A Jewel Box: TEFAF

On Friday, October 26, 2018 The Society of Memorial Sloan Kettering hosted the Opening Night of TEFAF NEW YORK at the Park Avenue Armory. Proceeds from the evening benefited MSK’s patient care, research and education programs. And what a dazzling night it was!

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Barbara Donsky Comments
The Ferryman: A Modern-Day Classic

The Ferryman is set in rural County Armagh in Northern Ireland in late August 1981. It’s time for the harvest and a celebration, time for a festive family dinner punctuated with music and dancing. But before that happens, there is a prologue that takes place on a bleak street in Derry: Father Horrigan (Gerard Horan), a priest who knows the Carney family well, is called to a meeting with the sinister Mr Muldoon (Stuart Graham) who informs him that the body of Seamus Carney, who disappeared on New Year’s Day 1972, at the age of twenty, has been found in a peat bog in County Louth, shot in the back of the head as retribution for his defection from the IRA. The priest is instructed to take the message to the dead man’s family along with a warning—they are not to blame or bad mouth the IRA.

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Longchamp: The French Connection

Ever since the story broke that the 123-year-old Henri Bendel flagship would be closing in January 2019, nostalgia buffs, visitors to the city and fans alike have been streaming through the doors at 712 Fifth Avenue, hoping to walk away with a last-minute purchase from what had been an iconic store. The cry of the crowd has been: Sell me something to remember you by! Unfortunately, the once swanky icon with one-of-a-kind designs is long gone, and nowadays you’d have to content yourself with commercial pieces. It’s the end of an era.

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Mountain Bird Finds A Perch in Spanish Harlem

Fans of ‘Mountain Bird’ will be delighted to hear it’s been sighted at 251 East 110th Street. Until now, the ‘bird’ has refused to stay on one perch. Notwithstanding its popularity and critical acclaim, Mountain Bird, originally at East 145th Street in Harlem, was forced to close because of lease issues. After taking a year sabbatical, the owners have reopened in collaboration with the events organization Tastings Social.

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Colette: A Woman Ahead of Her Time

“What would you like to do?’’ asked a friend coming into town for the day.

“Let’s go to Paris.”


“Yes, I’ll meet you at the Paris theater. There’s a new film, ‘Colette,’ playing. Afterwards we can go to a little French restaurant for lunch and catch up. How’s that sound?”

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"Delacroix" : The Master at the Met

With the opening of “Delacroix” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, I instinctively knew it was as time to say au revoir l'été and bonjour l'automne. Yes, goodbye to summer—to bees buzzing the hydrangea on the terrace, to children sailing boats in Central Park and to the Park Avenue mall bursting its buttons all summer long, thanks to hardy begonia. And hello, Autumn—hello to cooler crisp mornings, to showy trees with brilliant canopies and to things getting started again.

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Heavenly Bodies: A Gift from the Haute-Couture Gods

Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination, currently at the Met, is an enchanting show featuring rare treasures from the Sistine Chapel Collection that have never traveled before, and 150 exquisite creations by designers raised in the Catholic tradition. In great abundance and with consummate attention to detail, the exhibition illustrates the extraordinary ways in which designers, from Coco Chanel to Donna Versace, have adopted the imagery, metaphors and storytelling integral to the Catholic faith.

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Girls Just Want to Have Fun

It was a week to celebrate! For starters it was the 2nd Anniversary of the publication of Veronica’s Grave. These past three years, including that leading up to publication, have been an amazing learning experience with a steep learning curve. Every bit as difficult as, say, earning a doctoral degree. So, you want to write a book? As the late Joan Rivers would say: Can we talk?

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Bienvenue à Versailles: At the Met

The Metropolitan Museum of Art had its origins in Paris in the year 1866. It was then that a group of Americans, having visited the Louvre and Versailles determined to create ‘a national institution and gallery of art to bring art and art education to the American people.’ And so it was that the museum took root. Surely, those foresighted men would be delighted to see what their efforts have brought about: Met Fifth, Met Cloister and now Met Breuer. 

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French Breads and Pastries: The Upper East Side

What better time to walk the streets of any great city than when it’s snowing or raining? It's that precipitation—be it rain, sleet, hail, snow or fog—has a way of blurring the sharp edges of a metropolis, slowing the pace of its inhabitants walking with downcast eyes, and lowering the decibel count. When the everyday hustle-bustle fades, the city takes a deep breath.    

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MET FIFTH: From Paris to Provence

Are you longing for Spring? Tired of winter-grey skies and the dreary parkas scurrying by? Take it from me, it won’t be long in coming. I've seen the signs. For starters, last week the calendar was reminding me to change the clocks from Daylight Savings to Standard Time. Spring Forward!

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A Modern Woman: Writer of the Week with Universal by Design

21st century life continues to dazzle. To think that here I am in Manhattan and my publishers are in hip Berkeley and trending Toronto; my website manager in Austin TX; my PR team in Nashville TN; and that the 'Writer of the Week' interview with Universal by Design in Oslo, Norway. There was a time when we thought a ten-inch black-and-white Emerson TV the last word. The times they are still a-changing. But for the last word today from your trusty blogger, click on the video. It was a wonderful experience. I learned a great deal about what to do and what not to do. Listen carefully for the New York 'ambiance.' I hope you enjoy it.

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La Goulue: Like Old-Times

After nine years, the Michelin starred La Goulue has returned to the swank Upper East Side, opening a few blocks from its former location. When it closed the doors in 2009, its regular habitués, especially the ladies-who-lunch, felt forsaken. Where would they go to shake off a case of "Missing Paris Blues’? Who could satisfy a craving for the fabulous cheese soufflé?  

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Vision and Voice

Last week I had the great pleasure of serving on a panel discussing publishing options today -- from self-publishing and vanity productions, to small independent presses and traditional Big Five publishing. For those of you who have been bopping around town with me for some time, you, undoubtedly, have heard my story. For those new to the blog, Veronica's Grave: A Daughter's Memoir, was published first by She Writes Press, an independent publisher dedicated to women's writing, before being picked up by Harper Collins Canada and brought out as Missing Mother.  As someone who has experienced two very different publishing models, I was invited to share my publishing journey.

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Beth Beauchamp
What Every Writer Needs to Know

Behind every successful book lies not only a great story but a great PR team. Never a month goes by that I'm not asked by a writer with a story to tell if they need to hire a publicist. My answer is always the same: Absolutely! Invariably the next question is: What did your PR agency do for you? Most people, myself included, have no idea what happens in the complex world of public relations. Which is why I was delighted early on to have crossed paths with JKS Communications. What fellows is a brief and instructive overview that, by chance, I recently  found  on the their website. Read on to find out how they made Veronica's Grave a standout.  Enjoy!  

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Diana Paul | Retirees Reinventing Themselves

What follows is an inspirational article by my friend Diana Y. Paul that appeared in the literary journal Women Writers, Women's Books. Having previously written three books on Buddhism, Diana published (She Writes Press 2015) a highly-praised debut novel, Things Unsaid. Ranked #2 in  the “Top 14 Books about Families Crazier Than Yours,” Things Unsaid was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. 

Struck by how many other women were reinventing themselves after retirement, she interviewed a number of authors. The overriding consensus?  Yes, Virginia, there is life after retirement...a fulfilling life, at that. Read on. 

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Barbara Donsky
'Loving Vincent': Oscar Nominee for Animated Film

In the summer of 1890, in the small country town of Auvers-sur-Oise to the west of Paris, Vincent Van Gogh stumbled up the main street one evening, a bullet lodged in his stomach. The artist had a troubled history—the incident years earlier when he cut off a part of his ear is well-known—but it remained a mystery as to why and how he was shot. A regular whodunnit.

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