We close out our year of “Fascinations” with a consideration of time, one of our most challenging subjects, not because it’s such a difficult theme but because we never seem to have enough of it and always seem to be fighting it, as you’ll see in our opening essay.
All the more reason for us to play with time — and play we did. We considered the four seasons, a natural division of time, in all its iterations, from Antonio Vivaldi’s quartet of concertos to the Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, including the Four Seasons New York in midtown, where we spent a weekend. (Yeah, we know, tough gig.) We ogled some truly spectacular timepieces at the Graff boutique at The Vault, one of The Saks Shops at Greenwich, and savored some historic ones at the American Clock & Watch Museum in Bristol (Phil’s story).
The clock museum story is one of several in this issue on the early days of this country. Barbara visits Saratoga Springs, with its rich Native American, Colonial and Victorian heritages; mineral springs; cultural offerings; and racetrack. We preview the Sing Sing Prison Museum in Ossining, which will explore the oldest active prison in the country at a time when the reform of our correctional facilities is a hot topic. And we take a peek at “Beyond Midnight: Paul Revere,” an exhibit about the silversmith and Revolutionary War patriot at the New-York Historical Society. (In one of those seeming coincidences that give WAG such synergy, Jenny writes about silver of the Chinese export kind in her What’s Collectible column.)
Another subtheme is the railroad, which led to the development of standardized time worldwide. We have, however, always had an ambivalent relationship with trains, which have come to represent everything from freedom to death, as we explore in another essay. It’s no surprise, then, that the rails have been a protean metaphor for artists, as you will see in Mary’s story on contemporary railroad art at the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum in Norwalk and in our take on the “Holiday Train Show” at the New York Botanical Garden.
Elsewhere, we interpret time literally in our story about White Plains’ new Academy of Sacred Drama and its devotion to music of the Baroque, which introduced modern meter. We explore it figuratively in our cover appreciation of Sophia Loren, one of the enduring stars of Hollywood’s Golden Age, and a pair of Mary stories on Hudson Valley artist Donna Castelluccio’s vintage subjects and Swan’s House, a Tarrytown home goods boutique that represents the childhood dream of co-owner Sara Swan.
Meanwhile, Jeremy takes a coffee break with The Espresso Guys, who are bringing their version of java time to WAG country, and visits some timeless hotels, while Bob finds the perfect bags to get you there — McLaren’s new bespoke luggage for its equally sleek, luxe GT car.
We know what you’re thinking and no, we did not forget “the most wonderful time of the year,” as the song says. Christmastime gets its due not only with the “Holiday Train Show” story but with our December calendar of “Nutcrackers,” “Messiahs” and “Christmas Carols”; Debbi’s annual gift guide to luxury beauty and travel goodies; Mary’s piece on Bridgewater Chocolate in Brookfield; and Gregg’s truly funny interview with perverse auteur John Waters.
Because who better to do a Christmas show than the man behind “Pink Flamingos”? Here’s Waters’ ringing endorsement for his own “A John Waters Christmas,” which comes to Sony Hall in Manhattan Dec. 16:
“If you have a first date for ‘A John Waters Christmas,’ you’re either going to get married or they’re never going to speak to you again. It’s hit or miss.”
OK, so he’s not exactly Bing Crosby. But hey, whatever floats your boat this holiday season.
May it and your new year be merry and bright. And, as always, thank you for taking the time to take this journey with us.
A 2018 Folio Women in Media Award winner, Georgette Gouveia is the author of “Daimon: A Novel of Alexander the Great” and “Burying the Dead” (both new from JMS Books) as well as Lambda Literary Award finalist “The Penalty for Holding” (reissued by JMS) and “Water Music” (Greenleaf Book Group). They’re all part of her series “The Games Men Play,” also the name of the sports/culture blog she writes at thegamesmenplay.com.