Carlos Scarpa Glasswork on Display at The Met

On Nov. 5, The Metropolitan Museum of Art unveiled Venetian Glass by Carlo Scarpa The Venini Company, 1932–1947.   Born in 1906 in Venice Italy, Carlos Scarpa studied architecture at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Venice and graduated in 1926 with the qualification of being “professor of architectural drawing.” Between 1926 and 1932, he worked at M.V.M. Cappellin glassworks.  During Scarpa’s next position at Venini Glassworks (1932 and 1947) his talents redefined the art glass-blowing.  The medium of glass-blowing is a tradition that spans centuries on the Venetian island of Murano.  Scarpa and the Venini factory became the leaders of innovation experimenting with surface texture, silhouettes and color.

4. Truncated cone-shaped glass vase of murrine romane_Scarpa

Truncated cone-shaped glass vase of murrine romane

The exhibition features close to 300 selected pieces, which are organized chronologically and divided into groups according to technique.  Two of the techniques showcased are bollicine, named for the bubbles of air trapped inside, and mezza filigrana, the art of blowing glass as thinly as possible into objects weighing just a few ounces each. Venetian Glass by Carlo Scarpa The Venini Company, 1932–1947 will run until March 2, 2014 and was made possible in part by the Jane and Robert Carroll Fund.

Photos courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Rare Torah on Display at The Met

Beginning October 1, The Met debuts a rare 15-century handwritten copy of the Mishneh Torah by the renowned medieval scholar Moses Maimonides.  The work will be showcased in The Lawrence A. and Barbara Fleischman Gallery of Late Medieval Secular Art among other 15th-century works from Europe and will remain at The Met through January 5, 2014.

Created in Northern Italy around 1457 by Marco Barbo, Bishop of Treviso, the Hebrew text includes the eight final books of the Mishneh Torah, or “Repetition of the Law,” the first systematic collection of Jewish law. Amassed between 1170 and 1180 by rabbi, physician, and philosopher Moses Maimonides, the Mishneh Torah is organized by subject matter and contains six large painted panels decorated in exquisite pigments and gold leaf and 41 smaller illustrations with gold lettering decorating the opening words of each chapter.

The beautifully adorned text was acquired jointly by The Metropolitan Museum and The Israel Museum in Jerusalem in April. Prior to its presentation at the Metropolitan, the manuscript underwent restoration at the Israel Museum, where it has been on long-term loan since 2007 and on view to the public since 2010. The Mishneh Torah was purchased for The Israel Museum by René and Susanne Braginsky, Zurich; Renée and Lester Crown, Schusterman Foundation  and Judy and Michael Steinhardt. It was purchased for The Metropolitan Museum of Art with Director’s funds and Judy and Michael Steinhardt Gift.

The Met Receives Cubist Donation

If any of you read “Dating F.A.M.E NYC Style”, then you know is one of my favorite places to go on a date is the Metropolitan Museum of Art and soon visitors will have more to view thanks to the emeritus chairman of cosmetics giant Estee Lauder.  Leonard A. Lauder, who is one of the foremost collectors of cubist art, has donated 78 Cubist pieces worth more than $1 billion dollars.

article-0-1938D348000005DC-285_306x423The collection includes 33 works by Pablo Picasso, 17 by Georges Braque, 14 by Juan Gris, and 14 by Fernand Léger. Picasso’s “The Scallop Shell” from 1912, “Woman in an Armchair” from 1913, and “Still Life with Cards, Glasses, and a Bottle of Rum ‘Vive la France’” from 1914 are the biggest gems of this donated treasure chest.   The collection will premiere in 2014 at The Leonard A. Lauder Research Center for Modern Art, giving Thomas Crown wannabes another reason to salivate.  A $22 million endowment from Lauder and other museum trustees and benefactors will fund the construction for the new research center.

Photo:  Georges Braque’s 1908 “Arbres a líEstaque (Trees at LíEstaque)” –  AP


Dating F.A.M.E NYC Style

Spring 2013 is here and despite the flip-flopping weather, it appears not to be going anywhere soon.  Spring always brings with it an air of romance and New York City is a great place to have a fling.  If you already have a significant other, NYC can certainly assist in keeping the spice alive in your relationship and offers a smorgasbord of things to do, places to stay and gastro pubs to pack on calories ( that you can work off later).   A relationship novice only chooses holidays and other special occasions to show affection, but if you want the flame of your love to burn bright you had better stoke to those fires more often.  Date night in New York City is play land of possibilities.  So to all my love-struck FAMERS, this piece is for you.   I’m going to share with you my top five places to go, restaurants and hotels to create an awesomely romantic date any day or night.


Empire State Building – Hey…it worked for Carey Grant and Deborah Kerr and Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan; it could work for you and your mate.  The observation deck of the Empire State Building is indeed a place to spark romance.   Standing in the heavens with the city all around you can render a “top of the world” feeling.  There is no better time to grab your lover for a kiss or to drop to one knee for a sky-high proposal.

themetmuseumMetropolitan Museum of Art – The Met was the first date for Pierce Brosnan and Renee Russo in the remake of The Thomas Crown Affair.  Crown was a billionaire; he could take his date anywhere he wanted, but for all the rest of the 99 percentile, The Met can provide a modest date.  Priceless works of art, the ability to travel to different eras in history all for a small nominal fee.  Who needs a time machine?  Afterwards, you can take advantage of the closeness of Central Park and spring for a horse and carriage ride.  If you want to put a twist on the old horse and carriage idea, rent a luxury vehicle and cruise the park and city in opulence.

Meat Packing District – In a city filled with trendy spots, the Meat Packing District remains one of the trendiest.  You could take your honey-bunny on a shopping spree.  If you are planning an evening date, go clubbing or go on your own private bar crawl.  You could add a little role play and play the “sexy stranger” game at each new lounge or club you go to.

Times Square – Times Square is the heart of The Big Apple.  Just the luminosity of the place delivers 120 watts of electricity to your body.  You can take your beloved to dinner and a show, take in a little shopping or just sit and watch the show New York City provides via the traffic, street performers and passersby. 

Hayden PlanetariumHayden Planetarium – When I was a girl, I saw a laser light show set to The Beatles music.  The Hayden Planetarium has been one my favorite places in the city ever since. Part of the American Museum of Natural History, the Hayden Planetarium has been a New York institution since 1935.  Create some rockets in flight and a little afternoon delight, take a date into the stratosphere and canoodle under the stars. 






Mari Vanna – Russian food and old world romance on the east side.  Oh, and did I mention they make their own Vodka.  The décor is charming.  Even if Russian cuisine doesn’t necessarily strike a chord with your palette, I guarantee that you will score points with the venue as well as the food, which is very comforting.  And if all else fails, you can get your mate drunk – nostrovia lovers!

the-lambs-clubThe Lamb’s Club – Located in Times Square, The Lamb’s Club is an experience that rivals any on Broadway.  Taking American cuisine to the next level, Chef Geoffrey Zakarian and partners have created a cool, yet opulent spot to dine before or after a show.  The menu has a wealth of great selections and scrumptious drinks.  Make sure to make it a 24-karat meal and order the Gold Rush (my mouth is watering just thinking about it).




Courgette Restaurant & Bistro – Yummy is the first word that comes to mind when I think about this eatery, located on W. 55th Street.   Courgette is French for zucchini, but it’s definitely not a vegan spot.  This restaurant fuses Mediterranean, Italian and French cuisine to perfection, if you try one dish make sure it’s the Acquerello Risotto with wild forest mushrooms; it’s to die for.   After you finish dining, take your date downstairs to Courgette’s sexy basement speakeasy, which boasts a state-of-the-art sound system and karaoke room. 

Le Bernardin – Eric Ripert…need I say more?  This restaurant is legendary for its chocolate dessert and seafood dishes.  If you are doing a day trip or date that features all of NYC many iconic spots, include this place on your itinerary.   

Château Cherbuliez – Speaking of iconic New York spots, no club was as iconic, historic or infamous as Limelight. This church turned club has had a few reincarnations.  Currently, it’s The Limelight Marketplace, towards the back it turns into Château Cherbuliez.  When it was Limelight, walking into this spot was like stepping into another world.  That aspect hasn’t changed.  Stepping into Château is like being whisked off to the south of France.  The décor is impressive and has one of the largest outdoor garden spaces in the city.


gal-pool-gansevoort-jpgHotel Gansevoort – Meat Packing District – If one were so inclined, one could plan an entire NYC-themed date in the Meat Packing District.  After a day and night of shopping, drinking, eating and partying, the Hotel Gansevoort the perfect place to catch a luxurious snooze or soak up some more of Chelsea’s ultra-trendy vibe.



W Hotel – Times Square – Dinner, a show, a few drinks, maybe even catch a light night comedy act.  Why end the night at home?  Have a nightcap at W and allow the views of the city to assist you in a night of seduction. It may not be a stage, but I guarantee you will be the star of the show.

Four Seasons – Book a room at this hotel and resort and that could be your date, period end of story.  If the five star treatment is what you’re looking for, you and your mate will find it here.

GramercyParkHotel-lobbyGramercy Park Hotel – This hotel is steeped in history.  Afterall, the Kennedy’s stayed here.   The Gramercy Park Hotel has seen its share of marvelous times and some seedy ones, but after the 2006 renovation it recaptured its former glory and has maintained it ever since.  Artist Julian Schnabel and British architect John Pawson have created a masterpiece.  It remains one of the coolest, chicest places to stay in the city.



Crosby Street Hotel – SoHo is one of the many artists’ neighborhoods turned chichi in NYC.  Elegant and eccentric, this hotel serves a taste of London with a New York twist.