Saturday, January 28, 2017

Better Bets by Rhonda Erb

CES Tech Style
New discoveries from CES in Las Vegas to enhance your everyday life

Hover Camera Passport



This self-flying camera has all of its propellers and motors encased in a carbon structure that folds into a portable, lightweight unit (just 242 grams) that you can easily fit into a purse or backpack. Now you never have to miss a chance to capture yourself in the moment.


Simply unfold and release the Passport and it hovers steadily in place, framing the perfect shot and tracking your face and body (you only need to scan your face once and the Passport stores your likeness). You can then safely grab it out of the air when you are done. The Passport records your precious moments in 4K video with a panoramic, 360-degree view and 13MP photos.

For more information visit: https://gethover.com/   $599.00


Samsung Family Hub


Your collection of refrigerator magnets that hold numerous notes and “to do” lists may soon be a thing of the past. The Family Hub is a Wifi enabled refrigerator, from Samsung, that keeps your family connected and entertained.


The Family Hub’s 3 built in cameras photograph your refrigerator’s contents every time the doors close.  You can access the photos from anywhere with your smartphone, using the Smart Home app, to simplify your grocery shopping. In addition, you can sync your family appointment calendar to the Family Hub, send notes to the touchscreen from your phone, display your favorite photos, and even watch TV and stream music.

For more information visit: http://www.samsung.com/us/explore/family-hub-refrigerator/


Sleep Number 360 Smart Bed


Restless sleepers rejoice! A good night’s sleep can be yours thanks to the SleepIQ technology platform in the most innovative bed that Sleep Number has created in their 30-year history. The SleepIQ app offers a completely individualized sleep experience. Using biometric sleep tracking, SleepIQ adjusts the mattress as the sleeper changes positions throughout the night.



Each side of the bed adjusts independently and if the Sleep IQ detects a sleeper snoring on their back, it adjusts their head to a position that typically relieves snoring. Forget about cold feet as well, because the bed learns the sleepers’ routine and automatically warms the foot of the bed before bedtime. When it is time to wake up, the bed will sound an alarm at the optimum time within their wake up window.

For more information visit: https://www.sleepnumber.com/360


LoveBox

Jean and his fiance, Melodie, at CES Unveiled in Las Vegas with the LoveBox
Photo: Rhonda Erb

 Jean Grégoire, a French engineer with a charming accent, is the creator of an unusually romantic tech gadget. He explains its conception this way: “ I built the first LoveBox for my fiancée (Mélodie) and I. I was leaving France to work at MIT as a researcher for a year, and my fiancée was staying in France. I was working in a fablab at the time, so I decided to BUILD something for the two of us, to help us during this long distance relationship. And I built the first LoveBox… something that generates positive emotions.”


The LoveBox is a Wifi connected wooden cube made of Jura wood in Saint-Amour France. The box is coupled with a mobile app that allows you to send a written, romantic message to it from anywhere in the world. When the message is received, a heart on the front of the box spins and the recipient opens the box to read the message inside. By spinning the heart on the box manually, your special someone will send a shower of hearts on your app.

The LoveBox is currently being sold online and shipped throughout Europe, and will soon be available in America.  You can reach out to Jean and his co-founder, Marie, at: www.lovebox.love

- Rhonda Erb
For more Better Bets visit: http://betterbetsny.tumblr.com/

In the Market Report by Marilyn Kirschner

Rule the Roost(er)

Saturday, January 28th, heralds in the Chinese New Year: 4715 is The Year of the Rooster. Cock-a doodle-doo!

Beyonce epitomizes the traits of  those born in the Year of the Rooster
Photo: Andrew Harnik/AP

People born during the Rooster’s reign (1909, 1921, 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005 and 2017) are known to be observant, heroic, hardworking. They are “proud birds” who enjoy the spotlight and are confident, as exemplified by Beyonce (born September 4, 1981). Let’s face it; nobody rules the roost quite like Queen Bea.

Those born under this sign, such as Serena Williams (who just made tennis history and became the most winning grand slam woman tennis player after her victory at Saturday’s Australian Open), Elton John, Matthew McConaughey, Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears, Jennifer Aniston, and Bette Midler, also possess a strong sense of punctuality which is fitting, when you consider that roosters are famous for singing out morning wake-up calls. Ya Yun Teng, digital collections coordinator at the Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) described roosters as being “ like an alarm clock — with feathers”.

In case you’re wondering, 2018 will be the Year of the Dog and for those born under this sign, like President Trump (June 14, 1946), it promises to be an “unlucky” year. (Unlucky for whom?)

In honor of this new lunar year, I thought it would be fun to do a roundup of a few special rooster themed items. They would make the perfect gift for that special someone born under this sign, or as a way to celebrate in high style.

Vintage Bob Mackie 1980’s ivory embellished beaded rooster blazer, $650. 



Click here for more info/buy

Vintage carnelian, diamond, ruby and 18K gold rooster in mid-flight brooch, $2750.



Click here for more info/buy

Sonni of California 1960’s black rooster feather beehive wig hat, $600. 



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Vintage 1940’s black velvet hair band accessorized with black opalescent trimmed and shaped rooster feathers, $725. 



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Whimsical and unique art deco 1920’s paste rooster Reinad dress accessory, (probably made for a dress or choker), $105. 



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Green velvet Victorian cape with ebony roosters, lace detailing, and dyed hand curled Marabou feathers, $799.


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1970’s Luise fancy diamond, onyx, coral, gold rooster ring, $1307.05 




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 Rooster coque feather cape, $69.99 



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Mid-20th century George Jones majolica teapot shaped like a crowing cockerel, $8500.


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Marc Jacobs scarlet leather card case embellished with rooster applique, $155 




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MCM New Year Series Rooster ruby red leather crossbody, $580  



Click here for more info/buy




- Marilyn Kirschner

Friday, January 27, 2017

New York Fashion Cool-Aid ®

The FGI 20th Annual Rising Star Awards

Photo: Courtesy of FGI

Fashion Group International's Rising Star Awards celebrated their 20th anniversary luncheon yesterday -- same bat time, same bat sponsors (Hearst Magazines, Saks Fifth Avenue) along with Hilldun, same luxe bat cave (Cipriani Restaurant on 42nd Street) -- truly, the only difference was the amount of after-the-fact political rhetoric.  Following the bellini reception and step and repeat action, those assembled took their seats.

Winners Peyman Umay, Alejandra Alonso Rojas, Allison Mitchell, Kia Ragland, Dana Bronfman, Gabriel Hendifar, Jeremy Anderson, Jennifer Bandier
Photo: Laurel Marcus

Margaret Hayes explained that voting for the nominees was up this year (hopefully not due to voter fraud lol) and urged those who weren't successful this time to try again -- many winners are on their 2nd or 3rd attempt. Lunch was the usual Prosciutto and mozzarella followed by Chilean sea bass; as usual it was delicious. After a more leisurely meal than last year (we were left wondering if perhaps the guest of honor hadn't yet arrived) but there she was: Keynote Speaker Whoopi Goldberg announcing that she was "Fashion's worst nightmare."

Whoopi Goldberg
Photo: Courtesy FGI

I actually do remember her in fashion weeks past, frequenting the Lincoln Center tents. Judging by what I've seen of her on "The View" I braced myself for an explosive political agenda, that miraculously never came. Instead she thanked the "young folks" who are designing "things that make you look amazing," mentioned her recent Ugly Sweater collection with Lord & Taylor and Hudson's Bay which she decided to do because she had " a liking for it," and differentiated herself from the up and coming designers. "You have a passion. Please don't make us beige. Be innovative -- you only get this amount of passion. Kick ass, do crazy stuff! Someone will wear it! I love what you all are doing. I can't wait for your next ideas. Today's weird direction is next year's normal!"

Margaret Hayes & Whoopi Goldberg
Photo: Courtesy FGI

"People always need to feel good, feel better," she continued. "You can't change it, it happened, we're here now. Whatever you can do to make it better -- I sit with a couple of women every day -- I smile at them. (Laughter from the audience)..."Thank God we all don't think the same." She urged everyone to try "a little bit of love" and to "cherish these moments -- you only get one wow -- get it, swim in it, then share it. We're all here cause we got some help from someone else, so help whoever you can." Great uplifting, nonpartisan speech, Whoopi! BTW, many presenters including Aerin Lauder, thanked her for her words when it was their turn to take the stage.

Roopal Patel in a pearl encrusted dress
Photo: Laurel Marcus

Along with dessert (lemon meringue and fresh fruit) and coffee came the awards. Roopal Patel of Saks presented the Accessories nominees (Aimee Kestenberg Elan of Aimee Kestenberg, Allison Mitchell of Allison Mitchell LLC, Frieda Rothman of her eponymous high-end fashion jewelry, sunglasses and leather goods line, Susan Easton of From The Road, Heather Hubbard of MR, Bruce R. Katz of Samuel Hubbard Shoe Company, and Tarryn Simone of Tarryn Simone LLC. The winner was Allison Mitchell for her handbag line.

Linda Wells
Photo: Laurel Marcus

Beauty/Fragrance Corporate award was presented by Linda Wells and the nominees were: Alexandra Besnard for Firmenich, Chiaki Nomura for International Flavors & Fragrances, Cate Powell for M.A.C. Cosmetics and Kia Ragland for Smashbox Cosmetics who wept when she won mentioning the "crazy shade 'Punked'" that she introduced which became a bestseller even though people had looked at her like she was crazy when she first showed it.

Julie Wainwright gave out the Retail award to Jennifer Bandier of Bandier who won against Megan Berry of byReveal and Sarah Kauss of S'WELL. Bandier admitted to never having worked in retail or fashion before but "I was obsessed with leggings and I figured I can't be the only one. I've never won anything before and I'd like to thank the academy," she said jokingly.

In the Fine Jewelry category, nominees were Gourav Soni (64Facets), Dana Bronfman (Dana Bronfman), Meredith Marks (Meredith Marks and Lepa Galeb-Roskopp (Misahara Jewelry). Amanda Weiner Alagem presented the award to Dana Bronfman who thanked her staff for their help in "creating pieces that help people express their uniqueness."

Isabel & Ruben Toledo
Photo: Courtesy FGI

Makeup guru Bobbi Brown may have a bit more time on her hands since recently leaving her brand; she presented the Beauty/Fragrance Entrepreneur award to Isabel & Ruben Toledo (Hot House Beauties by Isabel Toledo). They triumphed over nominees Matthew Waitesmith (Artis), Mark Veeder (Farmacy), Zanna Roberts Rassi (Milk Makeup), Elizabeth Gaynes (Strange Love NYC) and Holly Riddel (The Riddel Group LLC). "I can't believe the legendary Bobbi Brown is giving us an award!" exclaimed Isabel Toledo. "I'm not legendary -- just old," quipped Brown. Ruben Toledo thanked their family adding "Like an old friend of ours Karl Lagerfeld told us, it's never too late to start rising." Or name dropping either...

The Menswear Award presented by Saks VP Eric Jennings to Peyman Umay who alluded to starting out with nothing but "a pocket full of dreams" and the need to maintain "the two most important things in life: "your beliefs and your values." Other nominees were David Hart (David Hart), Carlos Garciavelez (Garciavelez), and Stephen Ferber (Stephen F).

Aerin Lauder
Photo: Laurel Marcus

Last year's winner in the Home Furnishings/Product Innovation category, Aerin Lauder, was the presenter for this year. Gabriel Hendifar and Jeremy Anderson of Apparatus were the winners over Jason Miller (Roll & Hill), and Andrew Deming, Rachel Gant (Yield). Hendifar, in a somewhat political vein, mentioned his parents who left a war torn Middle Eastern country to come here to America.

Gary Wassner of Hilldun presented the Hilldun Business Innovation award to Christine Hunsicker (in absentia) of Gwynnie Bee, a vertical operation that began with four and is now up to 400 employees. They are the largest wholesaler/rental service for womens sizes 10-32. Earlier, during Whoopi's speech, Wassner was thanked for the introduction to FGI.

Prabal Gurung with RTW winners Claudia Li & Alejandra Alonso Rojas
Photo: Laurel Marcus

The last award -- the all important Womenswear -- came in a bit late (after 2 p.m.), not sure about over budget (ha), and was presented by Prabal Gurung. Nominees were Alejandra Alonso Rojas, Claudia Li, Jeffrey Dodd, Ji Oh, Georgia Lazzaro of Protagonist, Romeo Hunte of Romeo Hunte New York and Emily Brady Koplar of Wai Ming. Firstly (and bigly), Gurung paid homage to FGI, Bobbi Brown and Isabel Toledo and then announced a tie between Alejandra Alsonso Rojas (who got very emotional asking us to "put a little bit of heart into equality and human rights,") and Claudia Li who just smiled and said thank you.

Marilyn Kirschner of Lookonline.com
Photo: Laurel Marcus

Congratulations to the 2017 nominees and winners. On next year's ballot: how about voting on a replacement song used to play winners onstage? After two consecutive years, Sia's "Alive" should be allowed to rest.





- Laurel Marcus

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

New York Fashion Cool-Aid ® by Laurel Marcus

What They Wore in Days of Yore -- Now at Sotheby's During Masters Week

All photos Laurel Marcus
Click images for full size view

Are you fascinated (sure some are horrified) that the new administration has hit the ground running -- churning out more news (real and faux) these days than any of us can grasp? Are you glued to TV and online political punditry, powerless to stop watching/reading/listening? I probably didn't need to know that the Daily Show's Trevor Noah calls out Kellyanne Conway doing hair flips when she's about to launch into #AlternativeFacts. Incidentally my son sent me this article: which explains it all -- KAC used to do a stand-up routine -- ergo her "Trump Revolutionary Wear" at the Inauguration (which my son and husband also gave the thumbs up to).

In addition I wish I hadn't heard that Press Secretary Sean Spicer swallows 35 sticks of Orbit cinnamon gum every day before noon. (BTW, his doctor doesn't advise it but says it's not harmful). Dealing with the unrepentant media is rough -- forget the gum -- he should try eating a live frog first thing in the morning so that nothing worse will happen for the rest of the day!

Close up of Textiles
Click image for full size view

First 100 Days: can we #MakeFashionGreatAgain? For now let's look to the past for our fashion inspo -- something I got onboard with at Sotheby's -- now celebrating Masters Week including the pre-sale exhibition gallery of "What They Wore: Old Master Paintings & Ancient Textiles" (sale is Thursday evening). In a collaboration between Sotheby's Master Paintings Specialist and Costumist Jonquil O'Reilly and New York textiles collector Jill Lasersohn, works to be auctioned off spanning the 15th to 19th centuries are shown in conjunction with some of their fabric counterparts.

18th Century Bodice at Sotheby's Material World
Click image for full size view

Lasersohn, a collector for over 25 years, who has amassed over 3,000 ancient textiles, trimmings and clothing items, points out that there is a scarcity of these materials. Battles, reformations, burials, lootings (not to mention pests) took a toll on their existence and preservation. Despite their relative rarity, Lasersohn believes that "textiles and paintings are a perfect pairing, as one brings the other to life." She adds that "costume in art is usually a second thought. But when you look at Old Masters, the majority of the canvas is often consumed by fabric and very little flesh." This concept reminds me of an early form of checking on what your favorite celebs are photographed wearing via websites such as Outfitid.com.

Jacopo Amigoni Painting and textile
Click image for full size view

One uncanny example of a textile match is seen in the painting depicting the first crusades entitled "Clorinda rescuing Olindo and Sophronia" by Jacopo Amigoni (Naples 1682-1752 Madrid) next to a green silk floral brocade with naturalistic flowers, peaches and ship motif (French, circa 1740) with a set of Campanoni D'Ori ("Large Golden Bells") buttons. The large gold spherical buttons appear in the coat of King Aladine and are recognizable as those worn on the robes of the doges. These have a coral bead at the end -- coral was thought to ward off evil. Estimate of the painting -- $120,000 to $160,000.

Portrait of Alice, Countess of Shipbrook
Click image for full size view

In this 17th century painting by Francis Cotes; Portrait of Alice, Countess of Shipbrook, Countess Alice is wearing a blue silk mantle trimmed in ermine, "a breed of stoat which changes it's dark brown summer coat for a white one in the winter season," according to O'Reilly. Apparently only the tip of the tail stays dark and they are stitched into the pelts in intervals to achieve this extravagant look. Painting estimated at $25,000 to $35,000.

Portrait of a Young Lady with Textiles
Click image for full size view

This Florentine School, circa 1605-1615, Portrait of a Young Lady, Three Quarter Length, In An Embroidered Maroon Bodice and Skirt with Gold Braiding and a Ruff depicts "an anonymous sitter" who may have been commemorating an engagement or wedding, is wearing a gown of " a precious cloth-of-silver with flowers, woven with real silver threads."  The artist uses a white cross-hatch technique to emulate the metallic sheen. In the accompanying textile case is a similar floral sprigged silver-cloth (1610-1620), as well as gilded-silver lace (early 18th century), and reticella bobbin lace (Venetian, circa 1590). Painting estimated at $80,000 to $120,000.

Adam de Coster Painting and linen towel headwrap
Click image for full size view

 An Adam de Coster painting entitled "A Young Woman Holding a Distaff Before a Lit Candle," literally illuminates the face of a young woman whose head is wrapped in a linen towel.  The corresponding textile is an everyday linen cloth decorated with a red Holbein stitch, similar to a pattern on a rug. It is quite miraculous to have this linen Assisi towel (Spanish/Italian, Early 16th century) in the pristine condition that it is in -- according to O'Reilly, "Linens like this so rarely survive, as they were everyday items. People did not treasure them and preserve them the way they would with precious textiles."  This painting is one of the more precious at an estimated $1,500,000 to $2,000,000.

For more information go to http://www.sothebys.com/en/news-video




- Laurel Marcus

Sunday, January 22, 2017

In the Market Report by Marilyn Kirschner

The Good, the Bad, & the Very Ugly

Michelle and Barack Obama leaving Washington

Just minutes before Donald Trump was sworn in as our nation’s 45th President, the cameras were focused on his son Eric. Seated beside wife Lara, he was surveying the throngs assembled at the National Mall and taking in the pomp and circumstance surrounding the event. At one point, as if in complete disbelief, he could be seen mouthing the words, “unbelievable unbelievable!” Funny, those were my thoughts exactly (though I think it’s safe to say it took a far different tone in my case). It would be one of many rather unbelievable if not completely surreal moments to unfold in a period of 48 hours, or should I say, in these past two months following on the heels of November 8th. Where to begin?

Among the moments that stood out, on Thursday evening when president elect and Melania made their grand entrance to the inaugural concert hand in hand, their arrival was accompanied by the blaring soundtrack of the Rolling Stone’s 1965 tune, “Heart of Stone”. The lyrics: "There's been so many girls that I've known. I've made so many cry, and still I wonder why. Here comes a little girl, I see her walking down the street. She's all by herself, I try to knock her off her feet." Wow, what was he thinking?. Considering Donald’s questionable past, his outrageous banter with Billy Bush which went public, and the fact that he has apparently made many women cry, this could not have been more inappropriate.

And then there was young Jackie Evancho singing our National Anthem at the swearing in ceremony. I’m not saying she can’t sing, but really, is that the best they could do? While major star power was noticeably absent and nary an A-Lister or B-Lister was in sight on Thursday and Friday, they sure came out of hiding and managed to make their voices heard on Saturday for the all-important Women’s March (among those who came to Washington were Madonna, Scarlet Johansson, Michael Moore, Patricia Arquette, Ashley Judd).Then again, I suppose one can say that it was pretty apropos given the fact that the 16 year old was a contestant on a reality TV show, “America’s Got Talent” (though she wasn’t even the winner: she came in second place).

And what about the President and First Lady dancing their first dance at the Inaugural Ball to the strains of “My Way”? (He sure does everything his way). Of course, that specific live rendition bore no resemblance to Frank Sinatra’s and I suppose it’s a good thing they didn’t use the original. Knowing how far left Old Blue Eyes was, he would probably would be rolling over in his grave. FYI, the sight of the President and his wife, the Vice President and his wife, and the Trump children and their spouses (or in the case of Tiffany- her boyfriend) on the dance floor all at the same time, was one of the more surreal, awkward moments of the weekend.

Kellyanne Conway and the Paddington Bear

All in all, this was pretty scary stuff. Though nothing could be scarier than the sight of Kellyanne Conway on Friday morning wearing that ridiculous Gucci get up which she further accessorized with a silly red hat and oversized red bag. Hmmm, I somehow think that’s not what Alessandro Michele had in mind when he sent this down his resort 2017 runway. It immediately and unsurprisingly resulted in a storm of amusing and negative comments on social media not to mention obvious comparisons to the Paddington Bear and wooden soldiers prompting some to ask, “who wore it better?” Not to mention that it was by an Italian designer which is pretty funny considering that she was obviously striving to look as American/patriotic as possible. Kellyanne actually said it was an homage to the “Trump Revolution”. I daresay the only thing the Trump Senior Counsel to the President and I have in common is that we both graduated from The George Washington University.

Melania Trump attends the Inaugural  Ball

Speaking of inaugural fashion (and putting politics aside), it’s kind of hard to find fault with Melania Trump’s choices. She pretty much nailed it. As a model, she knows how to wear clothes and she is undeniably beautiful and statuesque with gorgeous long legs which are made even more so thanks to her ever present Manolo Blahnik stilettos. She steered clear of Europeans and wisely stuck with American designers (Ralph Lauren, Reem Acra), even including two relative unknowns, Norisol Ferrari and Herve Pierre (it’s safe to say these foreign born American citizens won’t be unknown for long). Her outfits were smart, chic, understated, appropriate, and flattering. Let others embrace boxy, loose, shapeless, oversized clothing. For her, it’s all about cut, fit, silhouette, and defining the waist. (This always reminds me of an observation made by the late L’Wren Scott regarding fashion: “Men understand it if it has a waist!”)

Melania Trump in Reem Acra and vintage Norman Norell

Certainly, nothing could have been more waist defining or form fitting than the sparkly and otherwise covered up Reem Acra gown she wore on Thursday evening (which happened to remind me of vintage and iconic Norman Norell).

Melania Trump's gift to Michelle Obama

The face framing Ralph Lauren cashmere ensemble (worn with matching kid suede gloves) may have been an ode to the late Jacqueline Kennedy, (a woman Melania has often said she greatly admires), but the First Lady assuredly has her own look. For one thing, Mrs. Kennedy only wore low heeled shoes and Melania accessorized with pale blue Manolo Blahnik stilettos: her footwear of choice. The color (cornflower blue) complimented her dark hair and blue eyes and it happened to pop against the beribboned blue Tiffany gift box she presented Michele Obama.

I also thought she looked the best (and most modern) out of all the other Trump women (all of whom seemed to coordinate their ensembles throughout the festivities) at the inaugural balls on Friday evening. (Politics aside, they are assuredly a striking and photogenic group; which can be said about the entire family down to the little ones). Both Tiffany and Ivanka’s gowns were too mother of the bride for my tastes and Ivanka looked like she was attending her own coming out party.

Ivanka Trump wearing Oscar de la  Renta

I generally like Ivanka’s fashion choices, but was disappointed with her inaugural wardrobe. While I did like the chic black and white Oscar de la Renta long column gown she wore on Thursday evening, I thought the green coat and dress ensemble she wore Thursday and the white coat and pants she wore to the swearing in ceremony on Friday (both by Oscar de Renta) were a bit too tricky, too "fashioney", had too much going on (all those points) and they made her look as though she was trying too hard. She would have been wiser to stick with sleeker more simplified and classic lines as she did at the interfaith church services on Saturday morning .where she was all in bordeaux. The First Lady arrived in a beautiful black belted coat with flared skirt.


Meanwhile, it was hard not to notice the President’s fixation on extra-long ties (which are made all the more obvious since he never buttons his jackets or coats). Do you suppose it’s to compensate for his extra short hands? Just asking lol.

Finally, nothing but nothing could be classier than the Obamas. Michelle made a fashion statement symbolically choosing Jason Wu for her Friday farewell ensemble (a long supporter of young upcoming designers, she initially put Jason on the map when she wore his gown to the Inaugural Ball in 2009). As the couple boarded the helicopter which would take them to Palm Springs, it was certainly reassuring to hear the former president say to the crowd: “It’s not a period. It’s a comma. I will rejoin you as a private citizen.” Considering all the current negativity, what an optimistic way to sign off.

And on that optimistic note, I too will sign off.




- Marilyn Kirschner


Tuesday, January 10, 2017

New York Evening Hours by Lieba Nesis

UJA Celebrates 100 Years By Taking Over Rose Hall at Time Warner Center

The Rose Hall
All photos Lieba Nesis

On Monday January 9, 2017 UJA celebrated its 100th year at Jazz at Lincoln Center beginning with a red carpet at 7:30 PM. This event was sold out weeks in advance and contained an illustrious group of Wall Street heavy hitters such as: Daniel Och, David Moore, Jeff Schoenfeld, Boaz Weinstein, David Wassong, and Real Estate mogul Lenny Wilf. David Moore was still reminiscing about the success of the UJA Wall Street dinner which he said had an incredible lineup of the most important people on Wall Street with Michael Douglas inspiring many to rediscover their Jewish heritage.

David Moore-CEO of Moore Holdings, Daniel Och-President of Och-Ziff Capital,
Jeff Schoenfeld-President of UJA

Moore was also looking forward to this evening with over 400 people coming to celebrate and appreciate all the organization accomplishes. The night featured a varied list of entertainers at a spectacular venue overlooking Central Park. The last time I was at Rose Hall was to attend the HBO premiere of "Girls" so it was safe to say UJA went all out for this evening.

Entertainer Brian Stokes Mitchell, and Actor Mark Feuerstein

The night started with a film where Eric Goldstein and some of his cohorts took a Suburban to Rose Hall with a puppet as a driver and announced "Live from New York it's the UJA Centennial." Actor Mark Feuerstein of "Royal Pains", emceed the evening, joking that it was his dream to emcee a UJA event giving a special shout out to his parents who were so proud that he at least played a doctor on television.

Dr Ruth Westheimer

After we were treated to a comedy sketch by the Avenue Q puppets and a delightful performance of Chopin by Emanuel Ax, Dr. Ruth took to the stage and exhorted the audience to have sex every night like it was Shabbos and to try a new position as often as possible - assuming you were married. Westheimer informed the audience that she was shot in both legs when she was in the Haganah - but that was not why she was so short. While she never expected to become famous by discussing sex she was happy to announce that at the ripe age of 88 she continues to teach at Columbia University's Teacher College.

Left to right Eric and Rebecca Feuerstein, Samantha Massell-singer from Fiddler on the Roof, actor Mark Feuerstein with parents Harvey and Audrey Feuerstein

There were some more funny observations from the performers including comedian Judy Gold who said she loved dating chasidim because they had the best curling irons, and that Passover was annoying because she had a yeast infection - a joke she said only this audience understood. After she ridiculed the arm fat on the side of her arm she introduced Vanessa Hidary, the Hebrew mamita, a performer and poet who gave a moving rendition of what it means to be Jewish with rousing applause from the enthusiastic audience.

NY1 Anchor Jessica Abo

Some more spellbinding entertainment included Samantha Massell who sang a song from her hit play "Fiddler on the Roof" and David Broza the famous Israeli singer, who sang "Yihye Tov"-All Will Be Good - and said when he first composed this song he never thought he would be singing it daily for the next 40 years.

Betsy Cohn and Julie Ratner

The night even contained African American performer Joshua Nelson singing a Motown version of "Mi Chamocha" which showcased the diversity of UJA. To cap the festivities off, the evening concluded with Brian Stokes Mitchell belting out Man of La Mancha's "To Dream the Impossible Dream" and thanking the amazing audience for letting him breathe the same air.

On that note I grabbed some dessert and headed home to breathe some incredibly frigid air and recount the incredible evening I had just experienced.





- Lieba Nesis