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

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.

VAIL MOUNTAIN RESORT
VAIL, COLORADO more

By Taylor Smith 

Patients have different reasons for traveling for healthcare. Some may be in search of the latest technology while others are seeking out particular specialists. No matter the reason, traveling out of state gives patients treatment options beyond their local medical center.

Clinical studies show that the best outcomes for patients with life-threatening illnesses occur at hospitals with the most experienced surgeons and staff. While there are many excellent surgeons in the United States, the greatest expertise can be found at facilities handling large numbers of patients with the same illness. By choosing to have treatment at these facilities, you are increasing your chances for the best result. more

By Ellen Gilbert 

Photos Courtesy of The Toledo Archives

“I have never seen two other people with so close a symbiotic relationship.” – Valerie Steele

They’ve been described as “fashion’s two-for-one couple;”  “creative alter-egos” who enjoy a “poetic partnership.”   What’s love got to do with it?  Everything. Now in their early 50s, Isabel and Ruben Toledo have been in the fashion/art/design business for nearly 30 years, and their work just gets more intriguing: beautifully executed, completely original, and, as a rule, quite unexpected. Their lives—how they look and dress, and the atelier where they live above their studio—seem to intersect seamlessly with their work. more

By Ellen Gilbert 

“A good life is found only where the creative spirit abounds, where people are free to experiment and create new ideas for themselves.” – Aileen Osborn Webb

Referred to as “MAD,” the Museum of Arts and Design is anything but disordered or wildly foolish, nor does it have anything to do with the eponymous magazine. This MAD was founded in 1956 by arts and design champion Aileen Osborn Webb (1892-1979), and from now through February 28, 2015 it is celebrating her achievements in an exhibit, What Would Mrs. Webb Do? A Founder’s Vision. more

By Ilene Dube

Standing on the rooftop of the Brooklyn Navy Yard, looking out on the Manhattan and Williamsburg bridges spanning the East River, we can see water towers, smokestacks and red brick housing below us, and Freedom Tower in the distance. It has been called the best view of New York.

Our tour group—a family from Paris and a young urban farmer wannabe from Queens—is surrounded by an acre of soil in which everything from Swiss chard and hyssop to tomatoes, root veggies and micro greens grows. With beehives and chickens, the two-year-young Brooklyn Grange is the world’s largest rooftop farm, and one of the innovative and creative adaptive re-uses of the Brooklyn Navy Yard. The 300-acre site—this year added to the National Register of Historic Places—occupies parts of DUMBO/Vinegar Hill, Williamsburg and Fort Greene. Polytechnic Institute, New York City College of Technology and Pratt University are all nearby. more

By Anne Levin 

Kathy Kowalewski had just stopped breast-feeding her toddler son when she noticed her right breast felt different from her left. With no family history of breast cancer, and at 38 still too young to have begun annual mammograms, the Hunterdon County mother of two wasn’t particularly concerned. But she consulted her doctor, who recommended a screening. On seeing the results, the doctor urged Kowalewski to have a biopsy of both breasts right away.

It was cancer—in her left breast. But the right side looked suspicious, too. Stunned, Kowalewski was referred to a breast surgical oncologist who recommended she have her left breast removed. After recovering from shock and weighing the options, she made the difficult decision to have both breasts removed and undergo reconstructive surgery. more

By Taylor Smith

Peloton Cycle is bringing the boutique indoor cycling experience into the comfort of your own home. For the cost of the bike ($1,995) and a monthly subscription ($39), users are able to stream an unlimited number of live classes to their living room. These classes are filmed and broadcast from Peloton’s New York studio in Chelsea. From the seat of your bike, you will see the instructor, hear the music, and pedal along to the rhythm of your fellow classmates. And don’t worry about timing; you can live stream any of the classes catalogued on the Peloton server (past and present) at anytime of day. more

By Stuart Mitchner 

Joyce Carol Oates had been living in Princeton for 25 years when she published The Faith of a Writer: Life, Craft, Art (Ecco 2003), one of two works she named when asked to mention books that were “close to her heart.” The author, who will be teaching her last class at Princeton University in the spring semester of 2015, also cited High Lonesome: New & Selected Stories 1966-2006 (Ecco 2006), which contains “my favorite stories of my own up to that time.”

New work published this month includes Lovely, Dark, Deep (Ecco), a collection of short fiction, and Prison Noir (Akashic), the second book she’s edited, after New Jersey Noir, for Akashic’s Noir Series. The Sacrifice, a novel due early in 2015, is set in a “racially troubled” New Jersey city in the late 1980s; she is also working on a memoir to be published in fall 2015. more

Interview by Stuart Mitchner

Recently asked to name his favorite living novelist by the New York Times Book Review, Larry McMurtry replied, “Joyce Carol Oates…a natural-born writer.” As John Updike once said of her, “If the phrase ‘woman of letters’ existed,” she would be “the person most entitled to it.” The National Book Award-winner, who has been teaching at Princeton University since 1978, will continue to make Princeton her home after her official retirement next summer.

UA: What are your plans after you teach your last class? Will you stay in the area? How would you describe the changes you’ve seen in the college community since you moved to Princeton? more

By Taylor Smith 

Directly north of New York City lies the Hudson River Valley, an incredibly unique place that has inspired generations of artists and creative types. The art and history museums are numerous and could easily occupy a traveler for weeks, but there are also several dozen “can’t miss” Hudson River Estates, many of which are open to the public. Large mansions overlooking the lush, loamy farmland and seductive landscape of the Hudson Valley, these sites were once home to the rich, famous, and downright eccentric. more