Urban Agenda Magazine, Fall 2015

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Garden of Frida’s Delights At the New York Botanical Garden Fall 2015

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fall 2015 EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Lynn Adams Smith CREATIVE DIRECTOR Jorge Naranjo art DIRECTOR Jeffrey Edward Tryon GRAPHIC DESIGNers Matthew DiFalco Erica Cardenas CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Ellen Gilbert Ilene Dube Anne Levin Sarah Emily Gilbert Stuart Mitchner Taylor Smith ADVERTISING DIRECTOR Robin Broomer ACCOUNT MANAGERS Jennifer Covill Cheri Mutchler Kendra Russell Monica Sankey Erin Toto OPERATIONS MANAGER Melissa Bilyeu URBAN AGENDA: NEW YORK CITY Witherspoon Media Group 4438 Route 27 North Kingston, NJ 08528-0125 P: 609.924.5400 F: 609.924.8818 urbanagendamagazine.com Advertising opportunities: 609.924.5400 Media Kit available on urbanagendamagazine.com Subscription information: 609.924.5400 Editorial suggestions: editor@witherspoonmediagroup.com

Urban Agenda Magazine All rights reserved. Nothing herein may be reproduced in whole or in part without written permission of the publisher. To purchase PDF files or reprints, please call 609.924.5400 or e-mail melissa.bilyeu@witherspoonmediagroup.com. Š2015 Witherspoon Media Group



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H E L P YO U R C H I L D R E N FA I L “If your organization can adopt the concept of intelligent failure, it will become more agile, better at risk taking, and more adept at organizational learning” Rita McGrath, Failing by design. HBR (2011):89.4, 76-83 Because of fear of failure and lack of know-how, many parents create the outcomes in their children that they are actually trying to prevent! For example, in the name of not wanting their children to develop a sense of entitlement, parents don’t speak about money nor intentionally prepare their children for the opportunities and responsibilities of wealth. As a result, the rising generation is not equipped to successfully steward their eventual inheritance, and instead of being ready for the wealth transition, they have a sudden-wealth experience (similar to a lottery winner). Or, to prevent heirs from misusing the grantor’s wealth, estate plans are over engineered resulting in perpetuating the parent-child dynamic from the grave via the new parent(s) - the trustee(s). Another classic example of creating an unintended outcome parents are trying to prevent goes something like this...”It is important that our children develop a strong work ethic.” Yet, the parents fund all the children’s needs and most if not all their wants, well into their 20s and sometimes into their 30s. Then wonder why their children don’t have a job or stick with a job especially when the job causes inconvenience in their lives. When we work with our client-families, we encourage them to adapt the value of failing fast, or what Rita McGrath refers to as intelligent failure. Instead of trying to avoid failure, it is part of a proactive strategy to help family members flourish. In short, intelligent failure provides valuable insights to what is needed to grow, enhances learning, and contributes to what we at Legacy Capitals believe to be one of the most vital attributes necessary in preparing the rising generation, this is, individual and family resilience. The strategy of intelligent failure is a creative and ongoing process, however, here are a few examples of how the strategy of intelligent failure can apply to the scenarios referenced above: The Deafening Silence - “We don’t want entitled children so we don’t talk about our wealth.” Solution: Instead of thinking either we let our children know the details of our net worth or keep total silence, we offer a process to have the family wealth conversation. For example, don’t start with the details of your net worth, instead discuss the opportunities and responsibilities of wealth or the purpose of your assets. Intentionally take a chance and share more information about your wealth each step along the way, and see how they respond while there is time to intelligently learn from any failure that may occur so you can course correct. Governing from the Grave - “I don’t trust my heirs to make the decisions necessary to successfully steward our wealth” Solution: Write a letter of wishes (we help our clients prepare this document) and attach this to your estate plan so your heirs via the trustees have a better understanding of your hopes, dreams, and feelings about their well-being via your financial assets and, intentionally take a chance and transition a smaller portion of your assets to them while they are younger and see how they respond while there is time to intelligently learn from any failure that may occur so you can course correct. Needs versus Wants - “We want our children to have a strong work ethic.” Solution: I commonly say to my clients, “Do you love your children enough NOT to give them everything you can?” Clearly determine what are the true needs of your children and use their wants as an opportunity to teach values and develop the work ethic in your children. There is no replacement for having your children work to earn money to purchase their wants. Intentionally take a chance and say no to requests that are truly based on wants (nice-to-haves, however, not necessary) and don’t bail them out when they get in a financial pickle, and see how they respond while there is time to intelligently learn from any failure that may occur so you can course correct. My book LEGACY helps families with this topic and many more pressing issues that parents face every day. We at Legacy Capitals can help parents prepare their family for the opportunities and responsibilities of wealth.

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6 12 Garden of Frida’s Delights: New York Botanical Garden BY i lene dube


Academia’s A-Listers by sar ah emi ly gi lbert


Emily St. John Mandel author of Station Ele ve n [Part of Urban Agenda’s author’s to follow on Twitter series] BY Taylor Smi th


Taste 101: A Lifetime Course in Cooking by stuart mi tchner



Third Floor: Designer Dresses Fourth Floor: Gourmet Lunch BY anne levi n


Anne Pasternak The Brooklyn Museum’s “Clear Choice” by ellen gi lbert


Rachel Haot: Making a B etter World with Technology

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The Sum of Summit, New Jersey by sar ah emi ly gi lbert


A Wel l-Designed Life 48 h e a lt h y l i v i n g e d i t o r i a l by s a r a h e m i ly g i l b e r t

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Cover Image: Frida Kahlo, Self Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird, 1940. Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin. © 2015 Banco de México Diego Rivera Frida Kahlo Museums Trust, Mexico, D.F. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.



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Nickolas Murray, Frida in Front of the Cactus Fence, San テ]gel, 1938. ツゥ Nickolas Muray Photo Archives.



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Photo by Robert Benson

Garden of Frida’s Delights There’s never been a better time to visit the New York Botanical Garden, where the iconic Mexican artist’s Casa Azul has been re-created inside the Victorian Enid Haupt conservatory


by ilene dube

ike the wings of a crow, the unibrow of Frida Kahlo has been hovering over the New York Botanical Garden (NYBG) since May, where a plant-themed exhibit, Frida Kahlo: Art, Garden and Life, continues through November 1. The artist’s love of nature and its importance as a source of inspiration are evident in her work, home and garden. Frida Kahlo (1907-1954) is recognizable by, and even imitated for, the flamboyant flowers adorning her hair—dahlias, bougainvillea, gardenias. Fruits and tropical plants were ornaments to her Tehuana clothing and home. The delicate lavender-like scent of jacaranda wafts through NYBG’s magnificent Victorian structure, the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, as Art, Garden and Life reimagines Kahlo’s studio and garden at the Casa Azul (Blue House), her lifelong home. Nearby, in the NYBG’s Mertz Library Art Gallery, is a display of more than a dozen original paintings and drawings by Kahlo, as well as photographs and other materials to help tell the story of her life, and an homage to her painting “The Two Fridas” by contemporary artist Humberto Spindola. “This exhibition (enriches) our understanding of Frida Kahlo’s connection not just to her native Mexico but to the natural world overall,” says Guest Curator Adriana Zavala, associate professor of modern and contemporary Latin American art history and the director of Latino studies at Tufts University. “Kahlo’s life, her times and her work were, like the natural world itself, a crossroads of trans-cultural influences.” Symbols of fecundity, such as seedpods, populated her paintings, as did cacti, vines and roots, often morphing into genitalia. Unable to bear children, Frida—like Leonardo, Michelangelo and Raphael, she is recognizable by first name alone—was obsessed with fertility and surrounded herself with a menagerie of animals and tropical birds, treating them as surrogate children. She was fascinated by the unity of all things—humans, plants, animals, the sun, earth and moon and the universe— and painted hybrids of plant and animal forms. To many, Kahlo’s life is just as interesting as her art. Because of her legendary status—she was the first Latin American woman to have a painting in the Louvre— we expect the paintings to be large, and viewers are often surprised to see her familiar images on canvases that are merely life size. Larger than life was muralist Diego Rivera (1886-1957), her on-and-off-again husband. Shortly after they wed, Kahlo painted “Frida and Diego Rivera,” in which his feet are about eight times the size of hers. In fact hers are so tiny, they look as if they were bound, symbolic of her role as the dutiful wife. He holds the palette and paintbrushes, and she is bejeweled and wrapped with a red-fringed shawl.

Kahlo wore indigenous Mexican and Tehuana costumes both to please her husband and to conceal her right leg that had withered from childhood polio and injuries sustained in a near-fatal streetcar accident in 1925. It was also a political statement, showing her pride in Mexican culture. Of mixed heritage, she aligned herself with Mexican peasants even though she was raised in privilege. Frida was born in Casa Azul, today home to Museo Frida Kahlo outside of Mexico City and one of its most visited attractions. Her father, Guillermo Kahlo, a German Jew, was a successful photographer of architectural landmarks. He brought her along on shoots and allowed her to retouch his work in the studio. Frida was at ease before the camera, and brought this same sense of poise to her numerous self-portraits. Her mother, Matilde Calderon y Gonsalez, was “mestiza”—of indigenous and Spanish blood. As a result, Frida became fascinated with the concept of hybrid. She had planned to be a doctor before a metal handrail on a bus impaled her abdomen when she was 18, leaving her with lifelong health problems. She started to paint from bed while recuperating. Diego Rivera was 20 years her senior, one of Mexico’s most prominent painters. His murals celebrated Mexican history, culture and people, gracing important public buildings in Mexico City. Both Rivera and Kahlo were active in an intellectual movement that embraced Mexico’s folk art, rural and indigenous traditions and pre-Hispanic Mesoamerican heritage. Born on the cusp of the Mexican Revolution, Kahlo came of age during a period of political upheaval and social transformation. The two met when Rivera was painting a mural in the amphitheater of the Antiguo Colegio de San Ildefonso. She asked if she could watch him work and stayed for three hours, her eyes riveted on every brush movement. She married Rivera in 1929. Frida assumed ownership of Casa Azul in 1930 and, with Rivera, transformed it into a monument of their shared vision, expanding the courtyard and stripping the exterior of the neoclassical detail, replacing pilasters and window frames with simple grillwork and bands of color. They painted it a brilliant blue from pigments of indigo and prickly pear. A variant of the recipe is still used at Museo Frida Kahlo. Motivated by the post-Revolutionary renaissance, Kahlo and Rivera were discarding the trappings of European culture. Casa Azul became a haven where she painted, taught students and entertained. The kitchen had a yellow floor, yellow furniture with accents of red and green, and tile work of blue and yellow. At the Haupt Conservatory, thanks to designer Scott Pask (credits include the set for The Book of Mormon), you enter an evocation of the garden as it was in the

(top) Paths lined with flowers, FRIDA KAHLO: Art, Garden, Life.

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Photos by Ivo M. Vermeulen


Frida Kahlo, figurine photo by Nickolas Muray.

An evocation of Frida Kahlo's studio overlooking her garden, FRIDA KAHLO: Art, Garden, Life.

FRIDA KAHLO: Art, Garden, Life, The New York Botanical Garden.

NYBG comes alive with the colors and textures of Frida Kahlo’s Mexico, FRIDA KAHLO: Art, Garden, Life.

mid 20th century. The garden was a showplace for Kahlo and Rivera’s collections of pre-Hispanic objects, modern folk art and native Mexican plants. Red zinnias, native to Mexico, were arranged in bouquets that filled the dining room in Casa Azul. Among the flowers Frida wore in her hair was bougainvillea, which grew in her garden. These colorful “flowers” are actually bracts—modified leaves that attract pollinators to the true flowers, which are white and small. Into her hair and table decorations Frida also arranged dahlias, the national flower of Mexico. The Aztecs grew dahlias for their edible tubers, medicinal properties and ceremonial rites. Lady’s Eardrops, a fuchsia hybrid, is thus named because the flowers resemble earrings. In Frida’s “Self-Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird” (on view at the Mertz Library), the flower is depicted transforming into a winged insect. She is said to have told a lover, “I paint flowers so they will not die.” Her portrait of famed horticulturalist Luther Burbank shows him growing from a tree trunk, its roots emerging from a skeleton underground. He holds fronds of a philodendron, a common plant at Casa Azul—the Aztecs referred to philodendron as huacalxochitl, or basket flower, because of the vessel-like form of the spathe and spadix. Its roots dangle, while fruit hangs from two trees in the background, showing the cycle of death and rebirth, of new life springing from the old. Kahlo affectionately nicknamed Diego “sapo-rana” (“the toad frog”) because of his large protruding eyes. Frog images appear in Rivera’s paintings and were associated with fertility in pre-Hispanic symbolism. A re-created mosaic floor of the Casa Azul fountain includes frogs. Kahlo’s parents had a kitchen garden and family gathering place with potted plants on the balustrade. In the Haupt Conservatory we see an arrangement of such pots with jade, crown of thorns, agave, aloe vera and Aeonium Jack Catlin—a giant hen-and-chick. Kahlo and Rivera grew agave and yucca, as well as jacaranda, the wood from which is used in musical instruments. In 1940, after a yearlong separation and divorce, Frida and Diego remarried. Rivera designed a four-tiered pyramid structure to house his growing collection of pre-Hispanic artifacts. It was based on Meso American and pre-Aztec structures and was surrounded by a profusion of agave and cacti, and has been re-created here at NYBG.

When Kahlo and Rivera purchased adjacent lots to expand, they added a modern light-filled studio overlooking the garden. From here she painted an increasing number of still lifes of carefully arranged fruits and flowers. Interestingly, although revered as one of the most significant artists of the 20th century, Frida’s body of work numbers only 250, most of which are paintings of herself. Kahlo said she painted self-portraits because she was so often alone and “I am the person I know best.” Re-created in the Haupt Conservatory, the studio’s shelves are crammed with small sculpture, a microscope and books on subjects from poetry to botany and preHispanic cultures. There is a desk set up with an easel and her pigments, oil pastels, tubes of paint, bottles, brushes, a mortar and pestle, and a globe. Preparatory drawings for “The Dream,” where visions arise from her in bed, and “Frida and the Miscarriage” show her interest in surrealism. She said she didn’t know she was a surrealist until André Breton, the movement’s founder, called her one. “Self-Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird”—painted as a gift to her lover when she remarried Rivera, and one of her most noteworthy paintings—is on view, with its thorny vine piercing the skin around her neck. A dead hummingbird talisman dangles from the “necklace.” A pet monkey and black cat stand guard, butterflies ornament her braided hair, and a zinnia and fuchsia transform into winged insects above her head. In Mexican folklore, a dead hummingbird amulet was believed to bring back a departed lover. Contemporary artist Humberto Spindola (who is also a gardener at Casa Azul) pays tribute to the dresses in “Two Fridas,” rendering them in tissue paper, a modern application of the Aztec tradition of making art with paper from tree bark. The dresses are displayed on mannequins formed by molding thin, moistened strips of reeds and fastening them with hemp yarn and wax. But of course the best thing about Art, Garden and Life is that it provides a great excuse to visit one of the most extraordinary botanical gardens in the world—250 acres of Eden in the Bronx!—with a Victorian conservatory that is the largest glass house in the country, and a native plant garden that shows what the Bronx looked like before it was developed in the 1800s.


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Photo by Ivo M. Vermeulen

The Two Fridas by artist Humberto Spindola, FRIDA KAHLO: Art, Garden, Life.

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litze of State, sor Prize winners to former minds have alsme of the world’s mos Secretaries t in o established professors. themselves a fluential s college

BY SARAH EM ILY GILBERT There’s a key question invo lved in the co for the upco llege course ming semeste selections r, “ W h o’s the profes most faculty s o require a quic r?” While k search on th ra te m yp ro f e e o f ts s o r.com, oth used website er names spea Here, Urban A k f o r themselves. genda: NYC hig hlights an elit celebrity prof e s am pling of essors teach ing courses th is fall.

Professor: Condoleezza Rice Former Secretary of State of the U.S. George W. Bush’s National Security Advisor Best known for: Position as first female National Security Advisor (2000-2005) Position as first African American Secretary of State (2005-2009) Pioneering policy of Transformational Diplomacy while Secretary of State University: Stanford University Subject: Political Economy Course: Managing Global Political Risk Course Description:

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Professor Rice uses her knowledge from shaping one of the most aggressive U.S. foreign policies in our history to help Stanford students understand the political risks confronting today’s businesses. Complete with mini-simulations and weekly case studies, Rice’s course helps students get an idea of what it’s like to manage an international business while tackling issues like debt, cyber exploitation, and government coups.




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Professor: Jeffrey K. Eugenides Acclaimed American author known for his novels, short stories, and essays

Photograph courtesy of Peter A. Singer

Photograph by Tom Grimes

Best known for: Debut novel, The Virgin Suicides (1993) Pulitzer-Prize-winning novel, Middlesex (2002) Third novel, The Marriage Plot (2011) University: Princeton University Subject: Creative Fiction Writing

Course: Introductory Fiction Course Description: There’s nothing like kicking off a college career at Princeton University with writing critiques by American novelist Jeffrey Eugenides. In his creative writing course for freshmen at PU, Eugenides introduces students to contemporary literature through weekly reading exercises and biweekly manuscript reviews. There may not be any exams in this course, but with individual student-professor conferences scheduled at intervals throughout the semester, there’s no doubt that these young scribes will be put to the test.

Professor: Peter A. Singer Renowned Australian moral philosopher and controversial ethicist Best known for: Book on animal rights and liberation theory, Animal Liberation (1975) Co-authoring hedonistic utilitarian book, The Point of View of the Universe (2014) Provocative stance on infanticide University: Princeton University Subject: Philosophy

Course: Practical Ethics Course Description: “Does a human embryo have a greater claim to protection than a chimpanzee? Should we be able to choose to end our own life if we are terminally ill?” These are just two of the weighty questions Professor Singer poses in his Practical Ethics course description. However, with an overwhelming 425 seats available in his class (half of which are already full), it’s clear that Princeton University students are eager to debate these issues with one of the world’s leading experts on practical ethics. If students are lucky enough to get into Singer’s class, they should be ready to deliver short oral precept presentations and complete two lengthy papers that defend their moral tenets.

Professor: Junot Diaz

Course: Critical World Building

Award winning author, fiction editor at Boston Review

Study the design of constructed worlds for narrative media like television, film, and literary texts with the sometimes controversial, but always entertaining Professor Diaz. Through the analysis of literature ranging from classic Gothic texts like Dracula to sci-fi favorites like A Princess of Mars, Diaz helps students understand the structure and function of imagined or invented worlds. As if the course couldn’t get any better, the prerequisites are watching Star Wars and reading The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien.

Best known for:

Photograph courtesy ofWikimedia Commons

Debut story collection, Drown (1996) Pulitzer-Prize-winning novel, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (2007) Receiving MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship (2012) University: Massachusetts Institute of Technology Subject: Comparative Media/ Creative Writing

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Course Description:



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Course: America’s National Security Tool Box

64th Secretary of State, U.S. politician and diplomat

Formulating foreign policy for the majority of her life, Professor Albright is known to inspire the hyper-intelligent International Studies and Government majors at Georgetown University in her seminar. Particularly challenging is Albright’s “U.N. Role Play” where students must formulate U.S. policy responses to foreign affairs crises. Despite the demanding syllabus, Albright’s course is often regarded as one of the best undergrad experiences of students’ Georgetown career.

Best known for: Serving as U.S. Permanent Representative to the U.N. (1993-1997) Serving as first female Secretary of State (1997-2001) Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Obama (2012)

Course Description:

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Professor: Madeleine K. Albright

University: Georgetown University Subject: International Studies

Prominent philosopher, religion specialist, author, activist, and intellectual Best known for: New York Times bestsellers, Race Matters (1994), Democracy Matters (2004), and Brother West: Living and Loving Out Loud (2009) Hollywood films, The Matrix and The Matrix Revolutions (2003)

Course: Radical Love Course Description: As an eclectic thinker who is interested in the link between philosophy and pop culture, Professor West is more than qualified to teach a course on radical love. His students will examine the theological, moral, and political conditions for the possibility of love in our times through the works of James Baldwin, Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, Tony Kushner, and others. Touching on a wide range of topics that the professor has studied, this course gives UTS students the full Cornel West experience. Photograph by Tom Grimes

Guest appearances on the Bill Maher Show, Colbert Report, CNN, C-Span, and Democracy Now University: Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York Subject: Philosophy and Christian Practice

Professor: Nancy Schiesari Distinguished filmmaker, director, and producer of five films for television, and cinematographer for over 30 documentaries Best known for: Production and direction of Green Flutes (1984) and Hansel Mieth: Vagabond Photographer (2003) documentaries Cinematography for Academy Award nominated documentary, Regret to Inform (1998) Television Emmy-nominated cinematography for The Human Face (2002)



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University: The University of Texas at Austin Subject: Radio, Television, and Film Course: 16mm Narrative Filmmaking Course Description: While some students might get anxious at the thought of their films being analyzed by an Academy-Award-nominated cinematographer, the wide-ranging expertise of Professor Schiesari makes her course well worth taking. Through a combination of workshops and in-class assignments, students hone their film production concepts and skills while developing an aesthetic analysis of the production process.

Photograph by James Bland

Professor: Cornel R. West

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9/17/15 11:47:00 AM

Professor: Paul Muldoon Irish poet, editor, critic, and translator Best known for:

Photograph by Andrew Wilkinson

Pulitzer-Prize-winning book of poems, Moy Sand and Gravel (2003) 12 major collections of poetry Position as Poetry Editor at The New Yorker University: Princeton University

Course Description: Deemed “The most significant English-language poet born since the Second World War” by The Times Literary Supplement, Professor Muldoon’s ability to cultivate the writing skills of Princeton’s best and brightest. With only ten spots available to English majors, Muldoon’s exclusive course gives students the opportunity to be critiqued by a world-renowned poet while offering a perspective on the place of literature among the liberal arts.

Subject: Creative Writing

Professor: Henry Louis “Skip” Gates Jr.

Photograph courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Course: Advanced Creative Writing (Poetry)

Premier U.S. Scholar of African American literature and African diasporic studies Best known for: Hosting PBS’s Wonders of the African World (1999), Black in Latin America (2011), and Finding Your Roots (2012) News and Documentary Emmy Award for PBS docuseries, The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross (2013) Latest book, Finding Your Roots: The Official Companion to the PBS Series (2014)

University: Harvard University Subject: English Course: Introduction to African American Studies Course Description: It’s only appropriate that Harvard undergrads are introduced to African American literature by one of its leading scholars, Henry Louis Gates Jr. Director of the W.E.B. DuBois Institute for African and African American Research, Gates shares his extensive knowledge of key African American texts and issues in this rigorous course. In addition, he has fellow Harvard faculty deliver guest lectures in their specialized area to broaden the range of disciplinary perspectives.

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FALL 2015

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Emily St. John Mandel’s Station Eleven E BY BY TAYLOR SMITH

mily St. John Mandel is the author of four novels, most recently Station Eleven, which was a finalist for a National Book Award and the PEN/Faulkner Award, and won the 2015 Arthur C. Clarke Award. A previous novel, The Singer’s Gun, was the 2014 winner of the Prix Mystere de la Critique in France. Station Eleven has most recently been licensed as a feature film. Mandel shares her thoughts on her best-selling novel and the seed of her inspiration. Mandel was watching an episode of Star Trek: Voyager when she was struck by the line, “Survival is insufficient,” an elegant expression of something that she believed to be true. Her award-winning novel Station Eleven is based on the premise that “no matter what the circumstances, we always long for something beyond the basics of mere survival.” Unlike most dystopian fiction, Station Eleven begins more than a decade after an illness has ravaged society. The worst of the pandemic has passed and so with it has gone electricity, the Internet, modern medicine, and the majority of artistic expression. In spite of all this, a group of musicians form a travelling theatrical troupe, performing Shakespeare at small towns that have formed around abandoned gas stations. According to Mandel, “the practice of theatre and music reminds these characters (and, they hope, their audiences) of their shared humanity.” She goes on to state that the world of Station Eleven “is a harrowing place, but it’s also beautiful. Think of the last time you saw weeds growing through a cracked parking lot, and then extrapolate that to an entire abandoned world—trees growing out of collapsed buildings and vines taking over entire houses.” In an odd twist of fate, a comic book written and illustrated before the fallout becomes a sort of holy book and spawns a small band of new believers led by a ruthless and disillusioned young man who interprets the



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fantastical story as the word of God. However, another comic book of the same series takes on a different meaning for one of the title characters. For Kirsten, the illustrations are clues and faint memories of “an entire lost world that she can’t quite remember.” It is in fact, “both an artifact and a talisman.” Kirsten’s close personal connection to the comic book artist is not revealed until the end. Readers will notice that Station Eleven possesses a strong cinematic quality and Mandel reveals that, “although the process by which a book becomes a film is somewhat mysterious, I have sold the option and someone’s writing the script.” Mandel is currently “working on a secret novel” and resides in New York City with her husband.

Follow Emily St. John Mandel on Twitter @EmilyMandel

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Taste 101: A Lifetime Course in Cooking BY STUART MITCHNER


irst things first, whatever the opposite of “foodie” is, I’m it.

While my wife may also make faces at that precious little word, she fits the dictionary definition and then some of “a person who enjoys and cares about food.” Say the name “Yotam Ottolenghi” and her face lights up. Say it to me and I go “Duh?” My wife came of age in Los Angeles eating Mexican food along with other ethnic fare. I grew up in Indiana eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. If it were possible to estimate my consumption of PB&J, I might rate a place in the Guinness Book of World Records. Until I met my wife, an artichoke was as alien to me as an ottolenghi.

VIBRANT VEGGIES I spent a year in India without eating curry. Not until after the marriage vows did I take the spicy plunge, and now it’s the one thing I can cook without the help of a cookbook. Yet here I am, contemplating Yotam’s latest, Plenty More (Ten Speed Press $35). The subtitle says it’s about Vibrant Vegetable Cooking. If you look through the big full-color world of images between the covers, some 339 pages, the vegetables are nothing if not vibrant. They do everything but dance on the page. You can get drunk just looking at them. In fact, just looking at the one-word chapter titles on the contents page becomes an activity in itself. You get Tossed, Steamed, Blanched, Simmered, Braised, Grilled, Roasted, Fried, Mashed, Cracked, Baked, and Sweetened. Which, now that I think of it, is one way of describing what happened to me in India and on the way there and back. In his introduction, Ottolenghi says he gets his inspiration traveling. “A trip to Tunisia is a waste of time” unless he “comes back with the ultimate method



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for making harissa.” He’ll cut short Christmas on the beach in Thailand to “search through swarming Bangkok alleys for the elusive best-ever oyster omelet.” Which shows why adventure is the favored analogy for the culinary graces. Thanks to my wife’s passion for exotic cuisines, a year of her cooking is a vicarious world tour. What I can’t do is match her enthusiasm for the aesthetics of the served dish. When a waiter lays an entree before me as if it were a work of art, my inner-reverse-snob dares it to transcend or at least live up to its pretentiousness. Like, if you think you’re so beautiful, prove it. While I can’t warm to the notion of elegantly and imaginatively arranged displays of food as works of photographic art, Jonathan Lovekin’s photography of the dishes in Plenty More is stunning enough, I suppose. But I wonder if even gourmets can look at these culinary pin-ups with genuine hunger in their hearts. Lovekin’s gaudy portrait of Crushed Carrots with Harissa and Pistachios doesn’t look half as good as it sounds.

AMONG THE TOP TEN Two books among Publishers Weekly’s Top Ten Cookbooks for Spring 2015 are Maureen Abood’s Rose Water and Orange Blossoms: Fresh & Classic Recipes from My Lebanese Kitchen (Running Press $30) and Kristen Miglore’s Food52 Genius Recipes: 100 Recipes That Will Change the Way You Cook (Ten Speed $35), which the New York Times calls a “Dummies’ Guide to the Most Famous Recipes of All Time.” Another way to see Genius Recipes is as a greatest hits compilation featuring stars like Alice Waters, Craig Claiborne, Eric Ripert, Martha Stewart, April Bloomfield, and Julia Child. As the foreword by Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs says, “These are the recipes that inspire you to change how you cook a standard dish, that become the recipes you cook for the rest of your life.”

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Another newly released anthology, Kate White’s The Mystery Writers of America Cookbook: Wickedly Good Meals and Desserts to Die For (Quirk $24.95), offers escape from the art for food art’s sake style through recipes by Lee Child, Mary Higgins Clark, Harlan Coben, Nelson DeMille, Gillian Flynn, Sue Grafton, Charlaine Harris, James Patterson, Louise Penny, and Scott Turow, among others. Ms. White is no stranger to the genre, having written six Bailey Weggins mysteries as well as four stand-alone novels of suspense.


recent memory,” says Publishers Weekly. The New York Times calls it “Fresh, fascinating . . . entirely pleasurable,” noting that the author “has nonchalantly broken countless rules of the food world,” not least “the rule that restaurant food has to be simplified and prettied up for home cooks in order to produce a useful, irresistible cookbook. . . . the closest thing to the bulging looseleaf binder, stuck in a corner of almost every restaurant kitchen, ever to be printed and bound between cloth covers. (These happen to be a beautiful deep, dark magenta.)”


One book I’m recommending for both the cover image and the content is Robert Sietsema’s New York in a Dozen Dishes (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt $22). Of course what the title claims is impossible. Or is it? Listen to Anthony Bourdain: “A big, fat, juicy slice of what makes New York City the greatest city in the world—by the dean of food critics... When you visit a city, you should always ask yourself, ‘What do they do that’s better than everywhere else? What’s special? Iconic? Unmissable?’ If you’re talking New York, the answers are here.” From Ruth Reichl: “Nobody knows—or appreciates—New York restaurants better than Robert Sietsema. But this wonderful book is not really about food; it’s an entirely new way to see this city. If you live in New York, or ever plan to visit, you need this book.”

PRUNE Speaking of New York, someone with roots locally who has made a name for herself in the big city is Gabrielle Hamilton (viz. the Hamilton Grill in Lambertville), the chef/owner of Prune bistro in Manhattan’s East Village and the author of the bestselling memoir Blood, Bones & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef, and now Prune (Random House $45), “one of the most brilliantly minimalist cookbooks in

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Before chef Josh Thomsen parted ways with Princeton’s popular farm-to-table restauarnt Agricola, he and Kate Winslow and Steve Tomlinson put together the Agricola Cookbook (Burgess Lea Press $30). According to culinary legend Alice Waters, “Josh Thomsen has a wonderful ability to bring forth the best flavors from each season’s ingredients. Agricola’s recipes are simple, robust, and full of life— and celebrate farm and farmer.” My wife has yet to try any of Agricola’s recipes at home but we both have been back to the bar for the restaurant’s secret weapon, a cheeseburger on toasted potato bun, with aioli, Highway One (old-style Fontina) cheese, house-made pickles, hand-cut potato fries, and red beet ketchup. It seems we’ve come a long way from the the humble cheeseburger we shared at a Berkeley greasy spoon the night we met.



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(LEFT) Spring Pea Guacamole with Warm Crunchy Tortillas and raw sunflower seeds at ABC Cocina. (ABOVE) Interior for Jean-George’s ABC Cocina.

At the famed Paris department store Galeries Lafayette, elegant dining is considered a vital part of the shopping experience. At London’s Harvey Nichols store, lunch in the fifth floor restaurant is taken as seriously as shopping for Pradas and Jimmy Choos. New York emporiums took their time catching up to their European counterparts. But in Barney’s, Bloomingdale’s, Bergdorf-Goodman, and other shopping meccas around the city, dining is now a major draw. Eateries in these stores have turned into destinations in themselves, beckoning not only shoppers in search of sustenance but “outsiders” as well. In the lunch crowd of Fred’s at Barney’s, located on the ninth floor of the chic store at 660 Madison Avenue, tables of workers having business lunches are a common sight. This lively restaurant draws from offices in the neighborhood, and the banquettes just outside the front door are often lined with those waiting for a table. The stark décor is in keeping with the minimalist vibe of the store. But there is nothing minimalist about the menu. Customers can choose from such specialties as Baltimore Crab Cakes, a Lobster Club Sandwich, and Pizza Rabioli with truffle oil. There are generous salads for the diet-conscious. And

the very PC menu has offerings such as an omelette of “humanely raised, moveable pen eggs from Vermont.” Fred’s is open for lunch, dinner, and cocktails daily with brunch on weekends. The restaurant also offers full-service on-and-off-premise catering and event planning. Call 212.833.2200 or visit www.barneys.com. The ladies who lunch lay claim to BG, the seventh floor restaurant at Bergdorf Goodman. While some from alternate walks of life manage to snag tables at this aerie overlooking Central Park, it is the blond, slim, impeccably groomed and lip-plumped who dominate the dining room. Interior designer Kelly Wearstler created this cozy yet elegant four-room jewel box of a space. The Gotham Salad is a favorite, as is Ahi Tuna Poke (raw tuna), the Jumbo Lump Crab Salad Sandwich, and Vermont Buratta (a pouch of mozzarella enclosing cream and mozzarella shreds). Not surprisingly, every menu item lists the fat, cholesterol, carbohydrate, sodium, and calorie content—except for the pastries and tea sandwiches at Afternoon Tea, which is served daily from 3 to 5 PM. The restaurant, which offers numerous wines and champagnes, is open for private events. Bergdorf Goodman is located at Fifth Avenue and 57th Street. Visit www.bergdorfgoodman.com or call 212.872.8977.

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Fred's at Barneys New York Tuna Tartare (TOP) and Grilled Hen of the Woods Mushrooms (ABOVE).



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Tommy Bahama Restaurant & Bar dining room interior.

There are multiple cafes and counters in the megastore known as Macy’s for quick refueling. But Stella 34 Trattoria, located in a former storage area on the sixth floor, is the place for a satisfying meal. The restaurant’s high ceilings and soothing, all-white décor are a framework for caricatures on the walls of such personalities as television’s Al Roker and designer Betsey Johnson. Diners sit at stylish curved banquettes, some of which overlook the Empire State Building. There is a take-out bar in front showcasing fresh pasta. Other Italian-themed dishes such as wood-fired Neopolitan pizzas and paninis are on the menu, and can be accompanied by a glass of Prosecco. Macy’s is at Broadway and 34th Street. Call 212.967.9251 or visit www.stella34.com. No less than Michelin star Chef Jean-George Vongerichten and executive chef Dan Kluter are credited with the kitchen at ABC Cocina, the très chic eatery at ABC Carpet and Home, also home to ABC Kitchen. The emphasis is on locally sourced dishes with a Latin accent. Freshness is paramount. Go for lunch, dinner, or brunch (on weekends). The lunch menu includes such delicacies as Raw Shaved Fluke with Green Chili Rice and Herbs, Mexican Lasagna with Stewed Chicken, and Peekytoe Crab Fritters with Chipotle Mayo. The store is at 38 East 19th Street. Call 212.677.2233 or visit www.abccocinanyc.com. Most Tommy Bahama stores across the country have restaurants. But the New York flagship’s Tommy Bahama Restaurant & Bar is special—a two-story urban oasis with a hip bar downstairs and an airy dining room up a winding staircase. Fresh seafood with an island feel, served in large portions, is the focus of the ample menu, which also offers such specialties as Char-Grilled Filet Mignon Salad, Seared Ahi Tuna in a Chile & Brown Sugar Crust, and the ubiquitous Lobster Roll, this time as a BLT. Located at 551 Fifth Avenue and 45th Street, the restaurant is open for lunch, dinner, and drinks, and offers group and event dining. Call 212.537.0960 or visit www.tommybahama.com. A few blocks north, the Armani Ristorante at Giorgio Armani is a hushed, dark, dining room designed by Giorgio himself, right down to the flatware. The

room can be entered through the store, but it also has a private elevator from 56th Street—much more elegant. The Italian-themed menu includes a salad of shaved artichoke, baby mache, celery, Pecorino Sardo Gran Cru, and lemon. There are inventive takes on risotto, gnocchi, and ravioli. Squid ink chitarrine (spaghetti made with hard grain semolina and eggs) is cooked with braised cuttlefish, cold pressed pepper, and fennel crumble. Should you dare to indulge in dessert among the slender, Armani-clad patrons, there is a warm dark chocolate fondant with Gianduja chocolate gelato. The restaurant is at 717 5th Avenue at 57th Street. Call 212.207.1902 or visit www.armanirestaurants.com. Survey the scene at Rockefeller Center from Café SFA, on the 8th floor of Saks Fifth Avenue. Located near the store’s shoe department, which is so big that it has its own zip code (10022-SHOE), the café has a seasonal menu and daily specials with an eclectic menu of specialty cocktails. There was nothing too adventurous on a recent menu, just comforting fare like Jumbo Lump Crab Cake, Crab and Corn Chowder, a Lobster Wedge Salad and Garganelli (egg-based) pasta and Short Rib Ragout. The café attracts shoppers and tourists and is open daily until 4:30PM. Saks is at 611 Fifth Avenue at 50th Street. Call 212.940.4577 or visit www.cafesfa.com. There are multiple dining opportunities at Bloomingdale’s flagship store on 59th Street—the old standbys 40 Carrots on the 7th floor and Le Train Bleu one floor below—and the popular David Burke, which draws crowds on the busy first floor. But don’t overlook Flip, which is nestled into a space on the lower level. The burgers here are worth every fat gram, and you can build your own with such inventive ingredients as brisket blend beef, Tandoori onion ring or good old Russian dressing. Salads, if you must, are fairly traditional, listed with suggested wine pairings. If you are traipsing through Bloomingdale’s with hungry children, this is the place to go. The restaurant is open daily until one hour before closing. Call 212.705.2000 or visit www.bloomingdales.com. U

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Photographs courtesy of Exhale

F t for Each Other

From high school prom dates to international fitness gurus, homegrown husband and wife team Fred Devito and Elisabeth Halfpapp reveal their secrets to love, fulfillment, and of course, fitness. Â by Sarah Emily Gilbert



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The couple that plays together really does stay together. Husband and wife team and Hamilton, New Jersey natives, Fred Devito and Elisabeth (Lis) Halfpapp have managed to transform their work into play as vice presidents and founding members of Exhale Spa and co-creators of the workout routine, Core Fusion. While Fred and Lis’s version of play might include planking, lunging, and weight lifting, it’s certainly kept their relationship strong—32 years strong to be exact. The dynamic duo has been connecting through fitness since they were Hamilton High School sweethearts. Fred played football for the Hornets and Lis was a cheerleader while she took ballet classes outside of school. With a mutual desire to teach after graduation, they decided to explore career paths that allowed them to share their interests with others. For Lis, that meant getting a dance degree from the School of The Hartford Ballet, and for Fred, it took on the form of a B.S. in Physical Education and Health from The College of New Jersey. After graduation, Fred worked as a health and physical education teacher at Hamilton’s Reynolds Middle School while Lis commuted out of Princeton Junction to conduct private fitness training in New York City. Always torn between teaching fitness and dance, Lis found her niche in the 1980s after answering an advertisement in the New York Times for a full-time teaching position at the Manhattan Lotte Berk Studio, the American home of the Lotte Berk Method. Founded in the 1960s by European modern dancer, Lotte Berk, the Method combines ballet, pilates, and sculpting to create a lean, dancer-like physique. It is also known as the mother of the barre movement. Lis was immediately taken by the effectiveness of the Method, so much

so that she and Fred decided to move to Manhattan, NYC. After a period of traveling around playing music and teaching fitness classes on the side, Fred also became impressed by the body transformations created by the Lotte Berk Method. Although the method started out exclusively for women, it became gender-neutral when Fred joined Lis and the Lotte Berk team in 1980. For 20 years, the couple taught 36 classes a week, and further revolutionized the Method by developing a barre/core technique that they taught to other instructors. As they began to see that the needs of their clients required more mind body balance, they decided to add yoga elements to the Lotte Berk Method, creating their own unique version of a barre workout. In 2001, Fred and Lis’s years of fitness teaching and experimentation paid off when President and CEO of Exhale Spa Annebeth Eschbach brought them on to co-create Exhale’s proprietary Core Fusion classes. A combination of the Lotte Berk Method, pilates, yoga, dance, and orthopedic exercises that develop lean functional muscles, Core Fusion focuses on position and alignment while avoiding tedious repetitions. Fred is the first to admit that it was scary for him and Lis to leave secure jobs at Lotte Berk, but with their families’ support they found the confidence to take the risk. “My dad always told me to follow my passion,” Fred recalls. "Lis and I started doing the Lotte Berk Method and Core Fusion before fitness teaching was a thing, and our parents believed in us. I took my dad’s advice and followed my passions when I joined Exhale. Our families were always there for us, and now we are living the dream, doing what we love.” Fred and Lis’s love of Core Fusion is shared by Heidi Klum, Cameron Diaz,

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9/17/15 11:33:07 AM

Photographs courtesy of Exhale

and Allison Williams, just to name a few of their high-profile fans. It also attracts many professional athletes and dancers who are looking to recover from injuries or increase their balance and flexibility. Despite all the physical benefits offered by Core Fusion classes, what truly sets it apart is Fred and Lis’s time-tested expertise in teaching. Unlike many other barre companies, Exhale is not a franchise, so Fred and Lis can be found teaching classes at one of the 29 Exhale Spa locations in 10 top markets to ensure quality control. Recently, they’ve started a certification program that welcomes people outside of Exhale to learn Core Fusion and take their practice back with them to their studio. As Fred explains, “We are teachers, not instructors who bark at you. [Exhale Spa] has teachers that find out where you are and try to get you to other levels of fitness.” Fred and Lis are such good teachers that they’ve created a suite of 11 Core Fusion DVDs together. Taping their first DVD in their early 50s, the couple proves their belief that as fitness evolves and changes; they should also evolve and change. This philosophy is furthered by their plan to do live streaming videos of Core Fusion techniques so their teaching can have unlimited reach. Core Fusion and Exhale Spa have spearheaded an entire fitness movement that focuses on mind, body, and soul. As Fred points out, in an industry often flawed by excess of ego, Exhale Spa teaches wisdom. The holistic approach to the Core Fusion training classes blends stress reduction, breath focus, and mind body awareness, so that their students achieve a higher level of living. For proof of its ability to make for a fulfilling life, look no further than the creators.



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Fred and Lis’s key to a fruitful existence is balance, something that’s very fitting for a couple that specializes in core strength. Lis explains, “We try to balance our relationship so that sometimes it’s a work relationship and other times it’s a marriage.” In regard to exercising and healthy living, the couple has a surprisingly similar attitude. They follow the “80-20 rule,” where 80 percent of the time they eat well and stay healthy and allow 20 percent for sweets, treats, and cheats. Both also emphasis time alone to focus, restart and reflect. Not surprisingly, the duo puts in many hours of exercise instructing Core Fusion classes five days a week, but it’s something they both love, especially when teaching in Exhale’s Turks and Caicos location. While Fred prefers Core Yoga and Extreme Core Classes for his workouts, Lis still takes a ballet class once a week. Fred and Lis are so passionate about Core Fusion that they never want to retire. Although they will eventually allow higher management at Exhale to take over, they hope to continue teaching fitness classes. Lis repeatedly states that she wants to teach until she’s 90, a promising aspiration for a woman trained in the Lotte Berk Method where Berk herself taught until she was 80. But, as Fred says, why retire when you have the best job in the world? “We’re so lucky to have a job that’s healthy for us. We can work while maintaining body and mind health. God willing, we’re going to do this as long as our bodies allow.” With plans to expand Exhale Spa to at least 50 locations, a book coming out in November, and live stream teaching videos underway, there seems to be no end in sight for Fred and Lis, a couple that is clearly fit for each other.

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How Much Are You Worth?

Urban Agenda NYC calculates the monetary value of your body “products” from head to toe. BY SARAH EMILY GILBERT


he question, “How much are you worth?” might cause you to go on a philosophical journey to uncover your intrinsic value, but in this case, the question is more literal. It’s asking how much money your body parts are worth. While you’re probably now imaging the posthumous trafficking of your organs on the black market, there is a thriving legal market for those looking to sell their body “products” while living. From human hair to blood, people around the United States are cashing in on their bodies.

EGG DONATION: $5,000-$35,000 PER DONATION CYCLE Egg donation is one of the few areas where women earn more than men. This is partially due to the complicated nature of the painful egg harvesting procedure compared to that for sperm. After undergoing extensive medical and psychological examinations and meeting all of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) guidelines for egg donation, a woman can begin the donation process. Although the ASRM states, “Total payments to donors in excess of $5,000 require justification and sums above $10,000 are not appropriate,” there have been instances of women being paid well above the suggested compensation rates for their eggs. That’s because they are merely recommendations and not federal laws. Consequently, there’s an entire egg donation industry targeted towards “elite donors,” or women of superior beauty, IQ, and athleticism, among other attributes. One such agency is The Egg Donor Program in California. When asked how much they’d be willing to pay an attractive Princeton University graduate for her eggs, they readily offered a $10,000 minimum payment for the first donation. However, they made it known that their donors have been paid upwards of six figure amounts, while most exceptional donors make $25,000 to $35,000 for their donations. At first glance, The Egg Donor Program’s website could be mistaken for a dating website or booking agency rather than an egg donation company. It markets itself as an exclusive club where selected donors are referred to as “Premier Donor Angels: beautiful, accomplished, highly educated” (www.eggdonation.com). These programs generally have stricter donor requirements than those suggested by the ASRM. For example, the ASRM requires donors to be between 21 and 34 years of age, but elite donors are usually between 20 to 30 years old and college educated.

SPERM: $80-$100 PER DONATION Although the compensation rates for sperm donation are much less than egg donation, they can be made much more frequently and easily. Participation in sperm donor programs usually requires a six to twelve month commitment wherein participants must donate two to three times per week. This means that men can earn upwards of $1,200/month for every acceptable donation (as donors only get paid when their sperm count meets a certain standard). Like egg donation, there are expert guidelines and recommendations, but no regulation as to who is donating or how often. This is controversial when it comes to how many pregnancies result from one sperm donor. While the ASRM suggests 25 live births per population area of 850,000, there have been reports of donors having over 100 genetic children (conceptionconnections.wordpress.com). As with egg donation, there is big business for exceptional sperm donor programs where agencies are highly discriminatory in their donor selections. Agencies such as NW Cryobank require donors to be a minimum height of 5’10, between the ages of 18 and 35 years, and “within the normal limits of weight for [their] muscular build and height.” Meanwhile, the ASRM suggests donors be between 18 and 40, with no mention of body type. Another elite donor agency called Fairfax Cryo Bank (where accepted donors join Club Fairfax) gives donor recipients the option of using their FaceMatch™ program when selecting a donor. This allows them to submit a photo of their face or a celebrity’s face into the donor image database. The program then finds donors with a similar look to the photo submitted. In other words, if donor recipients want their baby to be a mini Brad Pitt, Fairfax Cryo Bank is for them.

WOMB (SURROGACY): $30,000-$50,000 For this body part, it’s not so much donated as it is “rented out” for nine months, but for a high cost. Not only are there monetary expenses for using a surrogate, but also legal implications. There are few states in the U.S. that allow commercial gestational surrogacy or surrogacy in which the woman is unrelated to the fetus and is contractually compensated for carrying the baby. New York and New Jersey are among the states where surrogacy is nearly impossible.

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images courtesy of shutterstock.com

However, when it is allowed (as in California, Rhode Island, and Connecticut) women can make large sums of money (creativefamilyconnections.org). Most agencies like Shared Conception require surrogates to have birthed and raised at least one child prior to being accepted. Experienced surrogates who have had uncomplicated previous pregnancies usually receive an additional $5,000 on their base compensation rate. But, like elite sperm and egg donation programs, there are exceptional surrogacy agencies that pay higher compensation rates for “gifted” surrogates. Since there are huge emotional risks involved in surrogacy, the parents of the baby being carried should expect additional legal fees in order to uphold their contractual agreement with the surrogate.

Breast Milk: $1-$2.50 per ounce Until the feeding bottle was introduced in the 19th century, wet nursing was a bona fide profession with contracts and laws to regulate the practice (A History of Infant Feeding, Emily E. Stevens, Thelma E. Patrick, Rita Pickler). However, there has been a modern resurgence of the wet nurse, but in a slightly different form thanks to the internet. Websites like onlythebreast.com allow women to post whether they’re interested in buying or selling milk and then categorize it under options like “Special Diet (Vegan, etc.), Selling Locally, or Selling in Bulk.” Users also specify how old their baby is as the breast milk composition changes based on the amount of time it’s been since birth. The younger the baby, the more a woman’s breast milk is usually worth. Such online forums are unregulated, and thus, could potentially pose a risk to the individual consuming the milk. In fact, the FDA recommends against feeding your baby breast milk acquired directly from individuals or through the internet (www.fda.gov). A safer alternative comes in the form of milk banks that take voluntary steps to screen milk donors and safely collect, process, handle, and store the breast milk. While many milk banks do not compensate women for their milk donations, The Mother’s Milk Cooperative pays $1/ounce. The compensation rates for breast milk might not seem worth the trouble, but according to KellyMom.com, the average baby consumes 25 ounces of milk per day. If a woman received $2.50 per ounce for a year, she’d make well over $20,000 annually.



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Hair: $100-$4,000 Hair certainly makes the cut when it comes to high value body products. Men and women can post hair classifieds on websites like Hairwork.com or HairSellon. com to buy and sell human hair. In high demand in the beauty industry to make hair extensions and wigs, human hair can be worth a significant sum of money under the right conditions. According to Marlys Fladeland of Hairwork.com, long, straight, red hair that’s never been dyed is usually worth the most money. While prices vary depending on inches available, color, and texture, Fladeland reveals that one woman from Indiana received $4,000 for 31 inches of hair in 2013. On HairSellon.com, people set their own prices for their hair and in the description often include information on their race, hair washing habits, and even their diet. The website also features a hair pricing calculator tool to help people estimate the value of their hair by inputting the length, color, thickness, and condition.

Plasma: $20-$50 per donation What exactly is human blood plasma? It’s the liquid portion of blood that contains 500 different types of protein, and according to the American Red Cross, around 150 of these can be used to diagnose diseases or manufacture therapies. In other words, blood plasma is of high demand in the medical field, so much so that they pay people to donate it. According to DonatingPlasma. org, in approximately 90 minutes, people in good health between the ages of 18 and 69 can donate their plasma for money. While compensation rates vary nationwide, donors get compensated according to their weight. The more a donor weighs, the more plasma can be collected, and therefore, the more money made. The compensation range is generally 20 to 50 dollars. The FDA limits donations to twice within a seven-day period, so a frequent donor can make upwards of $400 per month, or almost $5,000 annually. Donor locations have also been known to include bonuses or incentives like movie tickets or gift cards to frequent donors or those who bring a friend with them to donate.

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WORKOUT TO GO OUT Breathe Asteroid T-Shirt in White, Country Road, $69.95; www.countryroad.com.au.

Tribeca Champ Bag, Monreal London, $403.16; www.monreallondon.com.

Camo Yoga Pant, The Upside Sport, $139; www.theupsidesport.com.

Lexie Short, Rebecca Minkoff, $128; www.rebeccaminkoff.com.

Camo Rockstud Leather Sneaker in Green/Poudre/ Nero,Valentino, $845; www.neimanmarcus.com.

Labradorite and Black Garnet Millie Earrings, Katie Diamond, $144; www.clay-pot.com.

X Linda Farrow Stainless Steel Rim Half Moon Sunglasses in Black, 3.1 Phillip Lim, $270; www.lanecrawford.com.

Panopoly Jacket in Ecru, VPL, $480; www.modesportif.com.

Product selection by Sarah Emily Gilbert

Fitbit Fret Double-Wrap Bracelet in Black/Shiny Gold, Tory Burch, $175; www.toryburch.com.

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“Just Show Up” to November Project New York


There’s a free fitness movement sweeping North America and thanks to November Project New York, it’s just a hop, skip, and jump away.


t’s 5:30 AM on a dreary Wednesday morning in New York City. There’s ice on the taxi windshields, a chill in your bones, and all you want to do is climb back into bed. But somewhere in the city, a swarm of people, clad in brightly colored clothing is planking, sprinting, and hugging, while blasting Celine Dion’s greatest hits. This weatherproof, spirited group of individuals is November Project New York and all they want is for people to “just show up” to their early morning workouts. In November 2011, Northeastern crew alums Brogan Graham and Bojan Mandaric were looking for a way to stay fit during the bleak winter months of Boston, Massachusetts. In order to motivate themselves, the two decided to make a pact to meet at 6 AM each day for an intense early morning workout, something they called their “November Project.” Not only did Graham and Madaric keep their word, but they also spread it across North America. First their friends starting joining them, then total strangers, and before long, the duo realized that they had launched a grassroots fitness movement. Fast-forward to 2015 and November Project “tribes” can be found exercising year-round in more than 20 cities in the United States and Canada. The free outdoor workout group welcomes participants of all levels, from the fitness rookie to the former Olympian. While tribe members range from ages 15 to 65, most members are young professionals in their 20s and 30s who are new to the city and looking to meet people. Arguably, these millennials benefit the most from November Project’s commitment to building community. It’s nearly impossible to not make friends at November Project. Aside from the fact that members must hug their neighbor before each session, most of November Project’s workouts require a partner. Although partners often have a love-hate relationship as they are made to give one another piggyback rides while sprinting, come post-workout, they’re all smiles. November Project’s workouts may be challenging, but each tribe maintains a friendly and encouraging atmosphere that promotes unity among its members. One of their largest (and most enthusiastic) tribes is November Project New York (NPNY). Organized by tribe leaders Paul Leak and John Honerkamp, NPNY draws over 100 people to attend their Wednesday and Friday morning workouts at locations like the Williamsburg Bridge, Wall Street, and even the Staten Island Ferry. Like all tribes, NPNY is centered in each member’s accountability. If you tell a fellow tribe member that you’re going to attend a workout, you better be there, or else risk appearing on their blog’s “We Missed You” page that features members that skipped a session. Although such posts are playful, they exemplify November Project’s dedication to their tagline, “just show up.” Knowing 100 tribe members are waiting for you in the morning cold, is motivation to get up and out of bed.

Although NPNY is technically considered a fitness group, some refer to it as a flash mob, others call it a dance party, and many see it as a professional cheerleading group. That’s because quite simply, NPNY knows how to have a good time. When they aren’t sporting their neon colored gear with “November Project” spray-painted on it, NPNY may be seen wearing wigs, tutus, or theme-based costumes. There are, in fact, a lot of spontaneous spurts of song and dance at their workouts—as long as the playlist is on point. But best of all, November Project supports positivity, kindness, and inclusiveness, something we could all use to kick-start the morning. So, as next week quickly approaches, NPNY has one question: will you show up?

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November Project NYC Schedule: Every Wednesday: Time: 5:28 AM and 6:28 AM Location: Gracie Mansion Grotto/(86th/East River) Last Wednesday of the Month: Time: 5:28 AM and 6:28 AM Location: Wards Island side of the 102nd Street Footbridge Fridays: Time: 6:28 AM Location TBD, tribe members must check november-project.com that week for the locations. For more information go to their website, www.november-project.com/new-york-ny/, follow @Nov_Project_NYC on Twitter, or go to their Facebook page, November Project – NYC.



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The Top Apps for Healthy Living A better you is at your fingertips

by Sarah Emily Gilbert

Americans are often criticized for using their mobile devices too much and for exercising too little. But what if cell phone use and exercise were combined? Luckily for us, “there’s an app for that,” in fact, there are several apps for that. From paying users to go to the gym to tracking their caloric in-take, there are apps designed for nearly every area of health and wellness. Below, Urban Agenda NYC outlines some of the best apps to download in order to stay active and motivated.


Download Price: Free to download with cost of cash stakes to keep “pact” “Earn cash for exercise, healthy living, and eating right.” — Gym-pact.com If an app that gives users money to make their fitness goals sounds too good to be true, consider the fact that Pact also takes users’ money when fitness goals are not met. The Pact app (formerly known as Gym Pact) allows members to make a “pact” to exercise, log meals, or eat vegetables daily for a user-specified period of time. When people sign-up, they can have $5 to $10 deducted from their credit card or PayPal account for every day they miss. On the flip side, if users stay committed to their pact, they get paid 3¢ to $5 per week until they reach $10. Their payout comes from users who didn’t make their pact. How does the app know they’ve been committed? Users are expected to check into one of the 400,000 gyms in the Pact database and stay in its location for a minimum of 30 minutes. To prove they’ve followed their meal goals, users must take a picture of their food using their mobile phone. Other users are encouraged to vote down photos that shouldn’t count to prevent cheaters from cashing in.



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Download Price: 10-day free trial, followed by monthly or annual subscription “Headspace is meditation made simple. Learn online, when you want, wherever you are, in just 10 minutes a day.” — Headspace.com Deemed by Headspace as “the gym membership for the mind,” this mobile health platform helps train your mind to meditate for at least ten minutes each day. With well over one million users, Headspace is revolutionizing the way people cope with their daily stresses. Users can try a 10-day free trial where co-creator and former Buddhist monk Andy Puddicombe guides them in 10-minute meditation sessions. After the free subscription is over, users have the option of a monthly or annual subscription. A full member has access to 350 hours worth of guided meditation lessons. Once the foundation stage of mediation is complete, Headspace users can move on to meditation in the form of health, performance, relationships, or Headspace Pro where they are able to guide their own sessions.


Download Price: Free, offers in-app purchases “Let Fooducate be your diet toolbox.” — Fooducate.com Fooducate is like a personal dietitian in app form. It has a database with over 250,000 food products that are graded from A to D based on their nutrition facts panel and ingredient list. Users can even scan a product’s barcode to see its personalized nutrition grade. The less processed the food, the higher the rating. The Fooducate app can track the quantity and quality of calories consumed by a user as well as their daily water consumption and exercise. Other features include healthy recipes, daily tips, and forums where users can address questions to the Fooducate community. Winning first prize in the U.S. Surgeon General Healthy App Challenge for best nutrition app is clear evidence that Fooducate helps improve its users health through better food decisions.

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Download Price: Free, offers in-app purchases “The first, fastest, and most accurate mobile heart rate monitor.” — Azumio.com Believe it or not, people can monitor their heart rate with their smartphone and the Instant Heart Rate Monitor app from Azumio. Each time the heart pumps, it sends a pulse throughout the body that causes the skin’s capillary vessels to expand. When this occurs, the color of the skin slightly changes. To have their heart rate measured, users must place their finger over their cellphone camera’s light so it can record the color changes in their fingertip with each heartbeat. By doing so, it measures the user’s beats per minute (bpm). Instant Heart Rate Monitor provides users with their results using a simple graphical interface and updates them on their progress. The average heart rate range is between 60 and 100 bpm, and variations in those numbers can tell someone a lot about their general health. The Instant Heart Rate Monitor also features in-app purchases like the Standup Test™ that provides users a detailed analysis of their heart’s strength based on how hard it needs to work when the individual stands.


Download Price: Free, offers in-app purchases “Join the running community that helps people get out the door and stick with running forever.” — RunKeeper 45 million runners currently use this fitnesstracking app. Although it’s called RunKeeper, it can monitor many activities like walking and cycling using a smartphone’s GPS. The app provides detailed stats on pace, distance, and time and even gives coaching audio cues at designated workout intervals to motivate users during their exercise. Other features include music that matches the tempo of the workout, the ability to share pictures while taking part in the activity, and in-app training plans. RunKeeper logs the history of the user’s activity, so they can track personal bests or milestones against their goals. The app also connects to several social media platforms so that users can post updates on their exercise progress.



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he first things you see when you visit the Brooklyn Museum’s current website (www.brooklynmuseum.org) are a stylized image of the late Brooklyn-born artist Jean-Michel Basquiat’s face and, immediately below it, a larger, looking-you-in-the eye headshot of arts advocate Anne Pasternak, who is about to assume the museum’s directorship. Basquiat, who died in 1988 at the age of 28, is currently the subject of Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks, what the Museum is calling “the first major exhibition” of some of “the numerous notebooks with poetry fragments, wordplay, sketches, and personal observations ranging from street life and popular culture to themes of race, class, and world history.” Although it is specific to Basquiat, this is probably an apt description for the nature of the work ahead for Pasternak, who is 50. Now housed in a five-story McKim, Mead & White building dating back to 1893, the roots of this venerable institution can be traced even further back to 1823, when the Brooklyn Apprentices’ Library to educate young tradesmen was founded. (Walt Whitman would later become a librarian there.) Today it

includes a collection of more than a million works and a full-time staff of 308, including 20 curators and departments from ancient Egyptian to contemporary and feminist art. Although she is the first woman to head one of the city’s two “encyclopedic art museums” (the other is the Metropolitan Museum of Art), Pasternak already has female counterparts in high places, including Caroline Baumann at the Cooper Hewitt, Holly Block at the Bronx Museum, Thelma Golden at the Studio Museum in Harlem, Claudia Gould at the Jewish Museum, Jessica Morgan at Dia Art Foundation, Lisa Phillips at the New Museum, Laura Raicovich (also formerly of Creative Time) at the Queens Museum, and Miwako Tezuka at the Japan Society Gallery. Pasternak clearly impressed the right people. A recent letter announcing her appointment (her formal title is “Shelby White and Leon Levy Director”) said that “Anne is the clear choice to lead the Brooklyn Museum at a pivotal moment for the institution, and in art history...she believes in the limitless power of art to move, motivate, and inspire, and few cultural leaders have succeeded in reaching such huge audiences.”

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Many share the trustees’ belief that Pasternak proved her mettle during her 21-year stint at Creative Time, a New York-based non-profit organization that commissions and presents public art projects. Under her watch, the Creative Time staff grew from one full-time employee (Pasternak) to a team of 25. Projects highlighting her tenure included Tribute in Light, which has appeared annually next to the site of the World Trade Center since 2002, and the presentation last year of Kara Walker’s A Subtlety (described as “jaw-dropping”) at the former Domino Sugar Factory in Brooklyn.

“The Brooklyn Museum is a place that’s incredibly inclusive.” – ANNE PASTERNAK


“To say that the sky’s the limit for Anne Pasternak...is more than a platitude,” observed The New Yorker’s Andrea K. Scott. “In early 2001, she arranged for a skywriter to fly over Manhattan and draw vapor-trail ‘clouds,’ four times a day for a week, on behalf of the Brazilian crowd-pleaser Vik Muniz.” “Pasternak brings a world of active experience working closely with artists and helping them make their most ambitious ideas happen,” enthused Vogue after her appointment. Pasternak returns the compliment. “I’ve never been interested in another job, but I’ve long loved the Brooklyn Museum and

thought if there was ever a museum that would potentially be a great fit—because of its commitment to artistic freedom and civic-ness and inclusion and equity—this would be the right place,” she said. As cocksure as that may sound, Pasternak clearly understands the complexity of her assignment. “They didn’t have to persuade me to come in, but I did have trepidation,” she told another interviewer. “It would be disingenuous to say that the shift in scale isn’t enormous. And the museum’s space, in terms of capital improvements and design improvements, is like a Rubik’s cube that’s very complicated to solve.” There are other balancing acts ahead. Brooklyn is not Manhattan, but then Manhattan is no longer the last word in the art scene. The Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) has just announced a $25 million building project to link three of its existing spaces, in addition to creating permanent visual art galleries and providing new patron amenities. A new St. Ann's Warehouse (theatre) is being built in the “Dumbo” neighborhood, and the presence of Hillary Clinton’s campaign headquarters is probably a boon. A re-envisioning of the Brooklyn Heights waterfront—replete with high-end condos—may also bring more museum-goers. “Brooklyn is the place to be now,” enthused one art lover. In a New York Times article, journalist/New York City fixture Michael Musto observed as how Manhattanites are becoming the new “bridge and tunnel crowd”—a fairly condescending label that used to be applied to the presumably uncultured masses traveling from the boroughs into “the City.” “The world around Brooklyn is changing so rapidly, you’ve got to react to it,” recently observed BAM Chairman Alan H. Fishman.





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RODIN AND REEBOK Another juggling act for Pasternak will have to do with finding the right balance between showcasing the museum’s distinguished older collections with exhibits that have more popular appeal. Right now visitors are greeted by twelve bronze sculptures by Auguste Rodin that have been moved into the Rubin Entrance Pavilion because of other installations in their usual home, the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Gallery. This particular presentation from the Brooklyn Museum’s large holdings by Rodin includes The Age of Bronze, a signature conception from the early years of the sculptor’s career, as well as other works from his most significant commissions, including The Burghers of Calais, The Gates of Hell, and the Monument to Balzac. In stark contrast to all this grandeur and solemnity is The Rise of Sneaker Culture, a recently installed exhibit in the Museum’s fifth-floor Morris A. and Meyer Schapiro Wing. A review of the show, which curators describe as tracing “the evolution of the sneaker from its beginnings to its current role as status symbol and urban icon,” complained that “with footwear displayed in sleek vitrines, the installation looks as if it were sponsored by a major sneaker company.” Still, observers are making sure to acknowledge the achievements of Pasternak’s predecessor at the Brooklyn Museum, Arnold Lehman. The announcement of her appointment notes his “trailblazing 18-year tenure,” and Pasternak herself has noted, “there are extraordinary opportunities to build on the work that Arnold [Lehman] and the museum have done in terms of creating a truly civic institution.” Generally speaking, Pasternak observes, “the museum has done an excellent job reaching into the borough’s vast wealth of different cultures, and the audience is probably among the most diverse, if not the most diverse, in the city.”

MAKING THE SELECTION The search for Lehman’s replacement was watched with considerable interest by art world observers. WNYC, the local NPR station, went so far as to conduct a multi-day series inviting listeners to weigh in on “The Hunt for the Next Hot Museum Boss.” A segment on “Museum as White Spaces” took Michelle Obama’s comments at the recent Whitney Museum opening as a taking-off point.

“You see, there are so many kids in this country who look at places like museums and concert halls and other cultural centers and they think to themselves, well, that’s not a place for me, for someone who looks like me, for someone who comes from my neighborhood," the First Lady said. Reporting that, according to the American Association of Museums just 9 percent of core museum visitors are minorities, the program asked why many museums seem off-limits to people of color. Queens City Council member Jimmy Van Bramer, who chairs the Cultural Affairs Committee, seemed to be addressing at least some of these concerns in a later edition when he noted that "there is something very powerful and very special about black children coming to this museum and seeing images on the wall of people who look like them, knowing that they are worthy and important of such great works of art, and that is something we haven't always done well, but this museum gets it."

“I love, love, love working with artists.” – ANNE PASTERNAK When the series concluded on May 19 with the ultimate announcement of Pasternak’s appointment, WNYC's art critic Deborah Solomon declared that even though Pasternak doesn't have museum experience, she was the best choice. "She has always stood up for artists," Solomon said. There is no word yet on Pasternak’s reaction to comedian and filmmaker Negin Farsad’s earlier suggestion that the new director should be “the love child of Bjork and Seinfeld.” The Brooklyn Museum is located at 200 Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn 718.638.5000. Food is available in the museum restaurant, Saul, and at The Counter café. Nearby attractions include the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, the Brooklyn Public Library, Prospect Park, the Prospect Park Zoo, and the Brooklyn’s Children’s Museum. U

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PHOTO: METROPOLITAN TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY / PATRICK CASHIN; WIKIMEDIA COMMONS New York State Chief Digital Officer & Deputy Secretary for Technology Rachel Haot speaks during an App Quest 3.0. event sponsored by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, AT&T, Transit Wireless, and New York University’s Center for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP), to announce winners in their global competition to solicit development of new mobile solutions designed to help improve commutes for millions of subway, bus and rail riders across the five boroughs.

—Rachel Haot, NY State Chief Digital Officer



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The new NY.gov puts information and resources at the fingertips of New Yorkers as never before, reflecting the Governor’s commitment to service, transparency and efficiency.

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Rachel Haot Making a Better World with Technology by ilene dube

image courtesy of rachel sterne haot


“In God we trust; everyone else, bring data.”

hese words, from former Mayor Michael Bloomberg, continue to be a guiding Her favorite feeds to follow: I Love New York, U.S. Department of the Interior (for its maxim for Rachel Haot, who was New York City’s Chief Digital Officer from 2011 photographs of the national parks) and Humans of New York. to 2013. With more than 54,000 Twitter followers, Haot’s Tweets reveal frequent speaking These days, as Chief Digital Officer and Deputy Secretary of Technology for engagements for talks about women in technology and STEM fields. She supports New York State, Haot’s role is to develop digital products, programs and policy. Her team the governor’s policies on such issues as combating wage theft, health hazards for has re-launched the official state website, NY.gov, its first overhaul in 15 years, and she is nail salon workers, and fair pay for fast food workers. She re-tweets about there being committed to making government more accessible to better serve all citizens, regardless more female tech workers in New York than in Silicon Valley, and her camera focuses of income, age, ability or language. on sites such as Prospect Park, beach scenes with dramatic skies, architecture, spring “My passion is the intersection of technology and public service,” says Haot, who blooming trees, New York’s bridges, and aerial views of the boroughs. The photos was named one of the city’s most influential women by Gotham Magazine in 2013. Fast show a love affair with the city. Company cited her as one of the 100 Most Creative Persons in Business. She was named On Facebook (where she’s followed by more than 300,000), we learn that Haot a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum and has been recognized as a “30 supports New York State’s ban on fracking‑‑“Thinking of my son, and of generations to Under 30” and “40 Under 40” leader by Fortune and Forbes. come;” she believes libraries are more important than ever; and we see photos of her One of Haot’s biggest challenges is setting priorities and staying focused in a state handsome husband and son. Rachel, 31, married Maxime Haot in 2012—the wedding was that handles more than 250 social media accounts. “If you look at a state like New York, streamed live for those who couldn’t attend. Maxime is a Belgian American who founded the sky is truly the limit,” she told Tech Republic. “There is unlimited potential in terms of Livestream, a company that allows users to broadcast live video on the web. Together the projects and initiatives we can launch, and the ability for technology to improve our the Haots, who live in Brooklyn with their son, have appeared on lists of New York media operations. But (in only so many hours in the day) we need to make decisions and set power couples. priorities about where we’re going to invest our energies.” Born in Manhattan, Haot grew up in Brooklyn and Dobbs Ferry, N.Y. Her father, Paul While the common perception is that government L. Sterne, retired as the managing director for corporate workers cite reasons why something can’t be done, Haot development at I.B.M. in Armonk, N.Y. Anna Sterne, her sees it as her responsibility to find ways to make it work, mother, is Director of Clinical Services at Unlimited Care, Inc.. bringing her start-up mentality to government. Both Rachel got her first Mac at age 7 and developed her first people who work in government and people who work in website when she was 13. Summers were spent as an au pair technology share the dream of making a better world for in France, volunteering on a Native American reservation in all, she says. “And people get excited about technology as a Montana, and interning for then District 1 Councilman Alan way to make their lives easier.” J. Gerson. It was during a stint as an intern for the United In designing a website, the most important thing is Nations that she discovered the potential of democratizing to make it work for the user. “Many government websites the internet, which led to her interest in blogs and creating began as tools to serve journalists or internal users,” she a citizen journalism site. Haot earned a bachelor’s degree in says, but an effective government website must serve all history at New York University. constituents. “And by looking at data, governments learn In 2006, she founded GroundReport, a global about their constituents and what government services are crowdsourced news startup, and served as Chief Executive important to them.” Officer until 2010. In 2008, she founded the digital strategy One current objective is promoting the state’s $1 billion consulting firm Upward, and later served as an adjunct plan to make broadband accessible to every New Yorker and professor of Social Media and Entrepreneurship at Columbia all businesses by 2018. More than 50 percent of New York Business School. State schools do not have adequate internet speed. Her target Remember pay phones? Once a primary means of is 100 megabytes per second—and by that standard, more communication, the city had 35,000 in the 1990s. Haot was than 38 percent of Manhattan is currently underserved. “It is part of the city’s team that launched the Reinvent Payphones the foundation of a connected society,” she says, comparing Design Challenge in 2012, a competition that rallied urban internet access to running water, electricity and the interstate Haot with her mother Anna Sterne, attending the City & State NY Above designers, planners, technologists and policy experts to highway system—“the backbones of a civilized society.” & Beyond Awards, March, 2015. create physical and virtual prototypes to imagine the future Presently, New York doesn’t even rank in the top 10 states of New York City’s public pay telephones. in connection speed, something Haot considers completely unacceptable. Broadband From more than 125 submissions, designing everything from Wi-Fi hotspots and investment helps create new jobs and improve economic vitality, she says. High speed charging stations to alternative energy sources and community art installations, were internet attracts tourism and adds to the desirability of New York City as a place to live. drawn 11 semifinalists and six winners. “We’re in the midst of a tech golden age, and Standing six feet tall, Haot is not only brilliant, beautiful, articulate and poised, New York City is the most innovative city on earth‑‑and constantly reinventing itself,” but fashionably dressed—she’s been featured in Vogue—and has the sensibility of an said Haot. entrepreneur. She’s been called Superwoman, is a skillful negotiator and fearless trailblazer. One of her first major challenges came in 2011 during Hurricane Irene. Government When named Chief Digital Officer of the Year by the Chief Digital Officer Club in 2014, websites see peak traffic during emergencies. Then 28, she hunkered down in City Hall club founder David Mathison said “Rachel is equal parts inspirational leader, loyal staff with a MacBook Pro, a BlackBerry, and an iPhone as wind and rain lashed the city and member, responsible and accountable colleague and dedicated public servant. She can millions of New Yorkers holed up with bottled water, flashlights and transistor radios. easily simplify complex topics, and accomplish challenging tasks, all with alacrity and her To keep citizens informed, Haot mobilized the city’s Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, signature style and grace.” Tumblr, Crowdmap, as well as the city’s own website. At the time, New York was the only And with all that, friends describe her as “really nice.” To unwind, Haot practices yoga, U.S. city with a chief digital officer. Social media, she said, is transforming the way city plays with her son and takes pictures with her iPhone that she uploads to Instagram. government communicates with citizens. Social media, she says, is transforming the way government communicates with “I’m lucky to be able to work toward making a difference,” she says. “It’s beyond my citizens. “We use it a lot to keep people aware, be transparent in new ways, and be more wildest dreams.” relevant to people who really live online and get a lot of their news online” Haot told the Huffington Post.

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(above) Views of Summit, including the Summit Opera House and Winberies Restaurant. Images courtesy of Andy Foster Photography.



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The Sum of Summit Urban Agenda: NYC’s Guide to Summit, NJ by Sarah Emily Gilbert


ummit, New Jersey is a modern locale steeped in history. Known as one of the most prestigious towns in the country, Summit was first settled around 1710 as a region of small farms. With the 1837 addition of the Morris and Essex railroad line, the town became increasingly commercialized and by the late 1800s, it was considered the premiere weekend resort area for wealthy city-dwellers. Summit, aptly named for its location atop the Second Watching Mountain, quickly became known for its rural charm. Due to its close proximity to New York City, many families built summer estates in the town to enjoy the fresh air and vast natural landscape. Fast-forward to 2015 and Summit is still attracting well-to-do government and business leaders looking to raise a family in a quaint town while quickly and easily commuting into Manhattan for work. This transportation hub in Union County boasts striking Tudor and Colonial style homes from the 1900s, nationally ranked schools, scenic arboretums, and quality shops and restaurants. Whether you’re looking for a weekend getaway or a day trip full of family fun, the tree-lined streets of Summit, New Jersey are ready to welcome you. Below, Urban Agenda: NYC maps out the perfect trip to Summit for every traveler’s taste.

Americanos, Cappuccinos, and a vast variety of teas, Boxwood also offers decadent specialized drinks like their Honey Cinnamon Latte (made from locally sourced honey), as well as delicious gluten-free sweets and treats. The address is 17 Beechwood Road. 908.219.4076 or www. boxwoodcoffee.com.

Shop Till You Drop Going from a website to a bona fide brick and mortar storefront in the center of Summit, Willow St. Boutique is stocked with chic, easy to wear fashions for women. From Ella Moss and Joie to Frye and Nanette Lepore, their new weekly merchandise—including an impressive selection of designer jeans—features the trendiest styles with an urban bend. The address is 431 Springfield Avenue. 908.277.3334 or www.willowst.com. With owner Bob Carroll having worked in clothing retail in Summit for more than 20 years, it’s clear that his men’s haberdashery, John Hyatt Clothing knows how to cater to the local fashions. Named after his late father, John Hyatt Carroll, the store offers menswear that makes a distinctive connection between old and new. John Hyatt carries preppy-traditional clothing in classic American and English styles, including a Peter Millar Crown Shop, which is limited to an exclusive group of retail partners. The address is 334 Springfield Avenue. 908.522.8790 or www. johnhyattclothing.com. Named after its co-owners, Amanda Murray and Erica Finnan, Murray & Finn is an adorable boutique in downtown Summit that provides chic clothing for women during all phases of pregnancy. In addition to maternity and nursing wear, Murray & Finn carries clothing, toys, and accessories for little ones up to seven years of age. The address is 46 Maple Street. 908.522.4513 or www.murrayandfinn.com. Started by a mother and daughter team from Summit, No. 18 Boutique knows how to dress its locals. This high-end women’s clothing store sells an edited and curated selection of American and European designers. The address is 18 Maple Street. 908.273.4087. According to the clothing store Lord Ivy, they carry clothing, gifts, and accessories “for women who love to have fun, look good and feel good.” Known to have a diverse selection of beach apparel, Lord Ivy has been a Summit favorite for over 20 years. The address is 336 Springfield Avenue. 908.273.0199.

Rise and Shine If you’re in the mood for huge portions and free flowing coffee for breakfast, the Summit Diner is your place. Calling an old railroad car home, this nostalgic 1930s-styled establishment embodies the quintessential American diner. If you plan on indulging in their delicious Taylor Ham on a weekend morning, be prepared to wait alongside the usual crowd of people craving an authentic diner breakfast. The address is 1 Union Place. 908.277.3256. How about some cookie dough pancakes or a crab cake benedict to kick off your day? At food. you can enjoy all the breakfast classics with a modern twist. Only one block away from the train, food. is not only conveniently located for outof-towners, but also focuses on environmental responsibility and charitable events. The address is 399 Springfield Avenue. 908.277.6222 or www. foodinsummit.com. The Boxwood Café is a coffee oasis awaiting those in need of a quick, yet relaxing jolt of caffeine in the morning. Using Intelligentsia Coffee Beans, Boxwood is known for producing a highquality brew. While it features café standards like (top) Boxwood Café, photography courtesy of Ian Cunningham. (above) Murray & Finn boutique in downtown Summit, photography courtesy of Murray & Finn. FALL 2015

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(top) Reeves-Reed Arboretum Wisner House, with blooming daffodils, photography courtesy of Natalie Schindler. (above) Reeves-Reed Arboretum azalea garden, photography courtesy of Julieanne Frascinella.

(top) Greenwood Garden, Main House. (above) Greenwood Garden, pergola with roses, photographs courtesy of Vicki Johnson.

Find Your Adventure Listed on the National and State Registers of Historic Places, the Reeves-Reed Arboretum is a 12.5 acre natural wonderland that is perfect for families. The landscaping at the arboretum is in the style of the late 19th and 20th century and is known for its impressive herb garden and striking daffodils during the month of April. Tours of the dense woodlands, formal gardens, and Wisner House can be arranged upon request Tuesday-Friday and Saturdays from 9am to 5pm. The address is 165 Hobart Avenue. 908.273.8787 or www.reevesreedarboretum.org. Greenwood Gardens provides its guests with 28 acres of preserved land. Known for its majestic gardens and landscaping, Greenwood also features stunning architecture, statuary, and artwork. Patrons can picnic in the outdoor patio area, attend tours of the grounds guided by knowledgeable docents, and observe the thousands of wildlife species and plant life Saturday-Tuesday 10am to 4pm. The address is 274 Old Short Hills Road. 908.258.4026 or www. greenwoodgardens.org.

Relax and Revive Drop by Exhale’s Summit, New Jersey location for a quick and effective pickme-up. For $28/class, individuals have access to the full suite of Exhale’s awardwinning Core Fusion classes. This popular high intensity interval-training program is guaranteed to make you feel healthy and energized after a day of Summit sightseeing. The address is 7 Bank Street. 908.206.1102 or www.exhalespa.com/ locations/summit.

(above) Huntley Taverne, pork chop.



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(above) Grand Hotel lobby. (top-right) Grand Hotel exterior of main entrance. (bottom-right) Grand Hotel Presidential Suite. Photography courtesy of Grand Hotel.

Woodhouse Day Spa is perhaps the most serene location in Summit. The upscale full service spa offers over 70 treatments including a 90-minute volcanic hot stone massage, luxurious facials, and premiere nail care. Supervised by trained therapists and certified practitioners, the staff ensures result-oriented treatments that focus on overall health and wellness. The address is 420 Springfield Avenue. 908.608.1120 or www.summit.woodhousespas.com.

Satisfy Your Stomach Gorgonzola Salad? Black Spaghettini? Tuscan Stew? At La Focaccia Ristorante you can have all of Italy’s finest foods in this Tuscan-style high-end trattoria. The address is 523 Morris Avenue. 908.227.4006 or www.lafocaccianj.com. If you’re ready for some seriously fresh fish and innovative hibachi, Taka Sushi is the go-to spot for Summit locals. Among their most popular items are the Spicy Tuna Roll or Black Angel Roll. The address is 95 Summit Avenue. 908.277.0886 or www. thebombaybistro.net. The Huntley Taverne is a rustic eatery with cathedral ceilings, a wraparound porch, and two wood-burning stoves. It is the perfect spot to grab a drink and savor seasonal tavern-style cuisine. The address is 3 Morris Avenue. 908.273.3166 or www. thehuntleytaverne.com.

How about some history with that drink? Winberie’s Restaurant and Bar is housed in the beautiful Summit Opera House, which was built in 1893 for the Women’s Christian Temperance Union. Come 2015, the locale has a much more spirited atmosphere, but maintains its historic roots. The address is 2 Kent Place Boulevard. 908.277.4224 or www.summit.winberies.com. There’s nothing like finishing off a night with an award-winning milkshake, which is just one of the many treats McCools Ice Cream and Frozen Yogurt has to offer. With more than 45 flavors of ice cream and outdoor seating available, everyone is guaranteed to go home with a satisfied sweet-tooth. The address is 14 Beechwood Road. 908.522.9731 or www.mccoolsicecream.net.

Plan Your Stay In existence since 1868 and in its current location since 1929, The Grand Summit Hotel has certainly withstood the test of time. Established in order to cater to New Yorkers seeking to escape the city, this historical hotel has maintained its elegance. Just 30 minutes from New York City, the boutique hotel with 149 rooms and suites is ideally located for those seeking to experience both the city and the country while visiting Summit overnight. The address is 570 Springfield Avenue. 908.273.3000 or www.grandsummit.com. (above) Huntley Taverne, berry dessert.

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