Interview by Anne Levin

When 27-year-old Alyson Eastman launched her first collection last year at Soho’s Dune Studios, she won praise for her unique mix of Paris-inspired Romanticism and fresh Modernism. An oversized, champagne-colored sweater paired with a white, button-down blouse and long pleated skirt; and a matching, maroon-hued set of high-waisted, draped trousers and a cropped, short-sleeve blouse were among the popular pieces in the collection. Clean, strong silhouettes are the backbone of Eastman’s aesthetic. Her newest collection is for spring/summer 2015. Until recently she worked at the NoLiTa boutique Warm, but she is now solely focused on own design work. more

By Ellen Gilbert

“I have two words: John McPhee.” The New Yorker editor David Remnick’s (’81) explanation of what Princeton meant to him. 

“Your parents will remember your graduation almost as acutely, and with the same sense of wonder, as they remember the day you entered this world,” observed New Yorker editor David Remnick (’81) in his 2013 Class Day speech at Princeton University. “It’s an incredibly moving thing to see your child go into the word as a whole healthy person,” added the father of three. more

By Ellen Gilbert

“The hunger for narrative has been very strong for me, but also is a necessity for me,” observed Oliver Sacks speaking to an audience at the University of Warwick, where he was Visiting Professor in 2013.

The title of his talk, appropriately enough, was “Narrative and Medicine: The Importance of the Case History,” and Sacks, who has been referred to as “the poet laureate of medicine,” was making the case for the “complete integration of science and story telling.” more

By Ilene Dube

In its 17th year, the Butterfly Conservatory at the American Museum of Natural History joins such long-running family traditions as visits to the skating rink in Rockefeller Center and the model boat races in Central Park.

After passing the large dinosaur skeletons in the lobby, visitors go through a series of double doors to the Butterfly Conservatory, or vivarium, a 1,200 square foot freestanding transparent structure where they are surrounded by up to 500 fluttering, iridescent lepidopterans feeding on tropical nectars from flowers and lush green vegetation. There may be polar vortices outside, but here in the Butterfly Conservatory, it’s a tropical 80 degrees. more

By Ellen Gilbert

Photos Courtesy of New York Public Library

If they are not already familiar with it, foodies, chefs, historians, sociologists, graphic artists and many others are likely to be enchanted when they find out about the New York Public Library’s restaurant menu collection.

The tens-of-thousands of documents, mostly from the mid-19th century through the present, are housed at the library’s main branch at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street. New York City is represented most prominently, but the collection is international in scope. It includes elaborate cartes du jours and wine lists from famous old restaurants like Delmonico’s; lists of meals available to 19th century riders of particular stage coach lines (departure and arrival times included); lavish menus from ocean liners, as well as more homely news of local church suppers. more

By Linda Arntzenius

It’s all about food, friends, and family at this quintessential New York deli.

No trip to New York is complete without a visit to Zabar’s on Broadway. Located across Central Park from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, not too far from the Museum of Natural History, it’s the perfect detour on the way home from a daytrip to the city. Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman is known to enjoy Zabar’s and the late lamented Nora Ephron was a regular. My Manhattan friends swear they couldn’t live without it. And it’s easy to see why. The Zabar family members who run the business roast their own coffees, smoke their own fish (whitefish and cod as well as salmon and sturgeon), pickle their own herring, prepare their own meats (corned beef and pastrami), cook their own dishes and salads, and bake their own bagels, breads and pastries. Besides imported and domestic cheeses and salamis, they also stock an enormous selection of honeys, oils, mustards, and lemonades of every hue and flavor—how enticing does elderflower sound? Gift baskets can be had for all occasions, made to order for the holidays, or just to enjoy on a picnic or for breakfast. more

Interview by Kam Williams

Actress and author Brooke Shields is a familiar face within the entertainment industry. Starting her career at just 11 months, Shields went on to star in Pretty Baby (1978), The Blue Lagoon (1980), and Endless Love (1981). She also caused a sensation with her advertising campaign for Calvin Klein. Shields attended Princeton University in 1983, graduating in 1988. Following college, Shields played the title role in Suddenly Susan and appeared on Seinfeld. She has just published her latest memoir There Was a Little Girl: The Real Story of My Mother and Me, written after the death of her mother, Teri Shields, in 2012. In it, Shields honestly examines her remarkable and often difficult relationship with her mother. Her previous memoir, Down Came the Rain, was a New York Times Bestseller. more

By Stuart Mitchner

I grew up eating breakfast and lunch (and snacks) in the same room as a large three-part folding screen decorated from top to bottom with New Yorker covers. It was the only piece of furniture my parents owned that had no discernible purpose other than to be its own odd, cheery, colorful self. My Medievalist father, who was accustomed to working with illuminated manuscripts, had meticulously assembled and arranged it, making sure everything was precisely aligned. The screen, with all its vivid, amusing imagery reflecting our familial infatuation with New York City was a companiable presence at a time when my diet consisted mostly of open-faced peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, then and now the ultimate comfort food. more

By Ellen Gilbert 

Photography by Ricky Zehavi

“The more I do, the more people want,” says Richard Moore, Tiffany & Co.’s current vice president of creative and visual merchandising. He is more than happy to oblige.

Moore’s job includes year-round responsibility for the look of no less than all the windows and display cases in Tiffany’s more than 200 retail stores around the world.  New York City at holiday time has an especially magical aura, and Moore’s window designs at Tiffany’s flagship store at Fifth Avenue and 57th Street can always be relied on to do their part with extravagance and panache. more

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How Jewish-Americans Forged The American Songbook via Broadway and Tin Pan Alley

By Linda Arntzenius

Illustrations by Jorge Naranjo

“You won’t succeed on Broadway if you don’t have any Jews,” Eric Idle’s clever quip from Monty Python’s Spamalot never fails to elicit laughter from a Broadway audience. It’s long been taken for granted that the Broadway Musical is a particularly Jewish success story. Idle’s observation was expressed decades earlier by none other than Cole Porter, the exemplar of Broadway song composers. Porter, who was not Jewish, was once asked how he would go about writing “American” music. “I’ll write good Jewish tunes,” he said. more

By Anne Levin

Once, during a backstage tour of the Metropolitan Opera House, visitors were treated to a glimpse of soprano Natalie Dessay rehearsing for the evening’s performance of Bellini’s “La Sonnambula.” Nearby in the wings, they strolled by towering stacks of sets for three different productions that were being presented that week.

They visited the wig and costume shops and spoke with members of the crew. Finally, they stood in front of the footlights and gazed out into the glittering auditorium, sensing the magnitude of what it must be like to belt out an aria or dance a pas de deux (American Ballet Theatre performs there, too) on the celebrated stage where countless stars have made their debuts. more

By Ilene Dube

It’s Been Locked Since 1844.

Only residents of the Gramercy Park neighborhood are given a key. These residents include Alexander Rower, a grandson of sculptor Alexander Calder, and Samuel G. White, whose great-grandfather was architect Stanford White (of McKim, Mead & White).

Every year, the locks and keys to the two-acre oasis that is the city’s only private park are changed. You even need a key to exit through one of four wrought iron gates. No longer made of gold, as they were in the mid 1800s, the keys are a nickel alloy manufactured by Medeco—and they cannot be duplicated. more

By Anne Levin

Shop till you drop: [defn.] to go hard and nonstop with any task no matter how much rejection, fatigue, or obstacles you may face. Urban Dictionary

When it comes to shopping—purposeful or just browsing —there is nowhere like New York. The city has long been one of the world’s most coveted shopping destinations, both for bargains and high-end fashions and accessories. From Brooklyn to Harlem, there are countless boutiques, shops, and department stores to choose from. Here is a selection of some of the most popular, up-to-the-minute locations for discovering unique merchandise.


Brooklyn is a shopping mecca in its own right, with neighborhoods like Park Slope, Williamsburg, Fort Greene, Cobble Hill/Carroll Gardens, and DUMBO offering a variety of choices for browsing. more

By Stuart Mitchner

“Creative people are curious, flexible, persistent, and independent with tremendous spirit of adventure and a love of play.” – Henri Matisse

In my dissheveled outsider’s view, the fashion world is best approached when it relates to art or cinema or literature, or, as I’ve just learned, when it’s embodied by designers who live up to Matisse’s definition of creative people. After scanning some new fashion-oriented publications appropriate to the holiday season, I’ve found the virtues of curiosity, persistance, independence, a spirit of adventure and a love of play in people like fashion legend Loulou de la Falaise (1948-2011) and Alber Elbaz, the creative director of Lanvin. more

By Taylor Smith 

There is more to Aspen/Snowmass, Vail, and Beaver Creek than just world class skiing. These Colorado resorts deliver it all – fine dining, distinctive nightlife, shopping, and cosmopolitan base villages. Sunny days are frequent and the snow is deep. Add to that the dramatic mountain vistas and western attitude, and it’s no wonder that these resorts are considered to be some of the best in North America.