Architect Francis Fleetwood

 

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This style of house is certainly very popular-I thought the perception of why this seems to be true is interesting.

 

NEW YORK — Francis Fleetwood, who drew on the work of Stanford White to transform the architectural aesthetic of the Hamptons on Long Island from the relatively modest, minimalist beach houses that reflected postwar modernism to the shingled Victorian behemoths that evoke the Gilded Age, died May 8 at his home in Wellington, Fla. He was 68.

The cause was a blood clot, his brother, Blake, said.

After opening his own firm, Fleetwood & McMullan, in 1980, Mr. Fleetwood designed more than 200 homes in the Hamptons, many of them encompassing tens of thousands of square feet, costing tens of millions of dollars and commissioned by clients who did not blink at the price.

Among them were celebrities like Alec Baldwin, Lauren Bacall, Calvin Klein, and Paul McCartney, as well as private-equity investors and commodities traders who would let Architectural Digest photograph their trophy habitats on the condition that the magazine not reveal their names.

Architects of the angular, flat-roofed houses that proliferated on the East End of Long Island in the 1950s and beyond also catered to the wealthy. But those buildings — made of wood, stone, poured concrete and glass — were unassuming by comparison. Mr. Fleetwood’s shingled, sprawling creations, produced for a more extravagant moneyed class, suggest a kind of homey grandeur.

“The shingle style is the only truly indigenous architecture of the United States,” Mr. Fleetwood told The New York Times in 1991. “Every other style, including modern architecture, had its roots elsewhere.”

“People are looking for roots,” he said in another interview. “They’d all love to be born into a grand old house that had been handed down through the generations. So would I.”

Francis Freile Fleetwood was born in Santiago, Chile. His father, Harvey, was a banker. His mother, the former Maria Freile, is a psychoanalyst.

Besides his brother and mother, he leaves his wife, Stephanie; a daughter, Catherine Newsome; a stepson, Michael Orhan; three grandchildren; and two sisters, Carmen Paul and Charlotte Fleetwood.

After moving to New York with his mother and older brother before turning 2, he attended the Dalton, Fessenden, and Riverdale Schools, graduated from Bard College and earned a master’s degree in architecture from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1973.

At Bard, before deciding to pursue a career as an architect, Fleetwood had different designs on the kind of capitalists who would become his clients.

“I was a Marxist back then,” he told the college’s alumni bulletin, “and we would hold secret meetings every week, planning the overthrow of the school, the government, the world.”

Before establishing his own firm, in East Hampton, he worked for an architect in Aspen, Colo., and for Philip Johnson in New York on the AT&T and Neiman Marcus buildings and other projects.

In 2001, Forbes magazine put Mr. Fleetwood on its list of leading architects, calling him “the architect for the A-list in the Hamptons.”

His asymmetrical style featured gables, turrets and expansive porches that connected the interior of his houses to their typically spacious grounds and vistas. Another hallmark was a low, sweeping roofline with an Oriental curvature and red-brick chimneys that rose well above it.

By Sam Roberts NEW YORK TIMES  MAY 27, 2015

Bombas Socks (It To You!)

 

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I am always impressed with start up companies and/or entrepreneurs.  I would like to highlight 3 over the next few days that I have come across lately and gotten to know.

The first is a company called Bombas. This is from their website:

We wanted to create something scalable. The solution? A company that donates a pair of socks for every pair sold. The more socks we sell, the more we can donate. And how do you sell a lot of socks? Design something better than anything on the market.
Bee Better
The word Bombas is derived from the Latin word for bumblebee. Bees work together to make the hive a better place. We like that. When we say Bee Better, we mean it as a mantra, a way of approaching every day. It’s stitched into the inside of every pair of Bombas for a reason. It’s a reminder to push yourself harder to be better at your athletic pursuits. A reminder that these socks are engineered and designed with thought to bee better. A reminder that you helped someone in need with your purchase. And a reminder that we’re all connected and little improvements can add up to make a big difference.
Giving Back
For every pair of Bombas you purchase, we’ll donate a pair to someone in need. Already this year, we’re committed to donating tens of thousands of pairs of socks, with lots more to come. It’s the reason we started this company and the motivation to keep designing and producing better socks.

The World Trade Center in NYC

Talk about construction! I was just in New York and walked by the World Trade Center building site. I couldn’t help but gasp at the enormous task for all involved.  The complex of buildings will replace the earlier complex of 7 buildings on the same site with the same name. The site is being rebuilt with six new skyscrapers,a memorial to those killed in the attacks(the 2 beautiful reflecting pools with granite edging with the names carved into it-so thoughtful in that you can place a flower in the name itself)) and a transportation hub.

In August 2012, One World Trade Center’s steel officially topped out at the nominal 104th floor, at a total height of 1,368 feet. The tower’s antenna was shipped to New York in November 2012; the first antenna section was hoisted to the top of the tower on December 12, 2012, and installed on January 15, 2013.

By March 2013, two sections of the antenna had been installed. The spire was expected to be completed on April 29, 2013, but weather delayed the delivery of the final pieces.On May 10, 2013, the final piece of the spire was lifted to the top of One World Trade Center, bringing it to its full height of 1,776 feet, and making it the fourth tallest building in the world. Port Authority Vice Chairman Scott Rechler said on September 9, 2014 that it will open this November.

The Four World Trade Center is on track for completion and occupancy by  the end of 2014. The Museum opened on May 21, 2014.The Three World Trade Center and the Transportation Center are also making progress and are set to be finished by around 2015. Two World Trade Center’s full construction has been placed on hold until tenants are found, but it is still expected to be completed before 2020.

 

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Faberge Eggs in Manhattan

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The Fabergé Big Egg Hunt is the world’s biggest egg hunt, with over 260 egg sculptures individually created by leading artists and designers. The sculptures will be placed across the five boroughs of New York City. The Fabergé Big Egg Hunt will officially start on Tuesday, April 1, at 7:00 a.m. and will run until Thursday, April 17, at 11:59 p.m. Following the hunt, all the eggs will be placed in Rockefeller Center until Friday, April 25.

Artists who have designed the eggs include Jeff Koons, Tracey Emin, Marc Quinn, Bruce Weber and Peter Beard, and fashion brands including Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, Carolina Herrera, Marchesa, Oscar de la Renta and Diane von Furstenberg.

They were very neat to look at-pictured above were some of my favorites.

Central Park

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What a beautiful day to spend time in Central Park.On Saturday it was packed with kids and parents,tourists and couples just out strolling. Outside of the park I even saw my first Cupcake ATM! The history of the Park is very interesting:

Central Park, the first major landscaped public space in urban America, was created in the 1850s as an antidote to the turbulent social unrest, largely as the result of the country’s first wave of immigration, and a serious public health crisis, caused by harmful environmental conditions. Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, the winners of the 1858 design competition for Central Park, along with other socially conscious reformers understood that the creation of a great public park would improve public health and contribute greatly to the formation of a civil society. Immediately, the success of Central Park fostered the urban park movement, one of the great hallmarks of democracy of nineteenth century America.

By the early twentieth century, vicissitudes of the social, political and economic climate threatened the fabric of the Park and caused its first serious decline. Robert Moses, park commissioner from 1934 to 1960, received federal funding for the restoration of many eroded landscapes and crumbling structures, and embarked on massive public programming for the post-Depression populace. When he left office, however, there was no management strategy for maintaining those improvements or educating Park visitors in proper stewardship, and for the next two decades the second — and most devastating— decline took its toll on the fragile 843-acre Park.

Physically the Park was in a chronic state of decay. Meadows had become barren dustbowls; benches, lights, and playground equipment were broken, and the one-hundred-year-old infrastructure was crumbling. Socially, the Park bred a careless, even abusive attitude towards the Park evidenced by unchecked amounts of garbage, graffiti, and vandalism. Positive use had increasingly been displaced by illicit and illegal activity. The perception — and in many cases, the reality— of Central Park was of a lawless and dangerous ruin. Despite a workforce of over three hundred Parks Department employees assigned to Central Park, there was no accountability. New York City had abdicated their responsibility as Park stewards and, as a result, this national treasure became a national disgrace.

To help remedy this troubled situation, George Soros and Richard Gilder, under the aegis of the Central Park Community Fund, underwrote a management study of Central Park in 1974 by E.S. Savas, who was at that time the Columbia University School of Business, Professor of Public Systems Management. The groundbreaking study proposed that two important initiatives be implemented to ameliorate the conditions in Central Park: one, that a Chief Executive Officer be given “clear and unambiguous managerial authority” for all Park operations, and two, a Central Park Board of Guardians be created to oversee strategic planning and policy, thereby instituting private citizen involvement in their public park.

The study’s first proposal resulted in the appointment in 1979 of Elizabeth “Betsy” Barlow (now Rogers), a Yale-educated urban planner and writer, who became the newly created Central Park administrator, charged with overseeing all aspects of the Park’s daily operations, in essence the Chief Executive Officer recommended in the Savas study. For four years before her appointment, Betsy had been overseeing the Central Park Task Force’s program for summer youth interns, eventually becoming the head of that small, private organization, financially separate from the City but existing under the aegis of the Parks Department.

Given her new official status and responsibilities as administrator, Betsy first conceived of and then helped to create a revolutionary public/private partnership with the support of then park commissioner Gordon Davis that would bring private monies and expertise in partnership with the City of New York to manage and restore Central Park. In 1980, the two most prominent private advocacy groups — the Central Park Task Force and the Central Park Community Fund — merged to become the Central Park Conservancy —  the citizen-based Board of Guardians that the Savas study had essentially recommended.

Under a Conservancy-funded master plan, the gradual restoration of those decrepit landscapes evolved, and success bred success. As the Conservancy showed its ability to protect and maintain its investment, many more private individuals, foundations and corporations put their trust and their money into the restoration of the Park. To date, the Conservancy has had three successful capital campaigns towards rebuilding Central Park. The first campaign was launched in 1987; the second, “The Wonder of New York Campaign,” was launched when Richard Gilder made a challenge grant to the Conservancy and the City in 1993. The work was continued in the “Campaign for Central Park,” which ended in 2008, ensuring the completion of the Park’s transformation. Most importantly, for the first time in the Park’s turbulent history, the Conservancy has created an endowment that will ensure a sustainable green and healthy future for Central Park.

In 1998 a historic management agreement between the Conservancy and the City of New York formalized the then 18-year public-private partnership. With that contract Douglas Blonsky, who began his career in 1985 in the Conservancy’s Capital Projects office as a landscape architect supervising construction projects, assumed Betsy’s title of Central Park administrator. In 2004 he assumed the additional role of president of the Conservancy and CEO, responsible for not only the Park’s management but also all fundraising and administrative duties.

Blonsky created innovative management practices to ensure that those healthy new landscapes would have a skilled and dedicated staff to maintain them in a professional manner. His clear vision for a well-managed and well-maintained Park took the Conservancy’s design and restoration vision one step further with the implementation of Zone Management System, which brought accountability, pride of workmanship, and clear and measurable results to the Conservancy and Parks Department staff under his jurisdiction. Under this pioneering system, the Park is divided into 49 geographic zones for managerial purposes, each headed by a zone gardener, who in turn supervises grounds technicians and volunteers.

The Park’s restorations gradually fostered important social changes in public behavior that returned the sanctity of public space to Central Park and ultimately to New York City at large. The American ideal of a great public park and its importance as a place to model and shape public behavior and enhance the quality of life for all its citizens once again defines the measurement of a great municipality. Towards this goal, the Conservancy was first in its demonstration of zero tolerance for both garbage and graffiti. An immediate call to action came when even the slightest sign of vandalism appeared in the Park — a busted lamppost or broken bench, for example— and became the tipping point, that turned public opinion of Central Park from one of dire repulsion to one of deep respect.

Today Central Park has never been more beautiful or better managed in the Park’s 156-year history, and the Conservancy is proud to be the leader of the Park’s longest period of sustained health and beauty. To date the Conservancy has raised $700million towards the restoration, programming and management of Central Park and is responsible for 75 percent of this year’s annual operating budget of $58.3million. Furthermore, just as Central Park was the leader in the birth of urban parks, so today Central Park, through the Conservancy’s innovative care and expertise, is the leader in the rebirth of urban parks, public spaces and the quality of life movement. City officials and park professionals from across America and around the world come to the Central Park Conservancy Institute for Urban Parks to learn of its best practices to restore and manage their local parks.

Beautiful

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I went to NYC this past weekend and while there saw “Beautiful” which tells the story of Carole King from her early days as a Brooklyn teenager (named Carol Klein) struggling to enter the record business to her years spent as a chart-topping music legend.

It also touches on the friendship and competition between Gerry Goffin and Carole King(who were married) with Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil to create the best hits of that time period in the 60’s.

Much to our surprise the REAL Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil were there at the performance we went to! They raffled off the original sheet music to “On Broadway” and “You’ve Lost That Lovin’Feeling” (which they wrote) at the end of the performance.

With the music and the choreography which showed the songwriters busy at work( and then suddenly “The Drifters” or “The Shirelles” would appear and sing the song as we all know it), it really brought back a lot of great memories and I highly recommend seeing it. Jessie Mueller is absolutely fabulous as Carole King-you can feel her confidence growing as her singing gets stronger and stronger.And of course, the rest is history once “Tapestry” was produced.

 

The Tonight Show Today

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I have special feelings for the Tonight Show as when it was filmed in NYC and the host was Johnny Carson -Ed McMahon and Doc Severinsen lived in my hometown of Larchmont and even went to my church. My Dad also looked a lot like Johnny Carson and if someone asked for an autograph as he was walking to work in NYC, he would say “do you think  I am Johnny Carson?” and if they said yes he would sign! Tonight will be the premiere of Jimmy Fallon as host.It is scheduled to make its debut tonight, on Monday, February 17, 2014, following Jay Leno’s second retirement as host ofThe Tonight Show on February 6, and will be the seventh incarnation of the franchise.

The show is to be broadcast from Studio 6B at NBC Studios in New York City, the same studio whereJack Paar hosted The Tonight Show throughout his tenure and where Johnny Carson hosted The Tonight Show from 1962 to 1972 before moving the show to Burbank. The show is being produced by former Daily Show executive producer Josh Lieb and executive produced by Lorne Michaels. Fallon’s house band on Late Night, The Roots, will serve as The Tonight Show Band, with Questlove serving as  bandleader.Steve  Higgins will follow Fallon to The Tonight Show to serve as Fallon’s announcer and sidekick.

On April 3, 2013, NBC announced that Jay Leno will retire in 2014, with Jimmy Fallon taking over The Tonight Show beginning on February 24, 2014. At Leno’s suggestion, the date was moved forward by one week to February 17, 2014 to use NBC’s coverage of the 2014 Winter Olympics as a springboard for Fallon’s tenure. The date was later moved up a week to February 17, midway through the Olympics.

NBC spent approximately $5 million renovating Studio 6B, where Fallon had been taping Late Night, for The Tonight’s show return to New York City. On September 3, 2013, Late Night moved to Studio 6A, built as an exact replica of Studio 6B. The upgraded 6B is expected to have a new look and infrastructure and will be able to seat 240 people, up from 189.The larger audience also meant NBC could take advantage of a newly enacted New York state tax credit for talk shows that are “filmed before a studio audience of at least 200, as long as they carry a production budget of at least $30 million and have been shot outside New York for at least five seasons.”

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