INSIDE

Class acts

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Listening to the Westport County Playhouse’s actors and directors speak about theater makes you wish you spent more time going to plays. It makes you want to read great literature, think about symbolism and have more emotionally intelligent thoughts and conversations.

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Social order

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When The New York Times wanted to explore the upper class’ lack of class here in what was once known as Cheever Country (and is, The Times observed, beginning to feel more like Kennedy Country), the newspaper turned to a man who had grown up at the center of it all – writer Benjamin H. Cheever, one of John Cheever’s three children. It’s hard to think of a more fitting observer. Both father and son have explored the disparity between class (as in socioeconomic) and class (as in character with style) in such works as John Cheever’s stories “The Swimmer” and “O Youth and Beauty” and Ben’s novel “The Good Nanny.”

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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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Cultivating a legacy

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The roots of the collaboration between the Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture and Blue Hill at Stone Barns in Pocantico Hills run deep. Both are committed to improving the understanding of the way we eat – and the importance of sustainable farming.

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Classic Greenwich style

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With some of the most impressive colonial, shingle-style, Tudor and English architecture in the country, Greenwich homes have come to epitomize classic suburban America. And no one captures the essence of Greenwich style better than award- winning interior designer Cindy Rinfret, owner of Rinfret Ltd., a leading design firm in Greenwich.

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Comfortable in her own

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The Skin Regime: Boot Camp for Beautiful Skin” reveals simple truths and formulas that will get your skin in shape in just weeks—the way a fitness regime would get your body in shape if you worked out for several weeks. Think of it as “boot camp for the skin,” says author and WAG contributor Dana Ramos.

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The collector

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John Pierpont Morgan was many things. Financier. Banker. Owner of the White Star Line and its ill-fated ship, the RMS Titanic. (Reportedly, he was scheduled to take part in its maiden voyage but changed his plans at the last minute.) Globe-trotter. Philanthropist. But among his many roles, few were more important than that of collector.“He collected everything,” says William M. Griswold, the director of The Morgan Library & Museum in Manhattan, “from pocket watches to Old Master paintings to Chinese porcelain.” The breadth and depth of that passion is reflected in the holdings and exhibits at The Morgan.

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The house that Morgan built

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My sister Gina and I are having Sunday brunch at Le Château in South Salem, seated at a table whose window frames the verdure of Lewisboro as it rolls into the summer mist and the Hudson Valley’s ever-elusive horizon. Over cappuccino and tea, she remarks that the two couples sitting behind me look so much alike that they could be each other – 50 years apart. As they pass, I realize how fitting my sister’s remark is. At Le Château, the past, present and future dine happily together.

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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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A saint for our times

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Perhaps more than any other saint, Francis lies at the intersection of myth and reality, our ideals and our shortcomings. In “Francis of Assisi: A New Biography” (Cornell University Press, $29.95, 299 pages), medievalist Thompson, nurtured in Hastings-on-Hudson, separates the historical wheat from the tabloid-y chaff.

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Twin peaks

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When it comes to a shopping experience that’s a class act, WAG country has a pair of options that immediately comes to mind – The Westchester in White Plains and Greenwich’s namesake, Greenwich Avenue. We take another look.

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Classing up the place

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From his office overlooking the sweeping entry to a Rye Brook complex dubbed the “Taj Mahal of Westchester,” Robert P. Weisz manages perhaps the closest thing there is to a real estate empire in New York City’s northern suburbs.
But while he appreciates the view, Weisz says he never lingers on it. And that very real humility – a sense of where he’s been and where he’s going – makes Weisz as classy as any of his properties.

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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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