February – what a fascinating little month. Only 28 days (reportedly because the Emperor Augustus wanted more time for his month, August), but boy, those 28 days pack a wallop. You’ve got your Black History Month, your Groundhog Day, your Lincoln’s Birthday, your Valentine’s Day, your President’s Day and your Washington’s Birthday.
Then you throw in all the movable feasts, so to speak – your Super Duper Bowl (Feb. 2 this year), your Winter Olympics (starting Feb. 6), your Oscars (oops, March 2 this year to avoid Olympic gridlock) and your Mardi Gras (March again, the 5th. February, stop dumping all your dates on March.)
We’re exhausted and we haven’t even started. But whatever else it’s known for, February is both our anniversary (we launched in February 2011) and the month of lovers, which gives us a good excuse (like we need any) to write about one of our favorite things – sex.
This is our power year and so we thought for February “the power of sex, the power of the sexes,” but along the way it morphed into the power of the female sex. Take cover gal Gina Cappelli. Sure, she comes from a family that’s like the modern equivalent of the Medicis. But Gina – warm and savvy – is also independent-minded and she’s striking out on her own with the new Formé Urgent Care and Wellness Center in White Plains, which she hopes will help close the loops in the health care system.
Then there’s Janet Langsam, CEO of ArtsWestchester, petite but packing a cultural punch. She’s turned the former Westchester Arts Council into a flagship organization with a dynamic outreach.
Herein you’ll also meet Greenwich’s Florence Suerig, whose sculptures of the female body are a kind of sensuous dance, and painter Betsy Podlach – familiar to fans of the Lionheart Gallery in Pound Ridge – whose Matisse-like canvases embrace the male and female nude.
From palettes we turn to palates with Mary’s portrait of Jackie Ruby, “the Cooking Realtor,” a woman whose dishes and personality are larger than life.
But you know us ladies: We can’t resist our men. As I always say, they’re like pepper: A little goes a long way, but we need them to spice things up. And so we have Stephen E. Morton (Mary again) who combines his painterly and photographic skills into portraits of body art (the body though being female). Andrea, our resident foodie, visits with Jeff Marron and Mimi McLaughlin of Saugatuck Grain + Grape, who are partners in both their professional and personal lives. Meanwhile, Ronni profiles Raphael Miranda, the sunny News 4 New York meteorologist who’s also out and proud.
By sheer but happy coincidence, we also have a feature on his mother, Susan Picosa, author of “Susan’s Bedtime Stories,” a frank memoir of her own search for sexual fulfillment. Dr. Erika, too, weighs in on female sexuality and its greater fluidity.
But it may be that culture as a whole is moving toward a greater fluidity in which people can define themselves as gay, straight, bi, male, female, transgender or none of the above. It’s one of the issues that will be discussed during “The Newer Normal,” Sarah Lawrence College’s 16th annual Women’s History Conference (March 1).
Writing about the conference reminded me of a story I once heard on the radio: A woman wanted to come out to her mother, but she was anxious about being rejected as a lesbian daughter. She ended up being both relieved and somewhat surprised that her mother thought it was no big deal.
Rather, the mother said, “Oh, honey, there’s so little love in the world. You have to take it where you find it.”
Here’s to all of us finding love along our way.
(Editor’s note: With this issue, we bid a fond farewell to Alissa Frey, our pet whisperer Sarah Hodgson and Dr. Michael Rosenberg, who have done such a great job for us, and welcome Olivia Stumpf and Robin Costello, who’ll be working on different features. So in the words of The Beatles’ song, “Hello, Goodbye.”)