Sex and the City Mania Begins At Midnight

FAMERS it is time to break out your most fierce pair of stilettos, create your best ensemble and get ready to sip on a few cosmos.  Carrie, Charlotte, Samantha and Miranda are back!  Sex and the City 2 opens nationwide in theaters at midnight.  But Manhattan has already gotten carried away.  The New York City premiere was held at Radio City Music Hall on Monday May 24.  Legions of screaming fans showed their support as the cast and other celebs such as Brooke Shields, Liza Minnelli, Ashanti, Whitney Port and Vanessa Williams made their way into the legendary theater.  There was even a special Sex and the City bus.  The countdown is almost over.  Stay tuned for F.A.M.E NYC’S special Sex and the City feature story.

Photo courtesy of Corkery/Daily News

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Bring On the Seamen, the Navy Takes Over NYC

May 26 marks the official start of Fleet Week 2010 in New York City.  Fleet Week is a US Navy, Marine  Corps and Coast Guard tradition that spans over 70 years.  Fleet Week began in New York City in 1984.  Each year active military ships deployed in overseas operations dock in the Hudson Harbor for one week, releasing tons of US approved beefcake loose on the streets of Manhattan.  Besides the sight of all those lovely sailors walking about in their Navy dress whites, Fleet Week is filled with lots of fun free activities.  Below is a list of the 2010 Fleet Week Events.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010:

8:30 am
Parade of Ships
Where: Hudson River on Manhattan’s west side

7 pm
USMC Flyover at NY Mets game
Where: NY Mets Field

Thursday, May 27, 2010:

8 am-5 pm
Free Ship Tours
Where: Pier 88, 48th St/West Side Highway
Where: Stapleton Pier, SI

7-9 am
USMC display
Where: USS Intrepid (Please Note: this is not a free event)

8 am-6 pm
F-18 Flight Simulator
Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Display
USCG Static Displays
Where: Pier 88, 12th & 46th St
Where: Homeport Pier, Staten Island (Static Display)

9-9:30 am
Flag Raising & Morning Colors
Where: New York Public Library

10 am-noon
USMC MAGTF Air/Ground Demo
Location: Coney Island, Brooklyn

11 am-noon
SI Blessing of the Fleet
Where: SI Piers

11 am-1 pm
USCG SAR Helo Demo
Where: NY Harbor near Homeport Pier, SI

6-8 pm
Marine Forces Reserve Band Concert
Where: Central Park Band Shell

Friday, May 28, 2010:

8 am-5 pm
Free Ship Tours
Where: Pier 88, 48th St/West Side Highway
Where: Stapleton Pier, SI

8 am-6 pm
F-18 Flight Simulator
Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Display
USCG Static Displays
Paramount Top Gun Video Kiosks
ONR Static Display
Where: Pier 88, 12th & 46th St
Where: Homeport Pier, SI (Static Display)

9 am-4 pm
USMC Day in Times Square
Where: Times Square

11-11:30 am
USCG SAR Helo Demo
Where: NY Harbor near Homeport Pier, SI

2:30-6 pm
USMC MAGTF Air/Ground Demo
Where: Orchard Beach, Bronx

5-6:15 pm
Navy Band Northeast performs at Times Square
Where:  Times Square

Saturday, May 29, 2010:

8 am-5 pm
Free Ship Tours
Where: Pier 88, 48th St/West Side Highway
Where: Stapleton Pier, SI

8 am-6 pm
F-18 Flight Simulator
Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Display
USCG Static Displays
Paramount Top Gun Video Kiosks
ONR Static Display
NRD NY Static Display
Where: Pier 88, 12th & 46th St
Where: Homeport Pier, SI (Static Display)

9 am-4 pm
Marine Day
Where: Battery Park

Noon-1 pm
MWR Intrepid Cup Sports Tug-O-War
Where: Intrepid Pier

1-3 pm
Navy Band Northeast Concert
Where: Staten Island Pier

Sunday, May 30, 2010:

8 am-5 pm
Free Ship Tours
Where: Stapleton Pier, SI

8 am-5 pm
USMC Static Display
Where: USS Iwo Jima

8 am-6 pm
NRD NY Static Display
Where: Staten Island Piers

8 am-6 pm
USCG Static Display
Where: Homeport Pier, Staten Island

9:30-11:30 am
Catholic Mass
Where: St Patrick’s Cathedral

Noon-2 pm
MWR Intrepid Cup Jousting Competition
Where: Intrepid Pier 86

4 pm
Pier 88 Static Displays
Where: Pier 88, 12th & 46th St.

6-7:15 pm
Navy Band Northeast in Times Square
Where: Times Square

Monday, May 31, 2010:

8 am-5 pm
Free Ship Tours
Where: Pier 88, 48th St/West Side Highway
Where: Stapleton Pier, SI

8 am-5 pm
USMC Static Display
Where: USS Iwo Jima

8 am-6 pm
F-18 Flight Simulator
Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Display
USCG Static Displays
Paramount Top Gun Video Kiosks
ONR Static Display
NRD NY Static Display
Where: Pier 88, 12th & 46th St
Where: Homeport Pier, SI (Static Display)

9:40-11 am
Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Day Observances
Where: Soldiers and Sailors Memorial, Riverside Dr & 89th St, Staten Island

10am-4pm
Raising Citizens: Meet & Greet with US Military
Where: Children’s Museum of Manhattan

10am-4pm
Sailors and Marines at the Bronx Zoo
Where:  Bronx Zoo

11 am-2 pm
Kings County Memorial Day Parade
Where: 3rd Ave & 87th St, Bay Ridge, Brooklyn

11 am-2:30 pm
Allied Veterans Memorial Day Parade
Where: Ridgewood/Glendale, NY

11 am-6 pm
Staten Island Memorial Day Parade
Where: Hart Blvd/Forest Ave

12-1 pm
Manhattan Memorial Day Parade
Where: Broadway/Dyckman Streets

2-5 pm
Memorial Day Parade: Bronx City Island
Where: City Island, Bronx

Tuesday, June 1, 2010:

8 am-5 pm
Free Ship Tours
Where: Pier 88, 48th St/West Side Highway
Where: Stapleton Pier, SI

8 am-6 pm
F-18 Flight Simulator
Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Display
USCG Static Displays
Paramount Top Gun Video Kiosks
ONR Static Display
NRD NY Static Display
Where: Pier 88, 12th & 46th St
Where: Homeport Pier, SI (Static Display)

8 am-noon
USMC World Trade Center Run
Where: Federal Hall to Ground Zero

3-4 pm
USMC Reenlistment / Promotion Ceremony
Where: WTC Site

7 pm
Karaoke Party at the Hard Rock Restaurant
Where: Times Square

The ships and service members will depart from the harbor on June 2.  Happy Fleet Week, and to all the single ladies of Manhattan, happy hunting!

Tony Awards’ Host Promises To Be a Riot

Hosting an award show can be a daunting task.  He/she should be funny without being too offensive, possess great style and have the ability to keep energy of the event high.  This year the Tony Awards could have no better host than Sean Hayes.  The Broadway rookie has been announced to be the host of the 64th annual award show that toasts the best of Broadway.  “I am absolutely thrilled to be hosting the Tony Awards,” said Hayes. “As the new guy on Broadway, it’s an honor to be included in the established alumni.”  While Hayes is a new comer to the Great White Way, he is definitely comfortable being center stage.  Sean Hayes was a comedic sensation as Jack McFarland in the hit show Will & Grace, which ran for eight seasons on NBC.  Currently he is wowing audience-goers at the Broadway Theatre in Promises, Promises.  Witty, charming and full of liveliness, Sean Hayes should fare well as he joins the pantheon of legends that have hosted the Tony Awards.  June 13th  promises to be quite a night.

NYC Gets Naked

Lisa Dinhofer, Barbara Reclining, 13" x 18", unframed, 20" x 25" framed, graphite and chalk on paper, 2004

The Roger Smith Hotel, located at 501 Lexington Avenue, played host to the Great Nude Invitational.  The Great Nude Invitational was an inaugural exhibition held in New York City from May 13 to May 16 that showcased the works of 27 international, burgeoning and well-known artists all of whom are dedicated working with nude subjects.

Meredith Bergmann September 11th 18" x 10" x 12", Bronze, 2001

Using traditional and contemporary styles and mediums, these artists explored the complexity of emotions associated with being comfortable in one’s own skin.  The exhibit proved why the human body has been a subject of fascination for artists and patrons alike for centuries.  What made this exhibit so powerful and unique was that the common dominator was nudity.  Although nudes can be found in most museums I have never been to an exhibit that focused just on nudes.  It was interesting to see how different artists viewed and displayed the body.  The Great Nude Invitational was provacative and compelling.  I look forward to seeing it grow.

Scott-Goodwillie, The Comforts of Home, 24" x 36", Oil on Canvas, 2010

The Great Nude Invitational’s stay was brief, but you can still see the works of these talented artists.  To learn more about nudes in art, the Great Nude Invitational and the Great Nude TV, visit http://thegreatnude.tv/.

Photos courtesy of The Great Nude TV

Class of 2010

The 2010 Tony Award nominees assembled on the steps of the Plaza Hotel on May 20 for an official class photo.   The nominees were all smiles as they posed for pictures, but soon the winners will be revealed.  The 2010 Tony Awards will air live June 13 on CBS.  F.A.M.E NYC wishes good luck to all the nominees. 

Photo: Larry Busacca/Wireimage.com

Broadway Takes Time to Give

On May 17 some of Broadway’s power players gathered at the Four Seasons Hotel to lend their support and signatures to the Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS’ “Time to Give” Auction.  The “Time to Give” auction is a collaboration between Audemars Piguet Swiss watches and the Tony Awards. Each watch will be a one-of-a-kind creation featuring the celebrity’s signature recreated on the back or side.

Kelsey Grammer and Jay-Z

 

Legends of the Great White Way attended the invitation-only auction, conducted by Christie’s Lydia Fenet.  Liev Schreiber’s signature watch sold for $13,000.  Screen and stage veteran Catherine Zeta Jones’ signed timepiece brought in $80,000 and Nathan Lane’s autographed watch sold for $26,000.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Francois-Henry Bennahmias and Vanessa Williams

Meryl Streep is not only a big draw at the box office; she is big draw on the auction block as well.  Her watch sold for $100,000.  Francois-Henry Bennahmias, President and CEO of Audemars Piguet North America, provided a second autographed Meryl Streep Millenary Astrologia watch to a guest willing to match the $100,000 bid.  Kelsey Grammer’s autographed Jules Audemars Chronograph watch sold for $45,000.   Vanessa Williams sang an a cappella rendition of “Losing My Mind,” which she sings in Sondheim on Sondheim, live after someone paid $50,000 for her watch.  Jay-Z brought in the highest price of the evening for his autographed Royal Oak Offshore Las Vegas Strip timepiece.  His signature watch and signed poster from Fela! sold for $220,000. 

Other celebrities that lent their signatures to Audemars Piguet watches were Antonio Banderas, Kristin Chenoweth, Alan Cumming, Edie Falco, Whoopi Goldberg, Sean Hayes, Neil Patrick Harris, David Hyde Pierce, Hugh Jackman, Jane Krakowski, Angela Lansbury, Cyndi Lauper, John Lithgow, Sienna Miller, Bebe Neuwirth, Cynthia Nixon, Chita Rivera and Anika Noni Rose.  Fifteen of the autographed Swiss timepieces are still available for bidding at www.charitybuzz.com/audemarspiguet.  The auction closes on May 24.

Photos: © Bill Davila/startraksphotos.com

The Art of Living

Art plays a pivotal component in the chromaticity, aura, composition and overall look of a space.  Generally when we see art, it is in a museum or gallery with white or bricked backgrounds and minimal furniture; a curator designs the space to tell a story about the art and the artist.  But when bringing art into our home, the task can be a bit challenging.  Most people approach buying art with the same methodology used for buying clothes, shoes and accessories, purchasing separate pieces and afterward attempting to create a chic look. Rarely, does one obtain a complete ensemble at one time.

Karen Chien, Jessica Porter and Dominic Lepere

Stylists are hired to create memorable looks for their clients and interior decorators do the same for rooms; however the look is expected to last a lot longer than a 15 minute photo op.  That is why it is essential to blend the right art, lighting, furniture, textiles and other decorations in order to produce a room that is reflective of the owner’s personality.  But in today’s economy not all of us can afford to hire an interior decorator.  Luckily, three of Manhattan’s connoisseurs of creation have produced an exhibit that combines stunning works of art and sleek, modern pieces of furniture.   Art & Living: Emerging Interiors opened May 13 and combined the talents of Karen Chien (Cheeky Living), Dominic Lepere (Lepere showroom) and Jessica Porter (Raandesk Gallery).

Art & Living: Emerging Interiors is comprised of several mini-room installations and is a unique display of style and function.  Walls of the intimate spaces are adorned with artwork from Juan Astica (Buenos Aires), Anne Marchand (Washington D.C.), Teresa Pereda (Buenos Aires), Matej Sitar (Slovenia), Laura Viñas (Buenos Aires) and Roy Wiemann (New York City).   Massachusetts sculptor Andrew Maglathlin’s three dimensional pieces were featured on end pieces and tables.  Raandesk Gallery owner Jessica Porter chose to showcase artists whose art was more abstract; their color palettes enhanced the furniture.  The furniture was comfortable and contemporary.  During the opening reception, guests mingled, sipped glasses of sparkling wine and turned the showroom into a real living space.  Watching people bring the exhibit to life truly illustrates how a beautifully designed area assists in promoting good feelings.

Art & Living: Emerging Interiors will be on display at Lepere showroom, located at 20 West 22nd Street, Suite 1105, until July 5th.  To learn more about Cheek Living, Lepere and Raandesk Gallery, please visit www.cheekyliving.com, http://lepereinc.com and http://raandeskgallery.com.

Photos and slideshow courtesy of MyNameIsPhoto.com and F.A.M.E NYC Editor

Promise Fulfilled

As I stood outside the Broadway Theatre, my original thought was maybe the name for this production should’ve been changed to lines, lines.  The appeal of this play was obvious from the procession of people with tickets in hand anticipating the opening of the doors. While I slowly made my way inside the venue, I had another thought.  I realized that every time the curtains rise on a stage a promise is made.  So what do you get when you combine a concept based on a Billy Wilder and I.A.L. Diamond screenplay, a book by Neil Simon, music by Burt Bacharach and lyrics by Hal David? You get a formula for success, success.  And that is exactly what the revival of Promises, Promises is.

Sean Hayes, Kristen Chenoweth and cast had huge shoes to fill.  The original 1968 production garnered a Grammy award for Best Cast Recording and two Tony awards.  The simple, soft, yet potent elegance of Burt Bacharach’s and Hal David’s music is deeply woven in the fabric of pop culture.  Songs like “I Say a Little Prayer”, “I’ll Never Fall in Love Again”, “Promises, Promises”, and “A House Is Not a Home” have been indelibly ingrained on the psyche of any music lover thanks impart to iconic singers like Dionne Warwick, Luther Vandross and Aretha Franklin.  The musical is based on the hilarious, Oscar winning comedy, The Apartment, starring Jack Lemmon and Shirley McClain.   Although I was not alive when the original musical appeared on Broadway, the music and movie it was based on is very familiar to me.  Needless to say, I had high expectations and I was not disappointed. 

From the opening overture to the reprise of “I’ll Never Fall in Love Again”, Promises, Promises delivered absolute amusement.  What a joy it was to witness Burt Bacharach’s and Hal David’s music come alive in a way I had never experienced before.  Sean Hayes was born to play the charming, ambitious to a fault Chuck Baxter, a young bachelor that works at Consolidated Life.  Will & Grace showed he had the comedic chops, but his overall talent shines in this musical comedy.  He is exceptional in his Broadway debut, so much so that his portrayal of Chuck has garnered a Tony nomination for Best Actor in a Musical.   His constant breaking of the fourth wall in order to narrate the story was a scream. 

Kristen Chenoweth is simply adorable as the sadder but wiser Fran Kubelik, the young waitress that has an affair with a married executive, played by Tony Goldwyn, and is the girl of Chuck’s dreams.  Her renditions of “Whoever You Are”, “A House Is Not a Home”, “I Say a Little Prayer” and “I’ll Never Fall in Love Againare heavenlyShe and Sean are a delight to watch and have great chemistry. 

 

 

 

The slinky, Fossesque choreography of Rob Ashford was right on queue.  The hip-swiveling, energetic moves harkens back to a time when the mash potato, frug and monkey ruled. Rob Ashford received a Tony nomination for Best Choreography and it is well deserved.  Combined with the orchestrations of Jonathan Tunick, 2010 Tony nominee for Best Orchestrations, Promises, Promises provides its audience with a knock out punch.  

For me the breakout star of this musical comedy is Katie Finnerman.  She is a sensation as the brassy, sex-crazed Marge MacDougall.  She delivers some of the most side-splitting lines of the show and is one of the reasons why “A Fact Can Be a Beautiful Thing” has become my favorite number.   Tony Goldwyn and Dick Latessa also give stand out performances as J.D. Sheldrake, the womanizing executive, and Dr. Dreyfuss, Chuck’s cynical neighbor.

Set in Manhattan during the early 60s, Promises, Promises transports the audience back to a simpler time just before the nation lost its innocence from the eruption of Vietnam War protests, assassinations and riots.  The show is filled with unethical and immoral subject matter, yet in the wake of all the ills that plague us today, infidelity, nepotism, attempted suicide and turkey lurking hardly seems like issues that would raise any eyebrows.  Besides, I so entertained by the performances of the cast that the depravity of the show themes did not register.  Sexy…witty…gut-busting humor…memorable music Promises, Promises has it all.  It is a tremendous triumph.

After seeing Promises, Promises I walked the streets of the new Times Square floating on a cloud of Bacharach.  Once you see it, you will fall in love and stay in love with the revival of this groovy musical.  I promise.

FAMERS to order discount tickets for Promises, Promises, click  http://www.promisespromisesbroadway.com/PPAMC56.php.

Photos courtesy of Promises, Promises.com and Broadway.com

Pockets of Beautiful An Interview with Laura Salierno

FAMERS a few months ago I wrote about Raandesk Gallery, an online art gallery.  One of the artists I have been exposed to through Raandesk was Laura Salierno.  She is a photographer that takes the random flashes of life and turns them into framed eternities.  March 3:42 p.m. was the photo that drew me in.  The complexity of the picture wove so many stories in that one shot that I was compelled to look further into her work.  As I explored her work, I realized that all her photos shared that same complex frailty and depth, proving what a magnificent medium photography is.  Recently I was able to interview this vibrant young photographer and learn more about how she sees the world.

SKYLINE/BOOTS (2006), Two individual C-Prints, unframed, 16" x 20" each,

Was photography a passion you had since you were a child?

 

 

I was always very interested in art, loving to draw and paint, but I found photography later. I started to become interested in it at a young age, but it was not until college that I really developed a love for it.

At what age did you begin taking pictures?

 I am not really sure. I always took pictures, mainly of our pets and local squirrels.

At what age did you receive your first camera (Polaroid, disposable camera, etc.)?

I was probably around five or six. It was a bright pink point and shoot, and I loved it. I got my first SLR 35mm camera when I was eighteen.

PLAZA 8 (FROM THE PLAZA HOTEL) (2005-2006), Chromogenic print, 16″ x 20″

How did the darkroom influence your love of photography?

 

I really fell in love with the darkroom in college; it was a quiet place for me. The process of standing in the dark and watching your work come to life really enchanted me. I worked in the darkroom during my time in school and printing almost became therapeutic for me, it is such a craft and a labor of love.

As a photographer that works with different forms of photography, what do you believe are the drawbacks of digital photography?

I think that the biggest drawback of digital photography is that less people print out their photos and create albums. I would hate to see photo albums disappear; they are such wonderful tactile experiences of personal memory. I am also scared that people will slowly stop learning how to develop and print film. Digital photography has some really great benefits. You don’t have to (despite how much I love it) expose yourself and the environment to the caustic chemicals in the darkroom, and in a lot of ways digital photography is more accessible to people.

Seeing the world through a camera lens, how do you see the world?

I tend to see the world as a series of small moments, little pockets of beautiful, even if [it’s] sometimes ugly events. Plus I am always looking up; sometime I think I must look like a tourist on the streets.

MARCH 3:42 PM (2005), C print, shot on 645, 220 Fuji film, printed on Fuji crystal archive paper with a luster finish, 24″ x 20″

My favorite photo is March 3:42 p.m., could you tell me more about that photo?

 

This photo is part of a large body of work that is really about those in between moments in life, the times when you are not really doing much of anything. These pauses really make up a lot of a lifetime. I think of these shots as a kind of removed self-portraits, although they feature different people, they are all me observing the beauty in the still times during life. 

Could you tell me more about the SKYLINE/BOOTS series and what prompted you to begin that project?

I thought that it was important to support New Orleans after Katrina, so I went with a few friends for the first Mardi Gras. I thought it would be a gesture of both economic and emotional support, especially since this Mardi Gras was severely under attended. I did not have any real project in mind before I went down there. While visiting it hit me that I was there during such a strange moment, I thought that the juxtaposition of images of the damage from Katrina and the celebration of Mardi Gras was an important thing to share; it spoke loudly of the grace and spirit of New Orleans to me. It also struck me as a fleeting moment something that hopefully will never happen again.

Could you tell me more about the Plaza Series?

The Plaza Series was also a project that sort of found me. The initial concept behind The Plaza series sprang from a conversation with a friend about the ensuing liquidation sale of all merchandise tied to The Plaza Hotel. I immediately wanted to capture that moment especially since The Plaza was such an iconic hotel. I really wanted to make sure that someone captured it in this transitional stage. I joined my friend and went through the hotel trying to capture the eerie nature of such a scene. I am really happy that I seized that moment, I feel as though it is a special time in the history of The Plaza, one that may not come along again.

NEW YORK CITY AQUARIUM (BOYS) (2004), Chromogenic print, 16″ x 20″

How does living in New York influence your photography?

I think that New York influences my work in the same way that it influences anyone who lives here; it is a constant stream of information, visual and other. I think that being in NY you are exposed to such a variety of scenes and happenings that you can’t help but allow them to color your existence. 

To view more of Laura Salierno’s photos, visit www.raandeskgallery.com/artist.php?artistId=22.

Photos courtesy of Raandesk Gallery

Model Search 2010

The next top model might not be found by Tyra Banks; she might just be an email away.  Models International is conducting their 2010 model search.  Models International is a boutique agency that prides themselves on giving their models acute focus and attention.  The agency originally started in Los Angeles and opened a division in Manhattan two years ago.  Andrienne Kennedy is the Director of New Faces; she is responsible for the general appearance of the women’s board.  Models International is looking for young women who want to fashion a career in modeling and are serious about being successful.    “I am looking for stars!  This model search is a perfect outlet to scout new faces that can be the future faces of Models International,” Andrienne says. 

To enter Models International’s 2010 model search email your age, contact information, bust, waist and hip measurements and four color photographs to scoutny@mi-agency.com no later than June 15.  The winner will be selected on June 21 and will receive an exclusive modeling contract with Models International NY.

For more information about Models International NY, please visit www.mi-agency.com.   Stay tuned to find out which lucky girl is selected the winner.