Writers Guild Honors Nora Ephron
Ephron's legacy lives on with a poignant tribute at the annual Writers Guild of America Awards.
February 20, 2013
Nora Ephron at the premiere of Julie & Julia
Nora Ephron, the late journalist, screenwriter, essayist, playwright, author, and director who passed away last June following a battle with leukemia, was honored by the Writers Guild of America (WGA) in a tribute at its New York awards ceremony, which took place this past Sunday night at the B.B. King Blues Club.
Nominated three times for the best original screenplay Oscar, the When Harry Met Sally and Heartburn writer, an active WGA member, also received four WGA award nominations for her screenplays Silkwood, When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle, and Julie & Julia. In 2003, she was awarded the WGA's Ian Mclellan Hunter Award for her screenwriting work. Professionally recognized as much for revolutionizing the romantic comedy as she was for her New York identity, Ephron continues to inspire. “Not only did she embody the sophistication, wit, and energy of our city," said WGA East president Michael Winship, "she was also a loyal union member who walked the picket line and talked the talk on behalf of all her fellow writers.”
While a simultaneous ceremony took place in Los Angeles, actor and comedian Richard Kind introduced nominees, honorees, and presenters like Bobby Cannavale, Lucy Alibar, Gina Gershon, Lisa Lampanelli, Louis C.K., and Fred Armison, as well as writers from Saturday Night Live, The Daily Show, and The Colbert Report. For the Ephron tribute, novelist and friend Meg Wolitzer remembered receiving a phone call from Ephron, who wanted to adapt her book This is Your Life into a screenplay, which became Ephron's directorial debut (1992).
And as if we needed more evidence that Ephron's legacy lives on, her play, Lucky Guy (starring Tom Hanks and Maura Tierney), begins Broadway previews next month.
photography by Stephen Lovekin/gettyimages.com
Inside Social Media Week
In a blitz of technological novelties, tweeters, friends, and followers converge at the Metropolitan Pavilion.
February 20, 2013
Exploiting the concept of social media by elevating connectivity to new heights, Social Media Week (Feb. 18-22) truly succeeds in demonstrating the importance, and power, of the Internet. With headquarters in New York’s Metropolitan Pavilion, the conference's panels and lectures take place all over the world (Copenhagen, Hamburg, Miami, Lagos, Milan, Singapore, Paris, Tokyo, Washington, D.C.). Now in its fifth installment, the team behind the conference partners with marketing firm MKG to truly revolutionize the aesthetic of the annual event. Custom-built wooden tables, chairs, hubs, walls, and even a social media-charged classroom reign over the space, giving it a futuristic and up-to-the-minute learning atmosphere. “We really wanted to work on the connection between the physical and technology,” says MKG director of digital strategy Dave Brown. And what better way to bridge that gap than to bring in the social media insiders at Google, BuzzFeed, and Ogilvy, among other social savvy brands and websites, for a non-stop program of talks and events? To boot, the week was kicked off by a keynote lecture with New York Times "Media Decoder" reporters Brian Stelter and David Carr, moderated by Personal Democracy Media founder Andrew Rasiej. You can catch up on what's being said at the event by following @smwnyc on Twitter, naturally.
Edie Falco Stars in 'The Madrid'
Falco and Nurse Jackie staff writer Liz Flahive team up for an Off-Broadway debut.
February 19, 2013
Edie Falco and Phoebe Stroll in The Madrid
Edie Falco stars in Manhattan Theatre Club's Off-Broadway world premiere of The Madrid, a new play by Liz Flahive. The comedic drama, which began performances February 5 at New York City Center's Stage I, is a story about a kindergarten teacher (Falco) who walks away from her seemingly perfect life, including her husband (John Ellison Conlee) and daughter (Phoebe Strole), who’s left to pick up the pieces. The show notes describe the play as a "hilarious and heartbreaking story about motherhood, freedom, and trying to see the people in your family as they really are." Surely we can all relate to that last bit.
Directed by two-time Obie award-winner Leigh Silverman, The Madrid's illustrious, award-winning cast points towards a wonderful show that's both funny and moving. Falco, perhaps best known for her television work on The Sopranos and Nurse Jackie (turns which have earned her four Emmys), is an accomplished stage actress. Her performance in The House of Blue Leaves garnered her a nomination at last year’s Tony Awards. And it won’t be hard for Falco to shine in The Madrid, especially given that her director, Flahive, is a staff writer for Nurse Jackie and the pair have a natural chemistry. Tickets are $90 and performances run through April 21. 131 W. 55th St., 212-581-1212
photography by joan marcus
Refinery Hotel Channels Old New York
Located in a former hat-making factory, the boutique hotel opening this spring takes its history to heart.
February 19, 2013
Rooms reflect New York in the early 1900s, but with a modern, eclectic feel via leather trunks and well curated coffee-table books
Its name says it all: Refinery Hotel, a new boutique property opening in the Fashion District early this May, takes the concept of refined hospitality to heart. Located in the historic Colony Arcade building that occupies the block between 38th and 39th street (between Fifth and Sixth Ave.), which dates back to 1912, the 197-room property's sophisticated, intelligent design takes lively cues from the past.
“Our design was guided equally by historic fact and imagination,” says Stonehill & Taylor principal Christina Zimmer on the hotel's industrial-chic vibe. “We thought about how the original tenants lived and worked. We thought about the owner of the tearoom on the ground floor, and the ladies who frequented it as they took a break from shopping on Fifth Avenue. We thought about the incredible fashions of the time, and how they were made.”
Loft-like guest rooms, for example, are inspired in part by the original hat-making factory that used to be here. Concrete ceilings and distressed hardwood floors complement custom area rugs and a color palette of chocolate and white, while luxury bathrooms feature mosaic stone flooring, polished brass, and antique bronze. The property's lobby reflects the building's magnificent neo-Gothic facade, with the reception area located within a 21st century arcade, and hat-making tools as decoration.
Other public spaces include a 3,500 square foot rooftop bar and terrace overlooking The Empire State Building, and an indoor rooftop fountain and fireplace. Downstairs, a lounge called Winnie's serves as the hotel's café and prohibition-style bar, with old-fashioned tea parlor furnishings reminiscent of the era of Coco Chanel and Ernest Hemingway. In fact, the lounge's name is an homage to one Miss Winifred T. McDonald, who ran the Colony Arcade Building's original salon, back in the day. (Rumor has it that she rocked quite the covetable hat selection.) Owner Charles Aini promises to live up to the historical building's "style, sophistication, and craftsmanship," offering services such as magazine and book selections, drivers and personal assistants, and even sartorial touch-ups—this is the Fashion District, after all. 63 W. 38th St., 646-664-0310
Truffle Dinner at Lincoln Ristorante
Savor five Umbrian courses showered with Norcia black truffles.
February 19, 2013
Celebrate the food of Umbria at Lincoln Center's Lincoln Ristorante on Monday, February 25 with a five-course, wine-paired dinner. For one night only, chef Jonathan Benno presents a very special menu inspired by the dishes (and wines) of this magnificent Italian region. Truffles, of course, are a highlight—specifically, the coveted Norcia black truffle, described as “earthy and intoxicating.” Fittingly, the dinner is being called “Nero di Norcia.”
Each of the four savory courses come topped with the specialty truffle, beginning with a rich ricotta crostini. The meal goes on to include porchetta-style rabbit; spaghettoni with pecorino Romano; rainbow trout with spiced sausage, carrots, and lentils; and a pork roast with cannellini beans, cavolo nero (or black kale), and pork jus. Dessert, prepared by pastry chef Richard Capizzi, also hails from the Umbria region: A refined torta Perugia, made with hazelnut cream, brown butter-chocolate tortino, and hazelnut gelato.
Umbrian wines poured with the dinner include the renowned Sagrantino di Montefalco wines from Perugia. Sommelier Aaron Von Rock, Lincoln Ristorante's beverage director, will be on hand to guide diners through each pairing. The evening begins at 6:30 p.m. with passed canapés and Italian white wine, and dinner is served at 7 p.m. 142 West 65th St., 212-359-6500
Richard Chai for Palladium
From fall 2013 NYFW comes a new utilitarian boot capsule collection.
February 18, 2013
Richard Chai for Palladium fall 2013
Among New York Fashion Week's most exciting men's collaborations was a partnership between heritage boot brand Palladium and designer Richard Chai. This marks the second consecutive year that the two have joined forces to create the must-have Palladium by Richard Chai Collection ($190-$225), which debuted at Chai's runway fall 2013 runway show. “I wanted to do something that felt a bit slicker this time, utilizing various textures of leathers in a tonal color palette to create a slightly futuristic feel,” said Chai, who’s known for strong tailoring and clean lines.
And slick it is. The new collection includes four brand new men's styles: two versions of the Pampa Hi boot in navy and putty, and two takes on the Pampa Tactical boot, the latter in a color palette of charcoal and forest green. Built from premium aniline leather, like all Palladium boots, the Chai collection features that signature one-piece molded rubber outsole and rubber toecap. The designer's sophisticated, avant-garde accents include modern Velcro strap closures and tonal color ways.
Certainly, from a design standpoint, Chai's utilitarian flair is a natural complement to Palladium's military heritage. The company was founded in 1920 and its first incarnation was making tires for the aviation industry. In 1947, it expanded into making boots as sturdy as its tires and outfitted the French Foreign Legion. "We are excited to once again bring Richard’s point of view into the Palladium world,” said Barney Waters, vice president of marketing for Palladium. “Richard takes our heritage silhouettes and injects modernity and his incredible style to create something unique and stunning.” The collection will be available online and in stores this September.
Kelly Wearstler’s Stunning New Book
In Rhapsody, the interior and fashion designer offers a plethora of décor inspiration.
February 18, 2013
Kelly Wearstler holds a copy of her new book, Rhapsody
With an empire that already includes interior design, home accents, fashion, and coffee table books—including the recently released Rhapsody—Kelly Wearstler’s sphere of stylish influence appears quite complete. However, this spring, Wearstler is introducing two new elements into her world—a bridal registry on her eponymous website and a debut wall covering collection with Kravet, the company she also partners with for fabrics. “It’s so exciting,” she says of the launch that is anticipated for March.
Available now is Wearstler’s fourth coffee table book, Rhapsody, which highlights six different Wearstler-designed projects. Large-scale images showcase the designer’s signature inspiration trays, candid photographs of shopping excursions, and portraits of the finished details. “In one room there could be something I designed and things I found in 30 different countries, all coming together in one beautiful story—that’s the rhapsody,” says Wearstler. “The book also talks about my love of metals, why I love them, and how I use them. With the ready to wear and the interiors, there’s always a juxtaposition of something that’s raw and refined.”
It’s true, metals play heavily into the designer’s aesthetic, from the golden lobby at King & Grove Tides South Beach to the gilded accents at BG Restaurant at New York’s Bergdorf Goodman and Oliverio inside Beverly Hills’ Avalon Hotel (the project that initially put Wearstler on the map). But the palette is also a key component in Wearstler’s collection of jewelry, accessories, and ready to wear available at Bergdorf Goodman, Intermix, and Kirna Zabete. “It’s a totally different animal and it’s been so super challenging, but I’m having an incredible time,” Wearstler says of the transition from interior design into fashion. “Once you have a voice, it’s just applying it and finding your groove. Everything inspires—a sweater can be a carpet and a carpet can be a sweater; a stair railing or a door handle could be a piece of jewelry, it’s always crossing over.”
Yet, as Rhapsody and these new design frontiers show, Wearstler is ever evolving her point of view. “I’m such a curious person and I have such a thirst for knowledge and learning,” says Wearstler who finds inspiration in Manhattan everywhere from the Strand Bookstore to the city’s leading boutiques such as 1stDibs, Mantiques Modern, and Donzella. “I personally do not have a formula and I love being challenged by new clients and I love being challenged by new materials and new technology. I’m always changing and evolving.”
Spanish Brunch Plans: Tertulia and Barraca
Nurse your Fashion Week fatigue with Bloody Marys, churros, and a classic tortilla.
February 15, 2013
Brunch at Tertulia promises churros, tapas, and Bloody Marys
Its name an expression for a social gathering full of food, drink, and conviviality, chef Seamus Mullen's West Village joint is like a New York chigre—the cider houses of Spain's Asturias region. Indeed, where else in Manhattan can you get a glass of effervescent Spanish cider, or sidra, poured from a barrel? Like the menu itself, the rustic yet refined space is both traditional and modern, with an open kitchen, imported Mediterranean tiles, and a barnyard door that leads into the back room. To properly begin your brunch, order the signature La Gilda Maria Bloody Mary, made with anchovy, olive, pickled piparra pepper, and vodka or gin. Traditional small plates include pan con tomate (toasted bread rubbed with tomato), churros with dark chocolate, Spanish toast with whipped citrus butter and bourbon-aged maple syrup, and a classic tortilla with egg, potato, onion, and olive oil. A full range of tapas and eggs include a scramble of shrimp, crème fraîche, and herbs on brioche and a farro salad with tuna, olives, frisée, and tomato. On the side, try fried shishito peppers with sea salt, Ibérico ham croquettes, or a divine Paella del Huerto, made with Bomba rice, chicken, and vegetables. 359 6th Ave., 646-559-9909
Authentic Valencian brunch is on the menu at Barraca in the West Village, where fresh squeezed Valencia orange and grapefruit juice (and mimosas, of course) hold court alongside a fantastic menu by executive chef Jesús Núñez. If you’re in the mood for huevos, try the scrambled eggs with crispy potatoes, pork belly, fried green peppers, and Tetilla cheese. A popular dish is the sandwich de pescado, which layers grilled skate fish in a spicy marinade, preserved lemon mayonnaise, and a salad of Brussels sprouts, pink radish, and fresh scallions between homemade brioche bread. There’s also a variety of salads, tapas, and cocas (Spanish pizzas), as well as a hamburger and paella of the day. And sweet Spanish delights include fried milk bites with cinnamon ice cream (a Madrid delicacy) and Spanish crepes with hazelnut milk chocolate ice cream. Tip: if you’re nursing a hangover, the Gazpacho Bloody Mary is said to work wonders. 81 Greenwich Ave., 212-462-0080
What We're Reading
The most emotional moments of the State of the Union, the 21st century's "Feminine
February 15, 2013
President Obama delivers the State of the Union address
Elephant Journal founder Waylon Lewis has an interesting, emotional perspective on president Obama's State of the Union address. [ElephantJournal.com]
In honor of the 50th anniversary of Betty Friedan's revolutionary feminist book, The Feminine Mystique, Salon.com staff writer Mary Elizabeth Williams pens an essay on why Friedan's revelations about secret female frustration remain relevant in an era where women are expected to "have it all." [Salon.com]
In this week's New York Times Magazine, staff writer Susan Dominus writes an in-depth profile of Connie Britton, formerly of Friday Night Lights, now starring in Nashville. The talented actress, unusually, seems to be reaching her professional prime in her mid-forties. And she's considered a sex symbol, too. [The New York Times Magazine]
Have digital tokens of love replaced true human connection? Ekaterina Walter, a global social innovation strategist at Intel, wonders just that. [Fast Company]
Ah, guilt. We've all got it in spades. Writer Ruth Whippman delivers this great essay on her own brand of family guilt in The New York Times' Opinionator. [TheNew York Times]
photography by Mark Wilson
Weekend Recommender: February 14-17
Bertolt Brecht's Good Person of Szechwan, Brazilian jazz, and Beyoncé’s documentarian debut.
February 14, 2013
Good Person of Szechwan at La Mama
Good Person of Szechwan at La Mama
February 14-16 at 7:30 p.m.; February 17 at 2:30 p.m.
As it preps for its 51st birthday, East Village Experimental theater institution La Mama presents a Foundry Theatre production of Bertolt Brecht's Good Person of Szechwan, a funny, complex play about good in this world. Taylor Mac has garnered rave reviews for his portrayal of Shen Tei. In fact, the whole show has been critically acclaimed. Directed by Lear deBessonet, the can't-miss play also features live music by César Alvarez with The Lisps. 66 E. 4th St., 212-475-7710; thefoundrytheatre.org
Luciana Souza at Jazz Standard
February 14 at 7:30 and 10:30 p.m.
Get jiggy with your sweetie with some sultry date tunes for Valentine's Day, and few cultures do romance like the Brazilians. Brazilian singer Luciana Souza wraps up a three-night stand of Brazilian Duos at Jazz Standard on Thursday evening. She is accompanied by guitarist Romero Lubambo. 116 East 27th St., 212-576-2232; jazzstandard.net
Womenswear Sale at Jumelle
February 14-17, noon to 7 p.m.
As New York Fashion Week winds down, one must continue to look runway ready at all times. Fortunately, Williamsburg’s Jumelle is having an amazing womenswear sale, offering up to 75 percent off Alexander Wang, Raquel Allegra, and Isabel Marant. 148 Bedford Ave., Brooklyn, 718-388-9525; shopjumelle.com
Life is But a Dream
February 17 at 9 p.m.
See Mrs. Carter as you've never seen her before in this HBO documentary special directed by Beyoncé Knowles herself. Featuring first-person video, shot by the superstar on her laptop, the film delves behind Beyoncé's public persona into the person she really is. hbo.com