With a new year and our 10th anniversary upon us and the virus still raging, we at WAG thought, “Why not go all in and revamp the magazine?” It made perfect sense, for if there ever was a year for a refresh, it’s 2021.
And so Wednesday, Jan. 20, which is also Inauguration Day, we inaugurate our year of reinvention with a combined January-February issue that marries January’s theme of renewal with our annual February salute to love, romance, sex and the body. Call it “Renewing mind, body and spirit.”
The first thing you’ll notice inside the magazine on our Table of Contents page is that we’ve done away with many of the distinctions between our features and our regular columns. Everything related to one section is now in that section.
Thus, Wanders gives us not only columns by our regular Wanderers Jeremy and Barbara – who are off to the Maldives ( and Wyoming respectively – but articles on The Abbey Inn & Spa in Peekskill and the Roger Sherman Inn in New Canaan (Phil’s piece), along with Gregg’s visit with legendary Woodstock hitmaker Jules Shear. Then Jeremy returns for pieces on a book inspired by quirky director Wes Anderson and memories of Las Vegas that will have you laughing out loud. Put it this way: You’ll never think of the phrase “cat house” in the same way again. Clearly, what happens in Vegas doesn’t necessarily stay in Vegas.
For foodies, Jeremy gets in touch with his English pub roots at The White Horse Country Pub & Restaurant in Marbledale, while Rajni serves up the perfect egg, courtesy of Kerala, India, and Doug samples sherries.
On the Wellness front, we put up our feet for a moment and take a break and breath with the United Kingdom’s Breathe magazine, an escape that’s only your local bookstore or supermarket newsstand away. Speaking of escapes, Debbi, whom you usually find in the Wanders section, joins Wellness for this issue with a column on the Red Lane Spas at Sandals Resorts in the Caribbean that she sampled with hubby and fellow Wagger Bill. Meanwhile, we look at skincare specialists Vicki Morav and Pietro Simone’s new, individual spa offerings in Manhattan; nutritionist Preeti Pusalkar helps us shed “the Covid 15”; psychiatrist Alex Dimitriu, MD, discusses the way the virus is exacerbating obsessive-compulsive behaviors; and Giovanni brings us the important story of Men Care Now, a new, Greenwich-based enterprise he’s involved in that addresses men’s mental, emotional and physical well-being. Now more than ever, we need whatever makes us whole.
We also show you our Wares with a peek inside the elegantly casual Waccabuc weekend home of Fran and Barry Weissler, producers of the long-running Broadway rival “Chicago” while Cami and hubby Marc swim against the tide and move from the ’burbs to the city and Katie brings us the little known but once hot tokens known as lovers’ eyes. In one case, the token of affection – from artist Sarah Goodridge to statesman Daniel Webster – turned out to be more lover’s boobs. It’s now-forgotten but fascinating tidbits like this that make WAG, well, waggish.
But perhaps the biggest change comes in our Pet Portraits section, now called WAG the Tail, which we’ve also turned into a newsletter – spearheaded by Karen Sackowitz, our director of digital content and new product development — to match the demand for pets, and thus pet care, in our Covid era. There are profiles of Nicole Goudey-Rigger, whose full range of services at Pets a Go Go, covers Westchester and Fairfield counties, veterinarian Sarah Cutler, DVM, and her Katonah-based At Home Care and Cristina Losapio, a dog trainer/consultant/ owner of Trail Dog Inc. in New Castle and now new WAG columnist. And, of course, we still have our Pet of the Month from the SPCA, which this issue shines a spotlight on the lovely but fragile Hound mix Opal.
Each of these sections begins with a photograph and features a more user-friendly layout with snappier (we hope) headlines, subheads and highlighted items.
But in essentials, WAG is ever as it was, still a sophisticated, cultural magazine known for its creative themes and subthemes. Our subtheme for this issue is “21 in ’21” – all the things you can do once you turn 21, like drink alcohol – drink recipes and histories provided; play Twenty-One, also known as Blackjack; and go to a casino where you can drink and play Blackjack. (Do we have to mention that with such pleasures come responsibilities?)
Our primary theme – on Self-made and Remade Women – offers two takes on controversial soccer star and cover subject Megan Rapinoe, the Greenwich resident who continues to redefine the idea of the activist-athlete; a profile on Marjorie Madfis, the former IBM-er who recreated herself as founder of the Yes She Can nonprofit, refurbishing American Girl Dolls and the lives of autistic young women like daughter Izzie; and conversations with New York City artists Kathleen Gilje and Fay Ku, who in different ways have turned the female gaze on art history, reclaiming the female body and persona in the process.
This section is led by a personal essay by me, who in 2010 – my own 2020 – was caring for my dying aunt and starting a new job here at Westfair when a tree fell on our home. What I learned in this crucible is that the valley is always preparation for the summit. And that while things may not get easier, they will always get better.
A 2020 YWCA White Plains & Central Westchester Visionary Award winner and a 2018 Folio Women in Media Award Winner, Georgette Gouveia is the author of “Burying the Dead,” “Daimon: A Novel of Alexander the Great” and “Seamless Sky” (JMS Books), as well as “The Penalty for Holding,” a 2018 Lambda Literary Award finalist (JMS Books), and “Water Music” (Greenleaf Book Group). They’re part of her series of novels, “The Games Men Play,” also the name of the sports/culture blog she writes.
Her short story “The Glass Door,” about love in the time of the coronavirus, was recently published by JMS. Read WAG’s serialization of “Seamless Sky” here. For more, visit thegamesmenplay.com.