Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Manhattan Christmas Window Tour

Manhattan Christmas Window Tour 

Its that time of the year again ,when city stores deck out their windows in all the latest holiday splendor .A good place to start is on the  East Side of Manhattan with Bloomingdale's and then work your way slowly towards Fifth Avenue.

Bloomingdale's is on  59th Street and Lexington Avenue.. This years holiday windows feature : Vintage shopping bags — from 1981, 1983, 1990, 2001. Bllomingdale's even offers some  interactive displays . You can stand on a snowflake, and press a star-shaped button and your photo will be snapped and uploaded to Bloomingdale's Facebook page.By the way the  Celebrity-designed ornaments including ones by Heidi Klum and Al Roker are on sale and proceeds go to the Child Mind Institute, a children's mental health organization.

Barneys is located on 660 Madison Ave. near 61st Street.: Barneys is know for the Avant-garde window displays and is the perennial envelope pusher of the group when it comes to holiday window displays. This year Barney's features Lady Gaga and they convert their fifth floor into a Gaga workshop and the windows into a pop-art fun house. One window gives a glimpse into the pop star's boudoir, crafted entirely from hair. Items for sale include an $85 box of cookies shaped like her famous outfits and Gaga-inspired hair bows.Proceeds from sales of all Gaga-related items will go to her new nonprofit, the Born This Way Foundation, dedicated to empowering youth and fighting bullying.

Bergdorf Goodman located on  754 Fifth Avenue near 57th Street and offers crème de la crème of holiday window displays. Bergdorf's holiday windows, "Carnival of the Animals," are a study in good story-telling. These exquisite, finely detailed dioramas feature haunting creatures and scenes like a shimmery aquatic scene, a metallic tropical rain forest, and an arctic garden party. Go across the street to see the men's store windows, featuring a menagerie of animals dressed in Bergdorf frocks. My favorite was a confident lion with a beautiful mane seated in a pinstripe suit.

Henri Bendel located at  712 Fifth Ave. near 56th Street. Feature  windows that celebrtate the Radio City Rockettes and New York City. It's worth the stop just to see the Lady Liberty mannequin dressed in a robe made of 3,000 jelly beans. Bendel's was also the first Manhattan department store to unveil their windows, on Nov. 10.

The Cartier Building located on  651 Fifth Ave. near 52nd Street is one of the last remaining mansions on Fifth Avenue, this six- story marble and granite building is elegantly wrapped to look like a giant present, with a twinkling, lit-up red ribbon.In 1917 French jeweler Pierre Cartier bought this mansion from Morton Plant for $100 and a pearl necklace worth a million dollars.

Saks Fifth Avenue  611 Fifth Ave. at 50th Street.This year the facade of the building becomes a canvas for a 3-D bubble and snowflake show. The windows are based on the children's book "Who Makes the Snow," and will be its largest display in recent years.The retailer commissioned various fashion houses such as Alexander McQueen, Nina Ricci, Proenza Schouler and Stella McCartney to create one-of-a-kind holiday-themed dresses to be featured in the windows.

Lord & Taylor on: 424 Fifth Ave. near 38th Street. "What is Christmas made of?" is the question. This year Lord & Taylor asked kids from local schools and shelters to submit drawings answering the question.  The series of windows are inspired by these drawings and feature moving dolls that depict classic holiday scenes — ice skating in Central Park, baking at home and waiting for Santa Claus to arrive. At the unveiling on Nov. 15, the Young People's Chorus of NYC sang an original song, "What is Christmas Made Of." Their answer: "Everything you give and the love that's in you."

Macy's at 151 W. 34th St. near Sixth Avenue.Blending old with the new, these windows tell a story of what happens to our wishes. Our hopes and dreams board a rocket ship, get mixed and transformed in a steam-punk factory, and turn into unique ornaments.The display features  cutting-edge 3-D visuals that do not require glasses and at the end of the display, visitors can create their own virtual ornament and upload it to their Facebook page.Proceeds from their celebrity-designed ornament collection will go to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Boxing Legend Joe Frazier dies

Boxing Legend Joe Frazier dies

Joe Frazier spent most of his life living in the shadow of his sometime arch nemesis Muhammad Ali.The two waged three epic heavyweight battles between them which became the most memorable in boxing history.The 1975 “Thrilla in Manila,” in which Frazier was stopped by his corner from answering the bell for the 15th round is by many considered to be the greatest boxing match of all time.

Frazier never seemed to emerge from Ali’s imposing shadow, despite his own impressive run as a heavyweight champion.The two at times were more than foes , it was personal ,but later in life they grew to respect each other after Ali apologized  for ugly ,derogatory comments belittling Frazier unjustifiably as a racial sellout and a “stupid gorilla.”

Frazier, who died Monday at 67, is more known in large part for having lost two of the three Ali fights, as well as a devastating knockout defeat at the hands of George Foreman that cost him the title. Never truly receiving his well-earned respect due as a fighter, it is now conceded by many experts that Joe Frazier ranks among boxing’s best of the best. .

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Hugh Jackman, 'Back On Broadway'

Hugh Jackman, 'Back On Broadway'

Jackman is back on Broadway, with his newly-announced limited-run NYC one-man show, which started previews on Oct. 25 and opened officially November 10.

It’s been a long seven years since Hugh Jackman appeared on Broadway in The Boy From Oz.Jackman is more than just another Hollywood A-Lister looking to cut his teeth on a Broadway stage this man can really dance and sing. No he not dressed like Wolverine and the show is devoid of his super hero status.

Like Jackman's sold-out Toronto and San Francisco concerts, the New York production will include “a personal selection of his favorite musical numbers.” In past performances , the 18-song set all by the way backed by a full orchestra included “Over the Rainbow,” “As Time Goes By,” and “Lady Marmalade.”

According to the Broadway show’s press rep, Hugh Jackman, Back on Broadway has been altered for New York. what ever that means and you'll have to see the show for yourself , I wont spoil it here . The Broadway League says the Tony Award-winning performer's one-man show pulled in over $1.2 million at the box office during eight preview performances.Jackman's pull even broke The Broadhurst Theatre's box office record, beating "700 Sundays" starring Billy Crystal, "Hamlet" with Jude Law and "The Merchant of Venice" starring Al Pacino.

So what do you want to hear Hugh sing? These are some tunes from the earlier staged concerts including “A Little Less Conversation,” “Crazy Little Thing Called Love,” or Richard Marx’s “I’ll Be Right Here Waiting for You.” .