October, November, December


I've been a bit behind on posting recent articles, so forgive the pile-up. The December issue just came out, and I had the pleasure of writing the cover story for it.

52 Reasons to Love Westchester
"Most people assume that people who live in Westchester are going for a New York City Lite experience. It’s an easy mistake to make, since we eat BLT steaks, get our hair cut at Devachan Salon, shop for new wardrobes at Rothman’s, and commute down south for a job, a night out, or a Broadway show. The truth is, while we may spend a lot of time in the City and patronize City-based businesses, we choose to live here precisely because Westchester is not New York City. We want to give up the steel and concrete for a little bit of greenery and some breathing room."

Guitar Hero
A profile of local guitar-maker Rudy Pensa: "Pensa got his start building guitars when he was just 13 years old. 'In Argentina, when I was playing in the late sixties and early seventies, it was difficult to find good instruments,' he says—so he started building his own. He opened the famous-among-music-geeks Rudy’s Music Shop in New York City in 1978 and has been commuting there from Scarsdale for almost three decades."

7 Days of Holidays
A round-up of local holiday events: "For you, our true loves, we present seven sets of seasonal events—no leaping lords or milking maids required."

Culture, Etc.
Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, the Subdudes, and more.

Home Theater
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, District 9, Inglourious Basterds, and (500) Days of Summer.

November Culture, Etc.
Neko Case, Linda Eder, and more.

November Home Theater
Star Trek, Up, and more.

October Culture, Etc.
Sumi Jo, Wallace Shawn, and more.

October Home Theater
Drag Me to Hell, Karloff & Lugosi, and Trick 'r Treat.

Halloween Happenings
A round-up of Halloween events.

Where the Pros Go for Halloween Clothes
A look at the best costume shop in Yonkers.

Witch Craft
A Q&A with The Blair Witch Project's Michael C. Williams

July, July!


The cover of our July issue was illustrated by J.J. Sedelmaier, of TV Funhouse fame.

Best Of: Arts & Leisure

The best artistic and cultural offerings in the county: "Just down the street from the Jacob Burns Film Center, the professionally outfitted Media Arts Lab is buzzing with people who want to know more about filmmaking. Three- and four-year-olds learn the basics of telling visual stories. Eight- to 10-year-olds practice using the real tools of animation. Teenagers make music videos using the same programs as the pros, with professional producers as their instructors. College-aged and adult auteurs are taught how to make documentaries with an Academy Award-nominated filmmaker. Everyone, regardless of age, discovers how to tell an effective story in this increasingly digital age." (Also: Bargain Arts.)

Best of Festchester

A round-up of local festivals: "If you plan your summer right, you can get your live music (classical, cabaret, jazz, rock, and even Celtic reggae), world-class theater, ethnic food, enviable crafts to purchase, and kids’ activities all from these seasonal extravaganzas."

Super Senior

Why I want to be like Lois Steinberg when I grow up: "At age 70, Lois Steinberg was ready to leave her job as VP of a market research firm, where she worked with big-name clients like AT&T and Citibank. After 20 years in the corporate world, was she going to retire? Heck no. The Larchmont resident and mother of two baby boomers enrolled in Sarah Lawrence College and earned another master’s degree in health advocacy (on top of the PhD she earned from Fordham—in 1978)."

Culture, Etc.

Fountains of Wayne, Maya Lin, plus this month's Quadricentennial events.

Home Theater

Watchmen, Coraline, The State, and Peanuts.

And one I assigned:

Local Currency, Local Comfort
An essay on how to use the current financial climate to reinvest in our communities: "The great cathedrals of Europe were not funded by any central bank or the Vatican, but by small communities looking to invest their profits in their own futures. The cathedrals they built drew pilgrims from around the world, and bequeathed prosperity to their grandchildren."

December Issue


A list of the county's nicest (checked twice), some holiday happenings, and a word of caution for New Year's: a hefty December issue.

Westchester's Most Influential Residents

Profiles of two county movers-and-shakers who keep the cultural community alive (second and third item): "Next month, just a block away from the cinema, students of all ages will be able to make films in a setup that’ll rival D.W. Griffith’s old digs in Mamaroneck, with 15 editing suites, four workshop spaces, two sound stages (with full lighting rigs and a garage door for load-ins), a recording studio, an isolation booth, a foley room, an animation workshop space, and a 60-seat screening room to teach animation, cinematography, editing, and sound design from leaders in the film industry."

The Top Scorer

A top-five list of silent films from somebody who performs live accompaniments: "The Larchmont native discovered the Charlie Chaplin classics at the age of three, went to New York Times drama critic Walter Kerr's house to watch silents when he was in his teens, provided piano accompaniment for film class when he was in college, and went on to score hundreds of silent films."

8 Holiday Musts

A round-up of outstanding holiday events: "We know what happened to Rip Van Winkle after his big nap, but what did he dream about during those long years? The same experts who created the Great Jack O' Lantern Blaze take their best guesses with their Winter Wonderlights, which goes on until January 3, 2009 at Washington Irving's Sunnyside. The grounds of Irving's home are transformed into a wintry dreamscape with the help of some rad LED technology."

What Are You Typing New Year's Eve?

An item about the popularity of texting in New Year's Eve: "When the clock strikes midnight this New Year's, you shouldn't be worried about finding someone to kiss--you should be finding someone to text."

<you should="" be="" looking="" for="" someone="" to=""> Home Theater

The Dark Knight, Hamlet 2, Casablanca

Culture, Etc.

Béla Fleck, Mike Doughty, and more.</you>

July Issue

Best of Westchester: Art & Leisure

Our most popular feature of the year surveys the best the county has to offer, including new hiking trails: "Let’s face it: it was easy to get lost at the Ward Pound Ridge Reservation, and not in a good lose-yourself-in-nature kind of way. Yet a core group of volunteers has taken it upon themselves to re-blaze all 35 miles of trails, complete with new markings and a beautiful map (one that actually makes sense)."

Fave Five By the Fab Four

Always one for a nerdy list, I asked a local Beatlemaniac and radio DJ to rank his favorite Beatles albums: "Leave it to a true music fan to treat ranking two great albums like deciding between children."

Close Encounters in the County

In honor of World UFO Day (it's real), I dug up some reports of UFOs in Westchester: "It was the brightest thing I’ve ever seen in the sky ever…I do know that it was in the area of a power plant."

Resident Ringtones

I corralled the musically inclined and asked them what their ringtones are (and plugged my own). Says Kimberly Locke: "I have the theme from The Jeffersons, 'Movin’ On Up,' as my ringtone. It’s pretty uplifting and it makes me laugh every time my phone rings. But it’s only programmed for specific friends. Only they receive the high honor of a George and Weezy ring tone!"

Alfresco Entertainment

Now no one can say that I recommend staying inside watching movies all day, since I recommended eight outdoor events: "Long for the days of drive-in theaters? Well, you can’t sit in your gas-guzzler, but you can still park yourself outside (sans auto) and watch a film at one of the county’s outdoor movie screenings."

Culture, Etc.

Lyle Lovett, Ani DiFranco, and more.

June Issue


Our first summer issue: summer vacations, summer books, and more.

Summer Reading

A round-up of the buzz books for summer, including new works by David Guterson and Alan Furst.

Take a Few Days Off

Our huge feature on weekend getaways includes my contribution about The Villa at Saugerties in the Catskills: "Say goodbye to the chintz, the brocade, and the stuffy Victorian furniture. Just because you want to get away for the weekend doesn’t mean you want to leave your sense of style behind with the babysitter." (About three-quarters of the way down the page.)

Grilling the Experts

Grill tips from the pros: "McGrath says that natural wood chips are the best source of fuel, but if you’re using charcoal, 'you want it to be white-hot, not red-hot. That’s the best way to grill something.'" (Second item down)

The Director's Cut

An article about Bruce David Klein, director of Meat Loaf: In Search of Paradise: "Klein, Meat Loaf says, 'is a pesky little thing and he manages to wiggle and squeeze himself into places that I didn’t necessarily like all of the time.'" (The link to this story is being repaired.)

Culture, Etc.

A new art exhibition about space exploration, Chuck Mangione, and more.

March Issue


Yes, suburbia still exists after dark.

Night Owls: The Bartender

A profile of people who work after dark: "At night, you can find bartender Tiffany Grimes under the flat-screen TVs and exotic animal heads at Hartsdale’s Mighty Joe Young’s, mixing up for thirsty patrons its signature 'Kenya, Willya, Wontcha?' But, as with other skilled bartenders, you can also picture her as Lucy from Peanuts, standing beneath a homemade cardboard sign that says 'The Doctor Is In.'" (It's the fifth item down.)

Arts & Entertainment

A zombie Girl with a Pearl Earring and lots more.

Okay, so this issue is a little light on bylines for me, but a lot of pieces I assigned to freelancers are in this one, including:

The Thrill of the Hunt

Is There a Critic in the House?

Evening Alternatives (halfway down)

From Cooper to Condo (second-to-last item)

February Issue

Mmmmm...all about food.

Parti Mardi

How to throw a real Mardi Gras party: "Looking to celebrate without buying a ticket to Nawlins? Consult our no-fuss, do-it-yourself guide to all the beads, booze, and beignets you’ll need. Just try to keep your shirt on."

Book Group

Advice for mid-winter reading: "From Russell Banks, the writer who previously brought us such memorable downers as Affliction and The Sweet Hereafter, comes a tale about life in the Adirondacks during—how fitting—the Great Depression." (It's the fourth item.)


Great Places, New Faces

A round-up of new players in the local culture scene, including local maestro Itzhak Perlman. (It's the ninth item.)


Arts & Entertainment

Flamenco dancing, Eaglefest, and more.