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Editorials New York City

Featured in Conde Nast Traveller, December Holiday Issue

November 13, 2013

New York, Snow, December, Holiday Issue

So excited to have one of my favorite snow images featured as a double spread opener for the Holiday story ‘New York, New Traditions’ in Conde Nast Traveller, December Holiday Issue. Conde Nast Traveller is one of the leading Travel magazines in the US and the World.

This image is part of a series of snow images I took during the winter of 2009.  It was a snowy morning weekend when kids just want to go out and play with their slides in the park. I was coming out of the gym on 63rd and Central Park West and started to walk home. (I always walk along the Park). I’ve noticed the kids and their parents, and of course, the colorful clothes. I didn’t have my camera with me so I walked home (Thank God I live 3 blocks away from the Park), I dropped my gym bag in my apartment and grabbed my camera. When I got back to the park I was happy to discover more kids with more colorful winter clothes playing outdoors. I liked how the colors just popped out in the whiteness of the snow. The series of these snow images became one of my favorites.

“…Who can resist a holiday season in New York? Certainly not us (nor millions of tourists, for that matter). It’s when the city is at its buoyant best, when everything seems most shimmering and magical. In honor of our favorite time of year, we rounded up the places you’ll want to visit after the places you came to visit. So welcome to our city- because this month, it’s your city too…”

…Let’s face it-If you’re in New York during the holidays, you’re going to find yourself doing one of the things every tourist does. You (or someone in your crew) will want to try out the ice-skating rink at Rockefeller Center. You’ll go to The Nutcracker at Lincoln Center. You won’t be able to resist the sparkling Christmas tree in Washington Square Park. Nor should you. After all, Christmas in New York is all about these beloved traditions, for tourists and, yes, us locals as well. But we wanted to give you some traditions you’ll love as much as the old ones. And so we opened our little black books to share the restaurants, bars, best-kept secrets, and moments we know you’ll adore, whether it’s the oysters-and stout happy hour at the John Dory Oyster Bar (one of the city’s best deals, and just steps from Macy’s gloriously vibrant windows) or the perfect cozy place to rest your feet (with a martini, of course) after an always-awe inspiring (and always exhausting) day at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. All you need is a good pair of shoes, a good deal of stamina…and this guide. Who knows? You may even see one of us right there with you….

If you don’t have a chance to grab a hard copy of Conde Nast Traveller, here is the article on line.



Editorials New York City

Shooting Iconic Food of NYC for Lonely Planet Traveller, November Issue

October 13, 2013

In the first week of August, I got an email from the Photo Researcher of Lonely Planet Traveller magazine in the UK, asking me If I was available for a shoot. ‘We would like to do a New York story with a focus on iconic NY food and classic NY city scenes…It is for our November issue, so the turn around would need to be quite quick’. 

Of course I didn’t want to miss that opportunity. Even though I was quite busy with a different project, I loved the idea of eating my way through NYC…

Yes, I’ve been living in New York for 12 years now, but there is always something new to discover. And even though I knew the majority of the iconic food locations, I didn’t try the food in all of them. That was the perfect excuse and opportunity.

I’m kidding.

I love shooting my city and I’m honored to work with a great magazine, such as the Lonely Planet Traveller. It was an intense week of shooting in which I’ve been eating all kinds of foods I usually don’t eat and searching rooftops and views of New York, that I have always wanted to shoot.

In case you are traveling to New York soon and want some recommendations and locations (and you didn’t have a chance to get the magazine) here are some suggestions:

Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory: When you get to Dumbo in Brooklyn and head toward the East River, you might see long lines of people standing outside what used to be a fireboat house back in the 20’s. Don’t get intimidated as these long lines will lead you to one of the mythological ice cream places in Brooklyn, the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory. Forget about rocky road, salted caramel or chili flavors. The factory has just eight classic all natural flavors: Vanilla, chocolate, vanilla chocolate chunk, strawberry, chocolate-chocolate chunk, peaches and cream, butter pecan and coffee. The cones are wrapped with a paper cone of the American flag and Patriotism never tasted so good.

Gray’s Papaya Hot Dogs: The combination of greasy hot dog and a papaya drink, is apparently a success combination for 41 years now in New York City. Mr. Gray, who first opened Gray’s Papaya in 1973, succeeded in making his hot dogs into a brand name in Manhattan. There are two locations in the city; one in the West Village and the second one in the Upper West Side (on 72nd and Broadway) which is opened for 24 hours and draws in the masses.  Gray’s does classic NYC frank: all-beef in a natural casing, which is grilled and served on a toasted bun with sauerkraut and spicy brown mustard. It has the best price in the city.

Zucker’s Bagels: New York city is well known for its bagels. The combination of bagel, cream cheese and lox (thinly sliced smoked salmon) is a well known trademark here. It goes back to the early 1900 when Jewish immigrants in the Lower East Side used to sell the bagels from pushcarts. Few years later, the pushcarts in New York sell hotdogs, pretzels or halal food, and the bagel and lox is well sold in delis and special bakeries such as Zucker’s. During my shoot in the Midtown East Location, I had the honor to meet Matt Pomerantz, the owner and founder of Zucker’s, the authentic NYC hand-rolled, kettle-boiled bagel. He opened his first shop in 1994 after quitting his job in Wall Street to pursue the family business, a love of bagels and great food. He named Zucker’s after his mother, Roslyn Marilyn Zucker Pomerantz.

Dun-well Doughnuts: It’s an improbable fact that Homer Simpson is the inspiration behind a vegan doughnut shop in New York, but it is a fact, nonetheless. Watching an episode of The Simpsons one night, Christopher Hollowell badly craved a doughnut but he couldn’t find a vegan version anywhere in New York. He called his best friend and fellow vegan Dan Dunbar, and together they hatched a plan to open the city’s first dairy-free doughnut shop. They chose the bohemian, hipsterish location in Montrose Ave in Brooklyn and together they make more than 200 flavors in rotation, from traditional varieties such as glazed, chocolate and jam-filled to inventive concoctions such as root beer, tangerine basil and black liquorice. And I didn’t even mention the great coffee.

Roberta’s Pizza: ‘If you want to find the best pizza in New York, you should head to Bushwick and try out Roberta’s’ That’s what one of my friends told when I was asking around for the best pizza in town. Sometimes it is better to ask a man about a pizza. I was happy to discover that Roberta’s is in Bushwick, as recently this neighborhood is getting my attention due to the big graffiti scene there. When I got to Roberta’s, I have realized I passed through their door few times before, without knowing that behind the red curtain, there is one of the best pizza in town. The restaurant is located in what used to be a car garage and now it has a garden and a greenhouse which produces some of the restaurant’s herbs and vegetables. Indoors you can find the kitchen with the smoky, wood-fired brick oven which produces the divine pizza. Some of the slices you should try are The Bee Sting, a tomato, mozzarella and sopressata (Italian dry salami) chilli and honey or Carlos Danger, a parmigiano, squash, fresnos (chilli peppers), onion and chilli oil. That was my fave.

Katz’s Deli: I’m sure you are all familiar with the episode in “When Harry met Sally” when Meg Ryan’s faked an orgasm… Well, that was in Katz’s Deli, and Sally ordered the pastrami on rye. Katz’s opened 125 years ago in the Jewish area of the Lower East Side. ‘It was established on Ludlow Street in New York’s Lower East Side by the Iceland brothers. Upon the arrival of Willy Katz in 1903, the name of the store was changed from Iceland Brothers to Iceland & Katz. Willy’s cousin Benny joined him in 1910, buying out the Iceland brothers to officially form Katz’s delicatessen. Their landsman Harry Tarowsky bought into the partnership in April 1917. A move to the present side of the street was necessitated during this time by the construction of the subway system, although the entry remained on Ludlow street. The vacant lot on Houston (named after a Dutch emigrant of the same name) Street was home to barrels of meat and pickles until the present storefront facade was added in the period 1946-49’. The pastrami is cured the same way, using the same secret ingredients and is still cut by hand to order. Even the original storefront sign remained back from the 40’s and the archaic ticketing system; a ticket is given on arrival, food gets charged to it and a fine of $50 is charged if it is lost! This has been one of the most iconic locations in the Lower East Side and quite crowded most of the time.

Lady M Cheese Cake: One of the best things in this shooting assignment was to discover new places and try out the food. I first saw the Lady M Cheese Cake boutique during one of my lunch breaks in Bryant Park. I was taking a class at ICP on 43rd and 6th and lunch breaks are spent in Bryant Park. I have noticed the white-only interior and the colorful crafted cakes waiting for me to eat them. I was so happy to discover that Lady M Cheese Cake was on the list so I could have a closer look at the beautiful cakes and fanciful desserts that were presented like jewelry behind the counter glass. If you make it to one of Lady M Cheese Cake boutiques (there are two locations in the city, one in Bryant Park and one in the Upper East Side) I highly recommend and urge you to try the signature Mille Crepe; more than 20 crepes layered with pastry cream with gatueau fromage.

Clover Club Cocktail Bar: Named after a famous, late 19th century men’s club, the Clover Club in Cobble Hill Brooklyn serves fizzes, sours, juleps, royales and crystal bowls of punch atop its mahogany bar. The back of the bar is designed as a Victorian era saloon and it usually hosts private parties. One of the reasons to head to Clover Club is the head bartender, Tom Macy, who is well trained and experienced in making creative cocktails using fresh juices, house-made syrups and seasonal ingredients. The Clover Club Cocktail is a mix of gin, fresh lemon juice, house-made raspberry syrup and an egg-white mix to turn it from a fruity gin drink to something more grown up.

New Yorker for a Day

New Yorker for a Day, My Turn

October 8, 2013

New Yorker for a Day, New York, West Village

Over a year ago, I have launched a new photography service for my clients called ‘New Yorker for a Day’. 

The service was mostly targeted to tourists who visited New York City and wanted to have a collection of high quality- fashion-New York style- images to take with them back home. The ‘New Yorker for a Day’ became quite a success and I got calls and requests from people all over the Globe. I was even mentioned in a magazine in Australia!. Among my clients were French girls who came to New York to celebrate a Birthday, a newly wed couple (He is Israeli, she is Swedish) who visited New York and he surprised her with that session. A bride to be who got it as a gift from one of her NY’s friends, a woman who came to New York with her teenager daughter and many more who just wanted to have fun and get a memorable and different souvenir from the city.

People really loved it and in the first opportunity I had, I offered it in Paris and shot ‘Parisian for a Day’ 

I am a true believer that as a photographer, if I want to give my clients a better service and connect with them in a more professional level, I’d better go through the ‘New Yorker for a Day’ myself. If I be in front of the camera and not behind it, as I usually am, I will be able to direct/connect with my clients better.

That was when I asked a good friend of mine and a talented photographer Olga Miranova to take pictures of me in my favorite neighborhood, the West Village and walk in the pictorial streets I usually hang out such as Morton, Hudson, Charles and Perry.

Here is the ‘New Yorker for a Day’ my turn…


New Yorker for a Day, New York, West Village

New Yorker for a Day, New York, West Village

New Yorker for a Day, New York, West Village

New Yorker for a Day, New York, West Village

New Yorker for a Day, New York, West Village

New Yorker for a Day, New York, West Village

New Yorker for a Day, New York, West Village

New Yorker for a Day, New York, West Village

New Yorker for a Day, New York, West Village

New Yorker for a Day, New York, West Village

New Yorker for a Day, New York, West Village

New Yorker for a Day, New York, West Village

New Yorker for a Day, New York, West Village

New Yorker for a Day, New York, West Village

New Yorker for a Day, New York, West Village

New York City

EatWith Me, You and Everyone Else

August 14, 2013

What if a fashion student from Brooklyn, a web developer from San Francisco, a videographer from Zurich, a Brazilian couple from Rio, a Brazilian couple who lives in Toronto and an Israeli photographer who lives in New York, all sit around one table for a Saturday brunch in a cute little apartment in the Lower East Side? It might sound like a beginning of a joke, but at the same time, it is a very possible situation, thanks to EatWith.

If you didn’t hear the latest news, EatWith is definitely IT.

Founded and started in Israel, and now rapidly spreading to Spain, Brazil, Italy and New York, EatWith is like the Airbnb but for food. As their statement says: ‘It is a global community that invites you to dine in homes around the World…connect with amazing hosts, share stories and unforgettable experiences, and enjoy delicious homemade cuisine’ 

As a travel photographer, I always prefer to walk in the less traveled paths. (This is when and where I get most of my best shots). And I have also been a fond of connecting with locals and experience their city through their eyes and daily habits. As the famous phrase guides me: When in Rome do as the Romans do….

Thanks to EatWith, I know that the next time I visit Barcelona and want to have original Tapas on an open terrace, I can easily book it here, or if I am in Amsterdam and want to have a special dinner cooked by a professional chef, I can book it here. The next time I be in Lisbon for a shoot and feel like having an old school Portuguese lunch, I can book it here. The options and the variety are almost endless…you see what I mean.

Before I tell you more about my recent Middle Eastern Brunch with a Hummus Master in the Lower East Side last Saturday, I have a confession to make; I know the people who run EatWith. And I know how hard they work to make this global community successful, professional and tasty.

Maya, who is a good friend of mine, joined EatWith group as the VP Product Developer right from the start. In fact, as a foodie, Maya used to cook special dinners for her friends and gradually turned these dinners into a networking get-together and raising money for a good cause. In one of her dinners, Guy Michlin and Shemer Schwartz, EatWith founders, were among the guests. They heard about Maya’s dinners and wanted to meet her in person. It took them one cooked meal to ask Maya to join their team.

Through Maya, I was introduced to Guy. I actually met Guy in Rome for the first time. I was there for a shoot and he was in Italy to recruit hosts. I had the opportunity to hear from Guy himself how did it all start. You can read all about Guy’s story here.

In one of my recent visits to Tel Aviv, I had the opportunity to join one of EatWith dinners. It was nice to see how strangers enjoyed sitting around one table and sharing dinner. ‘Well, of course it is going to work’ I thought to myself, ‘Because Israelis are so easy going and open’. But last Saturday I was so happy to discover that this concept of sitting around one table and sharing a meal with strangers, is quite successful even outside the borders of Israel, and in New York as well. I’m quite sure that if the typical New Yorker who can be sometimes skeptical, invites strangers to his home and cook for them lunch or dinner, than this EatWith vision to bring people together one meal at a time is definitely working.

Bon Appetit!

New York City

24 Hours in New York; My Favorite Spots in my City

January 11, 2013

New York, Manhattan, Photography

As someone who travels for work, I write mostly about places I visit and less about the place where I live, New York. Therefore, when Carla, a great professional photographer in Paris, asked me to blog about New York and be a guest on her blog, I immediately say Yes.

Not only does New York never sleep, it barely reclines. (which suits well my personality). That doesn’t mean you can’t kick back and relax; there are plenty places for that. But if you visit New York, here’s a word to the wise: Pack your most comfortable shoes; Because Manhattanites may not nap much, but they sure do walk a lot.

I am very inspired by New York. I always tell people to carry their cameras. The streets are so dynamic, you can never know when and where you can get your best shot.

Here are some of my favorite things to do in Manhattan and some photogenic locations you want to consider.

6 AM: Grab your running shoes and head to Central Park. Start from Columbus Circle on 59th street and head east and north. Jog around the reservoir (named after Jackie Kennedy Onasis who used to live right by) and then jog back. Grab a coffee to go in one of the two cute little cafes at the entrance to the park.

8 AM: If you are up for a breakfast, my favorite place in my neighborhood is La Pain Quotidien Bakery on 58th street and 7th Ave. Even though it is a Belgium brand (don’t tell anyone) I still love the Parisian atmosphere it has.

11 AM: Head downtown to SoHo area where most of the stores won’t be open before 11 o’clock. Visit the Prada’s flagship store (575 Broadway) designed by Rem Koolhaas and for a minute you can confused it to the Tate Modern than a fancy retail store. Walk around the cobble stone streets and visit Taschen book store, (107 Greene street), Vosges Chocolate (which flavors are inspired by Travel locations) Kate Spade colorful boutique and I’m sure you will find so many more stores.

1 PM: Lunch time. Walk East toward Nolita (North of Little Italy) and make sure you get a table in Cafe Gitane, a French-Morrocan cafes. (242 Mott street). This is one of my favorite places in the city. Don’t miss their cuscus dish. Delish.

New York, Manhattan, Photography

3PM: Walk down to the Lower East Side for a creamy dip from Il Laboratorio del Gelato (95 Orchard st.) and try out their honey lavender and black mission fig flavors. Lower East Side has become quite trendy in the last couple of years, crowded with new restaurants, bars, and gallery spaces alongside original stores with some immigrant touch

4PM: Get energized in China Town with a real Chinese massage. (107 Mott st) I’ve been going there for years. A little China town in Manhattan.

6PM: It’s Gallery time. Head West to Chelsea area and cruise with your drink from one gallery opening to another. Thursday is the day! Make sure to check some good ones along Gallery Line.

8PM: Don’t miss the Highline. New York elevated park. I love this place. so many shooting opportunities for Fashion and Architecture lovers. The highline starts from 30th street all the way to 14th. Get off at 14th. It’s the heart of the Meat Packing Area, where boutique hotels, high end fashion boutiques and best chefs restaurants are all centered in one area. Grab dinner or a drink in Spice MarketFig&Olive, or the Standard Grill and for a second think you are in a ‘Sex and the City’ scene.

New York, Manhattan, Photography

10PM and on it’s Party time: Dream Downtown Hotel and its PHD roof lounge has one of the most spectacular night time view. Drinks are a bit over priced but the view is for free.

2AM: Shopping after a long night of drinking can be dangerous to your credit cards, which is why Apple store on 5th Ave and 59th street is open around the clock. This is the time to shop if you want to avoid the crowd.

4AM: End your journey at the Juvenex Spa (25 west 32nd street) the only 24 hour spa in Manhattan. Try the Spa Foot Rejuvenation treatment because after a day like this you must give priority to your feet

New York City

Today, 11 years ago…

December 30, 2012

Today, 11 years ago, I came to New York.

It was not my first time (I was 20 years old, right after my army service) nor the second time (a trip with my sister after her travels in South America). It was the third time (I was 26 years old and a bit) but this time was not for a visit. This time was to stay.
I remember landing on the evening of December 30th at JFK airport with two suitcases, a camera and a few books. As much as I played it cool and calm, and obviously very excited for one of the greatest adventures of my life, I was also anxious as hell.

I also remember the brief conversation I had with a guy who was sitting next to me on the plane. (after all, it is a common thing we open our hearts to those sitting next to us on the flight, right?) He gave me some basic tips of ‘how to survive the brutal winter in the city’ and one address where I should buy my first NY coat (Paragon).

Today, but 11 years ago, when the immigration officer asked me what was the purpose of my visit, I wanted to tell him that ‘First, I’ll take Manhattan’ but I quickly realized that immigration officers don’t always get my jokes.
I remember on that cold evening of December 30th, I took the Super Shuttle blue van from JFK and handed the driver a note with an address I have never been in. It was somewhere in Kips Bay on the East Side of the city. The taxi winded through Manhattan to get the passengers to their destinations and at some point it crossed the Theater District, just when the crowds spilled out from the theaters to the cold streets. I remember I was so dazzled by all the lights and the flashy signs, that I promised myself not to live in such a busy bustling area.

Well, so I promised! Who knew that a month and a half later I would find a cute apartment in Midtown Manhattan just a few blocks away from the Theater District? And how naive I was to think there are places in Manhattan that are not crowded.

Today, but 11 years ago the days were post-September 11 and the streets of Manhattan were still covered with gray dust. Garbage and debris were everywhere. The walls in Grand Central station were covered with pictures of missing people and those who were lost. Three plus months after the Twin Towers fell down, people were still hoping to find survivors. In those days post September 11 every New Yorker who heard I am an Israeli looked at me with sympathy and tiredness in his eyes as saying ‘Now I really understand what you the Israelis are going through…’

I think the New Yorkers saw a sense of security in me, security that came with my life experience…I really felt safe in Manhattan those days post September 11… but my safety feeling was easily replaced by a chilling discomfort, when I happened to wander into a pro-Palestine demonstration near the UN.

Today, but 11 years ago I was a typical version of a good and naive girl who thought that living abroad is a very brave and courageous thing to do. Since then a lot of things happened. Maybe tons. The naivety slowly faded away and with it I realized that the words ‘Brave’ and ‘Courage’ have so many other meanings.

When I came to New York City a good friend of mine told me that ‘New York sucks you in Sivan, and you can’t really resist its current…just go with the flow..’ and as a swimmer, I know how it works; Just jump into the water and swim.

Since that day, this sentence echoes in my mind me every morning when I wake up. And it doesn’t really matter if I go to swim or not.

Today. But 11 years ago.  

Every morning when I come home from the pool, I walk through Columbus Circle and look up at the digital clock of CNN. I check the time, the current temperature and the date.

These daily habits have become part of my life. They make me laugh.

Every year, on the 30th of December, when I look at the date on the digital clock at Columbus Circle I call my sister or my parents to announce the number of years I have been living in New York City. It also became a habit.

Every year, on the 30th of December I look back at the year that has passed and measure all the things I have done. At the same time I also define my goals for the New Year ahead. New Year resolutions they call it here.

Every December 30th. Every year.

Wishing everyone a happy New Year and great New Year’s resolutions. May all your dreams come true



…this is my New York through the years…

New York, ManhattanNew York, Manhattan

New York City

Chef Constance in Haven’s Kitchen

December 15, 2012

Haven Kitchen, Food, NY, Chef Constance

As I wrote in a previous post, the truth is that I don’t know how to cook.

If you see me in a cooking class, it will not be a mistake or a fata morgana. I will be there for the sake of photographing first and eating after.

I was really happy to hear that Chef Constance from Cook’n With Class, whom I met few months ago during a Morning Market Class in Paris, was coming to NY, my hometown to teach a SeaFood class in Haven’s Kitchen in the West Village.

Meet Chef Constance:

I admire Chef Constance for her charisma and how serious she is about food. The way she talks to people and explains them about the elements of the dish they are about to cook, the way she instructs how to use the cooking tools, and the way she does it both in French and in English, are all things I wish I could do. The only hint about her goofy and playful character is in her un-matching socks she is wearing.

She started cooking when she was eight years old. She used to make cakes every Wednesday in a pastry school. As she didn’t want to go to Ballet classes, her mom made a deal with her: She could go to the cooking class if she would take a Ballet class as well. So she did.

When she turned 15, she started a culinary school for five years. She admits the school was quite demanding, but it was the best training to learn the reality of this job. Some of her training were in Le Bristol, Le Meurice and The Ritz, all five stars hotels in Paris. When school was over she headed to  the Four Season Hotel in Palm Beach, in order to practice both her culinary skills outside of Paris and improve her English.

When she got back to Paris, she got hired as a chef for the American Embassy and the Unesco Ambassador and afterwards she was part of establishing a new restaurant with the sous chef she worked with in Le Bristol, called  Le Cristal de Sel. Mind you, she was not even 30!

After eight years of cooking she joined Cook’n with Class as she felt she was ready to teach others how to cook. If you visit Paris, I highly recommend to book a cooking class with Chef Constance. If you can’t make it to Paris yet, then check Chef Constance’s blog where she shares all the good recipes and the techniques she learned all over the world.

She specializes in fish and sea food. As I share with her the love of swimming, Constance used to do swimming races during her Summer days so it was quite natural for her to go towards products from the Sea.

This is why she taught that great Scallop class in Haven’s Kitchen.

Haven Kitchen, Food, NY, Chef Constance

Haven Kitchen, Food, NY, Chef Constance

The Location: Haven’s Kitchen

Haven’s Kitchen is a two-story-about to be-three stories space for cooking classes, events venue, a neighborhood’s cafe and a gourmet shop. All in one place in West Village. It became a gathering place to reconnect people with food and the community. The classes varies from beginners, wine tasting, barbecue and grilling, Holiday cooking and seasonal classes. As the classes vary, so do the chefs. Constance is not a permanent resident but a guest from Paris. How great is that to be in New York, in such a great school with a chef all the way from Paris!

I love the design of Haven’s Kitchen. The front of the store is a little cafe with a gourmet store and pantry. A tall wood table in the middle of the store, where people can sit, sip their coffees and read some cooking books, all left around on the tables. The pantry sells mostly Made in Brooklyn-Made in New York brands such as delicious jams, teas, chocolates, wines and honey. And then…the kitchen! Big working tables, tons of jars filled with herbs from all over the world, pans, pots, plates of all sizes, utensils and more. Such a well equipped space that makes the cooking seems so easy and obviously, enjoyable.

The second floor has a great space which is rented for some food venues and events and a wine tasting bar. The third floor will have more room for classes in the near future. The space is definitely a cooking Haven.

Haven Kitchen, Food, NY, Chef Constance

Haven Kitchen, Food, NY, Chef Constance

Haven Kitchen, Food, NY, Chef Constance

The Class: Sea Scallop

Even though it might sound easy, It takes longer to make Seas scallop poached into a lettuce leaf with creamy leeks and smoked bacon and Sea scallop roasted with a crust of parmesan cheese with baby spinach than eating it. And yet, all the eight women and the only man who were part of Constance’s class, listened very carefully to what she said and followed her instructions.

In the end it was a lovely dish, accompanied with Baguette and butter, French wine and a citron flavored creamy dessert that Constance prepared in advance.

I wish the pictures could transfer the taste but meanwhile… if you want to try it at home, contact Constance for the recipes.

Haven Kitchen, Food, NY, Chef Constance

Haven Kitchen, Food, NY, Chef Constance

Haven Kitchen, Food, NY, Chef Constance

Haven Kitchen, Food, NY, Chef Constance



Design & Lifestyle New York City

Bergdorf Goodman on Christmas

December 10, 2012

Bergdorf Goodman, Christmas, Window Display, New York, Holiday, 5th Ave

You know it is the Holiday Season in New York by the window displays in the big department stores. A week before ThanksGiving, the windows, which were covered and under constructions, are getting revealed and unveiled with its Christmas decorations.

I must admit that from all Midtown department stores windows displays, Bergdorf Goodman is, by far, the most creative and interesting one. It has been like that for years. And yet, if there is a trend in this year holiday window displays, it has something to do with interactivity.

David Hoey, the creative guru of Bergdorf Goodman’s windows’ display was inspired this year by the Jazz Age. In an audio tour he talks about The BG Follies of 2012, and how he was inspired by entertainments such as the Ziegfeld Follies, Vaudeville revues and Busby Berkeley’s Hollywood musicals of the 1930s.

Act I: By Request

In this first window, there is a black and white homage to Marilyn Monroe in Billy Wilder’s movie Some Like It Hot. The Window is featuring a bird’s eye view of fashion from Marc Jacobs, 3.1 Phillip and Elie Saab. The bird’s eye perspective, according to Hoey, is a well known trick in the design world and in the window displays’ arene and his creative team loves to use that perspective.

Bergdorf Goodman, Christmas, Window Display, New York, Holiday, 5th Ave

Act II: Naughty and Nice

The second window is a tribute to burlesque performer Sally Rand, the inventor of the risque fan dance. The main and only character in this window is covered in thousands of white feathers, used as a   mosaic and was constructed feather by feather (!!!) I can’t even imagine the patience needed for this entirely white window.

Bergdorf Goodman, Christmas, Window Display, 5th Avenue, New York, Design


The third window showcases a collection of mid-century miniature American mannequins once used for display and merchandising, as well as for sewing practice.  It is already well known that David spends months over months, building up these collections until the time is right to use them. So this year Hoey decided it was the right time to use his miniature mannequins collection as 1920s Ziegfeld Follies girls on fifteen miniature stage reproductions made from replica 18th-Century wood moulding in A Cast of a Thousands.

Bergdorf Goodman, Christmas, Window Display, New York, Holiday, 5th Ave

Act IV, Daredevil Act

The forth window (which is my favorite) is Bergdorf Goodman’s novelty act, featuring a runway look from Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen’s Spring 2013 runway collection.  As David said, every show needs a novelty act, and Bergdorf Goodman’s highlight this year is the 24 plaster dogs performing every trick under the sun. ‘Our windows are a practice in making the impossible possible — in twisting complexities to new levels by using old-world craftsmanship and artistry’ David says.  Every surface of Act IV is covered in gold and silver leaf. I just love the red and gold combination and the dogs’ character.

Bergdorf Goodman, Christmas, Window Display, New York, Holiday, 5th Ave

Act V, The Finale

The fifth window’s installation, is a giant mirrored, rotating kaleidoscope. David and his team were sketching prototypes until the team discovered that beveled mirrors moving in both clockwise and counterclockwise movement created the best result.  Approximately 1,000 individually beveled mirrors were used to create this kaleidoscope set into motion by seven separate rotating motors. The effect should be dizzying, psychedelic… an homage to Busby Berkeley’s overhead kaleidoscopic camera shot seen in Footlight Parade.  To complement the mirrored effect in this duo act are two custom-created gowns from Naeem Khan.

Bergdorf Goodman, Christmas, Design, Fifth Avenue, New York

Make sure to check out the Behind the Scene of Bergdorf Goodman’s Holiday windows. You will be amazed of how many people, hours and thoughts are invested in this experience called Bergdorf Goodman Christmas Display. The crew has been working for weeks but the theme has been thought for months already.

The windows will be up till January 3, so if you are in New York, make sure to see them.

Happy Holidays!

New Yorker for a Day

Parisian for a Day

October 23, 2012

Parisian for a Day, Paris, Photoshoot, Fashion

It all started with a random shot of my sister when we were visiting Paris on June for my Birthday. We were walking in Montmartre and we found this beautiful Parisian cafe in Rue Gabrielle, with its amazing red doors and facade. I knew it would be the perfect backdrop to take a picture of hers.

Well, actually this is not exactly when it started.

A few months ago I have launched a new photography service in Manhattan (where I live) called ‘New Yorker for a Day’ in which I offer a photography session for tourists who come to visit the city and want to experience it in a different way and leave it with a long-lasting souvenir. As this service became quite popular among tourists and even among New Yorkers who want to have their pictures taken in the city they live, and since I am visiting Paris few times a year, I have decided to expand it to Paris as well and offer my service in the City of Light.

What can be better than feel like a real Parisian, at least for one day?

For more information and to find out when I am in Paris, drop me a line or send me an email.



Parisian for a Day, Paris, Photoshoot, Fashion

Parisian for a Day, Paris, Photoshoot, Fashion

Parisian for a Day, Paris, Photoshoot, Fashion

Parisian for a Day, Paris, Photoshoot, Fashion

Parisian for a Day, Paris, Photoshoot, Fashion

Parisian for a Day, Paris, Photoshoot, Fashion

Parisian for a Day, Paris, Photoshoot, Fashion

New York City

Fall (in Love) with New York

October 21, 2012

Fall in NY, Central Park, New York

Some posts don’t require words. The pictures speak for themselves.

The Fall season is (in my opinion) the most beautiful and romantic season in New York. I feel lucky enough to live only three blocks away from Central Park and experience the changes of the seasons on a daily basis.

Central Park these days looks like it is a part of a Rorschach test, isn’t it?

Happy Fall Season Everyone!

Fall, Central Park, Foliage, New York

Fall, Central Park, Foliage, New York

Fall, Central Park, Foliage, New York

Fall, Central Park, Foliage, New York

Fall, Central Park, Foliage, New York

Fall, Central Park, Foliage, New York

Fall, Central Park, Foliage, New York