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Summer Accessory: Robin Hoods

Bad hair day? Wrap it up in a retro-chic head scarf or turban.

July 23, 2013

Robin Hoods headwraps

Robin Hoods make a statement for summer. 

Whether your summer hair issues are caused by heat and humidity, a bad haircut, or even hair loss resulting from stress, hormones or chemotherapy, New York's Robin Hoods has got you covered—literally—with just the scarf, turban, or headpiece you need.

Available in a variety of styles and colors (most cost $62), Robin Hoods is a cause-driven line of head covers launched by fashion industry veteran Tracey Van Voorhis. "The inspiration for Robin Hoods came from watching my mom struggle immensely with the physical side effects of her cancer diagnosis and treatment, most noticeably, the hair loss," explains Van Voorhis. "When she tearfully told me that she'd lost her independence, that was it for me. There was no turning back, and I couldn't spend another day watching her suffer. I knew that I was not going to find the cure for cancer, but I could help find the cure for the insecurity and embarrassment caused by the hair loss."

As such, Van Voorhis wanted Robin Hoods to combine fashion and function. "The style component was important because you can't expect someone to be confident, heal, and recover when they feel like they constantly look sick.The function component was equally as important in how the product felt on the head. Was it easily worn? Was it comfortable?"

The answer to both of these questions is a resounding yes. With chic headdresses, turbans, and other elegant and feminine head coverings available in both solid colors and prints (think white leopard, navy stripe, and more) Robin Hoods is the ultimate accessory for a weekend in the country or a day in the park.



Where to Celebrate National Scotch Day

A number of tastings and bars offer some quality options to sample delicious whisky.

July 23, 2013


This Oban single malt shows hints of dried figs and honey-sweet spice.

For Scotch enthusiasts looking to celebrate National Scotch Day on July 27, there are a number of establishments across the city to sample some of the finest single-malt Scotches.

One not to miss is SINGL near Union Square, which recently launched a new single-malt Scotch tasting series. Hosted by One Five Hospitality beverage director and master sommelier Roger Dagorn, each session offers guests a chance to taste a different Scotch, from Macallan to Ardberg, with an expert. The next event, on July 30, features Ardbeg and will be presented by David Blackman, global ambassador for Ardbeg and Glenmorangie. This tasting event is free of charge.

Further uptown, Brick Lane Curry House also carries an ample Scotch selection on the menu to sample. In addition to New York favorites like Johnnie Walker, Glenfiddich, and Glenlivet, try a unique, smoky Dalwhinnie. This aperitif resonates with notes of heather, honey, vanilla, citrus, and malted bread.

For a full, rich taste, the Oban (available at Brick Lane) won't disappoint. Made at a distillery founded in 1794 in the Scottish town of Oban, this single-malt gem features hints of dried figs, honey-sweet spice, and a smoky oak, malty dryness.



Epic Tours from Africa to the Arctic

Swap your standard beach holiday for a life-changing adventure.

July 22, 2013

New York can feel so insular at times that it's easy to forget the rest of the world. But imagine canoodling with nomadic tribes, tracking gorillas up volcanoes in Rwanda, or personally distributing solar lights to families without electricity. Launched by longtime friends Mark Lakin and Marc Chafiian, Epic Road is a new NYC-based luxury experiential tour operator offering customized itineraries to far-flung destinations. From Africa to the Arctic, travelers can embark on authentic humanitarian and conservation experiences—without sacrificing creature comforts. Here, get an inside look at where Epic Road travels.  



What We're Reading

Woody Allen teases return to stand-up, Jerry Seinfeld fed up with Mets fans...

July 19, 2013

Woody Allen did stand-up comedy in the mid-'60s, but he recently told a reporter that he's "toying with the idea" of going back to it. 

Is Woody Allen planning to revisit stand-up comedy? Perhaps, postulates The New Yorker's Rachel Arons, pointing out a trend in which many comics-turned-actors seem to be going back to their stand-up roots. [The New Yorker

Speaking of comedians, Jerry Seinfeld is no fan of booing the Mets, especially at this week's All-Star Game at Citi Field. In fact, he's downright "embarrassed" by Mets fans' behavior of late. [NY Post

BuzzFeed founder Jonah Peretti and artist, filmmaker, and writer Miranda July interview each other about reading other people's email. Why, you ask? July's new project, "We Think Alone," lets subscribers peek at celebrity emails. [T Magazine

In this adaptation of an essay he posted on Facebook, The Roots' Questlove writes a poignant, super truthful essay about his feelings on the Trayvon Martin verdict. [New York

Lastly, is it hot in here, or is it just us? Temperatures soared to the upper 90s throughout most of this week, but still, we should count our blessings. Back in 1953, before central air conditioning, when even window units were scarce, New York "baked" morning, afternoon, and night for twelve days straight. [The New York Times]



Dispatch: Ryan Reynolds Steps Out for 'Turbo'

Plus: on the red carpet with the cast of Grown Ups 2, an All-Stars bash, and more.

July 19, 2013

Brutal heat this week makes it fun to think back to Tuesday evening last week, when Dispatches arrived to driving rain mixed with sunny skies at the Upper West Side premiere of Turbo. Fortunately, the long black carpet was tented, protecting the photo op with a matte black Chevy Camaro ZL1 Turbo. 

Turbo is a 3D animated project about a snail (with the voice of Ryan Reynolds) who magically attains supercharged speed. “It’s really about overcoming any obstacle,” said Reynolds. “Taking the impossible dream—a snail winning the Indy 500—and making it a reality." Ten minutes after Reynolds graced the black carpet, his lovely wife Blake Lively entered with her brother Jason and his two adorable boys, clad in in gingham shirts. 

This reporter overheard security discussing their plan to grab Lively and sneak her off the carpet and into the theater. But the actress mucked that up by pausing to tell Dispatches she was wearing Burberry and Lorraine Schwartz jewelry.

The next night, same theater (no rain, temperatures spiking) Dispatches was given a spot on the red carpet for Adam Sandler’s Grown Ups 2. Director Denis Dugan explained how he harnessed the comic genius of Sandler, Chris Rock, David Spade, Kevin James, and Salma Hayek: “We do the script, then I put four cameras on them and they just start ad-libbing,” he said. More like mad-libbing.

One of the funniest scenes is when the guys think they're getting a car wash from a bunch of babes but end up getting one from a group of guys (SNL cast members. “None of that was scripted,” indicated Dugan. “From the moment you see all the Saturday Night Live guys, it was all just them.” 

Also in the mix is Shaquille O’Neal, playing a character with male pattern baldness, Taylor Lautner, and newcomer Jimmy Tatro, who plays a buff frat boy opposite Lautner

And Thursday, celebrity publicists The Von Boozier Twins celebrated Inspired in New York's July honoree, The Real Housewives of New York's Sonja Morgan, at The Griffin. A slenderized Morgan wore a black dress that pooled on the red carpet. “It’s by Lorena Sarbu,” Morgan told Dispatches. “She’s a girlfriend of mine and she sends them to me from Beverly Hills." Morgan suggested it took about 20 minutes to get ready. "I put in a couple of extensions and put my hair up in a French twist sort of like Tippi Hedren in The Birds,” she said.

Aviva Drescher’s dress was from The Reformation. “It’s a downtown-cool store for young people,” she said. “And I’m trying to stay young.” Ramona Singer, meanwhile, wore a dress by Manrico Cashmere. “Wherever Sonja goes, I’ll follow,” offered Singer. “I always have fun with her.”

Then on Sunday, ACES agents Sam and Seth Levinson turned Marquee into an old fashioned baseball park decked out with vintage food stands and Grey Goose cocktails, stilt walkers, magicians, and cartoon artists. The event celebrated the agency's, count 'em, nine clients on the 2013 MLB All-Star roster this year—including David Wright, Brandon Phillips, and Dustin Pedroia. The event also drew legendary ACES client Jorge Posada.

And good luck if you got between an All-Star and a lobster spring roll (from Tao). Weather held up Brandon Davis, flying in from Atlanta, who turned up at the event around 1 a.m. Don't tell him Dispatches ate the last spring roll.


For more entertainment and society news, visit jeffreyslonim.com or follow @JeffreyJSlo on Twitter


Weekend Recommender: July 18-21

Mandela Day in Times Square, the New York Musical Theatre Festival, and more.

July 18, 2013

Nelson Mandela Day, Times Square

The Power of Words celebrates Mandela Day in Times Square. 

Mandela Day in Times Square
July 18, beginning at 7:15 p.m.  
In honor of Nelson Mandela Day, the Times Square Arts and Times Square Advertising Coalition in Collaboration with the Tribeca Film Institute and the Nelson Mandela Foundation present a screening of a special video installation called The Power of Words. As the South African leader turns 95-years-old, Nelson Mandela Day serves as international call-to-action. The event aims to inspire people to improve the lives of others around them. The video will show on the big Times Square digital screens at 7:15, and also play throughout the day at the Times Square Visitor Center. Duffy Square, between 46th and 47th Streets 

Boys Will be Boys at the New York Musical Theatre Festival
July 18, 5:30 p.m., July 20, 9:30 p.m.
This innuendo-filled musical revue tells the story of Ishmael Gonzalez, who suffers from Gay-D.D., a fictional disorder that prevents gay men from focusing on any trend for more than a few weeks. When his friends decide to put on a musical revue themselves, poignant hilarity ensues. The show is part of the New York Musical Theatre Festival, which continues through July 28. The Studio Theatre at Theatre Row, 480 West 42nd St., 212-352-3101

Bob Saget at The Music Hall of Williamsburg
July 20, 11 p.m.
For TV fans of Full House and America's Funniest Home Videos, Bob Saget might seem like the quintessential nice guy. Whether or not this is true, when he dons his stand-up comedy hat, get ready for his outrageous dark side to come out and play. Writer and comedian Mike Young opens. Tickets are $35. 66 North 6th St., Brooklyn, 718-486-5400



'Sleep No More' Producer Remakes 'King Kong'

Randy Weiner talks giving the cult classic a hip-hop theater redux for SummerStage.

July 17, 2013

Randy Weiner fuses the legend of King Kong and the birth of hip-hop at SummerStage. 

In between co-producing Sleep No More, co-owning LES theater-cum-nightlife haunt The Box, and working on a slate of other projects—including Aby Rosen's $20 million Diamond Horseshoe club revival—Randy Weiner teamed up with theater director Alfred Preisser on a new SummerStage production, a hip-hop musical comedy remake of King Kong. The setting? Seventies South Bronx. The plot? Down on their luck R&B producers (and their pretty secretary) hit the Cross Bronx Expressway to find and sign Kong, an M.C. on the cusp of the planet's next monster music phenomena: hip-hop. Here, Weiner talks inspiration and even a few details on the anticipated Diamond Horseshoe club.  

So, tell us about King Kong.
RANDY WEINER: It's about these three guys who own a record label that's fallen on hard times and they know they need to get out of the rut and find something new. And because it's 1978, there's this new thing called hip-hop that's about to happen. They're all excited, so they take this journey . . . It's my little love letter to New York City. This is the place where, from this tiny area of the South Bronx, comes this sound that's going to take over the entire world. 

Why tell the story through the lens of King Kong?
RW: I grew up in New York City and had my seminal music experience. Like all of us, you have something that happens to you in junior high school or high school; you hear music for the first time, and the music I heard was hip-hop. This was in the late '70s, early '80s . . . When I got out of college, I worked for Loud Records, a famous hip-hop label in the early '90s. It was home of the Wu-Tang Clan and Big Pun . . . It was owned by these three Jewish friends from Long Island . . . To me, I saw all sorts of mythic, sociological connections to the story of King Kong. The King Kong myth is so powerful. 

Race plays a role in the story, too. Any challenges there?
RW: What was hard about it is, you tell people this story and people, in this day and age, want to find some reason to be offended. And when they read the script or see the rehearsals, it's like, 'I guess it's not offensive,' but they still feel like they need to be offended so other people don't think they're bad people.

As one of Sleep No More's producers, and one of The Box's owners, you're known for combining nightlife and theater. What's fun about creating site-specific works?
RW: The owners of The Box—myself and Simon Hammerstein—we're all theater guys, we think in a non-traditional structure and three-dimensional theater-making. When you're at The Box, and you're socializing and drinking, the performances on stage have to cut through that. And that is a high bar. I think in that kind of energy. I've been doing shows in nightlife forever; I just think that's cool, to create something so compelling that people stop and pay attention.

How does that apply to the new "immersive opera/nightclub/molecular gastronomy hybrid" Diamond Horseshoe that you're opening beneath the Paramount Hotel?
RW: In the '30s and '40s, there was this impresario named Billy Rose. Everyone knows Ziegfeld Follies, he was about the girl next door, dressed up beautifully. Billy Rose was kind of the opposite: The showgirl next door. Ziegfeld was in these beautiful theaters all around New York and Billy Rose was in the basement of the Paramount. There was an edge to what he did—showgirls and boxers. That was the energy of the place he had, the Diamond Horseshoe. It really was the most famous place in its day. So we're bringing that into life and making that a showplace. I think it's going to be a vibrant combination of nightlife and theater, the things I enjoy.

King Kong runs from July 30 to August 22. For locations and showtimes, visit summerstage.org



Caviar Has Its Day; Bar Pleiades Launches Jazz

Plus: ice cream sandwiches at Magnolia Bakery and upscale street food at Amali.

July 16, 2013

Millionaire Fried Rice at David Burke Townhouse

David Burke's "millionaire's fried rice" for National Caviar Day.

National Caviar Day at David Burke Townhouse: Sea urchin and caviar spaghetti and "millionaire's fried rice" are on the menu at Townhouse in honor of National Caviar Day, July 18. Also boasting a caviar topper is a sea scallop Benedict; dry aged rib eye carpaccio with potato chips and crème fraîche; and lobster scramble. 133 E. 61st St., 212-813-2121

Mediterranean Street Food at Amali: The Mediterranean diet is trendy in the summer, both for beating the heat and the bulge. Devotees should head to Amali, where executive chef Nilton Borges is cooking up gyro-style sandwiches and a Mediterranean take on the BLT for the spot's new Amali Street Food outdoor lunch program. Look for the charcoal-burning grill parked outside, which serves on weekdays from noon until supply runs out. 115 E. 60th St., 212-339-8363

Ice Cream Sandwiches at Magnolia Pop-Up: As ubiquitous as cupcakes may be, Magnolia Bakery is still going strong. At its new South Street Seaport pop-up, you'll find all the favorites: red velvet cakes/cupcakes, banana pudding, and a selection of cookies, brownies, and special handmade ice cream sandwiches. Hours are Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. 11 Fulton St.

Friday Night Jazz at Bar Pleiades: Located next to Café Boulud on the Upper East Side, Bar Pleiades is cranking out a new Friday night jazz series from 9 p.m. to midnight. As the James Zeller Trio recreates the sounds of the 1930s and '40s, head bartender Darryl Chan mixes new sumer cocktails like the Last Caress, a refreshing mix of Chartreuse, grapefruit, juniper berries, and Champagne. 20 E. 76th St., 212-772-2600



Surf in the City: A Shopper's Guide

Surf's up, even it's not... Suit up for summer at these Manhattan surf shops.

July 16, 2013

Saturdays Surf NYC is more than just a surf shop, it's a La Colombe-charged surfer hangout.

If you're stuck in the city on hot summer weekdays but have a double life as a surfer come weekends, New York's coolest surf shops have the clothing and gear to suit up your surfing alter ago. And even if you're not literally searching for that perfect wave, the city's surf boutiques, including both indie shops and design brands like Billabong, Patagonia, and Cynthia Rowley, can help you look (and feel) as if you do.

1. Saturdays Surf NYC. With two Manhattan locations in SoHo and the West Village, Saturdays Surf NYC is dedicated to the lifestyle of "surfing, living, and working in New York City." Open since 2009, the shop sells boards, wetsuits, art, surf clothing, its own menswear line, and other surfing lifestyle accoutrements. Both boutiques have also become artsy surf scene hangout destinations, complete with La Colombe espresso bars. 

2. Lost Weekend NYC. The small, authentic Lower East Side's Lost Weekend NYC also doubles as a café, serving Blue Bottle java, as well as T-shirts, Saltbox board shorts, Wonderland eyewear, backpacks by D’emploi, and grooming products by Malin+Goetz. This place might be small, but it radiates street cred, and its products are top quality.   

3. Pilgrim Surf + Supply. Further afield, in Brooklyn, Pilgrim Surf + Supply stocks a vast selection of everything from surfboards to beach apparel, wetsuits, bathing suits, and more. It has that California '50s vibe, and is the latest venture of owner Chris Gentile, whose previous Brooklyn surf shop Mollusk (now closed) was much beloved by New York surfers. 



Pop-Up Show to Feature Jay-Z Album Artist

Images by Brooklyn artist Ari Marcopoulos go on view in NYC on July 24.

July 15, 2013


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