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Self Help: A New Personal Coaching App

Self Help: A New Personal Coaching App
Courtesy of My Personal Coach

Best-selling author and former professor of psychology Angella Nazarian has spent years writing about the path toward successful leadership and a more meaningful life. Her latest venture—the My Personal Coach app (;—puts her research at your fingertips, offering access to a completely customized personal-growth plan. We chatted with her about the new digital approach.

Q: Tell us about the inspiration behind the app.
As a psychologist who has led so many personal-growth seminars and groups, I wanted to create a personal workbook for my clients for their daily inspiration and insight. Since we spend so much time on our phones, I thought the best way of integrating goals, exercises and reminders was through a coaching app. In essence, My Personal Coach works as a partner in motivating you on a daily basis by focusing on your priorities, relationships, environment and strengths.

Q: What went into its design?
A great program for change needs to be multidimensional. Living a life around our key talents and strengths is crucial, so I wanted to make sure that there is a test for clients to home in on theirs. Relationships, thought patterns, environments and the way we prioritize our life are also key factors in empowered living, so I integrated goals and challenges for these coaching zones as well.

Q: Who is the app for?
It is helpful for anyone who wants a daily dose of inspiration along with some useful hints in approaching their life mindfully and with more vigor. I always tell my clients that you cannot change your life until you change something you do every day. My Personal Coach app is set up to be your partner and cheerleader—to help you focus on leveraging your strength to be more effective on a daily basis.

Q: Have you learned anything new?
It’s like any project I take on—you start with a vision and you continue to improve upon it until it’s ready to be released into the world. I feel that this app is an extension of me in that it brings to life the ideas and positivity that promote growth, which I feel so passionate about.

Three Essential Dessert Finds in Paris

Three Essential Dessert Finds in Paris
© Annabelle Schachmes

Dessert has never been an afterthought in Paris. But where it has primarily served as the capstone to a standout meal or an on-the-go indulgence, it is the main attraction at these three delightful spots.

It isn’t merely the novelty of being the capital’s first plated dessert bar that drives locals to book ahead at Dessance—a neologism blending “dessert” and “naissance” (birth)—but rather the concept of a multicourse sweet meal. Pastry chef Christopher Boucher challenges widely held assumptions about dessert by experimenting with unexpected combinations of flowers, vegetables and herbs (think puréed beets, cranberry compote and white chocolate) for dishes that surprise and satisfy the sweet tooth in equal measure. For the full experience, reserve a seat at the marble counter overlooking the dressing station and opt for the Carte Blanche menu, which includes unique drink pairings. 74 Rue des Archives; 33-1/42-77-23-62.

La Tarte Tropézienne
With the opening of La Tarte Tropézienne, devotees of the emblematic double-cream brioche cake no longer need to travel to its birthplace in St.-Tropez for a piece of the original. While the tea salon–cum–boutique boasts a modern look, its offerings hew traditional, working with founder Alexandre Micka’s tightly kept secret recipe from 1955 and production methods that haven’t changed, either. (The sugar crystals are still cooked in copper pots.) If the standard size makes you blanch, order the Baby Trop, which is, indeed, as cute as it sounds. At 3 Rue de Montfaucon; 33-1/43-29-09-81;

Pâtisserie Ciel
Lined like jewels in serried ranks, the airy Japanese angel cakes (or chiffon cakes) at Pâtisserie Ciel are more than just irresistible eye candy—they are grounded in technique and taste, thanks to chef and cofounder Youlin Ly and his pastry team. Deceivingly light but packed with flavor, the colorful confections are turned out in a smart range of flavors (chocolate is pictured here; the yuzu lemon and recently released Sakura—made with the leaves and the buds of cherry blossoms and griottes cherry jam—deserve a special nod) and should be paired with a cup of Jugetsudo green tea by day, whiskey or sake in the wee hours. The L-shaped bar seats only eight, so call ahead to secure a spot. 3 Rue Monge; 33-1/43-29-40-78.

A New Resort in the Bahamas Focuses on Art

A New Resort in the Bahamas Focuses on Art
Courtesy of Baha Mar Resort

This December a $3.5 billion development called Baha Mar will open on 3,000 square feet of uninterrupted beachfront in Nassau, Bahamas. Situated on the Bahamian Riviera, it will be the largest single-phase resort project in the history of the Caribbean, featuring properties from Rosewood, Mondrian and Hyatt, as well as the Baha Mar Hotel & Casino, golf and tennis facilities and an ESPA spa.

The scope is impressive, but at the heart of the project is a decidedly local touch: Bahamian art is infused throughout the 1,000-acre resort—including guest rooms, meeting and leisure spaces, shops, galleries and the 40 dining options—giving guests a way to engage with and learn about their surrounds.

“I think, in a way, the art becomes cultural wayfinding,” says John Cox, Baha Mar’s new creative artistic director. “I think it’s important that the beacons you put out there have a cultural compass, that they direct you to more and encourage exploration instead of forgetfulness.”

The forthcoming Art Gallery at Baha Mar, which will be located in the Hyatt Convention Center, will showcase the largest collection of local art in the Bahamas, featuring new works by Bahamian artists and exhibits that will occasionally draw from the Dawn Davies Collection and the D’Aguilar Art Foundation (two Bahamas-based art institutions). To further expand the experience and foster the creative community, an artist-in-residence program will provide local and overseas artists the opportunity to create more focused and provocative works in branded studio spaces.

“The best way to describe Bahamian art is by describing what it isn’t,” says Cox. “It isn’t static, predictable or singular. Real Bahamian art is reflective, immediate and diverse and taps into the very essence of the complexity of our collective culture.” Opening December 2014; 242-677-9000;

Spirits Update: A Tequila for Mixing by Casa Dragones

Tequila Casa Dragones Blanco
© Tequila Casa Dragones Blanco

Following the success of its exquisite $275 joven sipping tequila (released in 2009), small-batch tequila producer Casa Dragones has created a second premium spirit—this time, designed specifically for mixing.

“We are not doing tequila from a style point of view—blanco, reposado, añejo,” explains Bertha González Nieves, Casa Dragones co-founder and CEO. “We’re bringing tequilas for occasions, and that is quite different.”

Made of 100-percent pure blue-agave silver tequila, and made in small batches of no more than 400 cases at a time, Casa Dragones Blanco ($75) is handcrafted using ingredients including agave plants grown in the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt and fresh spring water gathered the day of distillation from the aquifers of the Tequila Volcano.

The result is nothing less than transcendent—a luminescent, crystal-clear tequila with an aroma of green apple, grapefruit, honeydew and fresh herbs. It is creamy on the palate, with pronounced flavors of citrus, melon, pepper and salt and a clean finish of mint and cucumber.

To showcase Blanco’s subtlety and complexity, Casa Dragones has teamed up with James Beard award–winning mixologist Jim Meehan, of the New York bar PDT (113 St. Marks Pl.; 212-614-0386;, to create signature cocktails. “The character of the tequila is what I use to extrapolate and create cocktails with,” he says of incorporating delicate grapefruit, lime and celery flavors into his clean, simple Pink Panther. “It’s a great tequila, and my philosophy when mixing with great tequila is to try to not get in the way.” Casa Dragones Blanco will be available in the U.S. in May; pre-order at;

Fitness Find: Studio K in L.A.

Fitness Find: Studio K in L.A.
Courtesy of Studio K

Movement is the basis of any workout worth mobilizing for. But the type of movement—and what it can deliver—is what makes the difference. Studio K, a fitness center in L.A.’s Pacific Palisades neighborhood, is focused on helping you move better, anchoring its philosophy to so-called K Stations—cable-based Technogym Kinesis systems built into the walls (pictured above). The apparatuses facilitate natural, full-body movements; an extensive range of motion; and numerous exercises that combine into one fluid cardio and strength workout.

“It has a mystery at first,” says Susan Howard, general manager and master K Trainer, of the burgeoning but still novel method. “[But] as you learn its efficiencies and functionalities in movements through the resistance training, you see its endless options and adaptations to help build core stability, strength, power, speed, balance and flexibility all in one cardiovascular workout.”

Zeroing in on three key components—functional movement, efficiency and transformative results—Studio K offers personal- and group-training options. And while the sleek space plays up the facility’s proximity to the ocean (a tranquil photo of the beach covers one wall, the overall color palette calls to mind sand), the challenging workouts require focus and the desire to make a real connection with your body every day.

“Our physical movement patterns effect how we feel, work, play and enjoy our lives,” says Howard. “K Training is designed to be functionally intuitive and strengthen one’s ability to perform better in the daily activities of life.” 17351 W. Sunset Blvd.; 310-454-1048;

Design Finds a Future in Detroit

Design Finds a Future in Detroit
David Stark

“The car industry aside, Detroit is one of the historic hotbeds of design in America,” says New York–based event producer and installation artist David Stark, in anticipation of Culture Lab Detroit (April 24–26), a program designed to inspire collaboration between leading international talent and their local counterparts. “We often don’t remember that Detroit was once one of the most affluent cities in America, but go there now—you feel how much important design history abounds.”

In honor of that past, the second annual intellectual gathering—founded by Jane Schulak, in collaboration with the Detroit Creative Corridor Center and the College for Creative Studies—welcomes presenters Stark, international architect David Adjaye (London), artist and innovator Theaster Gates (Chicago) and interior and furniture designers Humberto and Fernando Campana (Brazil) and the curious alike for a series of classes, talks, programming and events focused on urban regenerative design.

“Culture Lab Detroit is designed to showcase, connect and inspire problem solvers who find ways to respond to extreme conditions,” Schulak says. “It is hoped that these shared experiences and collaborations with national and international artists, designers and architects will increase awareness and the imprint of Detroit’s creative community around the globe.”

Based on this year’s group of return and first-time presenters, it would seem the Lab is already making waves. “Innovation and art-making are born out of necessity and sheer desire in the Detroit community,” Stark adds. “Installation art is being made in the streets out of detritus despite all kinds of odds, and being around that kind of passion reminds me why I make art in the first place.”

Earth First: John Hardy’s Bamboo Collection

John Hardy’s Bamboo Collection
Courtesy of John Hardy

The word “sustainable” is batted about frequently these days, but jewelry brand John Hardy has made it a mantra. In 2007, it debuted the Wear Bamboo, Plant Bamboo initiative, through which the company began planting bamboo seedlings in Bali, where its jewelry is handmade, to help counteract its carbon emissions. (The plant is known for its intricate root system, which helps hold soil erosion at bay and preserve the natural water cycle.) Since, 900,000 bamboos have gone into the ground—covering an area greater than six times the size of New York’s Central Park—and the conscious approach continues.

Throughout April, in a nod to Earth Month, John Hardy will donate 20 percent of sales from its trademark Bamboo collection to Trees New York (, which aims to plant a hundred evergreen trees throughout the city by 2015. Walking the walk, John Hardy executives and New York–based employees will lend a hand at the Pleasant Village Community Garden in East Harlem on April 22—Earth Day.

“Forty years ago, being environmentally conscious was an integral part of our founder’s ethos, who was a radical environmentalist,” says CEO Damien Dernoncourt. “Today, the environment is still a key part of our brand foundation, providing endless inspirations for our designers in Bali.”

Pictured here (from left): Wide Flex cuff ($1,600); narrow Flex cuff with black sapphires ($1,200); and wide ring with black sapphires ($595). All made from 100 percent reclaimed silver.

A Ball for Artists at the Brooklyn Museum

Alyson Shotz Sculpture
Alyson Shotz, Untitled, hand folded aluminum with enamel paint, 2014 (Courtesy of the Artist and Derek Eller Gallery)

The Brooklyn Artists Ball, held this year on April 16 at the Brooklyn Museum, aims to champion both its home borough and the talent that lives and works there.

Honorees include artist/activist Ai Weiwei, conceptual artist Jenny Holzer and portraitist Kehinde Wiley (as well as David and Jane Walentas, instrumental figures in the development of the Brooklyn neighborhood Dumbo). But 16 featured artists—all based in the borough—will take center stage, each producing an installation on a 40-foot table: Oliver Clegg’s rotating circular seating setup, a crocheted creation by Olek inspired by still-life paintings, Jeremy Couillard’s 16 dioramas. An after party will follow cocktails and dinner; proceeds from the event will help support the museum’s educational programs and special exhibits.

Needless to say, creativity runs high. And select works by the artists (like the sculpture pictured here by Alyson Shotz) make up an online auction, which will be at the gala, hosted by the digital art platform Artsy. Bidders can bid through April 16.

“Our guests leave the ball knowing that [we are] deeply committed to Brooklyn-based artists, who are a driving force in keeping the museum on the leading edge of contemporary art,” says museum director Arnold Lehman. “As more artists make their way to Brooklyn…the arts community continues to converge here at the Brooklyn Museum.” Tickets start at $1,000; 200 Eastern Pkwy., Brooklyn; 718-501-6436;

A First-Ever Exhibit of Warhol’s “Jackies”

A First-Ever Exhibit of Warhol’s “Jackies”
Andy Warhol, Nine Jackies. 1964, The Sonnabend Collection, on Long-Term Loan to Ca'Pesaro, International Gallery of Modern Art, Venice, Italy, Nina Sundell and Antonio Homem © 2014 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / ARS, New York, Source image on image no. 1 and 9; photograph Henri Dauman, 1963

There’s no shortage of recognizable works by Andy Warhol in this world, whether in exhibitions (the recent show at Florida’s Dalí Museum) or on branded consumer goods (Perrier’s limited-edition bottle). But for the first time ever, Blain|Di Donna gallery has dedicated an exhibition entirely to Warhol’s “Jackie” (opening April 10), marking the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s assassination with more than 50 works that tell the story of that emotional week in 1963 vis-à-vis the evolving appearance of Jacqueline Kennedy.

The show highlights a curated selection of silkscreened canvases, each 20 inches by 16 inches and arranged into “Multiple Jackies” or into larger compositions of individual works displayed as triptychs, grids and friezes. All derived from eight magazine photographs, the pieces follow Jacqueline Kennedy, from her cheerful arrival in Dallas to the day of the funeral.

“The Jackie paintings are an extremely important body of work from the 1960s,” says gallerist Emmanuel Di Donna. On the one hand, he explains, they represent the first fine-art portraits to resemble newspaper images; on the other, they demonstrate Warhol’s fascination with contemporary media culture, celebrity, glamour and death.

“Those images of Jackie stem from a cataclysmic event in American history,” he explains, “which was for the first time experienced on a global scale through the media. Warhol was giving the word ‘icon’ its most modern meaning—an image, a painting of a holy being to be revered.” Through May 17; 981 Madison Ave., 2nd fl.; 212-259-0444;

Fitness Find: A Wellness Program in Puglia

Fitness Find: A Wellness Program in Puglia
Courtesy of Borgo Egnazia

Whether your goal is to start a healthier routine or continue one, there are few more motivating places to do it than the coast of Puglia, Italy—home of the recently debuted wellness program FU’RE at Borgo Egnazia hotel and resort.

FU’RE, which means “outside” in the local Apulian dialect, stays true to its name, taking full advantage of Borgo Egnazia’s grounds and focusing the six-day retreats (available in either high or low intensity) on local traditions, ingredients and ways of being. Classes consist of no more than seven guests and cover traditional fitness territory (yoga, resistance training, cardio) and more unorthodox choices (music therapy, juggling, table tennis, dance, saltwater flotation sessions in the VAIR Spa’s Roman baths). Certified personal trainers and professionals in areas like bodywork and naturotherapy are in charge; analyses of body composition and daily calorie intake can also be woven in.

Of course no Italian venture is complete without delicious food. Resident dietician Agostino Grassi meets with participants and develops menus featuring local vegetables and traditional pasta dishes. With that to look forward to after, say, boot-camp training overlooking the Adriatic Sea, the allure is clear.

“Borgo Egnazia is the perfect setting for a fitness-and-spa program: wild, various scenarios, mild weather, generous and a relaxing environment that stimulates your body and mind,” says owner Aldo Melpignano, who, while admitting that weight loss isn’t the main focus of FU’RE, shed six pounds the last time he participated. “[It] is a great kick-start if you want to rebalance your life or simply take some time for yourself.” Six-day program starts at $1,800 (excluding accommodations); rooms start at $290; Savelletri di Fasano; 39-080/225-5000;

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