A Charlie Brown Christmas: Live On Stage In NYC December 21st through the 24th.
By Maya Litovsky
Just in time for Christmas, everyone’s favorite Peanuts holiday special comes to life in A Charlie Brown Christmas: Live on Stage. New Yorkers can celebrate the holiday season with the Peanuts gang when the show plays its New York City premiere engagement, December 21 – 24 at The Palladium Times Square (1515 Broadway, NYC).
Charles M. Schulz’s Emmy and Peabody award-winning story has been a longstanding tradition, warming the hearts of millions of fans since it first aired on television over 50 years ago. Now, the live stage adaptation of the classic animated television special brings all your favorite characters to life -all set to the original special’s dialogue as well as the unforgettable sounds of the classic Vince Guaraldi musical score. A Charlie Brown Christmas: Live on Stage celebrates the timeless television classic as the whole family can join Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy, Linus and the rest of the Peanuts characters in their journey to uncover the true meaning of Christmas. After the final bow, the show crescendos into a celebration of song as the audience is invited to join the Peanuts gang in singing traditional Christmas songs and carols. A Charlie Brown Christmas: Live on Stage, by Charles M. Schulz, is based on the television special by Bill Melendez and Lee Mendelson, and adapted for the stage adaptation by Eric Schaeffer, by special arrangement with Arthur Whitelaw and Ruby Persson. The show is produced by Gershwin Entertainment / Todd Gershwin. Directed by Robert Coulson, the cast of A Charlie Brown Christmas: Live on Stage features D’Marreon Alexander as Linus, Giuliana Augello as Violet, Connor Barr as Charlie Brown, Sophia Delucchi as Sally Brown, Chloe Gabila (Ensemble), Andrew Hainz as Pigpen, Will Jewett as Snoopy, Brent C. Mauldin as Schroeder, Lucy Rhoades as Frieda, Sam Sanderson (Ensemble), Elliot Wallace as Shermy, Emma T. Wilcox as Patty, and Leah Windahl as Lucy. The live performance features choreography by Charlotte Bydwell; music supervision and additional arrangements by Garrett Taylor,; scenic design by Adam Koch, Associates; costume design by Jeffrey Meek; lighting design by Nathan Scheuer; and sound design by Josh Samuels.
A Charlie Brown Christmas: Live on Stage plays Dec. 21 – 24 at palladiumtimessquare.com (1515 Broadway, NYC). Tickets, starting at $25, are on sale at ticketmaster.com
New York Restaurants To Visit This Fall
By Maya Litovsky
Encourage Kids Foundation Serving Up Smiles Signature Tasting Event To Benefit The Encourage Kids Programs
By Maya Litovsky
The https://encourage-kids.org Foundation hosted their Serving Up Smiles premier tasting event that included decadent plates from the hottest chefs and top named restaurants in NYC, a VIP Speakeasy Lounge presented by Go Tab, Inc., Shinju Japanese Whiskey, world-class wines, cocktails, and incredible auction items at The Lighthouse at Chelsea Piers.
“I want to thank all the sponsors, board members, guests and my team for a wonderful and successful night. The outpouring of support for the work we do at the enCourage Kids Foundation in helping humanize healthcare for children and their families by resourcing impact-driven pediatric programs and supporting the child life community, is beyond humbling. We look forward to seeing everybody at our next event,” Michele Hall Duncan – CEO enCourage Kids Foundation.
Guests were greeted outside by DJ Chef who had the crowd dancing their way through the entrance doors. ABC Sports Anchor Ryan Field emceed the evening alongside Michele Hall Duncan and Culinary Chair/Chef & Partner TAO Hospitality Group, Chef Ralph Scamardella. The music and dancing continued inside with Acute Inflections and Live Wire Band. Malik Yoba (Actor Empire & NY Undercover) ate and danced his way through the evening having a great time with the guests.
“What a great event for the perfect cause, said Actor Malik Yoba. I look forward to continue to support the efforts of the enCourage Kids Foundation for a long time.”
Participating restaurants included BAKEYOREY, BRYANT PARK GRILL, BUTTER, CARDINALI BAKERY, KELLARI TAVERNA, LAMIA’S FISH MARKET, LAVO, ME CASA, MYKONOS BLEU, OMAR’S KITCHEN, SKORPIOS, SPICE CULTURE and SPYCE sauce.
Participating wines and spirits included AQUAFINA, BROOKLYN BREWERY, BUBLY, DR. PERRICONE HYDROGEN WATER, FERVOR MEZCAL, HARLEM HOPS, LOS DOS TEQUILA, OWL’S BREW, PRESSED, REVEL SPIRITS, ROUTESTOCK -WILSON DANIELS, TEQUILA ARMERO, WHITLEY NEILL GIN and ZYR VODKA.
Event sponsors included FEIL FAMILY FOUNDATION, ARK RESTAURANTS, BRYANT PARK GRILL, COUGAR CAPITAL, THE DONUT PUB, SIGNATURE BANK, LUCY and DAVID BALL, BUCHBINDER & WARREN LLC, SANDERS FAMILY, EMERSON AMUSEMENTS, and GO TAB.
About Michele Hall Duncan – President & CEO enCourage Kids Foundation
President & CEO, Michele’s expertise in the nonprofit and development space, leads the organization in developing varied Programs and overseeing the growth of the Pediatric Hospital Support Program. The relationships she has fostered over the years with Child Life staff and all levels of hospital administration, have helped her to develop an integral understanding of their needs and has helped position the organization to be on the forefront of state-of-the-art programming.
Cosmoprof 2021 North America Is Back
By Maya Litovsky
Cosmoprof made a huge comeback In late August at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center after being cancelled in 2020 due to Covid 19. As the world begins to live a new normal, emerging and established brands traveled to Las Vegas to come together and build relationships, collaborations and show off their brands.
The event was a bit smaller than years past due to travel restrictions especially from Asia, but we liked being able to navigate the Convention Center and felt we were able to meet and connect with more brands as a result. Special areas included Discover Beauty, Discover Green, CBD Beauty, The Beauty Vanities, Tones of Beauty and Discover Beauty Spotlights. There was also a section devoted to professional beauty for those in the beauty trade and Cosmopack that is all about packaging.
There were educational opportunities with Cosmotalks. A conference like format with seminars, classes, and workshops with top beauty and business professionals.
Next year Cosmoprof is switching it up and relocating to the Las Vegas Convention Center. Anticipating a larger event for next year as travel restrictions loosen as vaccinations are up and cases are down, we are looking forward to next summer. The event will take place from July 12th-14th 2022.
Look for our favorite brands to be featured in our Holiday Gift Guide going live on November 20th.
Eastwinds Resort, A Hidden Gem in St. Lucia: Relaxation and Pampering We All Need Now
By Maya Litovsky
Eastwinds is a all-inclusive boutique resort in Gros Islet, St.Lucia. Minutes away from Rodney Bay, the property is set amidst tropical botanical gardens with humming birds, gorgeous flora and nature trails.
From the moment guests arrive the staff, many whom have been with the resort for decades greet you with a welcome drink and a smile. Within hours it seemed they remembered our names and our drink orders. Speaking to other guests at the property, some who have been coming for over 15 years, the staff’s attentiveness and attention to detail are the reasons why the return rate is so high and what truly sets this little gem apart from the other larger scale resorts on the island.
Located on Labrelotte Bay, one of the most pristine bays in St. Lucia, the proximity to the beach allows guests to sunbathe, swim and snorkel directly on property. The large free form pool features a swim up bar. The open air restaurant is only a few steps away, along with a beach bar that offers beachside service.
Dining is one of the most special activities at the resort. The executive chef typically chooses locally sourced ingredients some of which are grown on the on site garden. Breakfast is ala carte now due to Covid protocols, with a varied menu including omelettes, pancakes, and French toast made to order. If there is something a guest craves, the staff will make an effort to make it happen. Lunch is a casual affair, with a daily changing menu featuring seafood, meat, and vegetarian options.
Dinner is where Eastwinds shines. Full silver service, a four course menu designed by the chef, comprised of international and local specialties. The meals are paired with premium wines and cocktails. Nightly entertainment alternates between musicians and singers. There is a weekly Barbecue under the stars.
The rooms at the resort range from superior cottages to beach front suites. All the rooms feature premium bedding, air-conditioning, flat screen tv’s, robes, mini bars, free wifi and toiletries by Molton Brown.
While relaxation is the most important part of our stay, we did venture to snorkel, hop on a hobie cat, and paddle board. These activities are part of the all-inclusive package.
The resort also offers exclusive experiences to the guests, at an additional charge. Curated by Simeon, these can be a private all day sail to the Pitons, a sunset cruise or an island tour.
Weddings are quite popular at the resort. The experienced team will plan your special day and tailor it to your needs. The resort can accommodate a wedding of up to 70 plus guests. Children are welcome in case of a property buy out.
Covid protocols are strictly followed with masked staff, sanitizing stations, and a complimentary covid test done on property that guests need to board their flights home
For more info and to book your stay click here: https://eastwinds.com
EnCourage Kids Foundation 18th Annual Golf Outing and Awards Ceremony
By Maya Litovsky
The enCourage Kids Foundation hosted their 18th Annual Golf Outing to more than 250 sponsors and guests at the Pine Hollow Country Club and The Mill River Club. After a day on the course, golfers and guests came together for an award ceremony led by Hank Celestino – L&L Holding & Event Chair, to celebrate this year’s honorees, Julie Arce of JLL, Rosemarie Krol – CBRE and Tiffany Mizen – IBM.
This year, one of the enCourage Kids, Danielle Sass along with her family attended the outing. Danielle was born with a rare neurological condition in which one side of her brain is abnormally larger than the other. From an early age, she experienced frequent seizures and the only remedy was to remove the affected half of her brain. “We are so grateful for the leadership of Michele Hall Duncan and the many programs such as Camp Pontiac, that brings happiness and a sense of normalcy to Danielle and my family,” said Hal Sass. “We are beyond grateful for their work, for the other families we have met and the experiences that we have enjoyed along the way.”
“I’m so grateful for the support of all the attendees, our sponsors and the many donors that continue to embrace our programs,” said Michele Hall Duncan – President & CEO enCourage Kids Foundation. “It is families such as the Sass family that keeps us working diligently to make a difference in the lives of the children and their families who need us most.”
“I couldn’t be happier with the work of our team and the lives that we change through our programs,” said Joe Wessley – Encourage Kids Board Chair. “I’m grateful for all those who continue to support our mission and who have come out today to make a difference.”
EnCourage Kids raised over $250,000 though sponsorships, raffles that included some amazing hotel stays, golf packages and gift certificates to world class restaurants, a Par 3 challenge, prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place foursomes and Hole-in-One prizes including a 2021 Range Rover. Owl’s Brew Boozy Tea provided beverages on the course at the cocktail reception, Moo La La Catering provided a delicious ice cream station and Hydr8 provided bottled water.
About enCourage Kids Foundation
enCourage Kids Foundation helps humanize healthcare for children and their families by resourcing impact-driven pediatric programs and supporting the Child Life Community. enCourage Kids Foundation envisions a world where every child—regardless of the difficulty of his or her medical journey—experiences joy, hope, resilience, and healing.
enCourage Kids has served over one million children and over 300 hospitals across the nation. www.encourage-kids.org
Cellar Dog Just Opened In The West Village And It’s Lots of Fun!
By Maya Litovsky
Cellar Dog just opened at 75 Christopher Street, former home of Fat Cat, the 9000 square foot space offers every type of game imaginable. There is pool, ping pong, foosball, shuffleboard, chess, checkers, lots of board games and even frogger and Ms.Pacman, reminds me of my high school days.
Cellar Dog is also bringing back live entertainment, we had a jazz band playing opening night. Guests sit in church pews while sipping on a beer or glass of wine. Check out the live music schedule here: cellardognyc.com A light bar menu is available featuring nachos, pizza, pretzels, and veggies and ice cream.
As people are ready to head out this summer, safety is important. Cellar Dog is employing covid safety protocols so guests can enjoy a night out with friends, a date, or after work. As a gamer myself, this is my favorite type of entertainment venue.
Sustainable Swim Week Brings the Rewired Mind Retreat Eco Consciousness Lounge and Ethical Fashion
By Maya Litovsky
- Miami/FL Sustainable Swim Week, an official Miami Fashion Event, brings ‘Consciousness – Couture & Crypto’ via The Rewired Mind Retreat and Sustainable Fashion Showcases. The event is set to coincide with the 32nd Annual Miami Swim Week from Thursday, July 8 to Sunday, July 11, 2021. In association with AdAvenueGroup – Forbes France and ArtBasil, The Rewired Mind Retreat, Friday July 9 from 8:30am to 5pm is hosting “A Deep Dive into Sustainability” including a full spectrum of solutions; from personal to environmental. The four-day event unspools at the Kimpton Angler’s Hotel, 660 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33139.
- Program for Sustainable Swim Week
- RSVP – www.therewiredmind.com
MIAMI, FL / ACCESSWIRE / July 3, 2021 / Join in Sustainable Swim Week, July 8 – 11, 2021 featuring an immersive showcase designed to re-imagine and re-define fashion today. Panels are set to explore Mindset Re-sets, Eco & Ethical Fashion, Financial Intelligence and Beauty Inside and Out.
Sustainable Swim Week will premiere with a Crypto Cocktail Reception, Model Casting and NFT Art Exhibit on Thursday, July 8 from 5 – 8pm. Guests are invited to make an eco-fashion statement with attire that is revamped, up cycled or re-imagined. Together we can make fashion “circular” while helping solve global challenges like microfibers in our oceans and exploding landfills.
The Rewired Mind Retreat on Friday, July 9 from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm at the Kimpton Angler’s Gallery presided over by Kristen Connell, Founder of The Rewired Mind Retreat . The one day summit is designed to rejuvenate, refresh and reboot. Guests and distinguished panelists are encouraged to immerse themselves in sustainable lifestyle solutions that are equally groundbreaking and transformative while creating new milestones along life’s journey. The day is curated for those seeking a full-spectrum upgrade both inside and out. Distinguished panelists will provide insight, immersive experiences and actionable solutions that are sure to level-up the weeklong string of cocktails and catwalks throughout Miami Beach.
The Keynote Speaker for the event is Forbes Riley, award-winning TV host, author and one of the World’s Leading Health & Wellness experts. She is an inductee of the National Fitness Hall of Fame.
Also sharing their mission are Shannon King -Transcontinental™ Miss Texas USA Universe , Natalie Craig, ‘Walk in Their Shoes’ – a philanthropy empowering high risk children with new attire in collaboration with Under Armour™. Pamela Chanel David , author of “ The Reinvented Life,” empowers all to create their best personal and professional lives. Tiffany Sexton is presiding over the personal empowerment panel. Her mantra is “You can’t change what has happened, but you can create a better future if you choose to via operating as a survivor.”
Shelby Thomas, Co-founder and CEO of the Ocean Rescue Alliance , and 1000 Mermaids, a marine conservation and restoration nonprofit organization, brings her passion about preserving our natural ecosystems to Sustainable Swim Week 2021. She is a panelist on the Ocean & Environmental Conservancy focusing on stewardship of our fragile eco system. Financial Intelligence & Crypto Consciousness will be explored with Fletcher Jewett , Robbie Long, Philip Nicozisis, Alejandro Glatt, Juan Carlos Caceres and moderated by Sara Quirconi . Today there are still doubts about the consequences of wide crypto currency adoption. In particular, many skeptics and environmentalists have raised concerns about energy consumption in mining crypto.
The day-long retreat will evolve into an evening rooftop fashion ‘fete’ with sustainable swim and resort wear by Sage Larock, TikiYogi and designers advancing in the Eco Channel challenge. Signature “conscious cocktails” mixed by Frankly Vodka and Rum Barcelo. to Taryn Larock. Sage Larock swimwear is a luxury brand produced ethically in Miami and Los Angeles out of upcycled fishing nets. Also working behind the ‘seams’ is Marisol Rocha with her latest TikiYogi collection, inspired by her stints in Bali and now Biscayne Bay.
An independent activation, Saturday, July 10th will see Tayo Ishola’s ‘Back to Eden’ fashion show elevates small businesses, women in leadership, health and wellness cognoscente. The four woman-owned brands: Eido Swimwear (also the event host), Abacaxi, Jnaba Diallo and Voglia Swimwear will be modeled in the evening showcase.
Annette Bibby Oliver of Dreamhouse MBG direct from Los Angeles and NYC will showcase everything from haute couture to emerging fashion “disruptors”. She is spearheading the much-anticipated Rooftop Grand Finale, ‘One Night in Tangier’ Sunday, July 11 from 6:00pm to 10:30 pm . An inclusive and diverse cast of designers will be basking in the halo effect of Lisa Nicole Collection (BravoTV’s ‘Married to Medicine’) and Alaini Taylor by ‘Murph.’ She launched her career designing for ‘ Beyonce ‘ with Diviant La Vie . Jalu , a debut swim collection by Jose Alexzander , and De La Concepcion , Alister Mekhai Eyewear , Tote N’ Carry will all be taking a turn on the runway.
Alexzander of Jalu is a committed contributor to the pantheon of sustainable and ethical design. His ‘Made in America’ collection is stylish, flattering and uncompromising. He will be joined by up cycled and ocean environmentalists who collectively advocate that “we are each responsible for creating and stewarding a greener planet.” The feel is luxurious belying the fact the fabrics are a magical result of recycled post consumer waste. More than fashion several spokespersons advancing beauty both inside and out will include Lorena Cosentino of Illari Skin, Beverlee Felkner of Beverlee Botanicals and Natalie Reeves of Nutritional Longevity .
“Fashion shows today are so much more than just connecting with retail buyers,” said Annette Biddy Oliver of Dreamhouse MBG , host of Sunday’s, July 11th Roof Top event themed – One Night in Tangier . “They can serve as valuable catalysts for brands by helping assert their place in culture, driving engagement with customers and the press.”
READ MORE about our distinguished panel of Guest speakers and moderators
Adalinda’s , Planet Fashion TV , Swim the Globe , Art Hearts and others are putting a unique spin on ethical fashion that follows the ‘thread’ from manufacturer to distribution and beyond. The entire ‘Sustainable Swim Week’ program is curated to provide an insider’s guide to sustainable well-being on all levels via multi layered upgrades. Sustainable Swim Week and The Rewired Mind Retreat is an engaging experience with meditation, mindset resets, immersive beauty demonstrations and conversations with those at the forefront of sustainable transformation and impeccable taste.
rsvp www.therewiredmind.com or www.artbasil.org
Read More About our distinguished panel of guest speakers: http://artbasil.org/sustainable-swim-week-brings-the-rewired-mind-retreat-eco-consciousness-lounge-and-ethical-fashion-read-more-about-our-distinguished-participants/
SOURCE: Ad Avenue Group – Forbes France
NYC Is Open: Great Restaurants To Visit Now, From Fancy to Casual
By Maya Litovsky
Kyocera Duraforce Ultra 5G: Rugged, Sturdy, Built to work Anywhere
By Maya Litovsky
Kyocera recently rolled out their latest device, exclusive to Verizon and their 5G network. The Duraforce ultra 5G is designed to withstand harsh elements whether it’s for work or adventure. First off, the phone is solid with a built in case and quite substantial in feel, yet light enough to be comfortable for use in the field.
The Verizon 5G network provides ultra fast speeds in rural areas, away from urban centers, allowing for solid reliable use while biking, camping, hiking, kayaking, and full use in the water or in the pouring rain.
The Kyocera exceeds military standards for vibration, drop from 5 feet onto concrete, heat, solar radiation, extreme temperatures, freezing rain, altitude, and dust.
Enabled with front and rear ultra wide cameras, allowing 117 degrees field of view, consumers won’t sacrifice the quality of pics or videos due to the heavy duty design of the phone.
Priced at around $900 and exclusive to Verizon this device does not come cheap, but you get what you pay for and if you need a quality device with super fast efficient service and ultra rugged the Kyocera Duraforce Ultra 5G is for you.
|Talk Time||Up to 24 hours¹|
|Standby Time||Up to 13 days ¹|
|Days of Use||4G: 28 hours / 5G: 15 hours|
|Battery Type||4500mAh Non-Removable Durable Lithium Polymer Battery|
|Charging||USB Type-C, Qi charging and charging contacts|
|Display||5.45 inch IPS LCD Capacitive Touchscreen with Sapphire Shield Display |
FHD+, 1080 x 2160 pixels, 18:9 aspect ratio
Ultra Bright Backlit Display for Daylight Visibility
|Chipset||Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G 5G (7nm)|
Octa-core (1x 2.4GHz+1x 2.2GHz+6x 1.8GHz) GPU: Adreno 620
|Memory||128GB (ROM) + 6GB (RAM)|
|Operating System||Android™ 10|
|Camera||Rear: 24MP, ToF/PDAF/Contrast, f1.8, 26.72mm, 76.3°, 0.9μm |
Rear: 16MP, FF, f2.2, 16.51mm (ultrawide), 117°, 1.0μm
Front: 8MP, FF, f/2.0, 23.48mm, 84.3°, 1.12μm
Dual LED flash, Sapphire Shield Lens
4-Cell Pixel Binning + Super Night Vision
|Radios||5G NR: FR1 – n2 (1900), n5 (850), n66 (1700)|
FR2 (mmWave) – n260 (39 GHz), n261 (28 GHz)
LTE CAT11: B12, B13, B5, B4, B66, B3, B2, B1, B7, B48
CA Combinations: 4CA
GSM: B5, B8, B3, B2 (850, 900, 1800, 1900MHz)
UMTS: B5, B8, B2, B1 (850, 900, 1900, 2100MHz)
|Wi-Fi||802.11a/b/g/n/ac/e/i/k/r/v, 2.4GHz & 5GHz|
802.11mc for Indoor Location
|Connectivity||Enterprise Grade dual-band Wi-Fi|
Hotspot (Up to 10 connections)
Miracast & Wi-Fi Direct
Bluetooth 5.0 LE + EDR
NFC, High-speed USB 3.1 Type-C
GPS (L1+L5 Dual Band), Glonass & Galileo
|SIM Type||Single 4FF Nano SIM|
|Size||6.50″(H) x 2.95″(W) x 0.63″(D) (165.1 x 74.9 x 16.0mm)|
|Weight||9.81 ounces (278g)|
|Operating Tempature||-4° F to 140° F (-20° C to 60° C)|
enCourage Kids Serving Up Smiles at Ben & Jacks Steakhouse
By Maya Litovsky
Recently, Justin Hartley, NBC This Is Us, took over the web and hosted the enCourage Kids Serving Up Smiles event along with Ryan Field, ABC Sports Anchor, who emceed the event with Michele Hall Duncan live from Ben & Jack’s Steakhouse in NYC. Culinary Chair, Ralph Scamardella, Chef & Partner at TAO Group, Chef John Cleveland – Executive Chef & Owner Post & Beam LA, and Chef Jessica Scott – Corporate Pastry Chef 50 Eggs Hospitality Group, demoed their favorite dishes while guests had the opportunity to hop-in and out of the session rooms. Hartley was joined by musical guest Acute Inflections, Matias Letelier – Illusionist and Katrina “Kat Tat” Jackson – Commercial & Tattoo Artist. Duncan was surrounded by some former great football players such as NY Giants Super Bowl Champions Howard Cross and Luke Petitgout and former NY Jets star Tony Richardson, long-serving supporters of the organization. Guests enjoyed live music, seeing world-class chefs in the Kitchen, mixologists in the Bar, bidding on some great experiences and making memories in the photobooth. DJ Chef hosted the after party where attendees were dancing around their homes and singing along to some of the greatest hits.
“It was exciting to see how the event came together after months of preparation,” said Michele Hall Duncan. “I’m so grateful for the continued support of the sponsors, guests and athletes who continue to support us throughout the year. I look forward to continuing to fulfill our mission in making hospitals a better place to get better.”
The enCourage Kids honored Cory Elbaum (Angelo Gordon)and Rob Turner (Eastdil Secured, LLC) with the Jeffrey Gural Leadership Award. Dr. Kusum Viswanathan (Brookdale University Hospital Medical Center) received the Healthcare Leadership Award. Sponsors included Revel Spirits, GFP Real Estate, Signature Bank, Humana and Feil Family Foundation.
Serving Up Smiles as well as the mission of the organization has been supported by many in Hollywood such as Steve Schirripa, Susan Sarandon, Katie Holmes, Shannon Elizabeth, Suzzanne Douglas and Anne Hathaway as well as professional athletes such as John Starks, Erik Coleman, Charles Oakley, Tony Richardson, Howard Cross, Luke Petitgoutand Zab Juddah, to name a few.
Summer 2020 Must Haves for A Weekend Getaway, Staycation, Or a Day At The Beach. #Summer2020, #Beachlife
By Maya Litovsky
The Summer of 2020 is unlike any other anyone of us has experienced. While traveling to exotic locales, partying on trendy beaches and beach clubs, is temporary on hold, summer is still here, and here are our summer must haves for fun in the sun closer to home.
Figleaves sells adorable swimwear in colorful prints and high quality materials, this Frida Floral Non-Wired High Apex Plunge Bikini Top ( $35) & High Waist Tummy Control Bottom ($32) is perfect for a day at the beach. Cupshe is another favorite of ours. The prices are truly affordable, with most swimsuits and coverups under $50. The blue crochet trim cover up ($24.99) in a soft and breezy fabric takes you from the beach to cocktails and more.
Vera Bradley is known for her bags and backpacks in festive colorful prints, made with soft cotton blends, yet durable fabrics. The Weekender Travel Bag in Park Lace ( $150) is a customer favorite for a weekend getaway. The roomy carry-on has 5 interior mesh pockets, 2 exterior zip pockets, removable strap and a trolley sleeve.
1more premium headphones bring your favorite music to the beach or pool. The stylish true wireless in-ear headphones in gold ($99.99) provide 6.5 hours of battery life with fast charge, bluetooth, titanium composite dynamic driver, and ENC microphone technology.
Soapbox Coconut Oil Shampoo & Conditioner replenishes dry summer hair. Coconut oil, rich in vitamins E, K, and fatty acids.( $7.99 each)
Nothing is more important than a cool pair of shades to complete the look. Cutler and Gross premium quality sunnies made in Italy are stylish and provide maximum protection from the sun’s rays. The 1350-6 Sticky Toffee Sunglasses are our faves. ($455).
Cold beverages on a hot day are very important, Pelican makes top of the line coolers, and this Dayventure Sling Cooler fits the bill. The lightweight design with padded shoulder straps provide comfort and style. It holds up to 4 wine bottles, 12 cans, up to 8.5 total liters, plus a side pocket for additional dry storage( $149.95)
Skin hydration and repair after time in the sun is extremely important. Cirem Skincare HCR 3 -IN – Cirem ($89.50) combines three dynamic ingredients smoother, younger, and more refreshed skin. Key ingredients include Retinol, Hylauaronic Acid, and Vitamin C (THD Ascorbate.
Tesalate is an Australian company that has designed the ultimate towel. We all love the sand and the water, but nobody wants to leave with a towel that brings it home or into your car. These towels leave the sand at the beach, dry in half the time of a regular towel, and absorbs over 2 liters of water. The Bohemian Towel for 2, is large enough to encourage natural social distancing (63 inches X 63 inches). ($99).
Hydration is key on a hot day whether exercising or hanging out in your backyard. Blender Bottle makes high -tech, affordable water bottles that are triple insulated, 24 oz. capacity, and an OmniFlow 3-mode selector that lets you switch the nozzle between traditional, vertical and locked. ($14.99)
Last Minute Gift Ideas for Father’s Day 2020 #Fathersday
By Maya Litovsky
Health Labs COVID-19 Antibody Testing is Now Available Nationwide: Is this the key to re-opening?
By Maya Litovsky
As The United States and the rest of the world is dealing with the devastating effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic, several key factors go into how to to re-open safely and effectively. The media/ publishing world whose employees livelihoods are based on covering entertainment events, brand launches, restaurant openings, and cultural happenings along with travel, were immensely affected when these events came to a halt.
COVID- 19 antibody testing is definitely not full proof or the concrete answer as there are still many questions as to whether there is immunity, how long immunity lasts, and whether one can still be a carrier.
That being said, testing provided by Health Labs has 100% sensitivity accuracy and 99.6% specificity testing making it the most accurate antibody test currently available. Knowing if you have been previously exposed may hold the key as to who is more ready to return to work, as having these antibodies is said to have some level of protection and may even offer the ability to donate life saving plasma.
Health Labs tests results are usually available in 24 hours, making it one of the quickest turn arounds and tests are performed in over 4500 private lab locations throughout the US. The cost is $169, and even though pre-payment is required, paperwork is provided so that customers can provide it to their insurance companies for reimbursement.
The testing facilities are spotless, the health care workers are professional, and in these scary crazy times where many people are afraid to enter doctors offices, health labs offers a safe and worry free way to get tested.
Where to Bring That Special Someone This Valentines Day
By Maya Litovsky
BELLA LUNA on the upper west side is a traditional Italian restaurant offering comfort food with a wonderful wine and beer menu in a cozy warm setting. Great food at affordable prices is what sets Bella Luna apart with classic Italian pasta dishes averaging at $14 bucks.
Quality ingredients are used in all the dishes, we enjoyed the Caprese Salad and the thinly sliced Beef Carpaccio as appetizers. For the main course the shrimp scampi with linguini was a generous portion of tastiness and the grilled salmon with roasted potatoes was light and moist and is a good dish for someone looking for a healthier alternative.
Dessert was a traditional tiramisu which we paired with a yummy dessert wine. A three course prix-fix menu is available mon-fri until 6pm for just $22.
This Valentines Day or another day, Bella Luna is a great choice for an enjoyable meal. Call (212) 877-2257 for reservations.
BELLA LUNA: 574 Columbus Avenue. New York, NY 10024
27 Morton in the west village brings classic cuisine from Central & Eastern Europe to New York City. Russian staples like borscht, pierogi, blintze are on the menu. German and Hungarian options abound with Bratwurst, Schnitzels, German style potato salad, and homemade lingonberries.
For the table we highly recommend the house assorted appetizer board. The selection is massive with a signature selection of meats and cheeses paired with mkhali, grilled and pickled vegetables, liverwurst spreads with fresh breads. The specialty dessert of the house is the apple strudel with ice cream.
There is a very nice wine menu with several regional wines available and an impressive beer and ale menu both bottled and on draft.
27 Morton: 27 1/2 Morton Street, New York, NY 10014 (212) 929-4339
Oscar Wilde has a rich history in NYC. The space began as a prohibition enforcement headquarters in 1919 and remained that way until the end of prohibition. It then housed several firms until Oscar Wilde settled in as a bar/restaurant that pays homage to the Irish Playwright.
This Valentines Day Oscar Wilde is serving a $75 Prix-Fixe menu in the dining room. Options include house specialties like the seared scallops, Angus skirt steak or the oven braised coconut chicken. Appetizers include the mushroom soup, gem lettuce salad or home-made foil gras artichoke hearts. Dessert is a choice of Fantastic Chocolate or the Destruction of Lemon Tart & Raspberries.
The atmosphere is lively and jovial, come enjoy the longest bar in New York City with a multitude of drink options and tasty fare.
Oscar Wilde NYC: 45 west 27th street New York, NY 10001 (212) 213-3066
Lamano serves Spanish tapas and moderately priced cocktails in an intimate setting. Restaurateur Jorge Guzman who also co-owns popular Mexican restaurants Black Ant, Ofrenda, and Temerario recently opened his third location of Lamano in Hell’s Kitchen. This location is the largest space. It is sleek with low lighting and walls adorned with artwork by Joan Miro.
We enjoyed The Gambas Al Ajillo (Garlic Shrimp), Papas Bravas (Baked Potatoes, salsa brava, aioli) and the Paella De Mariscos(Seafood Paella). We paired the meal with a red Sangria.
Lamano: 688 10th avenue New York, NY 10019 (646) 559-0989
New Year’s Resolution: Getaway To Cabo San Lucas for The Ultimate Girlfriends Getaway at Pueblo Bonito Resorts
When the holidays come to an end and the winter blues set in, there is nothing better than a dreamy girlfriends getaway at Pueblo Bonito Resorts.
Five luxe resorts scattered around Cabo San Lucas offer all-inclusive luxury in a variety of price points, all with chic comfortable and sleek accommodations, tons of activities and dining options and oh yeah indulgent spa services.
The Ultimate Girlfriends Getaway Package offers you and your besties, or mom and sisters 3 nights in an ocean view room, all inclusive food and drink, a private chef for one special dinner, an upgraded dinner option at an exclusive restaurant, we chose La Frida, and it was fantastic. There is also a VIP tequila and Mezcal tasting, a guided tour of the Quivira Market, a massage on the beach and a paddle boarding tour to the Arch plus a 25% discount at the Armonia Spa.
If luxury is the goal then an add- on to the package will give you 24 hour butler service, think reserved cabana seats with margaritas served at a moments notice. A Hook’ n Cook beach experience, a sunset cocktail cruise, and a butler guided shopping tour of downtown Cabo San Lucas.
Each of the Pueblo Bonito Resorts have their own personality and vibe. Pueblo Bonito Rose and Pueblo Bonito Los Cabos are located directly on Medano Beach, the only swimmable white sand beach in Cabo San Lucas. Sister properties separated by a beachfront bridge, guests can use each others facilities and restaurants. Close proximity to downtown Cabo San Lucas makes these resorts perfect for guests who would like to relax onsite and go explore the area as well.
Pueblo Bonito Sunset Beach is located high above Cabo San Lucas on a secluded bluff, with gorgeous ocean views. The resort offers a private beach, a rooftop pool with private cabanas and exclusive access to The Quivira Golf Course, a Jack Nicklaus signature designed course. Elevated dining options at Sunset Beach are many with our favorites being La Frida, Tazuna, and the Quivira Clubhouse. Guests can also enjoy 24 hour suite service.
Pueblo Bonito Pacifica is located on a secluded beach within the exclusive residential neighborhood of Quivira. An adults only property, this romantic resort is a haven for honeymooners and a perfect spot for a destination wedding. This premium 201 suite resort gives guests use of the sister properties and offers free shuttles.
Dining options range from friendly poolside fare and libations to the Peninsula Restaurant offering local Bajan flavors in an a elegant and romantic setting. Siempre is a gourmet restaurant that fuses Mediterranean and Mexican Cuisine with healthy options available.
The Armonia Spa, named among the three best spas in Mexico & Central America a few years ago by Conde Nast Traveler. The full-service spa offers wellness treatments, massage therapies, we chose the beach massage and we highly recommend it! There is also a state of the art fitness center, hair salon, and a wet area.
The Towers at Pacifica are the newest and most luxe addition to the resort. A resort within a resort, the 47 rooms and suites all offer ocean views with private terraces with six suites offering private plunge pools and offer the most discerning traveler, the opulent 3200 square foot Presidential Suite. All the rooms include a private butler and an oceanfront VIP lounge open only to Towers guests. This time of year the lounge, outfitted with binoculars is a perfect spot to view Whales frolicking in the Pacific.
Montecristo Estates at Pueblo Bonito brings the Villa Life to an all-inclusive resort. 3 bedroom Villas measuring 2800 square foot feature spacious living areas with fireplaces, bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms, full kitchens with top of the line appliances and Oceanview outdoor spaces with infinity pools and hot tubs. The villas can comfortably sleep 10 making them the perfect choice for large families, transgenerational travel and of course An Ultimate Girlfriends Getaway!
Guests can enjoy unparalleled privacy with the convenience of amenities found at the sister Pueblo Bonito Resorts. Guests of Montecristo have unlimited use of all the neighboring resorts and the Quivira golf course.
To Book Your Ultimate Girlfriend Getaway Click Here: Pueblo Bonito and pack your bags to Paradise.
Restaurants Everyone Should Visit During This Holiday Season in New York City
Bottino NYC is located in the artsy neighborhood of West Chelsea filled with art galleries and art installations. For over 20 years Bottino has been offering contemporary Italian cuisine in a cozy warm environment.
Recently renovated and updated the genuinely friendly staff serves up homemade pastas, creamy burrata, and a massive portion of tender lamb chops. There are wonderful seafood dishes as well along with a diverse wine and cocktail menu.
Bottino is now taking reservations for their New Year’s Eve Celebration with a three course meal, early seating starting at just $75 dollars, with a welcome glass of champagne included. Tax and Gratuity extra. Click here to book: Bottino NYC
Mizu near Union Square has a motto that quality sushi should be available whether you dine in, take out or get your meal delivered at an affordable price. Using the highest quality ingredients the fish is super fresh. Guests can dine ala carte or choose an Omakase dining experience.
We tried and enjoyed the shrimp shumai, tuna tartar, black cod, sirloin steak and of course a sushi platter filled with sushi, sashimi, classic and specialty rolls. The ramen bowls are flavorful and loaded with fresh ingredients.
The vibe at Mizu is lively with families, couples and friends enjoying a night of great food and drink.
TGA NYC is an American Modern cuisine restaurant with lots of seafood, meats, and comfort food options. The salmon Crudo and the jumbo crab cake were delicious as was the Filet & Shrimp and the Fresh Grilled Salmon. There is a sports bar menu with New Orleans wings, nachos, homemade flat bread pizzas, loaded Mac n cheese and lots of other options.
The Back Alley Beer Garden is the perfect space for a private holiday party with a retractable roof for an indoor/outdoor experience any time of year.
During the holidays the bar scene is lively and the location is in the heart of midtown just blocks away from Times Square and Madison Square Garden.
As a lover of Indian Food we found Chola NY quite special because of the elevated coastal Indian menu. The charming upper east side eatery serves up fresh seafood hard to find at a traditional Indian restaurant.
Our favorite dishes were the Lobster Ghee Roast(Lobster Masala) the Crab Butter Pepper Masala and the Jhinga Butter Masala Shrimp. We also loved the Lasoni Gobi (Cauliflower), Onion Bhaji (Crispy Onion Fritters), and Dhabewali Murgh Tikka (Grilled Chicken Bites in a lemon sauce).
Open for lunch and dinner with a daily unlimited lunch buffet, Chola is a yummy experience not to be missed.
Manhattan’s East Village is currently one of the trendiest neighborhood in Manhattan. The Black Ant NYC brings an authentic modern Mexican restaurant with a focus on regional dishes and ingredients uniquely sourced in Mexico.
Adventurous diners must try the Black Ant Guacamole and the Chapulines, Grasshoppers, shishito peppers, avocado with queso fresco. We opted for the grilled mahi-mahi and the juicy roasted chicken. We really enjoyed the mango margaritas. There is a huge tequila and mezcal menu to experience.
Recently opened Aqua Boil Cajun Seafood House in Hell’s Kitchen makes us very happy!!! We love authentic cajun seafood and quality ones were hard to find in NYC until now. Focused on seafood boils, the “Get Messy” motto is encouraged at the restaurant. We tried and loved everything.
The King Crab legs were juicy and tender, as were the snow crab legs and the lobster. All the boils come with corn and potatoes and a choice of sauce: garlic butter, lemon pepper, Cajun Mix with a variety of spice levels.
The cocktail menu has a nautical theme with names like Beach Bum, Under The Sea, Poseidon’s rate and more.
Norwegian Encore is Here and She is Gorgeous #NorwegianEncore @CruiseNorwegian
Last month The 169,116 Gross Ton Norwegian Encore made its debut in NYC and we got a first peek, along with other media, influencers, travel agents, company executives and VIP guests. A Breakaway Plus Class Ship, the last of the four being built in this class, her sister ships are Norwegian Escape, Norwegian Joy, and Norwegian Bliss.
This ship is modern, with contemporary decor, super high -tech features and surpasses amenities found at top notch land based resorts. Even the most discerning traveler will be truly satisfied with the gracious accommodations, plethora of dining options and first rate entertainment.
The activities are endless and are good for every age group. The aqua park offers thrilling rides, never before offered at sea. There is a little kids section that mimics the big park. Laser tag is played on a course where players have the option to shoot at the go-karts as they whisk by.
The most fun was was had on the go-kart track. The longest go -kart track at sea, the bi-level coarse allows guests to drive 30mph, with the winner posted at the end of the race. The Galaxy Pavillion has awesome virtual reality games, rides, and an escape room.
Along with dozens of unique bars and lounges the ship offers broadway entertainment that is on par with shows on Broadway. We saw the fantastic Choir of Man and the award winning Kinky Boots during our time onboard. The sprawling casino has the latest games for the most exciting gaming possibilities at sea !
Dining is a huge part of cruising. With 27 dining venues on board there is something for everyone. The included main restaurants and buffets offer top quality cuisine with themed days and nights.
The seafood buffet was an outrageous smorgasbord of lobster, crab, raw bar and every other variety of seafood to fulfill any seafood lover’s fantasy. The specialty restaurants like Like Le Bistro and Onda at Scarpetta, an outpost of NYC critically acclaimed Italian Restaurant, run by the world famous LDV Hospitality, offer an elevated dining experience onboard.
The Encore has a vast variety of accommodations to choose from. Single travelers can enjoy their solo quarters, with no double occupancy supplement. Whether guests choose the most economical inside stateroom or the lavish Haven suite, the decor is elegant and understated, with soothing nautical colors and modern amenities like USB charging stations and flat screen smart tv’s.
The Haven is the ultimate cruising experience. A mega yacht experience within the walls of a huge dynamic cruise ship. Luxe suites, a private all-weather pool with retractable roof, private restaurant, bar and butler services. Open the gates and all the activities await and when privacy and peace are desired, enter the keyed Haven area on the top decks for exclusivity.
Norwegian Encore offers 7 day cruises to The Eastern Caribbean until April 2020. She will then move to NYC on April 22nd for Bermuda, Canada, and New England Itineraries. She will move back to Miami in December 2020 and offer Western Caribbean itineraries through April 2021. Book Here: ncl.com
Restaurants We Love Now and So Will You
The new Ichiran USA in Times Square serves up Tonkotsu Ramen bowls, considered to be the most authentic and highest quality noodles. Born in Hakata, Japan the epicenter of the tonkotsu movement the eatery created the five original elements of tonkotsu ramen: Original Spicy Red Sauce, Aromatic Tonkotsu Broth, Solo Dining Booth, Order form and the Kae-Dama Ordering System.
The Times Square location has individual booths that can be opened up to dine with a partner. The no tipping and order form system allows an on the go dining experience for work lunches and casual dinners.
The menu is very simple with the classic tonkotsu ramen bowl as the centerpiece. Optional chashu, scallions, mushrooms, soft boiled eggs and white rice can added to the order.
The Ramen Bowls were simple, delicious, and very flavorful.
LEYLA is a new Mediterranean brasserie on the Upper West Side that serves upscale Turkish cuisine infused with mediterranean ingredients and recipes. Lots of seafood is on the menu. We started with the Branzino Crudo, which was light, fresh and full of flavor. The Karides Guvec, Shrimps with bell pepper, cherry tomatoes and shiitake mushrooms was our favorite. For meat lovers the slow cooked Rib-Eye pide was rich and satisfying.
There are many lamb dishes on the menu that we are told are guest favorites with The Leyla Lamb Burger being the most popular. We opted for the Branzino entree with caramelized onion, pickled za’atar. and green olives.
The atmosphere is festive and there was a wait for a table the night we went. Reservations are highly recommended and the visit well worth it for a fun night out, a romantic evening or a special occasion.
Plado Tasting Bar in the East Village is a cozy tapas bar with an international menu. The dishes are meant to be shared, the portions are quite good as far as tapas go. There is a large variety of tapas from the sea, garden and butcher as well as charcuterie options.
The Wagyu Carpaccio, Short Rib and Strip Steak were my meat loving companions favorites. I enjoyed The Tiger Shrimp, Baked Razor Clams, Paella, and creamy burrata salad. The wine menu is expansive and the staff can create a wine pairing experience. The Sangria was light, fruity and delicious!
8SIA NYC is a brand new Asian food hall that opened up in the heart of midtown near Grand Central Terminal. Five Vendors give fast food a new meaning serving Asian street food market cuisine in one comfy location. Rice-On specializes in sushi rolls and bowls. Yaso Noodle Bar showcases Shanghainese street food with with a selection of pan fried baos, noodles, soup dumplings, and much more. Curry 42 offers Southeast-Asian fare particularly from Malaysia and Thailand that centers around curry as the main ingredient. The restaurant will serve three signature curries in the bowls, Classic Thai Green Curry, Pua’s Yellow Curry, and Panang Red Curry.
Pasta Eater is a new Italian eatery near Union Square that features a casual homey decor and the freshest Italian homemade pasta. Owned by Chef Giusto Priola, who started his career as the owner of “Cacio e Pepe”,hence their most popular pasta dish. The menu steers heavily on pasta dishes with a large variety of salads and starters from the sea and land.
We enjoyed the Bruscetta, Tuna Tartare, Pan Seared Meatballs and Quinoa and Shrimp salad to start followed by the Troccoli Pasta with Lobster, Cacio e Pepe, Grilled Branzino and the Rib-Eye Steak. We finished our meal with a creamy cheesecake topped withy Nutella and Pistachio.
The restaurant is currently BYOB as they wait on their liquor license, when they will offer a full wine, beer and cocktail menu.