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May 11, 2011
By Departures Dispatch | Arts + Culture

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International dance devotees have been waiting a long time—50 years, to be exact—for the U.S. debut of Danza Contemporánea de Cuba. Since America severed ties with the island nation in the early 1960s, the dance company, which melds traditional ballet and Afro-Cuban folkloric styles, has kept a busy schedule touring Asia, Australia and Europe. On May 10, it kicked off its first U.S. tour with a 12-day engagement at the Joyce Theater in New York. During the course of their stay, the dancers, known for their exceptional athleticism and strength, will perform five numbers, including "Horizonte," a première piece by Pedro Ruiz, the first Cuban-American choreographer commissioned by the troupe since its inception in 1959. Through May 22 at 175 Eighth Ave.; 212-242-0800; joyce.org.

Photo Gerardo Iglesias

May 04, 2011
By Departures Dispatch | Lifestyle

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Découpage specialist John Derian, who helms two home décor emporiums in New York's East Village, has teamed up with luxury stationery purveyor Dempsey & Carroll for a limited-edition set of hand-bordered cards and lined envelopes. The five designs (there were six, but the sea urchin pattern has already sold out) have the signature Derian antique feel, with flower, maze and font patterns from his Découpage line gracing the collection. The ready-to-write box sets include ten three-ply cards and envelopes and are available at Dempsey & Carroll's New York boutique and its online store. $60 per set at 1049 Lexington Ave.; 877-750-1878; dempseyandcarroll.com.

Photo Courtesy Dempsey & Carroll

May 04, 2011
By Departures Dispatch | Shopping

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Angela Missoni admits to being an avid Havaianas aficionada, adding to her collection every time a new color or style comes out. So she partnered with the cult Brazilian flip-flop maker for a limited-edition set of sandals that landed in boutiques April 29. The four styles include two sandals and an espadrille for women, and a unisex flip-flop. All come in vibrant summer colors and in the fashion house's signature zigzag and wave patterns. The finishing touch: The sandals are packaged in a crocheted Missoni shoe bag that weaves together the colors of the Italian and Brazilian flags. Styles range from $60-$130 and are available at Bloomingdale's, Nordstrom, Jeffrey's and Missoni boutiques nationwide.

Photo Courtesy Havaianas

May 04, 2011
By Departures Dispatch | Arts + Culture

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It doesn't get more New York than Robert Mapplethorpe (the late artist grew up in Queens, studied at Brooklyn's Pratt Institute and did much of his black-and-white photography in Manhattan studios), but a new show of his photographs takes a more national approach. Opening May 6 in Manhattan, the "50 Americans" exhibit at Sean Kelly Gallery has, as its name implies, 50 Americans—one from each state—choose an image from the Mapplethorpe catalogue that resonates with them as individuals. The selectors range in age from 20 to more than 100 years old; among them are a rancher, a business analyst, a rabbi and an IT engineer. Accompanying each image is a brief narrative from each participant explaining why he or she felt connected to a photograph, shedding light on how Mapplethorpe's oeuvre continues to impact viewers 22 years after his untimely death. At 528 W. 29th St.; 212-239-1181; skny.com.

Robert Mapplethorpe
Nick Marden, 1980
Copyright Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Used by Permission.

May 04, 2011
By Sarah Smith | Fashion

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This spring, L'Ermitage Beverly Hills introduced its Red Carpet package, in which guests are treated to a consultation with a personal stylist from Hollywood fashion favorite Marchesa. The stylist assists women in selecting a three-day wardrobe and handbag from the label, as well as shoes from Christian Louboutin. Next is hair and makeup at the famed Frédéric Fekkai salon for custom color, a cut and styling and beauty tips. Each night, guests try a different collector's-edition Dom Pérignon Champagne, served in Marchesa by Lenox stemware. At $25,000, the price is steep, but when one considers the other complimentary bonuses (in-room breakfasts, daily spa treatments, private fitness or yoga sessions with personal trainer Joshua Love and a chauffeured Range Rover), it's quite a lot of style in one package. At 9291 Burton Way, Beverly Hills; 310-278-3344; lermitagebh.com.

Photo Courtesy of L'Ermitage Beverly Hills

April 29, 2011
By Brandon Perlman | Lifestyle, Beauty

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Developed by identical twins and former Wall Streeters Anthony and Hubert Tsai, the TwinLuxe shaving collection aims, as the pair says, to “bring the barbershop experience into the 21st century.” The sleek razors and brushes were created by Marek Djordjevic, the exterior designer of the Rolls-Royce Phantom, and the product line, made from ingredients like pearl powder, white tea leaf extract and hydrolyzed rice protein, includes all of the necessities: a shaving cream, an exfoliating scrub and a series of cleansers and soothers, all paraben free. Products from $25; shaving kits from $790; twinluxe.com.

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April 28, 2011
By Brandon Perlman | Lifestyle, Whims

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Certain professional racing pursuits like, say, Formula 1 racing don’t transfer well to everyday life. It’s unfortunately rather difficult to buy a supercharged racer and drive it down Park Avenue or out to the Hamptons (that is, unless you pony up $2.1 million for the completely street-legal Bugatti Veyron. Cycling is one exception: It’s relatively easy to purchase and customize a Tour de France-ready bike and take it around the neighborhood, pretending to be Lance Armstrong for the afternoon. Giant’s top-of-the-line road bike, the Defy Advanced 0 comes with all the latest “supercycle” accouterments, including a 10-speed Shimano Dura-Ace component group for the smoothest shifting imaginable. But most importantly, it has a wheelset made of lightweight carbon fiber. For avid cyclists, the quality of a bike is measured in grams: the lighter the bike, the faster and easier the ride. Especially on long-haul journeys—trips over 50 miles—those grams can make all the difference. $5,850; giant-bicycles.com

April 28, 2011
By Jordan Kisner | Lifestyle

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Where once the options for post-workout beverages were limited to water (boring), juice (sugary) or Gatorade (neon), now the thirsty have coconut water, which has taken over as the healthiest way to hydrate. Packed with potassium and rich in electrolytes, coconut water has found fans among competitive and recreational athletes alike, even taking hold among non-athletes as a nutritious, all-natural alternative to soda.

Of the many brands available, the Departures staff has long favored Zico for its modish design and clean, not-too-sweet taste. So we were excited to learn of the company's recent new version, chocolate. Its previous attempts at flavoring—mango, passion fruit, lima citron, pineapple, pomberry—have been appealing but expected variations on a theme. Chocolate coconut water, however, promises to be something altogether different, introducing a hint of indulgence into a product that has until now represented a certain degree of asceticism. Comfortingly, the ingredients remain all-natural: water harvested from green coconuts, a touch of coconut cream, cocoa and cane sugar.

The verdict? Delicious and still light, thought perhaps better as a reward for completing that spinning class than the drink to keep by your side throughout. For a special treat, try popping it in the freezer for a few minutes beforehand. You’ll never crave chocolate milk again. Zico is available at most major grocery stores and online at zico.com.

April 27, 2011
By Departures Dispatch | Spirits

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There’s nothing like a refreshing cocktail on a warm spring night, and this season we’ve found a few new spirits to complement the beautiful weather. Adding to its line of infused vodkas (the first made use of Blood Orange), SKYY has introduced SKYY Infusions Dragon Fruit, naturally infused with the exotic superfruit native to South and Central America. The drink has a berry-like flavor with hints of pepper, melon and pear and mixes beautifully with fruit juices. Gin drinkers should mix tonic with Beefeater 24, which has a blend of ten botanicals including grapefruit, bitter almond, orris root and Seville orange peel. But what’s unique about it is that one of its flavor notes is tea, namely Japanese sencha and a Chinese green tea created specially for this gin, which is "cut" early in the distillation process to maintain crispness. In June, Möet & Chandon is debuting its first Champagne specifically crafted to be served on ice and under the sun. Called Möet Ice Impérial, it emphasizes Pinot grapes (which stand up to higher temperatures), comes in a white-lacquered bottle so as to keep cool, and is best served garnished with a mint leaf, a slice of cucumber or white grapefruit zest. New Yorkers should keep their eyes on Combs When, a special gin available only at chef John Fraser’s rotating-concept restaurant What Happens When. Distilled from honey rather than wheat, it has a ginger, lemon and allspice taste and is featured in two cocktails per month. Finally, and most easily prepared on a hot day (just add water or ice), The Macallan has introduced two new limited edition single-malt scotch whiskies as part of its "Masters of Photography" series. One thousand bottles of Sherry Oak 20 Years Old and 36 bottles of the rare 1946 whisky (at $1,000 and $16,000, respectively) will come with artwork by Scottish photographer Albert Watson, who documented the creation of the distillery’s oak casks starting with the wood’s growth in northern Spain. Here’s to spring! skyyinfusions.com; beefeater24.com; moet.com; whathappenswhennyc.com; themastersofphotography.com.

Photo From left: Courtesy Pernod Ricard, Courtesy Möet & Chandon, Courtesy SKYY Vodka

April 27, 2011
By Departures Dispatch | Arts + Culture

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Ever since Barbara Heizer’s article appeared in our May/June 2007 issue, we at Departures have had a special place in our hearts for the Philip Johnson Glass House in New Canaan, Connecticut, whose fifth touring season begins May 1. The 47-acre property once belonged to the renowned architect Philip Johnson and his lifetime partner, art collector and curator David Whitney (both passed away in 2005). On it, Johnson built his "fifty-year diary," as he called the 14 modernist structures he designed for the location, including the landmark Glass House in which he resided. This season will offer three new tours focusing on the site’s architecture, landscaping and art collection (which includes works by Donald Judd and Julian Schnabel). There will also be a program called Conversations in Context, in which leading minds like New Yorker architecture critic Paul Goldberger, MoMA curator Barry Bergdoll and Johnson scholar Hilary Lewis will lead a small evening tour through the grounds, followed by a cocktail reception. Not to be missed—especially not by foodies—is a two-day event celebrating the recent book Harvest to Heat: Cooking with America’s Best Chefs, Farmers and Artisans from Taunton Press. On the evening of June 10, ten guests can participate in Dine in Design, a five-course tasting menu prepared by chefs Michel Richard and Brian Lewis (of the restaurants Central in Washington, D.C. and Bedford Post in Bedford, N.Y., respectively) and served at Johnson’s table in the Glass House. The following afternoon brings Dine with Design, when visitors can roam the grounds and enjoy dishes made by the book’s authors and inspired by the property. Architecture, art and landscape tours, $45. Conversations in Context tour, $150. Dine in Design, $10,000 per plate. Dine with Design tickets, $300. At 199 Elm St., New Canaan, CT; 866-811-4111; philipjohnsonglasshouse.org.

Photo Courtesy Eirik Johnson

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