August 2012

The music man

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Most serious musicians concentrate on one or two instruments or disciplines within the musical realm. Not Ted Sperling. The Tony Award winner – perhaps best known for his work on the revelatory Broadway revival of “South Pacific” and “The Light in the Piazza” – has won acclaim as a conductor, music director, arranger, singer, pianist and violinist.

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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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The meat of the matter

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Ryan Fibiger bills his Westport shop, Saugatuck Craft Butchery, as an “old fashioned butcher shop with modern day ideals.” A visit confirms just that, as we observe Fibiger and staffers combine a small-town, friendly approach with a “nose-to-tail” philosophy.

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Driven to share

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Owning a luxury car or two in tony Greenwich is not exactly unique. But amassing a collection of more than 50 automobiles, spanning100 years is, well, extraordinary. Especially when you use it to inspire thousands of underprivileged kids to work hard to realize their potential by daring to dream.

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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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Double exposure

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Meeting the Estrada twins, fashion designers and reality TV personalities, for the first time produces a kind of “Alice in Wonderland” sensation: You’re not sure which is which or who is who. Jesus and Antonio are both very wow – sleek, well-groomed, well-dressed and with those oh-so-equally-perfectly plucked eyebrows that make you wanna cry. They look alike, they talk alike, and I strongly suspect some sort of invisible Siamese connection in their brains’ creativity centers that has destined them for success.

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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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Building a business

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Jeff deJong came to America 23 years ago from the Netherlands. At first he worked in his brothers’ bakery in Mount Kisco. But he decided to pursue his true love, custom carpentry, and today heads up Angle & Square. The firm, based in Brookfield, is noted for its artistry and attention to detail.

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Virgin territory

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Since coming to New York, acknowledged virgin Tim Tebow has been propositioned by Virgin Airlines, the cheaters’ website Ashley Madison, hurdler Lolo Jones and even Pats’ tight end Rob Gronkowski. Not to mention the countless online posts on the subject that range from admiring to scurrilous. Male virginity sure touches a nerve.

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On the money

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The name Adam means “first man” and it fits Adam Johnson, a guy-guy, to a T. A self-described Connecticut country boy – by way of Greenwich and Washington in Litchfield County – he likes to hunt and cook pheasant and accounts himself a good shot. He also likes to paint but then, so did Picasso. More to the point, he’s a star in a place that is still in many ways a man’s world – the financial industry – although instead of trading on Wall Street as he did for 20 years he’s now reporting on it.

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The art of window dressing

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“I always wear rubber bands. I usually have like 20. These are my jewelry,” says Tom Beebe, vice president of creative services at HMX Group, the holding company behind major retail brands like Hart Schaffner & Marx, Hickey Freeman and Bobby Jones. You can also call him the right-hand man to designer Joseph Abboud, who serves as president and chief creative officer of HMX.

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