From facial hair to pedicures, grooming connoisseur, John Allan tells us what it takes to be a barbered and buffed gentleman

By Sarah Emily Gilbert

Fashioned after an exclusive club where men can kick back with a cold drink while getting a new hairstyle, John Allan’s Premiere Men’s Grooming Clubs cater to the modern man. Built on John Allan’s desire to help men refine their style while enjoying male camaraderie, he’s revolutionized men’s grooming. The result is an old school-style NYC barbershop with high-end touches.

“My upbringing was composed of strong men who were established characters and definitely influenced me with style. I was always intrigued by that brotherhood, so it kind of took me into the direction of [men’s grooming].”


How Susan Easton and DARA Artisans are preserving artisanal practices with their From the Road collaboration.  

By Sarah Emily Gilbert

When Susan Easton isn’t hanging out of planes in Kenya, hobnobbing with Himalayan locals, or working on her retail brand, From the Road, she can be found collaborating with DARA Artisans.

Named after Easton’s retail brand, the collection seems to be the perfect outlet for her unending wanderlust and penchant for adventure. Comprised of one-of-a-kind scarves made from the finest natural materials, they are well placed in the “Artisanal Age” where specialty niche items are in higher demand than their mass-produced counterparts. As a result, From the Road stands as a testament to the beauty and complexity found in artisanal practices worldwide. From Nepal and India to Ecuador and Peru, each scarf’s design is based on Easton’s time spent with diverse cultures. more

By Stuart Mitchner

Jack Kerouac’s earliest published writing on New York City appeared under the name John Kerouac, a formal touch reflected in the glossy, soft-focus, dust jacket photo and the relatively buttoned-up narrative style of his first novel, The Town and the City (Harcourt Brace 1950). When he celebrates the city as “the one place in all the roundway world where everything is different from anywhere else, simply because it happens in New York,” the only hint of vintage Kerouac is in a term like “roundway.” A long passage meant to suggest the mounting excitement felt by someone coming into Manhattan for the first time depends on generic expository prose about “the vital and dramatic heart” of the place and “the magnitude, the beauty, and the wonder of the great city,” phrases as detached from the spirit of his style as “John” is from the “Kerouac” who wrote On the Roadmore

By Ellen Gilbert

“A flock of girls just arrived at arrived at our house,” Frank McLaughlin told friends on September 22, 1919. While not exactly “a flock,” the new arrivals were a multiple: identical twin girls named Frances and Kathryn. They grew up to be known as Kathryn Abbe and Frances McLaughlin-Gill, and became remarkably successful photographers who published pictures of high fashion models and celebrities like the young Jacqueline Bouvier in the late 1940s and 1950s. They passed away within months of each other in 2014. The McGill sisters were born in Brooklyn as a result of their having arrived two months early and “were snugly wrapped and placed near a warm oven,” according to a later account by Frances. She couldn’t have remembered, of course, and the affluent Connecticut upbringing that immediately followed suggests that the humble modesty of that description may not exactly have been accurate. Photographs of the twins as beautifully outfitted babies, young bathing beauties, visitors to 1939 World’s Fair, and later, as on-location professional photographers, show them to be as glamorous as any of the subjects they depicted over the years.” more

By Anne Levin

Portraits by Tom Grimes

It seems incongruous that a young designer juggling several high-end projects in Manhattan and other parts of the world is thriving without a website, computer, television, or access to social media. But David M. Sullivan, named “One to Watch” by Architectural Digest in 2013, is as enamored of an old world aesthetic as he is of contemporary ideas. Originally trained as a sculptor, Sullivan, who is tall and striking, runs a design/build architecture firm on Soho’s Crosby Street. It was the Architectural Digest article that caught the eye of one of his clients, for whom he is renovating a two-bedroom apartment on Central Park South. But nearly all of the work that has come Sullivan’s way has been by word of mouth. more

By Linda Arntzenius

Dogs of every shape and form can be seen on the streets of New York City, where they enjoy superior opportunities for civil society than do their suburban and country cousins. Just watch any of the professional dog walkers and their fan-shaped packs as they go about their daily rounds. In that respect, Manhattan dogs are more like their European counterparts than dogs from other parts of the United States.

On a recent trip to the U.K., my (human) companion and I visited a small bustling town in the North of England where the local dogs habitually roam free. We were amused, and slightly astonished, to see a pack of five mutts walk purposefully along the sidewalk, with not one master in sight. They stopped at the traffic lights, waited for the signal to change, and then crossed to the other side of the street, where they continued their journey, bothering no-one as they maneuvered through the crowds. None of the locals gave them a second glance. more

By Stuart Mitchner

Most of us grow up with an innate sensitivity to architecture and design. This primal design sense no doubt comes to life as soon as your parents hang a pretty mobile above your crib. As you grow up, you’re likely to develop an attachment to familiar objects, as I did, for one example, to the curtains that can be seen in photos of the duplex my parents were renting when I was born. The curtains moved with us from home to home and when we transitioned to a bigger house after I entered seventh grade, I asked that the surviving remnants be hung in my room, even though they were starting to show their age. The colors were warm and cozy, gold and a faded red, with filigree and medallions and knights on horseback; it was the design equivalent of comfort food. It was also a reminder of a happy, secure childhood. more

By Ellen Gilbert

Taking note of an important new resource: Einstein papers go digital

The December 2014 announcement of the launch of the Digital Einstein Papers ( was greeted with huzzas from scientific circles as well as the popular media. “They have been called the Dead Sea Scrolls of physics,” began one article about the project by New York Times science writer Dennis Overbye. They will, he said, enable readers to “dance among Einstein’s love letters, his divorce file, his high school transcript, the notebook in which he worked out his general theory of relativity and letters to his lifelong best friend, Michele Besso, among many other possibilities.” more

By Ilene Dube

When sculptors want to make something large, and they want it fast, they go to The Digital Atelier.

Last year, visitors lined up at the former Domino Sugar Factory in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, to view A Subtlety, Kara Walker’s homage to the African American slaves who built the sugar industry. Her giant white sphinx coated in 40 tons of sugar towered over its visitors at 75 feet tall. This was the first sculpture for the artist, a 1997 MacArthur Fellow previously known for two-dimensional silhouettes. The sphinx, with exaggerated African features, was accompanied by 15 “sugar babies” – molasses boys bearing baskets of bounty. more

By Taylor Smith

Photographs Courtesy of the Royal Shakespeare Company

Writer Hilary Mantel has claimed the Man Booker, Olivier, Tony, and BAFTA Awards for her novels Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies. Working with dramatist Michael Poulton and director Jeremy Herrin, Mantel brings the story of Henry VIII and his lascivious Tudor Court to the New York Stage.

The play has already experienced several sold out runs in London’s West End and opened on April 9, 2015 on Broadway. A BBC TV version is also currently being filmed. The play is broken into two parts to reflect Mantel’s two separate novels; Wolf Hall serves as Part I and Bring Up the Bodies as Part II. more

How artistic talent and social media are bringing fashion illustrator, Meagan Morrison to the top

By Sarah Emily Gilbert

Armed with some markers, a sketchpad, and a little support from her 126K Instagram followers, Meagan Morrison is slowly taking the fashion world by storm.

Through her blog, travel.write.draw, the Canadian-born, New York-based artist features illustrations of everything from street style to international cuisines. And while her blog’s popularity has allowed Morrison to add world traveler and online influencer to her name, it’s her fashion illustrations that are getting the most attention. more

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