Once upon a time there was a woman who went through a divorce. Nothing unusual about that. During the pain of the process of separating from the man who had been her husband for 8 years and partner for 11, she left behind a lot. She even ran to the other side of the earth to Cape Town, South Africa (ironically, for a 4-day black tie wedding). It was here that she started to get her spark back. Climbing Table Mountain made her heart feel strong (it’s very steep); lounging in her bed at the POD Hotel, she felt comforted by beauty and gazing at the sea, as did talking to people. She always liked connecting and meeting new people.
After South Africa, she flew back to NYC and shortly after went to Berlin. The day she flew there, Nelson Mandela passed away. She cried on the way to Newark Airport and felt like a light had gone out of the earth. Nelson was one of her heroes. When she arrived in Berlin, she prepared herself to teach a Naam Yoga workshop there. She had always been deeply spiritual and it was that, wine and close friendships that were carrying her through.
After teaching in Berlin, her dear friend told her over multiple glasses of red wine, “It happens all the time. Nothing to be ashamed about.” She urged her to let go of the shame and failure she felt. She lovingly added, “the shame would have been staying where you no longer belonged.”
So the woman took this to heart and the next day went off to the Helmut Newton to see some inspiring photographs. The photos inspired her to find her own inner Amazon/Aphrodite and to set out on her new life. There were many stops along the way with some favorites in Europe. She always loved Paris and France, and somehow after that chat she found herself there playing ping pong over and over at Derriere while waiting for her glass of Margaux and steak frites. Often she would head over to Club Raye for an apero beforehand. One of the things that always helped her access her inner Wonder Woman was putting on lingerie from Sabbia Rosa. Paris had become her heart’s home.
The next day, she was inspired to carry on what had become her daily ritual – a coffee and a croissant, and for lunch, steak tartare at Café Charlot. Rituals gave her a lot of comfort and happiness. And, simple things like a bon bon from Pierre Herme. And the visits to museums, particularly the Fondation Louis Vuitton, The Centre Pompidou and The Rodin because art helps her feel closer to the Divine.
When she got back home, she dove into some of her passions and favorites in NYC. Teaching the Wednesday night Shakti Naam Yoga for Women class helped her reconnect to a gentleness in her life in NYC despite the pace of the city. Teaching this women’s circle reminds her that we have our own modern “red tent” in NYC. One of the things she loves about NYC is that all the great spiritual masters have lived here at one time or another, including her teacher/mentor, Dr. Joseph Michael Levry. NYC has been home since 1989 and the diversity of the city so speaks to her in all its colors and variations. Her hometown is where 130 languages are spoken, and in the same day, she can have a facial at Isabelle Bellis, Israeli food at Café Mogador, and catch an amazing dance company at The Joyce. She loves NYC because no matter what, it stands for acceptance, diversity and being inspired to be the best she can be (and, it’s never boring).
This woman also has an insatiable appetite for good design which is probably why she spends a good deal of time at Pilgrim New York, where she is always inspired by the carefully curated vintage pieces, jewelry and accessories. Her close friends are the owners of PILGRIM and often a shopping trip is followed by a bite to eat at Café Katja, where the schnitzel and potato salad keeps you warm on a Winter’s night – comfort food at its best. In Summer she loves Sant Ambreous in the West Village, where the easy Italian vibe and sensuality help her merge into the langorious NYC summer nights, not to mention the Vitello Tononato, which she has been known to say is orgasmic. And the most perfect meal in town – in her humble opinion – can be found at Le Bernadin. The experience is sheer perfection – especially if you can score the far-right table in the back that has a view of the entire restaurant.
She never turns down an opportunity to get some Swedish influence in her life, relishing the authenticity, style and beauty of that culture. She loves seven dips in the sea in Dragsmark, Sweden in Midsummer and seeing the sun stay up almost all night in Stockholm. MillesGarden is one of her favorite museums, as is the Vasa Museum. She was always a little obsessed with Vikings. Her Swedish fix back home in NYC is Westerlind. She writes in the morning in bookbinder journals they carry, which come in the most cheerful colors. The red ones say “I Love You” on the front. And even when she wakes up on the wrong side of the bed, picking up her journal and seeing that makes her smile and reminds her that life is a profound gift even when it’s tough.
And, then there are the simple, and not so simple, pleasures in life that completely move her. She loves a good glass of wine, a belly laugh (her own or someone else’s). Reaching for the stars. Holding a baby and playing with a child. To lie in bed reading a good book and binge watching a TV show that a friend told me I HAVE TO see (such as Peaky Blinders, Game of Thrones, Scandal, House of Cards and The Handmaids Tale). Swimming in the ocean, and ballet and jazz. She loves her privacy and being authentic and having the courage to be vulnerable.
And, she surely loves to have some exotic adventures as well, like seeing a white lion in South Africa. She deeply loves getting on a plane and just going, flying to Baranquilla, Colombia, the land of one of her favorite writers, Gabriel Garcia Marquez. She and her friend, Ivan, have a private joke around the inexplicable and absurd aspects of life. She fell in love with Colombia and the word for such experiences in life – Macondo. She also loves Fundación Apoyo Solidario, which provides education and nutrition to some of the poorest children in Baranquilla.
Warsaw, Mexico City or some other place may be drawing her attention because… well, just because it feels right in that moment. Why not have an adventure? She surely loves having the courage to color outside the lines because it makes her feel alive, knowing that, she sometimes struggles with this, and her Cancerian longing for tradition and security.
And sometimes, she just likes to hibernate and stay home, too… especially in Winter. To be in NYC and meet people from all over the world. Because probably more than anything, she loves authentic connection and people…she really does.
Fondation Louis Vuitton
The Centre Pompidou
The Grand Palais
The Rodin Museum
NAAM Yoga for Women in NYC
Dr. Joseph Michael Levry