In this a year with a double number, we present our first double issue, “Visionary Journeys,” combining June’s traditional journeys with July’s hospitality.
The word “traditional” should be applied advisedly. There’s nothing traditional about this moment in our lives. Perhaps, then, we should substitute “transitional” for “traditional.” While it’s true that there’s not much in the way of restaurant and hotel openings or vacations, food and travel turn out to be eminently suited to a moment in which we must go forward, cautiously.
Both our opening essay and psychotherapist Dana Dorfman’s fine column offer psychological, philosophical approaches for emerging from our cocoons. We fuel you up for the psychic journey with a twist on scrambled eggs from Rajni that can’t be “beet” (hint, hint); recipes from around the world and fun culinary products to match; and Jeremy’s immersion in the new “Westchester Cooks,” a digital cookbook with recipes from local chefs, restaurateurs and food writers benefiting Lifting Up Westchester’s efforts to provide food, shelter and support to those in need.
Jeremy also weighs in with a Wanders column that takes us around the globe from our armchairs while Barbara giddys-up in her memories of Wyoming’s Paradise Ranch; we spotlight The Upper Class, a travel service that’s not your average senior bus-trip-to-the-casinos experience; and Debbi offers luxury travel and beauty products you can use at home, including a little something for dad on his special day.
Our What’s Trending column also has some great products for him and the whole family, including the Radical Pan by celebrity chef Oren Zroya that makes it easy to flip flapjacks, omelets or fish. A surfer, he got the idea from riding a wave. In this our double issue, we have any number of doubles, including two surfers — Zroya and former champion Vicky Heldreich Durand, whose new book “Wave Women” tells the story of her mother, pioneering surf champ Betty Pembroke Heldreich Winstedt, and their love affair with Hawaii. Durand, who provides us with some calming breathing exercises here, was introduced to Hawaii as a 12 year old by her uncle, Arnold Smith, the superintendent of what was then one of the last colonies for leprosy patients in America, on the island of Molokai. She is one of two women in the issue who were indirectly but profoundly shaped by infectious diseases. The other is Meagan Frederick, whose charming Frederick Farm Goat Rescue and Sanctuary in Ulster County, a member of Airbnb, is open for virtual tours. Frederick, an art and horticultural therapist by training, is a director of development and public relations for Incarnation Children’s Center, a skilled nursing facility in Manhattan for children and teenagers living with HIV/AIDS.
Our fears of the coronavirus have led to anger, fear’s constant companion. Recently, we received an email from someone who receives WAG as part of a newspaper subscription and was infuriated by our “smug” portrayal of rich folks in each issue. Didn’t we have anything better to do at this time?, the writer wondered. Sure, we write about the rich and famous, we wrote back. That’s what luxury magazines do. But our subjects are overwhelmingly people who give of their time, talents, energies and money. Jeremy interviewed classical-jazz dynamo Wynton Marsalis prior to Marsalis losing his father, the eminent jazz pianist Ellis Marsalis Jr., to COVID-19 on April 1. He found Marsalis, who will appear at Caramoor’s opening night gala next year, to be as passionate an educator and traveler as he is a gracious conversationalist. And Gregg found Tony Award-winning singer-actress Linda Lavin, still going strong with her new album, “Love Notes,” to be particularly proud of her 1970s-80s TV series “Alice,” which still resonates today as a fanfare for the working woman.
Others may not be as well-known as Marsalis or Lavin, but they’re every bit as accomplished. Scarsdale-bred comedy writer Bess Kalb (“Jimmy Kimmel Live!”) is making a name for herself with her new book “Nobody Will Tell You This But Me,” channeling her wise, witty grandmother, Bobby Bell. Ezriel E. Kornel, M.D. is a top neurosurgeon, amateur violinist — and COVID-19 survivor — who was recently named president of Copland House, the historic music center in Cortlandt Manor. Thomas S. Berntsen’s “Passages” is a series of seven 8-foot-tall panels that meander along a path in the central meadow of New Canaan’s Hannan-Eberstadt Preserve, a labyrinth-inspired passageway that he hopes will lead to better times for viewers and everyone else. His is a philosophical, psychologically acute approach to life, as is that of skincare specialist Vicki Morav, who helps us to create a spa experience at home (Fatime’s story).
Laurie Kimmelstiel, founding owner of The Ethelridge Knitting Salon in White Plains, talks us through the Zen of knitting and weaving (Jeremy again), while Carly Fisher gives us her take on “Easy Weekend Getaways in the Hudson Valley & Catskills,” her new book. As you’ll read, Fisher is a young woman who didn’t let a challenging childhood that would’ve crushed others stop her from becoming a James Beard-nominated food and travel writer.
Not every story has to have “meaning” in the sense of a practical purpose or contemporary experience. Some journeys are escapes into the past, as Phil, who has a nose for these tales, illustrates in his “trip” to Iranistan, circus showman P.T. Barnum’s Bridgeport estate and a place so legendary in the Victorian Era that soprano Jenny Lind, the “Swedish nightingale,” came to America only so she would have a chance to visit it.
It’s gone now, destroyed in a fire, but as we’re learning in the time of corona, some of our best journeys are those in the mind.