mediterranean feel. In Oberkirch, the seasons play an important role in annual festivities. Festivals mark the seasons: Palm Sunday, the Feast of Corpus Christi, “Kräuterbüschel” in August, during which herbs and flowers are bound in the form of cartwheels and blessed, wine festivals in autumn, the big wine “walk and taste” event, where you can walk through the vineyards and try different kinds of wine and food specialties, and the Christmas market in Gengenbach (the town of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory).

HOTEL SALMEN Ringelbach, Germany

in the garden. Visitors can purchase organically produced, homemade jams and chutneys, as well as sausages and canned meat specialities. In the charming village of St. Peter, visit the famous monastery, the historic town square and the Friday farmer’s market. Lots of great outdoor activities are available – hiking, biking, snowshoeing, Nordic HOTEL SALMEN walking and sleigh riding.

Excursions from St. Peter EUROPAPARK; (distance: 40 km) This is the greatest leisure park in Germany - fun for kids and adults. BASEL; (distance: 70 km) This Swiss city along the Rhine has a very nice ancient inner city and the “Basler Zoo,” plus great museums. COLMAR; (distance: 60 km) This French city is famous for its extremely picturesque old center, containing early Alsatian buildings;also

Just outside Oberkirch, in the middle of vineyards along the Alsatian wine route, is the Hotel Salmen, a small hotel run by the Meier family for three generations. Today, Jochen Meier and his wife Barbara are the gracious owners. Jochen is a classically trained chef, having worked at the Savoy London and the Lodge at Vail in the U.S. Under his direction, everything at the hotel is prepared fresh daily and in accordance with the seasons. Dining at the Hotel Salmen provides a wonderful opportunity to experience beautifully prepared, traditional German dishes along with fine local wines. The hotel has been extensively renovated, and features 70 rooms with TV, internet and balconies overlooking the vineyards. Guests can choose from traditional rooms with antique furniture, or more modern accommodations in the garden house where there’s an indoor pool, as well as a sauna and solarium. The Hotel Salmen is located in Ringelbach, just 30 minutes away from Baden Baden’s renowned spas and the historic town of Strasbourg, France. W

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'm in love with Fabrizio. His charm leaps off the page of his website, All Around Italy is a tour company based in Rome, offering a variety of services: airport transfers, port transfers, guided tours, and shore excursions for cruise ship passengers. But charm isn't everything. When you're in search of a tour guide for a well-informed tour of Florence, or a private driver to meet you at the airport and drive you to the port of Naples, reliability and punctuality are paramount. Fabrizio must hold the record for the fastest response time to an online inquiry. Best of all, he called within minutes to discuss the arrangements. “Hello! It's Fabrizio!” With such enthusiasm, I thought he was a long lost cousin. Here's how he introduces himself on “Hi, I am Fabrizio, a 30-year-old man with good experience in tourism since 2001. You can't have a better way to explore all the hidden places all over Italy. I can drive through narrow streets to discover typical aspects of local life of every Italian city with my luxurious 8 seats Mercedes Van, where nobody else can go. Your grandpa born in Italy? I can help you to find the small town or village in every valley or mountain where he was born. You need a long transfer from Venice to Florence or Sicily? No problem, I can take you there. You arrive in Italy on a cruise ship and dock in Livorno, Civitavecchia or Naples, I wait you at ship side to drive you any excursion you decide.” All of All Around Italy’s customized private tours are led by knowledgeable, English-speaking guides in the comfort of an air-conditioned minibus, coach, or luxury sedan. All Around Italy delivers the first-class service and unique experience they guarantee their customers. Fabrizio Melaragno, (+39 334-3346-131).


Ready for a Roman Holiday? The Hotel Majestic has been the five star favorite of celebrities, from Pavarotti to Frank Sinatra, for decades. Inaugurated in 1889, the Hotel Majestic Roma was the first hotel built on the Via Veneto. It has a fabulous location, just steps away from the Spanish Steps, Villa Borghese, the Trevi Fountain, and the elegant boutiques on the Via Condotti. The Majestic was Rome's premier hotel in the 1920s, welcoming royalty and high society. In 1960, the hotel became part of Italian cinema history as the setting for Fellini's “La Dolce Vita.” Richly designed with antiques, tapestries and frescoed walls, the hotel’s grandeur is suggestive of another era. Artist Domenico Bruschi of Perugia frescoed the largest hall located on the first floor, named after composer Giuseppe Verdi. Allegorical scenes depict the glory of ancient Rome, and that of the Italian royal family, La Casa Savoia. Completely renovated in 1990, the hotel's 98 guestrooms and suites have been modernized with plasma screen televisions, upgraded mattresses (with eight possible sizes) and WIFI. Hotel Majestic's new fitness center, open 24 hours a day, features advanced equipment by TechnoGym with personal trainers on call. La Ninfa Bar and Brasserie, the Hotel Majestic's terrace restaurant, offers views of St. Peter's and is a magnificent setting in which to enjoy the cucina Italiana of the house. Executive Chef Gaetano Costa serves a menu rich in Mediterranean specialties like green tagliolini with lobster sauce; white eggplant carpaccio; and lamb loin with zucchini in a lemon sauce. Whether it's a relaxing lunch, afternoon tea or dinner at La Ninfa, Chef Costa creates an unforgettable dining experience. Via Vittorio Veneto, W Member of the Leading Small Hotels of the World; www.lhw.

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ngelo Rizzoli, the distinguished publisher and film producer, fell in love with the Italian island of Ischia. Less well known than its sister island of Capri, Ischia is rich in natural beauty, thermal baths, rugged coastlines, and vivid villages. In the 1950's, Rizzoli built L'Albergo della Regina Isabella, a five star luxury resort and spa, on the site of ancient Greco-Roman ruins. Within a few years, the Regina Isabella had become a semi-secret destination of the jet set. Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor stayed at the Regina Isabella while filming "Cleopatra." “The Talented Mr. Ripley,” starring Gwyneth Paltrow and Matt Damon, was shot on location at l'Albergo della Regina Isabella. Ischia is the largest of the Parthenopean islands in the Gulf of Naples, known for its mineral rich muds and natural thermal springs. L'Albergo della Regina Isabella is situated on the sea at Lacco Ameno, in the center of a peaceful bay, surrounded by rocks and Mediterranean pine woods. The resort is renowned for its spa and thermal wellness programs, which incorporate preventative medicine, osteopathy, fitness and exercise, and diet. Guests enjoy the luxury of four swimming pools: one with purified sea water, one hypothermal, one for thalassotherapy, and the Sensual Revival pool for music therapy, color therapy and aroma therapy. There's a fully equipped gym, tennis courts and a shuttle service to transport golf lovers to a round on the course at Castle Volturno.


tival of international films, held in July. There are screenings every night on a huge panoramic screen erected by the sea, on the bay of the Albergo della Regina Isabella.

ISCHIA JAZZ FESTIVAL This annual event is held at the beginning of September, under the artistic direction of the Associazione Umbria Jazz. Live music in beautiful venues as well as under the stars plays nightly, in this celebration of American-born Jazz. L'Albergo della Regina Isabella hosts a number of prestigious festivals. If you're planning a trip to this distinctive resort, consider arranging your holiday around one of these exciting cultural events:

ISCHIA GLOBAL FILM & MUSIC FEST Ischia Global Film & Music Fest is a weeklong fes-

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ISCHIA VINTAGE Ischia Vintage is an annual oenogastronomic event held at the Regina Isabella during the first weekend in November. This is a weekend dedicated to celebrating the varied and wonderful wines of Italy. Piazza Santa Restituta, 1, Lacco Ameno - Ischia (Napoli).; A member of Preferred Hotels and Resorts; W

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Santo Bruno

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IN 2009 and 2010, the four largest cities in Holland will participate in a large-scale art


and cultural event called “Holland Art Cities.” As part of this event, the top ten museums in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht will join forces to create an unprecedented art spectacle. The program, which consists of at least 20 exhibitions over the course of the two years, is an absolute must for all art lovers.

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TEN MUSEUMS In Amsterdam, participating museums include the Van Gogh Museum, Hermitage Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum and Stedelijk Museum of Modern Art. In The Hague, the Municipal Museum of The Hague and the Mauritshuis Royal Picture Gallery; in Utrecht, the Museum Catharijneconvent and Centraal Museum; and in Rotterdam, the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen and the Kunsthal. THREE MUSEUM OPENINGS During Holland Art Cities, three Amsterdam museums will open or reopen their doors to the public. Hermitage Amsterdam, with exhibitions from the extensive art collection of the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, is scheduled to open its doors in the spring of 2009. This new location is ten times larger than the current Hermitage Amsterdam. The Stedelijk Museum, offering by far the best collection of modern art in Amsterdam, will exhibit a unique selection of art not shown since renovations started in 2003. Finally, the re-opening of the Rijksmuseum is scheduled for the end of 2010. An ambitious renovation project prepares the museum for the 21st century. Visitors


from around the world will once again be able to admire the largest museum of art and history in Holland, best known for its collection of 17th-century Dutch masters. THREE THEMES The works of art on display in the various museums during Holland Art Cities are categorized into the following three themes: International Influences, Young Artists; Contemporary Art and Design; and Dutch Masters. The cities of Amsterdam, The Hague, Rotterdam and Utrecht will develop an extensive cultural and tourism-oriented program around these themes. The first theme to be launched by Holland Art Cities in 2009 is “International Influences.” The international orientation of the Dutch can clearly be seen in the country's art, culture and science, and served as the source of inspiration for the large number of exhibitions put together by the various museums. For the latest information, please visit: W Brigitta Kroon-Fiorita is originally from the Netherlands. She was born in the city of Rotterdam. Brigitta and her family now live in Wilton, CT.

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voyageforacause Project Rwanda


past summer I spent three and a half weeks living and working in Rwanda, along with five students from Cal Berkeley (I attend Colby College). We had come to Rwanda to volunteer for an NGO, Project Rwanda. Project Rwanda was founded in 2005 and works to develop the Rwandan Economy using the bicycle as a tool. This


the hills, sometimes for two or three days, to bring it to a washing station. Having a coffee bike not only cuts down on transit time, (allowing the farmer more time to cultivate other crops) it makes life much easier. The purpose of my trip was to help Project Rwanda by performing tune-ups on nearly 500 bicycles that were sitting in a warehouse awaiting distribution. Our time in Rwanda was very exciting, and we took full advantage of every day. Besides fixing bikes, we were able to see most of the country. We went on a short safari one day, and visited a coffee co-op, (washing station) where we learned how coffee gets from tree to cup, and also got to see one of our bikes in action. I was amazed at how kind and nice every single Rwandan I met was. Everyone wanted to know who we were, what we were doing, and what we thought of the country. In the end, I am very grateful that I was afforded the opportunity to engage in such a trip. It is hard to quantify what exactly I gained from my trip. I was inspired knowing that people who have endured so much evil are actively working towards a brighter tomorrow. W For more information about Project Rwanda, please visit Feel free to contact me at: for more information.

is done on a number of levels. One project undertaken is the promotion of a bicycle race, called the Wooden Bike Classic, which aims to develop tourism in Rwanda. A second project, the one with which my group was involved, is the design and development of a special coffee bike. These bikes have extended wheelbases, special racks, and thicker tubing, that allow farmers to carry hundreds of pounds of coffee beans on the bikes. Coffee must be processed at a washing station, where the coffee cherry is soaked, husked to get the actual coffee bean, dried, inspected, and then sent to market. Rwandan coffee is being developed as a premium coffee, and recently a number of commercial coffee roasters have shown interest in bringing Rwandan coffee to a café near you. The coffee bike allows coffee farmers to more easily and more quickly bring their product to the coffee washing stations. Rwanda is a very mountainous country. It is called the “land of a thousand hills,” although I saw only small mountains! Roughly the size of Vermont, Rwanda is home to more than ten million people, and is the most densely populated country in Africa. Nearly the entire population engages in sustenance farming, and nearly every inch of the country is terraced and cultivated. A coffee farmer might live many miles from a washing station, meaning he/she must carry hundreds of pounds of coffee through

Josh Jamner is a WHS Graduate of 2008.


the travel book 2008


Sessions available locally and for gatherings worldwide Portfolio online at Call for an introductory appointment - 203.221.1818 Or email -



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he kids are getting bigger. Soon they'll be making their own plans without consulting you; they'll be growing up and heading off. Before that day arrives, make sure your family vacations create memories that last. Sure there are a lot of fun spots to choose from: the Cape, Disney, our nation’s capital, but what if you want to do something stupendous that will give birth to those cherished memories? Go to Alaska! Alaska is a land of superlatives — the biggest this, the highest that; whether it's mountains or rivers, national parks or glaciers, Alaska is the “exclamation point” destination. Princess Cruises Alaskan Cruisetour offers up Alaska like no other, and you'll experience nature at its most powerful. This may change the family's idea of adventure forever. The first step in booking your Cruisetour with Princess Cruises is deciding whether your want to go up or down. What's that mean? The Princess Alaskan Cruisetour either begins far north in Fairbanks, with a four day southern railcar tour CORAL PRINCESS southward to Anchorage/Whittier and then a sevenday cruise farther south through the Inner Passage ending in Vancouver, or alternatively, a cruise from Vancouver or Seattle northward, ending the trip with a train excursion northward. My money's on heading south. Part of any great vacation is the ability to relax, and the itinerary that cruises south allows for plenty of that. After landing in Fairbanks and a restful night at the Fairbanks Princess Riverside Lodge, you'll travel aboard the Princess Tour's “Ultra Dome,” a glass-roofed luxury passenger railcar, on your way to the Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge. The ride will enthrall you, with ideal windows for viewing the natural beauty of Alaska. Rediscover the luxury of travel by rail. Each railcar is equipped with a state-of-the-art kitchen, which serves delicious smoked salmon burritos, French toast with freshly tapped maple syrup, or, for the very adventurous, a fresh baked butter croissant with Alaskan Reindeer sausage. You'll alight from your railcar at the Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge, the gateway to the magnificent Denali National Park. Your baggage? Forget about your baggage. Princess Cruises has baggage logistics down to a science, with their “hassle-free” luggage handling service already having pre-marked your bags with either “travel with me” or “join me on board” tags. Luggage is either carefully


transported from one location to the next, or is there at your cruise ship cabin when you board, so you can simply sit back and enjoy. Of course, upon arriving at the Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge you could unpack your swimsuit and head to one of the outdoor hot tubs and take in the view, but that's not the reason you chose to come to Alaska, is it? It's time to get wild! You have already reviewed the myriad excursion choices and you've pondered whether the family will take the ATV Adventure, the Wilderness Mountain Bike Trail, the Catch and Release Fly Fishing or the Glacier Landing and Flightseeing, but you decide on White Water Rafting and an hour later you're holding on for dear life while you careen through rapids aptly named “cable car,” “coffee grinder,” and “ice worm.” Then it's evening, but the sun is still high in the sky as you make your way back to the Denali Princess Lodge with the appetite of a grizzly bear. No worries. Choose from a variety of casual eateries like Lynx Creek Pizza and Pub, Rapids Restaurant, or the elegant King Salmon Restaurant, which serve the freshest steak and fish imaginable with enough sides to satisfy a prospector. After two days at the Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge, you'll contin-

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ue the journey with a short ride to the next stop on your adventure, the Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge. Like the Denali Lodge, the magnificent Mt. McKinley retreat has many recreational activities coupled with exceptional amenities. Keep your eyes open for views of Mt. McKinley, the nation's highest peak. The weather changes often at that altitude, and the Great One, at 20,320 feet, is worth the wait. In fact, the front desk will add you to an alert list to call if the mountain is “out.” In the main lodge of the McKinley Princess, the Great Room is an inviting lounge with an impressive stone fireplace, cozy sitting areas and game tables. The Mountain View dining room has spectacular views and a welcoming atmosphere, rivaled only by the delicious Alaskan cuisine and exceptional service. The Grizzly Bar offers an extensive wine list and the Bruin Expresso Bar provides an extra boost of energy. As for excursions, don't miss the Flightseeing over Mt. McKinley, where your private aircraft climbs to 20,000 feet for dramatic views of McKinley and the Alaskan range while you experience a thrill only a lucky few mountaineers have enjoyed. The sled-dog kennel tour is a winning choice for animal lovers, or try your luck at sport fishing and reel in a big Alaskan salmon. After one more exquisite train ride,

which follows the contours of the breathtaking Cook Inlet, board one of the several Princess cruise ships to begin your family adventure cruising the Inside Passage. Many of Alaska's greatest sights — stunning scenery, massive glaciers calving with thunderous roars, quaint towns not far removed from their Gold Rush days — are only accessible by sea. Your

children will hug the guardrail while your ship meanders the length of Glacier Bay National Park, home to some of the most majestic scenery and wildlife on earth. With binoculars at the ready you'll scan the coast and cove for bear, elk, orca and eagle. This breathtaking, seven-day journey makes excursion rich ports-of-call at three coastal towns which have all maintained their frontier feel: Skagway, the gateway to the Yukon; Juneau, Alaska's capital city accessible only by sea or air; and Ketchikan, the salmon capital of the world. Each landing hosts adventure activities aplenty. For sheer “throw your head back and holler” exhilaration, don't miss Juneau's Rainforest Canopy Zipline Adventure, where you'll careen from massive hemlock to giant spruce along a series of cables hundreds of feet in the air through the Tonga National Forest. Thrill seekers should also definitely book Skagway's Klondike Rock Climbing and Rappelling, where Alaska Mountain Guides and Climbing School will have you scampering up granite faces and stepping off cliffs while your heart pounds and your mouth goes dry. Every year, more cruise passengers to Alaska choose Princess's Inner Passage voyage than any other cruise line. Why? It could be the beautifully appointed and comfortable balcony staterooms, it could be the delicious specialty restaurants serving family style Italian fare or lipsmackin' Cajun delights. It could be Princess's Kids Programs — Princess Pelicans (ages 3-7) and “Shockwaves” (ages 8-12), which provide fun-filled programs and activities that keep the kids entertained and engaged from sun up to sunset. Or that Princess Cruises knows that adults want to have fun too; while the kids are enjoying dodgeball, pingpong tournaments, magic workshops, and guitar hero competitions, you can take in a comedy show, a musical cabaret, or pamper yourself in the fully appointed Lotus Spa. We all know that we are way too busy, the kids grow way too soon, life moves way too fast. If I can give just one piece of advice, now and then: break free. And you can bet that a Princess Alaskan cruise will be the perfect opportunity to bask in the glow of that freedom. 800/PRINCESS; W

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he challenges of family travel â&#x20AC;&#x201D; the expense of multi- Mango's own Jamaican rum BBQ sauce. The Dining Room, with a ple hotel rooms; will the rooms be adjacent? On the panoramic view of the Caribbean and serving a French and Asian influsame floor? Extra charge for a rollaway bed? Every meal enced menu, is open-air. Neve offers an elaborate breakfast buffet and with your kids at a hotel restaurant... How much to pack wonderful Italian fare in the evening. Looking to unwind in the afternoon? Choose from the resort's three when you can't do laundry; where's grandma going to sleep? It's enough to make you want to stay home! Sometimes, the best pools: the Garden Pool, a free-form infinity pool for those seeking quiet family vacation is one that offers you the comforts of home combined relaxation; the Reflection Pool, perfect for adults and featuring a lap lane with the facilities of a first class resort. Over 40 private villas and estate with a view of the sparkling blue waters of the Caribbean; and the Ocean homes are available for vacation rental at the Four Seasons Nevis. Pool, suitable for families and children, with infinity edges and a swimWould you like a private chef? Your fridge pre-stocked for your arrival? ming lane of 25 meters. Guests of Four Seasons Resort Nevis can check into their own ultraThere's a personal concierge to service your every need. Two to six bedroom villas and estate houses include daily housekeeping and are fully exclusive beach cabana during the day. Just steps from the water's equipped with a kitchen, washer and dryer, multiple televisions, DVD and edge, these 200-square-foot cabanas are set amidst lush foliage along CD players. The villas are a short golf cart ride from the pools, beach, a secluded stretch of sand near the resort's centrally located Garden restaurants and facilities of the resort, and a six-passenger golf cart is Pool. Ideal for cozy couples or families with gear, the cabanas are available for daily rental and feature an array of refreshing amenities. provided with each rental for easy access to the resort. Homes range from duplex-style residences with wraparound verandas and FOUR SEASONS RESIDENCES lush gardens, to elegant villas perched on the slopes of Mount Nevis. Stunning views of the Caribbean Sea surround all. Each home has a view of the resort's Robert Trent Jones II golf course, and most have private plunge or infinity pools. The Four Seasons also offers 196 spacious rooms and suites in two-story buildings just steps from the beach, surrounded on three sides by the golf course, and canopied by majestic palm trees. Golf at the Robert Trent Jones II course affords views of the resort, the Caribbean, and St. Kitts. Ten tennis courts are available for day or night play, and professional instruction. The Sports Pavilion boasts a fitness room with advanced workout equipment, along with personal trainers and aerobics classes. Serenity seekers will love the Spa, with services and treatments designed Morning welcome is freshly baked banana bread and a tropical fruit plate with yogurt and wild honey, a choice of newspapers, board games, to reflect the natural rhythms, beauty, and energy of the island. For dining, choose from one of the resort's four restaurants. At Mango, books and magazines. A Cabana Concierge is at your service throughout specialties include grilled local lobster tail, and baby back ribs basted in the day. Each cabana has an indoor living room with couch; dining table


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nook and open-air sun deck with chaise lounges; and a basket of complimentary sun care products. The minibar affords chilled beverages, scented towels and aloeinfused Cooling Mist. The cabanas also come with a complete entertainment center, including plasma screen TV, DVD player and iHome station. Kids are in vacation paradise at the Kids For All Seasons Centre. The resort partners with one of the world's oldest sea turtle survival leagues to provide an eco-tourism program for youths that focuses on Nevis' endangered sea turtles. A variety of indoor and outdoor activities include turtle tales under the tree, turtle watch beach walks, arts and crafts, postcard drawing contests, interactive games, puzzles and videos. During the turtle nesting season on Nevis, which runs from June through October, children participating in the Kids for All Seasons turtle education program have a sea turtle adoption option, which allows them to track the migratory patterns of their Nevisian turtle via on-line maps after they return home. 800/819-5053; W

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You’ve seen us around. Call the painter with the hound.

Steve Zeisler’s Painting & Powerwashing Reasonably priced You can get cheaper, but you can’t get any better value! Reliable & personable staff Our professionals get the job done quickly and properly. Full time touch-up crew To honor my personal “No Regrets” 3 year guarantee “The Best in Fairfield County”. Many references We’ve had the honor of painting thousands of the nicest homes in the area.

When you call Steve Zeisler’s Painting, you’re calling the most reliable painting service in Fairfield County 254-2751 or 852-9797 You’ve seen the signs...Now find out why!

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godoggo! RUFFING IT IN VANCOUVER THE FAIRMONT WATERFRONT AND THE FAIRMONT HOTEL VANCOUVER a walk — a puppy pack complete with water, treats and a plastic bag are provided. The concierge can suggest routes to dog parks and dog friendly shops. Some guests make the four-block walk to the sister Fairmont property where their lab-on-loan can shake-a-paw with his or her K9 counterpart.




uests arrive at the Fairmont Waterfront to the typical sights of a Fairmont entrance — a regal doorman dressed smartly in uniform complete with a welcoming smile, a grand doorway detailed in perfectly polished brass, and neatly manicured landscaping all around. Sitting amongst the pillars and plantings, in perfect juxtaposition, is a doghouse. This is the residence of Holly, the Yellow Labrador-Golden Retriever who has followed in her sister's (Mavis, of the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver) paw prints; assisting her brigade of human colleagues committed to creating the perfect guest experience. Vancouver has gone to the dogs, offering a unique K9 Ambassador program. Visitors to the Fairmont Waterfront and the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver hotels are likely to meet


Holly, Mavis or Beau — the traipsing trio of Labrador Retrievers. The three are British Columbia Guide Dog trainees better suited to the social life of a hotel ambassador. As members of the Fairmont family, the K9 Ambassadors' primary duties include greeting guests in the hotel lobbies and acting as man or woman's best friend, accompanying hotel guests on strolls throughout the city. Thanks to standing grooming appointments and smart uniforms complete with nametag, the pooches are a welcome sight at the Fairmont. Guests of the hotel who want to walk a dog during their stay can simply phone the hotel operator to book a convenient time. The services are complimentary; the only price one might have to pay is a stoop and scoop during

the travel book 2008

Prefer to BYOP? The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver and the Fairmont Waterfront welcome Fido with open paws. Beds, dishes and the essential amenities are available to ensure your pup will feel utterly pampered. A nightly fee (currently CDN $30 at the Fairmont Waterfront and CDN $25 at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver) is in place at each property to cover the special cleaning required upon Fido's departure. Guests visiting from outside of Canada are advised to check regulations before travel, leaving ample time to obtain the required documentation. (The National Animal Health Program sets the import requirements for bringing pets into Canada.)

DOG DAYS OF RETIREMENT Morgan is the lovable lab who started it all… The handsome and playful Black Labrador joined the Fairmont Waterfront in January of 2002, after proving too playful to successfully complete his training with the British Columbia Guide Dog Services. His energy served him well in his five-and-a-half years of hotel service, meeting and greeting guests and touring visitors around town. During his years at the hotel, Morgan did a particularly good job of networking with the local delicatessen shop owners and the hotel kitchen



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staff. Morgan is now enjoying his dog days of retirement in the home he shares with â&#x20AC;&#x153;mom,â&#x20AC;? Sales Manager Heike Tiemann.



PARTY ANIMALS Since these former seeing-eye-dog trainees shifted their focus, they have specialized in how to see and be seen. Mavis and Beau enjoy front row seats as they watch Celine Dion rehearse for a private concert held at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver. While K9 birthday bashes have become a tradition, Morgan pawsed to reflect on his career at his retirement soiree in April of 2007. There was no gold watch for Morgan though; instead he devoured a special cake sent over by the local dog bakery. The Fairmont Waterfront in Vancouver, British Columbia opened its doors in 1991 and has

emerged as one of the leading area hotels. The 23-story hotel is located in Burrard Inlet, directly across the street from the Vancouver Convention and Exhibition Centre. Guests can choose to reserve a guestroom, suite, specialty room, or a room on the Fairmont Gold level. All 489 rooms are elegant and comfortable, with stunning views

the travel book 2008

of either the harbor, the majestic mountains, or the Vancouver skyline. W 900 Canada Place Way Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Fairmont Reservations: 866/540-4509;




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Premier International Real Estate Franchise Engel & Völkers is internationally recognized as the premier real estate company for buying and selling luxury residential and commercial properties. Operating in more than 25 countries on 5 continents a new Engel & Völkers shop opens every 50 hours! Our European style shops highlight our distinctly elegant brand and demonstrate our commitment to excellence. Franchisees in our global network receive training, support and world class technology far superior to anything being used in the U.S. today. At Engel & Völkers we are currently interviewing candidates who share our vision and passion to join our global network. Prime locations are still available in Florida, New York and New England. To learn more about joining our international team please contact us at: New York Headquarters Phone +1-212-452-7882 ·



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TRANQUILITY By Howard Jacobs


The hotel’s restaurant, Sciué Sciué, overlooks the sea and the heated seawater swimming pool, and serves lunch and dinner. Feasting on baby clams, garlic and pasta in Italy overlooking the sea — what could be more wonderful? Upon request, a special diet menu is available which offers fine dining under the guidance of a nutritionist. In the evening, the Chandelier restaurant offers romantic, candle-lit dining on the cliff-top terrace overlooking the bay. The therapeutic properties of Ischia’s muds and mineral-rich waters serve to soothe the tired body. The Spa Center at the resort features three therapeutic indoor pools, a thermal water track, Thalassotherapy pool, Kneipp pool, and Turkish baths and saunas. There are private wooden outdoor gazebos for a massage overlooking the water. Guests can take advantage of an impressive list of body, leg, and face treatments, as well as Mezzatorre’s medically supervised therapeutic programs, such as: Hydrokinesitherapy; Kinesitherapy; Osteopatic treatment; Posturologic treatment; Craniosacral treatment; Lasertherapy; Ionophoresis/Diadynamics; Ultrasonic/Electrostimulation; Anti-Cellulitis Program; Inhalation Program; Intensive Slimming/Detoxifying Program; Anti-Aging Program (7 days); Anti-Cholesterol and Cardio-vascular program (7 days). Named one of the “Leading Spas” by the Leading Hotels of the World;;

I’ve always considered an outstanding spaghetti alle vongole to be as vital to one’s well being as a rejuvenating spa treatment. How blissful when both can be experienced at one five-star resort. The Mezzatorre Resort and Spa is located on the northwestern side of the island of Ischia. What a view! From the hotel, guests can enjoy the beautiful panorama from the Epomeo mount up to the Vesuvio volcano. Mezzatorre is uniquely located amidst acres of pinewoods in a serene park setting, ideal for a secluded spa getaway. The main building of the Mezzatorre Resort and Spa is a 16th century lookout tower that was used to defend against invaders. The tower was faithfully restored and includes all modern amenities, satellite TV and WIFI internet service. Mezzatorre Resort and Spa offers 60 air-conditioned rooms, 24 of which are in the tower. The resort has direct access to two beautiful private bays, within easy walking distance for a swim in the sea.


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CAPRI PALACE HOTEL AND SPA ANACAPRI, ITALY Give your body a present. Plan a trip to the Capri Beauty Farm at the Capri Palace Hotel and Spa, voted the Best Medical/Thermal Spa in the World, and one of the Top 25 Spas in the World, by the 2008 Condé Nast Travel (UK) Readers’ Spa Awards. It would be hard to imagine a more spectacular setting for rejuvenation of the body and soul. The Capri Palace is located in Anacapri, the quiet side of the island of Capri. This five-star resort offers magnificent views over the Bay of Naples and the island of Ischia. Dining at the Capri Palace is beyond compare, as L'Olivo is the only restaurant on Capri which boasts a Michelin star. The Capri Beauty Farm offers every imaginable aesthetic and well being treatment. The staff is exceptionally warm and welcoming. All the technicians speak English, which is important since your relaxation can be compromised if you’re unable to communicate. Professor Francesco Canonaco, M.D. is the medical and scientific director of the Capri Beauty Farm. Over the last twenty years, the Capri

Beauty Farm’s medical team has collaborated with several medical schools in pursuit of new wellness treatments. In fact, the treatments at the Capri Beauty Farm’s Leg School and the metabolic response are so

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SPAS legs, improving both venous and lymphatic tone. Manual lymphatic drainage is a very gentle massage over the entire body that promotes the flow of the lymphatic system, stimulating diuresis and helping to eradicate toxins. Pressing therapy is used for cellulite, water retention and heavy legs. It also helps to restore venous and lymphatic circulatory function. The Capri Beauty Farm medical team, in conjunction with the Cardiology Department of the Naples Policlinico II hospital, has developed a cardiac analysis program for The Heart School at the Capri Beauty Farm. After a thorough cardiac evaluation and medical check-up, the following tests are performed: Echocardiogram; Electrocardiogram; 24-hour Holter blood pressure monitoring; and Cardiovascular imaging. All exams performed at the Capri Beauty Farm by specialized cardiologists are subsequently evaluated and certified by the Naples Policlinico II hospital’s cardiology department. Also included in the line up are treatments such as a personalized diet; thalassotherapeutic body scrub; slimming or detoxicating seaweed mud therapy and a cardio fitness program with a personal trainer. Since excessive body fat is one of the main causes of cardiovascular and circulatory diseases, the goal of the program is sensible weight loss and the formulation of a personalized diet. As we age, we may grow accustomed to living with aches, pains and daily medications to ease the discomfort. But if you’re planning a trip, why not choose the Capri Palace Hotel and Spa? The treatments at the Capri Beauty Farm can make


unique they’ve been patented. The Leg School program is a series of treatments aimed at the prevention and cure of vascular diseases involving the lower extremities. Medicated mud rich in active minerals are used to tone, soothe and decongest the limbs. Water exercises are performed in a Thalassotherapeutic pool to increase mobility. Medicated bandages are used to reduce water retention. The vasoactive substances tone the venous walls, helping the body to get rid of adipose deposits. Kneipp Vascular Treatment involves immersion in varying temperatures of medicated water enriched with vegetable, mineral and marine extracts. These elements restore vitality and lightness to the


a genuine difference in your wellbeing.; Member of the Leading Small Hotels of the World and Leading Spas of the World; W

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best of The best 9 Laurel Lake West, Weston


Completed new construction built by Mike Ritzzo, premier builder of luxury homes. Captivating views of Laurel Lake await you from this light and bright beautifully built home with Energy Star Saving Systems! 7,500 square feetâ&#x20AC;&#x201C; in the heart of a neighborhood known for fine estates, this home is truly in a class by itself. Vaulted foyer, large kitchen with breakfast room with walls of glass overlooking the lake. Library/study, formal dining room & living room, both with fireplaces. Large family room with fireplace opening to deck overlooking private acreage. Second floor large master suite with fireplace & spa bath. Additional 4 bedrooms each with a private bath, laundry room, and a 2nd family room or media room. Finished walk out lower level with exercise room (gym) spa bath, recreation room, and wine cellar. Enjoy swimming, fishing or canoeing from your private lakefront home. Additional 1,000 square feet of unfinished space on the 3rd floor.

If you want your property sold, call me. I get results! Cell 203.246.1168 Toll Free 866.485.6330 Please be sure to visit: www. Jea nette@CT-Realestate. c om



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second home


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Peak at Stowe is a $400 million development well underway at Stowe Mountain Resort in Vermont. The intimate alpine community nestled at the base of Mount Mansfield and Spruce Peak features Stowe Mountain Lodge, with its Front Four private residence club and whole-ownership luxury condos; ski-in/skiout mountain cabins; and enviable homesites for purchase. The four-season alpine resort community includes a Bob Cupp-designed golf course, a world-class spa, Cooper wellness center and the finest skiing in the east. Spruce Peak at Stowe is the first ever mountain resort in the United States to receive Audubon International's “Green Community Award.”

FRONT FOUR FRACTIONAL RESIDENCIES The Front Four Residences at Stowe Mountain Lodge are fractional ownership offerings in the Spruce Peak at Stowe community. The fully furnished Front Four are situated on the penthouse levels of the Lodge, which opened in June of 2008. The Front Four offers 34 shared ownership residences in two-, three- and four-bedroom configurations, ranging from approximately 2,000 to 3,000 square feet. The private residence club strictly limits ownership to no more than eight per residence. While ownership is deeded in specific residences, owners have equal access to all residences of their ownership type and are given flexible access throughout the year, with a guaranteed two weeks of winter usage and two weeks of summer usage. An unlimited number of year-round visits, dependent upon availability, are also given.

OWNERSHIP PRIVILEGES Front Four residents are treated to the world-class amenities and services of Stowe Mountain Lodge, including a private check-in and elevator, valet services, 24-hour room service, twice-daily housekeeping, priority reservations, child care services and a personal Alpine Concierge. The Alpine Concierge is a unique guest service program provided by Stowe Mountain Lodge designed to


the travel book 2008

offer each Front Four resident an unsurpassed level of customized service and personalized attention during their stay. Owners are also entitled to platinum membership privileges while in residence in the allseason private Stowe Mountain Club, which includes complimentary lift tickets, exclusive tee times, access to the spa and fitness center and priority dining reservations at the Cliff House restaurant atop Mt. Mansfield. Since the Front Four Residences at Stowe Mountain

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Platinum members also receive two season ski passes and children's ski discounts, as well as preferred Alpine Clubhouse privileges. As a nonequity club, all membership fees are refundable upon termination of membership or after thirty years.


Lodge are shared deeded real estate, residences can build equity, be sold, willed or placed in trust by the owner. Starting prices are $359,000 and up.

MOUNTAIN CABINS AND HOMESITES 38 four and five bedroom Mountain Cabins with Slopeside and Viewside residences are located on the east side of the development. At 3,000 square feet each, these accommodations make ideal legacy homes to draw family and friends together. With sunny southern exposure and dramatic views of Mt. Mansfield, each Mountain Cabin offers spacious decks and patios to bring the outdoors in. Sturdy timbers, wood floors, and warm granite stone give these homes an authentic character to match their timeless setting. The three-level Mountain Cabins have spacious living areas, full kitchens, master bed and bath and additional bedrooms. A total of twenty Homesites were also created at the base of Spruce Peak, occupying approximately 1/3 of an acre each. Residents can employ their own builders and architects to create their dream mountain home upon gaining approval from the community's design review board.

Additional amenities at Spruce Peak will include a pedestrian plaza of specialty shops and restaurants, a village green, ice skating rink and community pool. A 400-seat performing arts center will be built on the south side of the pedestrian plaza. This cultural center will showcase music, art exhibits, theater workshops and serve as a public meeting space for the community. Sensibility toward the environment and accountability for its protection are Vermont traditions that have been seamlessly integrated into Spruce Peak at Stowe's master plan. Of the over 2,000 acres of pristine land at Spruce Peak, only 35 acres will ever be used for development, demonstrating a genuine commitment to environmental stewardship while creating year-round recreational opportunities for residents and visitors to Stowe.

ABOUT STOWE MOUNTAIN LODGE Spruce Peak's luxury lodge has established a new alpine aesthetic for Stowe â&#x20AC;&#x201D; one that celebrates rustic Vermont-Alpine architecture, the artisan traditions of New England and the tranquility of the area. The lodge

STOWE MOUNTAIN CLUB Stowe Mountain Club is a four-season private club with incomparable social and recreational amenities. Limited membership is available to Spruce Peak at Stowe residents, while Stowe Mountain Lodge guests and owners will enjoy temporary membership during their visits. Stowe Mountain Club members enjoy a private alpine clubhouse, which serves as a private winter retreat. Stowe Mountain Club has two levels of membership: platinum and gold. All club members will receive full golf course and golf cottage privileges, with priority tee times and access to the spa and wellness center.

features stunning, panoramic mountain views, an ambiance of rustic elegance and intimate, customized service unmatched by any other resort in New England. The lodge features the Alpine Concierge, a luxurious 21,000 square foot world-class spa and Cooper wellness center with distinctive services themed around the changing seasons of Vermont, Solstice Restaurant, a year-round outdoor pool, function space and 24-hour, in-room dining. W For more information about Spruce Peak at Stowe, call 888/4037739 or visit

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buy and sell


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10 QUESTIONS FOR COLDWELL BANKER REAL ESTATE AGENT, GAIL LILLEY ZAWACKI 1. I'm disappointed with the photo of my house in the newspaper. Can I have the photographer come back and show him a different angle that makes the house look much bigger? You should definitely be able to approve your photos before they are used in publications. It is always advisable for the seller to be present during the photo shoot for this very reason. You and your realtor should also be sure to consider other details when scheduling the photographer. For example, the time of day to best capture your home's appeal, the direction the house should be shot from, and is a sunny blue sky best? The lead photo you choose should be the one that is going to attract the attention of prospects and buyers, so it is important to be fully prepared for the best possible light and shooting conditions for both the interior and exterior. Also, at the time of the photo shoot, your home should absolutely be in tip top, show stopping condition. All distractions should be considered and removed before the photographer comes to your property (i.e. no tall weeds in front of the house, all water hoses removed from view, cars and all trash cans removed from view, beds made, etc.)

2. My husband seethes every time he goes house hunting. He always mutters under his breath, "I can't believe I have to give this broker

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thousands of dollars for showing me a house for 15 minutes." What can I tell him? Not only are you paying for the showing of the home, but you're also paying for your realtorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s time and research done beforehand, as well as their many years of expertise and knowledge about the marketplace and value within the given community. You pay for your realtor's skills, expertise, a Comparative Marketing Analysis, research, as well as counsel regarding disclosures, inspections, and negotiations. In the end, you will likely save money by utilizing all the skills and resources made available by your realtor. In addition, you don't pay for any of these services until you've found the perfect home, successfully closed and the title has been passed. Remember, if you do not purchase a property from your realtor, he/she will receive no compensaton for all of the time, research and work performed on your behalf.

3. I know it's a terrible time to put your house on the market if you don't have to. But, I was thinking we could put our house on for the price we'd like to get; even if it doesn't sell in a year, that's ok, we're in no hurry. Your thoughts? It is costly, time consuming and a lot of effort to have your property constantly in "ready to show at a momentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s notice" condition, not to

buy and sell


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mention the marketing and showing expenses your realtor will incur for a home that is not priced to sell. If you calculate the time spent preparing the property, the maintenance, and the carrying cost, compared to setting an "irresistible" price from the beginning, which allows you to move to where you'd like to be, it is more sensible to price your home correctly from the start. About 90 percent of properties that stay on the market for longer than six months to a year, with steady price reductions along the way, end up selling close to the broker's original suggested listing price. Consider this before deciding to put your house on the market. I would suggest you sit with your financial advisor and determine if it is a good time to sell for you. Be realistic, offer an irresistible price and “get ‘er done.” Your family, friends, and maybe even your bank account will appreciate it.

4. I've been trying to find a house in Westport for three years now and I've worked with the same broker. I think I'm in the 'real estate hall of shame' in this broker's office since I'm always looking but have never bought. Do you think I should try a new office? I am sure you have heard of location, location, location and the answer to this question has more Ls: loyalty, loyalty, loyalty. It is one thing if you are not receiving service and need to change realtors, but the reward for the three years of service from the realtor is that you will both achieve the results and the reward of finding the home that meets your needs.

5. Every week I read about five new brokers joining local real estate offices. Am I supposed to ask for a specific broker when I call an office? No, but it's a good idea to research the realtor and broker you would like to represent you, especially if you want a seasoned professional or have specific needs — rentals, waterfront, land or precise location. There are realtors that specialize in particular types of properties and locations, so you may benefit from working with one of these experts if your needs are specific.

6. I want to move to a three-bedroom house in Westport on the beach. What can I expect to pay? The price point depends upon the property's characteristics and location. Generally, you can estimate 20-40% more for a beach neighborhood or more if it is directly on the beach.

7. Have you ever had customers exchange houses? Not yet, but I have heard of it. The details are best worked out through the homeowner's CPA/accountant or financial advisor. It is rare that you find the exact buyer or seller situation that meets your housing and timing needs but it is possible and it may have its advantages.

8. How much of your day out with customers is spent listening and guiding couples with opposing opinions? Do you think of yourself as a real estate Dr. Phil? I am certainly not Dr. Phil. However, it is a big part of a realtor's role to counsel their clients so that they find the most suitable home for their specific lifestyle and financial needs.

9. I always think brokers go back to their offices and gossip about their neurotic clients. Am I being paranoid? Realtors are held to a high ethical standard of confidentiality regarding their clients. A true professional will have the highest respect for their clients' wishes and needs and keep personal information confidential.

10. Every week I read the property sales notices in the Weston Forum. When I see sales for $3 million, $5 million, I'm always wondering: who are these people with so much money? How'd they get all that money? Are they obnoxious? Philanthropic? Obnoxious and philanthropic? I know it's none of my business, but why do they print property sales in the newspaper? Weston is a highly sought after location, which draws buyers from around the country and around the globe. Its desirability provides for a luxury market of million dollar homes. I believe that the local newspapers print property sales information to help keep the public informed about the investments they've made in their own homes. W Gail Lilley Zawacki ,GRI, ABR, CRS, is a Weston resident and winner of the Coldwell Banker International Presidents' Premier Award (2004, 2005, 2006, 2007). 203/221-4430; 877/768-8428;;



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Bucolic Smith Ridge

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Exquisite Country Compound

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LIFE WITH A TEENAGER can be difficult enough. But when real psychological problems are added to adolescent growing pains, families need serious help. That's why many area residents are relieved to discover the exceptional resources available close to home, at Silver Hill Hospital. Silver Hill is a hidden treasure, tucked into a beautiful, 45-acre country campus in New Canaan. As an independent, not-for-profit psychiatric hospital, it is one of the few such dedicated facilities in the Northeast. With its staff of psychiatrists and specialized social workers, nurses and other caregivers, the hospital offers comprehensive psychiatric and substance abuse services, for both adolescents and adults. Starting in November, Silver Hill will offer a new and much needed service: the Adolescent Transitional Living Program.

HELPING TEENS TAKE THE NEXT STEP The new Adolescent Transitional Living Program (TLP) provides highly structured, intensive residential treatment for adolescents who are ready for behavioral and psychological interventions. The innovative

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program is designed to help adolescents bridge the gap between acute care and the time they are ready to return home for further community-based treatment. Patients focus on understanding their illness and developing new behavioral skills to manage their recovery. Adolescents treated at Silver Hill Hospital benefit from a high staffto-patient ratio and a warm, supportive, homelike atmosphere that enhances the recovery process. Care is provided (via both inpatient and residential programs) for adolescents ages 13-17 who are struggling with Psychiatric Disorders; Substance Abuse Disorders; Dual Disorders (psychiatric and substance abuse); and Eating Disorders. “There are very few transitional programs like this for teens,” says Janet Isdaner, a licensed social worker and Director of Treatment and Family Services at Silver Hill. “Up until now, families had to send their children out West, or to wilderness programs, to provide a transition from in-hospital care back to the home environment.” What kinds of problems are teenagers dealing with when they come to Silver Hill? “We see a lot of adolescents who are having difficulty with their interpersonal relationships, or difficulty handling



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stressful situations. They are taking their emotions to extremes. What we do is teach and reinforce the skills to re-enter the home environment. We give them the tools to deal with their triggers, so they can control their behaviors and successfully reintegrate back into their community.” The core treatment of the program is Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). In group training sessions and one-on-one coaching, the doctors and therapists use DBT to help teenagers replace dysfunctional coping strategies with effective ones. In this supportive atmosphere, they

such as art therapy and horticulture. Add to that mealtimes, visiting hours, homework and chores, for a day as active as any typical teenager's. Special weekend events include Cinema Therapy, viewing a film and discussing how characters could use DBT skills to respond to situations in better ways. It all takes place in a relaxed, cheerful atmosphere - all the more so thanks to the hospital's recent renovation. “Silver Hill Hospital is an academic affiliate of Yale University School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry,” notes Sigurd Ackerman, MD, the hospital's President and Medical Director. “Our Adolescent TLP staff includes Board Certified Child and Adolescent Psychiatrists, Licensed Clinical Social Workers and other caregivers - all dedicated mental health professionals with specialties in adolescent care. We're pleased to be able to provide our new transitional program for families with adolescents, to help their children achieve and maintain better mental health. The program responds to real needs in our immediate community, and beyond.” Adolescent TLP at Silver Hill Hospital requires a minimum 28-day length of stay. The program is selfpay, and may be reimbursable depending on the family's health insurance. The hospital is located at 208 Valley Road in New Canaan, and can be reached tollfree at: 800/899-4455. W


Lauretta Harris is a marketing writer and journalist covering the New York/Connecticut area. She has written extensively on health

acquire the skills to regulate their emotions, avoid self-destructive behaviors and improve their relationships. Family involvement is an essential part of the recovery process. Hospital staff know that the entire family is affected by the teenager's mental illness or addiction. Therapists help family members understand the patient's illness and support recovery, while preserving the stability of their own lives. The patient's family members receive the same DBT training and learn the same behavioral skills as their teenager. This helps to build a smoother transition when teens return home; everyone is on the “same page” - more aware of their actions and pulling together as a family to avoid re-enacting destructive behaviors.

THE RIGHT TREATMENT IN THE RIGHT PLACE For teens in the program, the day starts with goal setting - meeting in very small groups or one-on-one with a counselor to think about what they hope to achieve that day. Goals may be “not yelling at my parents,” “not hurting myself,” “being honest and truthful,” or any other behavioral issue. The day ends with an assessment, discussing how far they got in meeting their stated goals. In between, there is plenty to keep teens active and involved, from a morning of tutored schoolwork, to afternoons filled with group and family counseling. Each week's counseling has a different theme, such as: mindfulness, interpersonal effectiveness, distress tolerance, and regulating emotions. Recreational activities balance out the day with physical activity - a fitness center and tennis court are onsite - and creative outlets

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care and other consumer and business sectors.

NEW CLINICAL RESEARCH STUDY ON SCHIZOPHRENIA SEEKS PATIENTS Ronald Brenner, MD of Neurobehavioral Research, Inc. leads research for local patients A new, investigational drug research study is now underway in the Westport, CT area, to help those with schizophrenia manage the demands of daily life. The primary goal of this study is to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of an investigational drug in improving cognitive functioning for people with schizophrenia, using a new evaluation tool called MATRICS (Measurement and Treatment Research to Improve Cognition in Schizophrenia). This study is unique because participants are not required to change their already-stable medication regimen. Rather, the new investigational medication is added to their currently established treatment. Candidates for this study must be 18 to 65 years old, diagnosed with schizophrenia at or before age 35 and currently taking one of five medications for schizophrenia, which include: olanzapine, risperidone/paliperidone, quetiapine or aripiprazole. Participants must also be considered outpatient (living in the community). Qualified study participants will receive all investigational medication and study-related care at no cost, and may also receive compensation for travel.



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

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

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WITH EVERY SKIP, OUR TEAM IS RIGHT THERE WITH HER. This is a true story. One day Justine noticed a lump and went for an exam. She was only 38, and was sure everything was fine, but just wanted to check. Soon after, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. This was the day, and moment, that changed her life. Through her procedure and the follow-up chemotherapy, the team at Norwalk Hospital treated her like family, Justine said. They talked about all her options. They were caring and supportive. They were there for her. Now she goes to the gym and feels the best she’s ever felt. You might even say there’s an extra skip in her step. 1-866-NHB-WELL















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Norwalk Hospital Becomes First in Fairfield County to Acquire High Definition daVinci Robotic Surgical System N O RWA L K H O S P I TA L

is the first hospital in Fairfield County to acquire the high definition daVinci robotic surgical system, the most technologically advanced daVinci robotic assisted surgical system. According to Jonathan E. Bernie, M.D., Chief of Robotic Surgery at Norwalk Hospital, "The daVinci Surgical System is a great benefit to our patients because it provides 3-D visualization and greater precision, enabling the surgeon to perform complex surgery using a minimally invasive approach." By enhancing surgical capabilities, the daVinci Surgical System helps to improve clinical outcomes for patients and redefines standards of care. Research has shown that patients experience less blood loss and need for transfusions, less post-operative pain and discomfort, less risk of infection, shorter hospital stay, and faster recovery and return to normal daily activities. "The daVinci robot at Norwalk Hospital will be used initially in the treatment of prostate cancer," Dr. Bernie says, adding that plans are underway for the hospital to incorporate its use in other applications, including gynecologic and general surgery procedures. Currently, robotic-assisted radical prostatectomy using the daVinci surgical system is the number one treatment for prostate cancer, surpassing all other modalities of therapy. In the past, a common treatment for prostate cancer was open radical prostatectomy, or removal of the prostate gland through a large 8 to 10 inch incision. The daVinci Prostatectomy incorporates the new state-of-the-art surgical system, allowing the surgeon to view anatomical structures clearly and perform a precise surgical procedure through small incisions. The robotic procedure has been used successfully in the treatment of thousands of prostate cancer patients in the past several years. Additionally, patients treated with the daVinci robot may have lower incidence of incontinence and impotence than those treated by standard surgical methods. By using the daVinci Surgical System, the surgeon operates while seated comfortably at a console, viewing a 3D image of the surgical field. The surgeon's fingers grasp the master controls below the display, with hands and wrists naturally positioned relative to his or her eyes. The system seamlessly translates the surgeon's hand, wrist and finger movements into precise, real-time movements of surgical instruments inside the patient. Many surgical procedures performed today using standard laparoscopic technique may be performed more quickly and easily using the daVinci Surgical System. This is because the daVinci Surgical System delivers increased clinical capability while maintaining the same "look and feel" of open surgery. Traditional laparoscopy has never become widely applied outside a limited set of routine procedures. Only a select group of highly skilled surgeons routinely attempt complex procedures using a minimally invasive approach. The daVinci Surgical System now allows surgeons to perform complex procedures using a minimally invasive approach â&#x20AC;&#x201D; routinely and with confidence. A number of procedures that could not be performed using traditional minimally invasive technologies can now be performed using

the daVinci Surgical System. The advanced feature set and extensive EndoWrist instrumentation of the daVinci Surgical System enable surgeons to perform more procedures through 1-2 cm incisions. "We are pleased to be able to offer our patients the latest in high tech surgery, while maintaining the individualized and personalized care of a community hospital setting," Dr. Bernie explains. A board-certified urologist in practice with Urology Associates of Norwalk, Dr. Bernie is fellowship-trained in robotic surgery and has five years of experience in this field. He joined the Norwalk Hospital Medical Staff two years ago and was recently appointed Chief of Robotic Surgery. In addition to being recognized for his proficiency in robotic-assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy (removal of the prostate gland), Dr. Bernie is an expert in minimally invasive surgical and laparoscopic urological techniques, including nephrectomy (removal of the kidney) and adrenalectomy (removal of the adrenal gland). He also specializes in prostate cryoablation in the treatment of prostate cancer (which utilizes extreme cold to destroy cancer cells) and laser therapy for benign prostate disease. Dr. Bernie received his M.D. degree from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, in Cleveland, Ohio. He was previously awarded a B.A. degree from the University of Pennsylvania, The College of Arts and Sciences, and a B.S. degree from the University of Pennsylvania, The Wharton School. He completed his medical training in general surgery and urology at the University of California, San Diego and served as a Fellow in Laparoscopy and Robotic Surgery at Indiana University. Dr. Bernie has been the recipient of several awards for both his surgical skills and clinical research, including the Laurence F. Greene Memorial Award for Meritorious Achievement, presented by the Urologic Research and Education Foundation, and the Gerald P. Murphy Scholar Award of the American Urological Association for distinction in the study of prostate cancer. Dr. Bernie is the author of numerous articles published in scientific journals as well as a book chapter on Bladder Cancer in Urological Oncology. He also provides time for local and national lectures. W

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Women can trust St. Vincent’s SWIM Women’s Imaging Center to provide the most advanced breast care in the region.

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2800 Main Street

Bridgeport, CT 06606


Calasanz Physical Arts




23 Danbury Rd, Wilton CT 203.761.0055 800.414.9544 What is

Calasanz - Physical Arts? 1. Martial Arts training for Everyone. 2. A system which is tailored to you’re individual needs. 3. Where you’re taught coordination first, then the techniques, maximizing you’re training and overall well being.

Jeff Prescott head trainer of the Wilton branch with Calasanz, Creator of the Calasanz System.

4. Calasanz - Physical Arts brings martial arts around you’re way of life!! 5. See how a FREE 30 minute private lesson can put you on the path of physical, mental and spiritual growth and accomplishment!



The Perfect Fit Home Training 1-866-318-R-FIT

1465 Post Road East, Westport





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How About Having a Personal CEO? PERHAPS ONE OF THE best-kept financial secrets in our area is RDM Financial Group. Although their name is on their building on the Post Road in Westport, if you weren’t referred to them by an attorney or a CPA, (or another client) you wouldn’t know that there were eighteen professionals working there on all aspects of some 330 families’ financial lives. For a firm that does not promote itself very much, RDM has been noticed by many in the financial press. RDM’s President, Ron Weiner, has twice been named one of Barron’s Top 100 Brokers in America, and more recently has been named One of the Top 100 Independent Financial Advisors in America. That was the second time Ron was named in the two years that Barron’s has been issuing independent financial advisor rankings. Research Magazine has named RDM one of the Top 30 Best Financial Teams in America. Plan Sponsor Magazine has acknowledged RDM to be Amongst the Best in the Corporate Retirement arena in two separate categories. You can often catch Ron Weiner, CFP®, or Michael Sheldon, CFA on CNBC. Ron is about to do his second stint as guest host on Fox Business News. Both Ron and Michael, as well as others in the firm, have often been quoted in The Wall Street Journal, Reuters, and other business publications. So why is this “secretive firm” so acknowledged by attorneys, accountants and the financial press? According to Ron Weiner, the reason starts with the structure of RDM. Behind the walls of their brick building are two certified financial planners, a chartered financial analyst, two chartered life underwriters, a certified investment management consultant, a number of MBA’s and a trading staff composed of former NASDAQ market makers, floor traders, and institutional traders from some of the major Wall Street firms. On the retirement side, they even have an accredited investment fiduciary. They are a house full of generals. The key is that they are all on salary; there are no profit centers within the firm. They are their own broker/dealer, yet they do not have a network of sales representatives. And they are independent; the entire staff at RDM works together for the benefit of their clients. Weiner explains that most Wall Street firms are designed to sell products. They covet individual department and personal productivity. They are rewarded for that individuality. RDM believes that structure may not coincide with client goals. They look at the client as a whole, with short-term goals, mid-term goals and, of course, ultimately, retirement goals. In fact, some forty percent of RDM’s current client base is already retired. RDM reviews all aspects of the client’s financial life, to ensure that his financial assets are all working towards the client’s stated goals. By working together (RDM, the client, his attorney and CPA), the process can be much more effi-

cient, and thus clients are less likely to make major mistakes which can significantly damage client long-term goals. In RDM’s labor-intensive process, it typically takes approximately forty hours of meetings with clients (various one to two hour sessions), reviewing and analyzing their financial assets, meeting or talking to their attorney and their accountants, to determine suitable strategies. RDM then produces five year and long-term models to identify the rates of return necessary to achieve the clients’ after tax and after inflation financial targets. This often creates greater tax efficiency and puts wasted assets or inappropriately directed assets to better use. RDM’s investment portfolios tend to be eclectic. Diversity is more often than not a great friend when it comes to controlling volatility and portfolios. While RDM excels at portfolio performance, it is their advice and monitoring of all aspects of their clients’ changing financial lives that makes them truly valuable. After analyzing all of a client’s financial assets and long-term needs, RDM then organizes or helps to organize all financial assets towards realizing stated goals; it is then their primary job to keep clients on track. Human beings seems to be somewhat hardwired to buy high and sell low. They get lazy or just don’t pay enough attention to how their financial life is running. There may be no personal system of accurate monitoring. The key, according to RDM, is to try to create moderation within every portfolio, geared to obtaining realistic goals. This can often be done through portfolio construction (obviously it doesn’t work all the time) but also by constantly rebalancing the portfolio and staying conscious of ongoing trends and opportunities. All in all, RDM is a firm that tries to be reasonable in everything they do, so as not to create over-anxious clients. They think being smart is better than being bold. They believe the moderate investor will do much better over the long-term than the aggressive investor. With a five-year client retention rate of 98.4%, they seem to have a strong client following. Surprisingly, with people spending more money in retirement than they do in their working years, and having a retirement life that could last twenty or thirty years, growth is often necessary, even for the very well to do. The math and emotions of retirement planning are quite different from that which occurs in the accumulation stages of one’s life. Most people, professionals and laymen alike, aren’t aware of how they should be thinking. Emotions and the lack of a measurable, strategic plan can play havoc on long-term financial success. Financial planning is quite a rewarding endeavor for RDM. They believe their clients understand that they are with them all the way. W 1555 Post Road East, Westport, CT; 203/255-0222. Florida Office: 120 East Palmetto Park Road, Suite 425, Boca Raton, FL; 561-393-8500;

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green room

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A Year in Weston BY LYNNE MEADOW IN 1977,

when I had been Artistic Director of the Manhattan Theatre Club for five seasons, I attended a conference in Princeton called FACT. It was a high-powered gathering of the movers and shakers of the commercial theatre on Broadway and the leaders of the regional and non-profit theatres from New York and across America. We were there to discuss the state of the American theatre. I spoke up in one of the meetings about what I termed “Artistic Director burn out,” saying that our field had to find a way to support sabbaticals for the beleaguered, over-burdened and weary artistic heads of theatres, people whose days began at the crack of dawn and finished late into the evening, well after the last notes were given for a show in previews. Before anyone used the expression 24/7, Artistic Directors were working round the clock — handling an enormous range of responsibilities, including planning and programming as many as twelve plays/musicals a year, fundraising, leading staffs, directing shows, hiring personnel, dealing with Boards of Directors, navigating real estate crises, artistic crises, financial crises, benefit crises — meetings, meetings, meetings, auditions, auditions, auditions, and tons of extremely time consuming, important minutia that have little or nothing to do with directing shows. In many cases, Artistic Directors were working to ensure that their theatres would actually live to see a new season, working on trying to raise enough money to open the doors for another show, or trying to not be evicted from store-fronts or Bohemian social halls so that there was in fact a show that “must go on.” The exhaustion I was speaking of was really about me, as much as about others. Five years in and I felt totally burned out. My colleagues were grateful for my platform, and many of them went on to take year-long sabbaticals. Me, it took a while to get there. Almost 30 years from that conference, I finally took a sabbatical! Over three decades of being at the helm of Manhattan Theatre Club, an institution which grew from being a tiny, $75,000 a year, Off Off Broadway theatre with a staff of five, to an $18 million theatre with two off Broadway theatres and a fully restored Broadway venue at the old Biltmore theatre on 47th street with over 600 employees,

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and I was finally able to realize a wish. My time away started just after Labor Day in 2007, and despite some major occurrences that demanded my attention — like a key employee giving me notice two weeks into my sabbatical, and my needing to embark on a search for the next few months, and other major institutional dilemmas that required Board meetings and other meetings — I tried very hard to “get my mind away” from the daily responsibilities of being the Artistic Director of a theatre. When the sabbatical began, people asked me what I was planning to do. I answered that I wanted to do as little as possible. When that response made them uncomfortable or seemed insufficient, I confessed that I was writing. At first I wrote grocery lists. Then I moved on to other projects that are too early to discuss at this point. One year later, it is still too early to fathom what changes have taken place in my psyche. I do know for sure, however, that spending more time in Weston than I had in the last decade was one of my greatest joys. Sometimes I engaged in the great spiritual practice of “putter-







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ing,” and puttering with abandon, without regard to a clock. If I was in my kitchen and I opened a drawer, I did not close it and think, “Oh my God, as soon as I have a minute I have to organize this mess of small cooking utensils.” I stopped and did it! And I didn't care how long it took me. That was sheer bliss! I spent a good deal of time during the fall on the roads of Weston, savoring the changing of the season. I grew up in New Haven, and the brilliant fall foliage has always been a special passion. And so this past October, with the colors seemingly more radiant than in years, I meandered down streets I had never seen, mesmerized by the sheer magnificence of those colors. I am lucky I did not wrap the car around one of those fabulous trees in my state of euphoria. The special gift for me was admiring the brilliant colors on a Tuesday at 2:30 -the time when I would have been running into my office dying to grab a bite of that tuna fish sandwich which had been sitting on my desk for two hours, because the audition ran really late. I played tennis at the Weston Racquet Club in a Wednesday morning women's doubles league. Unlike many of the Moms, I had a son who was just out of college and not in middle school, but I could try to reimagine what it might have been like to pick him up and take him to karate class. Those were poignant "what if" moments. And I definitely loved wearing my tennis skirt for most of the day. I went to Yoga classes at the Grange in Weston and at the Wilton Y at odd times of the day. I often felt like a fish out of water — not as a yogini — but as a director who for the first time in years had no play to direct. So when the yoga teacher asked us “How was class today?” I gave her notes! As it turns out, she was grateful for my directorial input, and after a month or two she said, “I have become a better yoga teacher thanks to you, Lynne.” A compliment like this to me, who can barely touch my

I DO KNOW FOR SURE, HOWEVER, THAT SPENDING MORE TIME IN WESTON THAN I HAD IN THE LAST DECADE WAS ONE OF MY GREATEST JOYS ankles on the way to a down dog, was better than a rave review in the New York Times. The person who packs the bags at Stop and Shop was not as grateful for my thoughts on arranging items as the yoga teacher, but hey, I had gone cold turkey, changing my life in a radical way. And I needed to give some direction here and there. I spent time in places other than Weston; my husband and I took a fabulous trip to India, for one. But the serenity and beauty of Weston was closer to my consciousness than ever. The fact is that the Weston portion of my sabbatical was as important as anything else I did. I read books, magazines, recipes in cook books and online, I cleaned out closets, giving things away, and most

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importantly, I appreciated daily life and home in a way that had eluded me for a long time. In April, I had a bad ski accident in Colorado and broke my arm. I had to have emergency surgery and a metal plate with 11 screws put in. I have been seriously grounded for the last several months, doing major physical therapy and dealing with a painful, slow recovery. It is not what I had in mind for my sabbatical — there have been moments when I wished I had stayed in Weston instead of going on that ski trip — but, as we know, the universe has a way of delivering messages in strange ways. Perhaps I was being told that I had not really slowed down enough, and that I needed to grind to a total halt, or at least spend lots of time on the sofa watching CNN and needle pointing.


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I actually did not go to the theatre ONE night — not to my own theatre or to any other. After years of being at the theatre more nights than I can count, this was quite a withdrawal. My colleague, Dan Sullivan, who was Acting Artistic Director last season, has planned the upcoming season at Manhattan Theatre Club with MTC Associate Artistic Director Mandy Greenfield, and I am looking forward to being back at the helm but with a program that has not been authored by me. After a year of being away, what a thrill it will be to be sitting in the back again taking notes. So, like many of you, I will be heading to MTC this season full of expectation and excitement — wondering what stirring new writer I will discover, what terrific actor will be doing a play at City Center or at the newly named Friedman theatre (Biltmore), what the newest work from a playwright I have seen many times at MTC will be. And I will remember that a great evening in the theatre, indeed a life in the theatre, offers a singular joy that I could not bear to be away from for too long. I will miss spending languid days here in Connecticut, but luckily, "We'll always have Weston." Here's a run down from Dan and the staff as to what is coming up this season at Manhattan Theatre Club. I hope to see you there!

PREMIERE OF ROMANTIC POETRY, A NEW MUSICAL WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY TONY AWARD AND PULITZER PRIZE WINNER JOHN PATRICK SHANLEY, WITH MUSIC BY GRAMMY AWARD WINNER HENRY KRIEGER; A WORLD PREMIERE CO-PRODUCTION OF RUINED BY LYNN NOTTAGE, TO BE DIRECTED BY KATE WHORISKEY, WHICH IS A HAUNTING, PROBING WORK ABOUT THE RESILIENCE OF THE HUMAN SPIRIT DURING TIMES OF WAR; AND BACK BACK BACK, A TIMELY NEW PLAY BY ITAMAR MOSES WHICH FOLLOWS THE TURBULENT CAREERS OF THREE VERY DIFFERENT TEAMMATES IN BASEBALL’S STEROID ERA, WHOSE CLUBHOUSE SECRETS BRING THEM UNDER FEDERAL SCRUTINY, WHICH WILL BE DIRECTED BY DANIEL AUKIN. ONE MORE PLAY FOR STAGE II WILL BE ANNOUNCED SHORTLY. W Lynne Meadow, the Artistic Director of Manhattan Theatre Club since 1972, has been responsible for directing and producing more than 450 NY and world premieres for MTC. Under Lynne's dynamic artistic leadership, MTC is considered one of the country's most acclaimed theatre organizations. MTC's many laurels include sixteen Tony Awards, five Pulitzer Prizes, 45 Obies and 27 Drama Desk Awards, as well as numerous Drama Critics Circle, Outer Critics Circle and Theatre World Awards. MTC has also won the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding


Achievement, a Drama Desk for Outstanding Excellence, and a Theatre World for Outstanding Achievement. Lynne herself has received the Lee


Reynolds Award from the League of Professional Theatre Women, the


Manhattan Award from Manhattan magazine, the Person of the Year


from the National Theatre Conference, the Margo Jones Award and the


Mr. Abbott Award for lifetime achievement. The theatre has been home


to the greatest artists working the theatre today and has produced many


well-known works, most recently including: Doubt, Proof, Rabbit Hole,


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and The Tale of the Allergist's Wife (which Lynne directed).




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All of the participating artists share an emphasis on finely executed, inventive work. The pieces they create, however, employ a wide range of media and reflect many different styles. Visitors will see paintings, sculptures, prints, jewelry, ceramics, lamps, felted scarves and more, in styles described as exuberant, subdued, earthy, Asian, primitive, whimsical, and elegant. Each featured studio offers a fascinating glimpse into the aesthetics and personality of the artist who works there, and allows guests a greater understanding of the creative process which goes into the work. In each venue

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items will be offered for sale, from fine collector pieces to holiday gift giving options. The participating studios are located within close proximity to each other, allowing visitors the opportunity to comfortably visit all seven venues. In Weston, Leslie Giuliani, Ellen Schiffman, Eve Stockton, and husband and wife Hans Wilhelm and Judy Henderson will be opening their studios, while in Westport, participating studios include those of Karen Ford, Sophie Acheson and Elise Black.

LESLIE GIULIANI'S STUDIO Leslie Giuliani, in southern Weston, paints, prints, sews, knits, hooks, and makes jewelry. Her artwork is full of energy, whimsy and color. She will be presenting her encaustic and mixed media paintings, her primitive hooked textile pictures and a vibrant selection of hand knitted and felted woolen scarves. New this year will be small black and white prints, knitted pearl necklaces and more.



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Just north of Weston town center is the studio of Ellen Schiffman. Ms. Schiffman's artwork celebrates the beauty of nature through the use of actual botanical material, in pieces from wall collages to jewelry. Featured will be her newest work focusing on the beauty of water plants, including seaweed from the Long Island sound and water lilies from area lakes. Joining Ellen in her studio this year will be Dalton Ghetti of Bridgeport. This extraordinary artist is a sculptor whose intricate carvings are made on the tips of pencils, out of the lead. Using razor blades and sewing needles as tools, these remarkable creations are certain to astound visitors.

Close to the Post Road in Westport is the studio of Karen Ford, who creates award-winning, Asian-inspired porcelain items, imbued with tremendous elegance and beauty. Ms Ford often fires her pieces with small fragments of beach glass, creating unique gemlike imagery in her work. Her current oeuvre is about the relationship between form and function, offering pieces that are art, but can be used every day. Joining Karen Ford in her studio will be Raul Casas, a custom lamp maker. Raul, inspired by the Japanese art form of bonbori, (wood and paper) creates lamps which combine traditional Japanese elements with more contemporary elements inspired by art-deco and the Arts and Craft style. Combining rich hardwoods and exquisite Japanese papers, these distinctive lamps offer soft, delicate, meditative lighting.


EVE STOCKTON'S STUDIO Eve Stockton, with degrees in architecture and art from Princeton and Yale, will be showing her abstract woodcuts, monoprints and mixed media pieces, which are evocative of landscapes and cellular activity. Vibrant colors and bursting/evolving imagery animate her newest body of work, which she will have on display. Joining Eve Stockton in her studio will be Frances Palmer of Weston. Working in white earthenware, Ms. Palmer creates functional and decorative ceramic pieces which are classic yet quirky. The elegant simplicity of her work has caught the eye of publications and retailers nationwide.


Elise Black, whose Westport studio is off Compo Road near Winslow Park, is a multi-media artist and designer specializing in site-specific sculptures for public spaces, corporate environments and private residences. Her diverse creations include paintings, mixed media assemblages, and sculpture, often incorporating architectural elements, found objects and intriguing surface textures. Showing with Ms. Black is Raychel Wengenroth, a silversmith from Ridgefield whose highly polished jewelry and functional items feature clean, flowing, graceful lines. The fluid movements of dance, the changing light of a cityscape, or the mood of flight are some of the things which inspire this artist.


Across town is the studio of husband and wife Hans Wilhelm and Judy Henderson, and the home of Weston's sculptural town mascot, Jolantha the Pig. Ms. Henderson creates whimsical, colorful ceramic pieces, both functional and decorative. They have been praised for their exquisite charm and beauty. In addition, Judy Henderson paints, draws and creates pieces in fiber, all innovative and rich in vision. Hans Wilhelm is a prominent author/illustrator of children's books, whose works are beloved by children and adults worldwide. He has released six new books this year, which he will be autographing along with favorite older titles. In addition, for the Art Trail, Mr. Wilhelm will be showing and selling some of his vibrant, original, watercolor paintings and prints.

Sophie Acheson is best known for the beautifully luminous and vividly colored abstract etchings she has been creating for over 30 years. In addition to these etchings, visitors to her Westport studio will be treated to a display of her miniature gold leaf paintings inspired by medieval manuscripts, hand-built painted tiles, handmade marbled paper, and origami creations. For more information about this show and a map of the participating studios, visit or call 203/222-9264. Maps will also be available on the day of the show at all venues. W PIGGIES BY HANS WILHELM

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Profile for Weston Magazine Group

weston magazine fall-2008  

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

weston magazine fall-2008  

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