Posts in Blog

A Night Inside ‘Bubby’s Kitchen’ With Shira Ginsburg

As the tradition goes, the center of many Jewish households is the kitchen. And for Judith Ginsburg, hers was no exception.

She took pride in her vibrant, tight-knit family piling around the table, sharing laughs and smiles and food — by far and away her love language — and it was there that her granddaughter, Shira, first heard her Bubby’s stories about World War II.

In fact, she can’t imagine a time that she hasn’t known them — or when she started to realize they were unique.

“Like any other child, you don’t know that you’re different, that anything is different, until you get a little bit older and you start to see yourself in the context of the rest of the world,” Shira Ginsburg said during a telephone interview. “So for me, it was just what I knew — until I started telling people my grandparents were in the woods in the war, and they were like, ‘What do you mean, like, camping?’”

Not quite. As teenagers, Judith Ginsburg and her husband, Motke, lived for years in the forests of Belarus, serving as resistance fighters against the Nazi regime.

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A Man Of Many Talents: Isaac Mizrahi Overcomes on Bay Street Stage

At 59 years old, Isaac Mizrahi has lived many lives — each of them, at their core, a combination of humor, personality and, of course, fashion.

Now a household name, the once-burgeoning designer established himself as a force in the fashion world with his 1988 runway debut, an explosion of color that cemented him as a man to watch — named “hottest new designer” by the New York Times.

He has dressed supermodels in couture, Broadway actors in elaborate costumes, and everyday women in his affordable clothing lines with Target and QVC. He’s sat as a judge on seven seasons of “Project Runway: All Stars,” written comic books, a memoir, and hosted a talk show.

He sings, acts and directs, and dabbles in comedy — all in the pursuit of his purpose, he said, which is to create, perform and inspire.

But nearly six decades later, it can still come with a heavy dose of imposter syndrome.

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Finding Their Way Back: Spin Doctors to Play Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center

On Monday afternoon, Eric Schenkman found himself heading east through western New York, just south of Buffalo, taking in his surroundings on his drive to Brooklyn.

“It’s actually really, really beautiful,” he mused. “I’m going through these rolling hills with cornfields.”

Once he reaches his destination, the guitarist will settle in with Chris Barron and Aaron Comess, the frontman and drummer, respectively, of the Spin Doctors — the band he co-founded in the late 1980s, only to leave five years into their stardom and eventually rejoin seven years later.

“When you’re into a heavy thing, it becomes difficult to see the forest through the trees, and that is dysfunction,” he said. “And you’re lucky in life when you get enough distance to see the forest again — and that’s what happened with us.”

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Linda Gronlund, Passenger On United Airlines Flight 93, Remembered As ‘Formidable’ 

Walking through the front door, Elsa Gronlund Griffin quickly flipped on the television, noting a smoldering field from a crashed plane on the screen, and continued toward the answering machine. The red light was blinking. She had three messages.

The first was from a friend. The second was from her mother, Doris Gronlund, just to say hello.

The third was her sister’s voice.

“Elsa, it’s Lin,” she started.

“Um. I only have a minute. I’m on United 93, and it’s been hijacked, uh, by terrorists who say they have a bomb.”

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‘We Lived and Went to Hell’: Retired Port Authority Police Officer Relives Months on the 9/11 Pile

At age 47, Doris Caridi could see it — the way her retirement would unfold.

In a matter of months, she would give up her apartment in Brooklyn and move into her modest, cozy home in Water Mill, spending her free time with her sister, who lived nearby, and soaking in the bucolic surroundings.

She would mark the end of her 21-year career with the Port Authority Police alongside her closest colleagues, her final assignment being with the Emergency Service Unit at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York. There, she reported to Inspector Anthony Infante, who promised to speak to human resources at the Port Authority Police to pin down a target date for her.

That was Friday, September 7, 2001, and Ms. Caridi was happy, she recalled — truly, deeply happy.

“But it didn’t work out,” she said, speaking 20 years later. “And I never saw him again.”

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Robert Longo: Creating Art From Dust

By the turn of the 21st century, Robert Longo was, as he puts it, sitting at the top of the junk pile.

He had once been a leading protagonist in the “Pictures Generation.” Alongside fellow artists like Cindy Sherman, Richard Prince, Louise Lawler and David Salle, he became one of the most collected, exhibited and talked about visionaries of the early 1980s, rising to prominence during the golden age of contemporary art through his “Men in the Cities” series, which depicted suited, dancing silhouettes drawn in charcoal.

But he was punished for it — and cast aside.

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The Lions Are Coming: Inaugural ‘U.S. Tusk Lion Trail’ Unleashes Pride Across East End

Earlier this summer, Deborra-Lee Furness welcomed a new guest into her East Hampton home with open arms and an open heart.

She and her son, Oscar Jackman, showered it with love, creativity and art — spending hours upon hours together, sometimes even late into the night.

But her husband, actor Hugh Jackman, wasn’t as enthused — considering the house guest was a slightly larger-than-life, resin, several-hundred-pound lion that Furness and her son painted and affectionately named “Ubuntu,” which translates from Zulu to mean, “I am because we are.”

“My art room is also a dance room, and because he’s preparing for a show, he had to tap around ‘Ubuntu.’ It wasn’t easy,” Furness said with a laugh. “He was quite happy to see ‘Ubuntu’ go on his way to his next journey.”

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From the Great Beyond: Christopher Allan Brings Psychic Readings to WHBPAC

Every waking moment, Christopher Allan lives with an inescapable white noise, like a refrigerator humming, or background music at the supermarket.

When he tunes in, the quiet sharpens into focus. His physical world fades away. And, in a meditative state, he hears them — the voices whispering in his ear.

They belong to mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, lovers and friends, all attempting to communicate from what Allan calls “the great beyond” — with he, a psychic medium who claims to communicate with the dead, as their conduit.

“I think it’s important to show that there are no such things as goodbyes and that love simply doesn’t die,” Allan said, “and I’m merely an instrument to convey that message.”

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Watercolorist Barbara Ernst Prey Comes Home In ‘Vanishing Point’

When weather and time allow, Barbara Ernst Prey packs her paints, canvas and easel into the back of her car, hops behind the steering wheel and drives due east from her home in Oyster Bay — a ritual that transports her back to her childhood, riding shotgun next to her mother.

They would stop at beach after beach off Montauk Highway, setting up their materials side by side, taking in the ocean, umbrellas, chairs, lighthouses and people. And here, with the sun shining and salty breeze blowing, the young girl learned how to “look.”

In time, she chose to express what she saw through watercolors, drawn to its lightness and translucency — a medium notoriously precarious and unforgiving of even the smallest mistake. But, even further, she was one of the few women to enter a male-dominated tradition, and then push its bounds.

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A ‘Hidden Child’: Erika Hecht Reflects On World War II in New Memoir

On the edge of Sag Harbor Village, Erika Hecht lives in a modest home surrounded by what she loves — books and art, colorful rugs, an eclectic mix of modern and antique furniture, a lovely backyard with towering trees.

“Wherever I am is my home,” she mused on Saturday morning. “It seems to me I’m carrying my home with me.”

It does not escape Hecht that this practice is a product of her childhood — rooted in a residual fear of loss, the danger and pain associated with forming attachments, only to have them ripped away in a moment.

And so, a collection of artifacts from her youth does not exist, the 87 year old explained, her voice still laced with a thick Hungarian accent. She was a “Hidden Child,” one of thousands of Jewish children who converted to Christianity in an attempt to survive World War II and skirt the Holocaust.

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