Enchanting life

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Stephen Schwartz – the creative force behind “Wicked,” “Godspell” and “Pippin,” not to mention a host of Disney movies – finds the theater difficult? Well, that’s as likely as the Good Witch of the North and the Wicked Witch of the West being roomies. Oh, wait a minute.

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Painting the town

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Watercolorist and fashion illustrator Anne Watkins paints what she sees in ordinary and extraordinary New York. She records fabulous celebrations, weddings, people and places using the “surprisingly muscular medium” of watercolor with stylish, impressionistic flair.

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Still The Vicious Circle

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“Why don’t you get out of that wet coat and into a dry Martini?” Such was the suggestion Robert Benchley gave Ginger Rogers in the 1942 film “The Major and the Minor.” Today, the quip is printed on cocktail napkins lining the elegant oak bar in the Blue Bar at New York’s The Algonquin Hotel, a historic hub of witty words and liquid lunches.

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Fashioning a family business

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A dapper Jack Mitchell crosses his legs and turns his bespectacled eyes towards a wall of framed family portraits and yellowed clippings in a back office at Richards on Greenwich Avenue. He and his brother, Bill – whom Jack calls “Mr. Westport” – serve as co-CEOs of the Mitchells Family of Stores, an enduring local retail business with more than $100 million in sales annually. The two men took over the family business from their parents, Ed and Norma Mitchell, who in 1958 opened Mitchells, a specialty retail shop, in a small space in Westport that was once a plumbing supply store.

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All Aboard the Orient-Express

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The original Orient Express traversed the route from Paris to Istanbul, the 19th to 20th centuries. But really it traveled the realm of the imagination, with passengers longing for a bit of the luxe intrigue they found in Agatha Christie’s 1934 novel “Murder on the Orient Express” and the many movie versions it inspired. The Orient Express’ spirit – not to mention its name and some of its destinations and train cars – survives in the Orient-Express Hotels Ltd., whose chairman of the board, Jesse Lovejoy, lives with his wife, Pat, in Larchmont, often the starting point for their great escapes with their five children.

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Cosmetics that care

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September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. Support the search for a cure with Laura Mercier’s latest cosmetics offerings – the colorful limited edition Rose Hope Lip Glacé, $24, and ultra-sheer Bonne Mine Healthy Glow for Face & Cheeks Crème Colour Palette, $48. With all of the profits going to the Laura Mercier Ovarian Cancer Fund, it’s a splurge you can feel really good about. Read on to find out how Laura Mercier’s CEO, Claudia Poccia of Stamford, was inspired to help develop the initiative.

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Inside the jeweler’s studio

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After spending 20 years apprenticing with a master French jeweler and then designing custom-couture jewelry in Manhattan with a stint in Stamford, David Alan Wegweiser opened his jewelry salon in Manhattan in 2000. David Alan Jewelry quietly designs and manufactures unique, high-end pieces for savvy, high-profile clients.

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Out of Africa

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François Kwaku-Dongo – the man behind the savory American menu at the eleven14 Kitchen at Greenwich’s new J House hotel – is a French-influenced chef who grew up in on a cocoa farm on West Africa’s Côte d’Ivoire and climbed the culinary ladder under the watchful eye of Wolfgang Puck.

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Where the wild things are

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The prolific artist Roberto Dutesco stepped away from his role as an in-demand fashion photographer and dedicated 18 years of his life to photographing the legendary wild horses of Sable Island, a pristine place some 190 miles off the coast of Halifax, Nova Scotia. Although Sable Island is sometimes referred to as the “Graveyard of the Atlantic” – it’s the site of about 350 shipwrecks – Dutesco embarked on a mission to document this wilderness and in turn discovered living beauty and a new home.

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Portrait of an artist as a young man

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“I can see what’s going on in the world by looking at myself.”
That’s Asa Jackson’s take on his evolving artwork. Asa is a 23-year-old painter from Hampton Roads, Va., but recently he could be found on Greenwich Avenue where he held a solo exhibit of his large-scale, Expressionistic portraits at the Samuel Owen Gallery.

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One night only

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With an impressive resume and large design team under his wings, Marc Happel, director of costumes at New York City Ballet, understands the ins and outs of costuming in musical theater, film, opera and ballet. This summer he’s collaborating with fashion designer Valentino to create costumes for NYCB’s star-studded Sept. 20 gala.

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More than 50 shades of gray

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Men’s wear famously operates a season behind women’s ready-to-wear and has at times been regarded as “safe.” But as we transition from summer to fall, men’s fashion is decidedly making bold strides – in color, texture and silhouette — even influencing women’s wardrobes.

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