Author: Lillian Africano

Christmas at the Newport Mansions—When the Gilded Age Comes to Life

Share: Once a year, when it’s Christmas time at the Newport Mansions, America’s Gilded Age comes to life, as bright and vibrant as it was during a bygone era, when the country’s social history was being made by names like Vanderbilt and Astor. The epicenter of this age was Newport, Rhode Island, where oil and steel magnates and robber barons built their castles, using stellar architects like Stanford White and employing the finest craftsmen money could buy. That heritage, spanning more than 250 years of American architectural and social development, stands today in the 11 homes known as The Newport...

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Macy’s Parade 2016: A Beloved Thanksgiving Tradition

Share: On Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 24, 2016, in New York City, the 90th  anniversary Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will be held, with millions of people nationwide watching LIVE streaming or LIVE broadcast in their homes—and perhaps tens of millions more others worldwide. This big and beloved parade will have more than 10 thousand participants. Back in the days when my three children were growing up, the Macy’s parade was a big part of our Thanksgiving tradition. We watched it on television, and when a willing grandparent—my father—volunteered as an escort, the kids had the real parade experience—watching it...

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Executive Hotel Le Soleil: Manhattan’s New Luxury Boutique Hotel

Share: New to midtown Manhattan, The Executive Hotel Le Soleil is just 650 feet from Empire State Building, 1,000 feet from Macy’s and 2,300 feet from Madison Square Garden. My accommodations: a two-room Queen suite that had a separate bedroom, bathroom, a combination living room/dining area/ kitchen that included two coffee-makers, a Keurig and a Nespresso. For my three-day stay in the city, this classic contemporary luxury boutique hotel was perfection. The service was “Old World” attentive, as were such architectural elements as 9-foot ceilings, marble stone floors and polished gold hand-painted Venetian plaster walls. The guest rooms and...

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Aspire–For “Barely There” Eyewear

Share: Jewelry for your face When I started wearing eyeglasses at the age of 8, very much against my will, I hated the ugly utilitarian frames and took them off whenever I could manage to see, albeit myopically, without the correction. When comfortable contact lenses became available, I jumped on that solution and used the contacts for years. And then a couple of strange things happened. I got older (again very much against my will). Presbyopia set in, which meant that if I wanted to see things (like restaurant menus) close up, I had to put on a pair...

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Discovering Nevis, Loving The Four Seasons Resort–and Finding Alexander Hamilton

Share: The flight from New York was long but the arrival at the St. Kitts airport was painless. No crowds, no fuss. As soon as I disembarked from the plane, I was transferred to the luxurious and private YU lounge, where I received a cold drink from an open bar and a warm welcome. I sank into a comfy couch while I awaited my luggage and while immigration and all the arrival protocols could be done. (The cost for this experience is $300 roundtrip.) My bags were carried to a waiting ferry, where I was again treated to cold...

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