Saturday, December 29, 2012

Maryl sings: The Aging Rocker Blues

Roger Daltry (Don Emmert/AFP/Getty)
Did you catch “12-12-12 The Concert for Sandy Relief” live from Madison Square Garden? I was reminded of “Live Aid”, a benefit concert in 1985 to save the starving children in Africa and the original one, “The Concert for Bangladesh”, in 1971 organized by George Harrison and Ravi Shankar, recently deceased at 92. The 12-12-12 concert was less global and dire in the crisis it was addressing but there was some overlap with the venues and the performers.  The latter were naturally a bit weathered but still strutting their stuff. And apparently that’s what some of the Twitter buzz was about… 

Monday, December 24, 2012

Caryl appreciates: Season's Greetings

I don't send Christmas cards but I love getting them.  I especially love the family picture cards, watching the kids age each year, the settings change, the clothes no longer matching or even color-coordinated.  In our second lives, if you are like me, you are probably getting pictures of friends' grandkids now. (Thanks, Jane for the sweet picture of Eliza May and Will on their baptismal day. And, Annette, great to see three generations still hanging out with Mickey and Minnie.)  Though I am less fond of holiday letters, I loved my high school friend Mary Beth's this year. To be accurate,  it's a Christmas email, not a letter.  Nevertheless, in this year's missive, she told of the recovery of her husband Jerry who was stricken with a fightening illness affecting both his body and his mind this fall.  The email recounts his remarkable recovery that enabled him to return home for the holidays after several challenging months in rehabilitation.  "Believe in miracles," Rip (her nickname) concludes. 

But there is one card I look forward to every year with the greatest anticipation . . .

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Caryl exits: Out of Africa (and rediscovers 7 reasons why she travels--and you should too.)

I’m home after 10 days and 11 flights (I feel like Hillary Clinton!) in Africa.  The trip was exhilarating: Zanzibar, Dar es Salaam and Arusha in Tanzania, and Capetown and Franschhoek in South Africa.  And yes, Maryl, I did do my Christmas shopping!  But even as fast moving as the trip was—it was more like seeing the trailer than the movie—it reminded me why I love to travel and why it's always worth the pre- and post-vacation stresses, even at this time of year.  I’ll tell you more about what I saw and what I learned in a future post (think 2013!) but here are 7 persuasive reasons (from bigger thinkers than myself) to leave your comfort zone:

1.    All journeys  have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware. --Martin Buber

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Maryl shifts: To Buying a Christmas Dress  Sonia Rykiel, Vince, Reed Krakoff, Marc Jacobs

I don’t know about you but I never leave time to buy myself something to wear for the holidays.  Maybe you’ve poked around in the Misses department in between buying a sweater for your husband and another pair of gloves for your sister.  If so, then you’ve noticed the racks full of dresses and most on sale.  But have you carved out some time to shop for a Christmas dress in between the endless gift buying, cooking and decorating?  We should all take an afternoon off, grab a friend or not, have a nice lunch and try on some dresses.  And I think I’ve rediscovered the style that will make this easy and painless. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Judith writes: Holiday Traditions Aren’t Just for Kids

By Guest Blogger, Judith A. Ross
“A hint of light”

Every year since he left home, a few weeks before Christmas, our younger son, our very own Kris Kringle, sends us a message. And every year, he asks the same question, “Have you bought a tree yet?” 

For a Jewish girl growing up in a decidedly WASP town in Massachusetts, a Christmas tree, and not a Chanukah menorah, on display in the living room was an object of both scorn and envy. 

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Maryl presents: Gifting and Regifting Ideas

How's the Holiday buildup going for you?  I'm hoping not to repeat last year when it was touch and go up to the finish line.  It's the gift buying that I find the most time-consuming and frustrating.  How do you not repeat buying the same thing you bought for a brother-in-law last year?  You would think in my second life I'd have this down pat and not be panting my way to Christmas Day.  I'm streamlining the exercise this year though.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Caryl contemplates: Christmas at Hyde Park on the Hudson

If I weren’t leaving for Zanzibar (no kidding!) on Thursday. . . and having my book club and the author of The Sisters Malone over for dinner and a discussion at my apartment tomorrow night . . . if it hadn’t been the weekend of Sinterklaas’s arrival in Rhinebeck—an event that turns the village into a twinkle-lighted slice of Americana to rival “It’s a Wonderful Life”. . . I might have made it to the nearby Wilderstein river estate to see the home of Margaret “Daisy" Suckley all done up in its turn of the century (that’s 19th) holiday splendor. You’ve never heard of Daisy Suckley? Well, get ready. . . .

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Maryl pitches: 4 tips to restart your work life

I attended a panel discussion last month titled “Own Your Future – Where to Start When STARTING OVER”. Love the title. It was hosted by The Thypin Oltchick Institute for Women’s Entrepreneurship (TOI) and every seat was taken by women of all ages and backgrounds. Some of them (1) knew what they wanted to start up and were doing it; others just (2)had an idea they were tossing around in their head; the rest (3) hadn’t much of a clue. These types of gatherings can guide women in all three of these stages and are not only enlightening but also empowering. And they are ubiquitous too, offered by such organizations as Ladies Who Launch, Springboard, Golden Seeds and Women 2.0 to name a few that run similar workshops, seminars, conferences and training courses every week. (Just Google “women entrepreneur organizations” to find more and check a list from one of my earlier posts.)

But back to the four panelists, who are all TOI clients and recipients of their loan fund, and their four tips to restart your work life: 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Second Look: Sally Field

Two Academy Awards, two Golden Globes, three Emmys, honors at Cannes and Berlin film festivals and numerous other accolades are testimonies to her highly crafted skill as one of America’s most beloved actresses. Sally Field must know what it feels like to be liked by now (see reference to her 1987 Academy Award acceptance speech), without even taking into consideration her most recent convincing performance as one of this country’s most unliked First Ladies, Mary Todd Lincoln. She’d been lobbying for this role for over a decade as she’s had to do with most of her roles since we first saw her as Gidget on the TV screen in 1965.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

10 Things You Can Learn From Grace Coddington

Photo by David Sims

It’s hard to miss her with her trademark Pre-Raphaelite red hair.  And, though Grace Coddington, Vogue's creative director, is a highly-visual person she was mostly behind the scenes until her surprisingly spunky and strong performance in The September Issue where some say she stole the show from the steely, stealth Anna Wintour. Today Coddington’s memoir Grace goes on sale.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Diet for a Second Life: Thanksgiving

Worn favorite cookbooks and torn family recipes are being opened up on kitchen counters across the country as Thanksgiving hosts  prepare their holiday menus. Certain traditional dishes should never change but the fact is that our palates and digestive systems do. We become more educated, dare I say, sophisticated with our food choices and that bloated, unsettling feeling we ultimately experience as we push away from the dinner table is no longer acceptable. So how should this change be considered when planning our Thanksgiving Day feast? 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Maryl recaptures: Her Youth in the Caribbean

Three weeks ago my husband and I crossed the river we view from our coop and boarded a cruise ship headed to four Caribbean islands. I will preface this post by saying that we’re not your habitual cruise vacationers. Typically the people you meet on the ships are on their third, fifth even tenth cruise. We had taken one before with our daughter to Alaska, which while it was great fun, we agreed we like spending more time than an eight-hour stopover in the various cities and countries we visit. But I was taken with the idea of being able to travel without having to go to an airport and instead getting on a ship we see going in and out of the harbor every week. And that ship was visiting four islands we had planned vacations at in our youth when we first became a couple. 

Friday, November 9, 2012

Second Look: The Forever Girlish Karen Allen

You’ve seen this face before. That was years ago, but it looks the same, doesn’t it? Look harder. This face has definitely known a few decades since the first time you saw it; a fine tracery of lines lies over it, and resignation now shapes the set of its mouth. And yet you keep thinking, “It’s the same,” while you know it isn’t — couldn’t — be the same at all. 

The face in question is Karen Allen—and the one looking hard at it is Ben Brantley, the New York Times theatre critic. Brantley writes about her timeless and yet time-etched face in his review of A Summer Day, the first play in which Karen Allen has acted in more than a decade. Karen Allen looks much the same as she did in 1981 in undoubtedly her most famous role as Marian Ravenwood in the initial Indiana Jones and Raiders of the Lost Ark film. Though Karen Allen seems to have hardly aged physically in more than 30 years, the 61-year-old actor has lived at least two successful lives that we know of. 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Second Look: Second Term

Here at Second Lives Club, we are well-acquainted with the gray hairs that come with the job of living a purposeful life. Much was made of how the hard work of governing had grayed President Obama's hair during the campaign. And, now Bloomberg Business Week has come out with an arresting cover of the how  the president will look in his second term. We ask: When will gray hair be a badge of honor rather than a battle wound of aging or stress? We HOPE for CHANGE.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Vote Like Your Women's Rights Depended On It

1964                                                                                           2012
Who doesn't remember the memorable words of Lesley Gore's "You Don't Own Me".  She recorded the song in 1964 at age 18, not old enough to vote.  Nearly a half century later Gore has produced a version that is an anthem for women's rights.  By voting today, our impact will be felt and our voices will be heard. Over 50% of those voting in the 2008 Presidential elections were women, and over 50% were 45 and older. It is estimated that 10 million more women and men will vote in this election. We're still fighting for the same issues that we were when Gore originally recorded this song. Listen to this chorus of women of many ages.  When women vote, women win!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Maryl survives: Hurricane Sandy on the High Seas

This next post was to be about my husband and I rediscovering the playgrounds of our youth in the Caribbean. I finished a draft while still onboard our cruise ship, the Norwegian Gem, but will post at a later date. Right now I feel more compelled to write about the devastation of other playgrounds--those of our earlier youth, as a high school friend put it. St. Thomas, Puerto Rico and St. Martin experienced some of the storm surge but the New Jersey boardwalks of Point Pleasant, Seaside Heights, Asbury Park and Atlantic City--where I spent fond summers in my teens and 20s-- are gone.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Caryl Reports: Still Standing

Satellite view of Hurricane Sandy
Here in lower Manhattan footsteps away from evacuation zone (aka Battery Park City), I am waiting out Hurricane Sandy, the alleged perfect storm that is coming my way. Maryl is stalled in the Caribbean on a cruise ship that’s been trailing the hurricane for several days. New York Harbor is closed so there’a no telling when she’ll reach port.

My plan today was to tell you about the wonderful show I saw at the National Academy of Arts: Her Own Style: An Artist’s Eye with Judith Shea.  But Mayor Bloomberg has other ideas for how I spend the next two days. Before I get into that, here’s a brief description of this eye-opening exhibit I saw a couple weeks ago.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Second Look: Penny Marshall

Most of us know her as Laverne (She predicts that’s all they’ll carve on her tombstone!), some as the first female director of a $100 million grossing film (“Big”, “They didn’t give me the money!”) and the second female director of an Academy Award Best Picture nomination (“Awakenings”), others as a Cancer survivor, former druggie (It was the 70’s!), a Pro-Choice advocate and a few as devoted friend (She declined directing “Forrest Gump” to support a friend just diagnosed with Cancer.). 

Monday, October 22, 2012

Caryl relives: Crazy Salad, Scribble, Scribble and Nora Ephron

The Nora Ephron I loved to read didn't hate her neck. It was her breasts that bothered her: Their non-existence.In one of the first essays she wrote for Esquire in 1972, she wrote more than "A Few Words About Breasts":

My first brassiere came from Robinson's Department Store in Beverly Hills. I went there alone, shaking, positive they would look me over and smile and tell me to come back next year. An actual fitter took me into the dressing room and stood over me while I took off my blouse and tried the first one on. The little puffs stood out on my chest. "Lean over," said the fitter. (To this day, I am not sure what fitters in bra departments do except to tell you to lean over.)

Nora Ephron died last June, and there was a flurry of tributes  ranging from Tom Hanks in Time Magazine--(who can forget his performance in 'You've Got Mail" which Ephron wrote and directed)---to Lena Durham who memorably memorialized her in the New Yorker(Some say Durham, who is the creator and star of HBO's Girls is the heir-apparent to Ephron. The 26-year-old Durham just received a $3. 6 million advance for a book of humorous essays.)

Ephron not only captured the essence of a generation of women (mine and, I suspect, yours) but she also nailed the state of the media at the time. She wrote about the former subject in Crazy Salad, which was published originally in 1975. And, she made notes on the latter in the next book, Scribble Scribble, which came out three years later. Those two books were fixtures on my book shelf during my twenty-something years, read and reread, marked up and down, a repository for my deepest desire, my unrealizable dream:  If only I could write like that . . . .

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Caryl Reprises: Virginia Woolf's Writing Shack

A few years ago, I traveled to East Sussex, England--a  short train trip from London-- to visit Monk’s house, Virginia and Leonard Woolf's country place and, specifically, to see her writing shack.  Called "The Lodge", the weather-boarded building (shown above) was built in 1934 to replace her previous writing room: “There will be open doors in front; & a view right over to Caburn. I think I shall sleep there on summer nights’. It was here that Virginia Woolf wrote Mrs. Dalloway and other books and essays. It was here, too, she labored over The Years.  She had given Leonard Woolf the manuscript to look over as was their custom. When Leonard finished reviewing the work, he walked down the path from Monk’s House to The Lodge to congratulate his wife on her "masterpiece". Gazing through the double doors, he could see her writing desk (a drop-leaf table, really), her pencils neatly aligned on an ironstone platter, and stacks of the blue writing paper she favored—but no Virginia. I presume you know the end to this particular story.

When I bought "The Beck", as I sometimes call my country place, I was more enamored with the little shack hidden away in the wild English garden than the house itself. Visions of a writing room danced in my head. All I had to do was clean out the gardening tools and detritus, paint the floor, knock out some windows--and the muse would land. I was lucky the place already was electrified, and the river's shore was too far away to walk to. That shack--it might once have been be a pre-fab tool shed-- has become my secret hideaway, a sanctuary within a sanctuary, a literal room of my own. It’s where I go to think and read, to daydream and plot, and to muse and be amused (for example, by the muskrat—I thought was a cat—that ate my 18th century rag runners over the winter). I think I shall sleep there some future summer night . . . 

Monday, October 15, 2012

Second Look: Candy Crowley

Tomorrow night Candy Crowley will be the first female moderator of a presidential debate in 20 years. Let's hope she won't be remembered as just the “lady holding the microphone” the day after.  Candy was selected for the second debate which is a town hall meeting format (questions come from the audience and not the moderator), similar to Carole Simpson’s role in 1992 when Clinton, Bush and Perot were the candidates. Apparently, the Obama and Romney campaigns have set some strict terms for how active a participant the town hall moderator can be. Was a woman chosen to play this more limited role? 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Maryl's got: Seven Easy Fashion To Do’s for Fall

What’s new and fresh this fall? I’ve got it….seven easy ways to be in style right now. The temperature reached 80 degrees here this past week, and I'm heading off on a Caribbean cruise next week.  So I admit I haven't pulled out my fall clothes yet but I have checked the fashion web sites, magazines and shops for this season’s trends. Here's the seven to do’s I plan to consider that will easily incorporate into anyone’s wardrobe: 

Monday, October 8, 2012

Who Has Winning Hair? And, who won our giveaway?

Let's be honest--the stars are nothing like us. Neither are political spouses or even politicians for that matter. Not even newscasters. Most of the women in the limelight have professional advice when it comes to how they look, especially their hair. Still sometimes a new set of eyes can improve on what others might have missed. We asked Eva Scrivo to look at Nine Public Faces who range in age from mid-fifties to over 70 to offer her advice on their hairstyles. (You remember Eva Scrivo from Everyday Eva: the five posts we ran here packed with useful tips, sound advice, and how-to lessons customized for women our age?)

She agreed with us that they all look great but Eva suggested ways they could look even better. What actress did Eva urge to keep her roots dark--and why? What grey-haired artist did she say needed a younger, choppier haircut? (She didn't recommend changing the color, by the way.) Who did she suggest to let their hair go even longer as she approaches 60? And was it a Republican or a Democrat who got Eva's vote for best hair? Finally, who does Eva think could be a real "bombshell" in the next stage of her life? Don't forget to see who the lucky commenter is at the end who has won Eva's book with all the DIY information she needs to rethink her own hair. 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Caryl announces: Finding Her Voice at 80; Hear Ann Petre read

A few years ago, when I first read . . . and fell in love with . . . and was deeply moved by. . . Journey Into Solitude,  I saw a life clearly bifurcated by a single decision author Ann Petre made in 1976 at age 52, a decision perhaps some of you are thinking about right now. I want to tell you more about her life-changing decision; how it shook her physically, emotionally, and spiritually; how it reverberated through her own life and the lives of others, and how she courageously navigated the bumpy road of unexpected consequences that followed.  But first I want to tell you where --if you are lucky enough to be in Soho TONIGHT October 4 from 6pm to 8pm at  Meg Cohen Design Shop, you can hear this extraordinary voice read from her works.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Everyday Eva: 5 Simple Rules to Look Your Best

Eva Scrivo on Beauty
Wow, what a week! And it’s not over yet but we did want to stop and review what we’ve learned from Eva so far with her five Golden Rules on a 2:30 minute video. Some sound fairly basic but more essential when coming from her. Others I know Caryl and I just hadn’t thought of. Of course they are all in her book and much more and in practice everyday at her salons.  Which takes us to Second Lives Club's first online giveaway.  See below.

GIVEAWAY EXTENDED to Monday, October 8.  Keep the great Beauty Tips and comments coming!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Everyday Eva: 9 Professional Makeup Tips To Look Younger

There’s a reason actors and models and Martha Stewart look so good. They know how—or have someone else who does—to put on their makeup. For many years, Eva Scrivo did the hair and make up for Martha’s TV show and public appearances. “I made a 70 year old woman look 45,” Eva says. 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Everyday Eva: How to find your "prime" color

Eva Scrivo’s back today to talk about coloring your hair. (Remember, second lifers, we don’t say “dye” anymore. Isn’t the word “color” more refined after all?) In the beginning of her career, Eva worked out of a fourth floor walk-up apartment in New York’s East Village.  Today she oversees a sleek glass and steel salon (with mesh Herman Miller floor-length curtains to separate sink area--how chic!) on Nolita’s trendy Bond Street. Just this spring, she opened an intimate, four-chair boutique studio in a third-floor walk-up (kind of a railroad flat) in a Madison Avenue brownstone on Manhattan’s very refined Upper East Side. But why am I telling you about this? Because it reminded me of one of the three important points about color Eva told me when I interviewed her at the new studio recently. 

# 1. Eva says: "Stay close to your roots. Never go more than two shades away from your natural color."

Monday, September 24, 2012

Everyday Eva: Don't go gray until you read this!

 “Hair is one thing you have control over as you get older,” says Eva Scrivo, highly-acclaimed hair and makeup artist--and wise woman. “Unlike skin and your figure, hair is the easiest thing to control.” As we age, as we well know, physical changes occur. “Just like our face loses collagen and fluid so does your hair,” explains Eva. "The result is a lack of shine and dullness." And, perhaps more significantly, she continues, "Women lose color as they get older."  You're telling me . . .

Eva knows a thing or two about hair color. At age 11 in Detroit, Michigan where she grew up, she was already coloring the roots of her model mother’s red hair. Today she has built “a beauty empire” including two New York City salons (think uptown/downtown), a radio show, TV appearances, and an award-winning beauty book.  She is also the “color ambassador” for L’Oreal Professional, and she travels the globe training  colorists in the company’s elite academies. (She has even trained hairdressers in India who as their country modernizes are moving beyond henna.) She has a talent and affection for connecting with women-- and iconoclastic views 
about beauty and aging.  Here's what she has to say:

Friday, September 21, 2012

Katie Couric Goes Gray. Should you?

This week Katie Couric put on a gray wig and walked the mean streets of Manhattan to see how people reacted to her. The reviews were mixed: Our favorite from a man in his late 20s or early 30s (think beefy construction worker) who told her she looked sexy and . . .old!!

The reason the former (first female solo) nightly network newscaster donned a wig was to promote her new syndicated talk show “Katie”, which airs weekdays at 3pm EST on ABC and this past week’s series on hair: the good, the bad, and the polarizing gray. It didn’t help that when Katie rolled the tape of her walk on the not-so-wild side the accompanying music was “The Little Old Lady from Pasadena”. We ask you: Is this how the media—even female-led media—reinforces stereotypes? Come on, Katie, you are running the show.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Maryl adores: Malandrino, a French Designer For All America

I first noticed Catherine Malandrino’s designs at Henri Bendel’s in New York City about ten years ago.  They were so original, edgy yet feminine…and youthful I thought at the time.  I didn’t actually try on one of her dresses until years later….a colorful print silk one with a leather and metal ring strap caught my eye.  

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Fall Movie Preview: What We Saw at TIFF

Ceiling of Elgin Theater, Toronto
We have just returned from the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). We also visited with two women who are living their second lives and then safely escorted (not that she needed us) one of our daughters to her second year of grad school and as she put it her “last first day of school.” The six films we saw moved us as did the city, its people, its history and its hyper-growth and vitality.(There are more construction cranes there than in Dubai!)  We attended screenings in ordinary multiplexes, the recently built Bell Lightbox and the renovated Elgin Theater (it opened in 1913 for vaudeville productions)…even theaters need a second life. Here's some of what we saw and thought. 

Friday, September 7, 2012

Maryl reveals: Three weddings and a house

Thirty years ago this month I was married at my Victorian home on the Jersey shore. Another wedding took place there this past weekend, that of my stepson and his stunning bride. Note the little boy in the family wedding photo above and when you get to the bottom of this post, you will see him again as a grown up and a groom.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Caryl lists: 3 Reasons Hillary Clinton Is Not Speaking at the Democratic Convention

Around this time four years ago, we were in Denver for the Democratic convention. But we’re not there this year. Some of the old gang is back, speaking again this year just like in 2008. The half-sister of the candidate will be speaking—Maya Soetero-Ng. So will the daughter of a former president—Caroline Kennedy—and the wife of a current one—Michele Obama. They will be joined on stage by new speakers—Tammy Duckworth and Tammy Baldwin who are running for office--and newer names like Sandra Fluke who symbolizes the so-called Republican War on Women. In addition, there will be record number of female delegates on the convention floor but the energy and the enthusiasm feels different this time. There’s no history in the making at this convention. 
The woman who represents the highest hope for the highest office in the land, the woman who broke the glass ceiling in 18 million ways in 2008—and still it was not enough—will be absent from this convention. She will be missing her party’s party for the first time in over a quarter of a century. You may rightly ask then where in the world is Hillary Clinton, and why is she not speaking at the convention? 

Friday, August 31, 2012

Caryl shares: The Unsolitary Life of An Artist

To some, Rose Burlingham’s first life might seem idyllic . A native of New Jersey and the oldest of six children, she moved to New York City in her 20s looking for a Patti Smith kind of life. A painter and creative free spirit, she eventually married into a distinguished family and had two children—a girl followed by a boy. The family lived in a lower Manhattan loft where contemporary artists Elizabeth Murray and Richard Serra were her neighbors, Even then, she had an aching sense of displacement. “As an artist, I wasn’t happy being alone in my studio. I always thought I should be doing something else,” she recalled recently.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Second Look: Mary Fisher, Carol Gilligan and Ann Romney

“TWENTY YEARS AGO this month, Mary Fisher (above) took the stage of the Republican National Convention at the Houston Astrodome and delivered a 13-minute primetime speech that was seen by many as a sharp rebuke of her party’s negligence in the face of the growing AIDS epidemic.”  So wrote my friend and superb wordsmith Dan Shaw in an enlightening profile in New York Times last Thursday. Will Tuesday night's lineup of female speakers at the Republican convention in Tampa Bay be able to inspire a depressed nation? 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

September Brides: Some are old; some are new

Thirty years ago this month, we were planning our own weddings. We were to be married a day apart (September 11 and September 12). That’s Maryl (right) wearing a Mary McFadden gown; Caryl , the matron of honor—(now you know who married first )-- is wearing an antique lace dress. Caryl would marry at the Tribeca loft she and her husband-to-be had just bought the past spring, and Maryl and her intended would exchange vows at their Victorian cottage on the Jersey shore. So why are we telling you all this?

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Maryl returns: Back to and from College

My daughter Svetlana and I just returned from a little road trip this week. You can read about it below or on Huffington Post. The site's editors thought it was worth sharing with other parents of college-age students. College is a great learning experience for parents as well as the student. 

Monday, August 13, 2012

Second look: Sue Simmons

Here at Second Lives Club, we hate firings of all kinds but we really hate public firings.  It’s bad enough to lose a job you love or a job you need—not to mention, a job you are really good at-- but it seems worse when it happens publicly. My mother read in the New York Times that I had been fired from my editor-in-chief job at Real Simple. I myself found out from the New York Post when a media gossip columnist from the New York Post called for my comment. (I declined. Call me now, Keith Kelly, I've had some second thoughts.) That’s why I felt so bad when I read last June that Sue Simmons, the co-anchor at New York’s local NBC news station, had been kicked from her chair after 32 years. Now, however, I'm happy to report there are signs of A Second Life. But first let me fill you in on her first life.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Caryl weeds out: One thing I thought I'd never be

Roof garden at the Palace on the Ganges, Varanasi, India
I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and, as an adult, I moved to Manhattan where I raised my daughters. If you asked me where I might have migrated in my second life, I’d have said maybe a beach in the Hamptons or, in my wilder dreams, the ghats of the Ganges. I can picture myself as a beachcomber or a world traveler but never in a hundred lifetimes would I have imagined myself as a country gardener in upstate New York. That’s why I was so surprised when the multi-talented and accomplished green thumb Catherine Morrison profiled me in The Sunday Gardener. Full disclosure: I have been helped enormously for the past few years by horticulturist Meg Crawford of Twin Ponds Nursery. Meg, who has entered a new chapter of her second life, passed on her private clients to The Valley Gardener, Tricia Paffendorf, who is returning to work outside the home (literally) now that her sons are in school. So take a look at my garden, the product of six women (counting me) who know how to make things grow--especially themselves.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

A New Diet for our Second Lives

In her first life, Ruth Gantman was a wife twice, mother once and an English teacher who wanted to teach film. She put herself through NYU Film School where her course work culminated in her winning a student Academy Award. She spearheaded a TV and film program at a high school where she was teaching. But it was the construction of that TV studio that sent her “home to die,” which of course she didn’t. Instead it started her on a new midlife course where she found her second life. 

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Caryl questions: The Her in Blogher

A more informative headline for this post might be Ronnie Citron-Fink's Life Well-Said, to borrow the tagline from  Ronnie is a blogger extraordinaire. She will be among the more than 5,000 women converging on New York City today for their annual conference on blogging.   This growing--both in numbers and power--cohort will attend workshops and parties and snag swag from commercial sponsors.The sponsors aren't the only ones courting the bloggers' influence. Among the speakers this year are: Katie Couric (she needs to promote a new show premiering on ABC this September); Martha Stewart (she needs to resuscitate an aging magazine looking for younger subscribers); and, by satellite, Barack Obama (he's running for re-election and needs the female vote.)  Maryl and I will also be attending.  

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Maryl poses: Should models be "ageless"?

Carmen Dell’Orefice:  Then and Now

"You can only perceive real beauty in a person as they get older."
                                                                                   Anouk Aimee 

We second lifers already know this to be true. We’ve reconciled our laugh lines, fuller figures and speckled skin and moved on to focus and improve on our other virtues. But think of how hard this must be for aged-out models who made their living based solely on their looks. This topic is explored in HBO’s latest documentary, “About Face: The Supermodels, Then and Now,” that has its first airing this Monday, July 30, at 9PM east coast time after its premiere at Sundance this past winter.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Caryl agrees: Vive La Difference

Claude-Noelle Toly grew up in Dieu Le Fint, a tiny village in the South of France. At 21, she and her then boyfriend flew to the United States and began a hitchhiking trip that traversed the country. The boyfriend didn’t last but her romance with the U.S. did.  “I fell in love with America and Americans.  I felt so at home here,” she says.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Caryl considers: What We Have To Look Forward To

Bel Kaufman, who is 101, is a teacher, an author --she wrote her first novel, Up the Down Staircase, at 50 and the wife of a younger man (he's 95). I came across her profile in the August issue of Vogue, my favorite issue of the year because it's "the age issue".  Consider this month's cover line:  Wonder Women from 28 to 101.  The far end of that galaxy is Bel--and here's what she has to say in her own words about this stage of life:

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Maryl relearns: How to Compute, easy as Apple pie

I finally made the change. After months and months of ruminating over whether to buy a new PC or switch to a MacBook Pro with the new retina display and solidstate hard drive, I bought an Apple. Having a second life is all about making transformations – big and small. Change starts to become more difficult as we move into and through our 20s and beyond. The good news is that of the Big Five Personality Categories, openness, in particular to new experiences, seems to pick up again about age 60 according to a Scientific American report.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Second Look: Sigourney Weaver

You probably don’t remember her in her first movie role in “Annie Hall”.  (She was Woody Allen’s date standing outside the movie theatre.) You probably didn’t relate to her in “Alien” (one, two, three or four.) You probably admired her as Dian Fossey in “Gorillas in The Mist”. You probably empathized with her as the sex-seeking/sex-escaping neighbor in “Ice Storm”. You probably hated her as everywoman’s nightmare boss in “Working Girl”. Despite more than 45 movie roles over her more than 35 year-long career --her most recent film as a psychologist studying paranormal activity in “Red Lights” opened this week-- and many turns on the stage including this fall's new Christopher Durang play, she has never acted on the small screen. At least not until this Sunday when she plays Elaine Barrish Hammond, a former First Lady now Secretary of State, a stern diplomatrix in Chanel sunglasses, as one critic described her real-life inspiration.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Maryl comes back: To the House Dress

The house dress is making a comeback and its second life is not happening soon enough. The number of women running around town in their pajama bottoms and sweaty workout clothes is reaching embarrassing proportions. The slim jeans and casual Friday looks are also rendering a rather monotonous fashion statement lately. Our mothers and grandmothers had it right even if the house dress was a domestic uniform of sorts back then and not meant to be worn on the street. Wearing one today would look not just retro but positively elegant, much more so than a pair of drawstring pants and a tee shirt.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

A Tale of Two Femmes, a River and a Dream

Claude Noelle Toly, an ex-pat from a tiny village in the South of
France and proprietor of Le Fanion, a French art and antiques shop in Greenwich Village, likes to ride her bike up and down the Hudson River. Her father had taught her to swim as a young child, and she briefly swam competitively at boarding school until health problems sidelined her athletic career as a pre-teen. Four decades later, in her adopted country, she would gaze at the lordly Hudson River as she rode along the bike path and wish she could swim in its flowing waters. 
When she learned of a race around Liberty Island to be held June 29, 2012, Claude Noelle felt the time had come to follow her dream. She would swim the 1.2K race around the Statue of Liberty—a gift to the American people from the people of France. What could be more fitting! 

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Maryl factors: Sun protection into her skincare and wardrobe

It was barely a month after my husband and I had purchased a three-story Victorian house across the street from the Atlantic Ocean.  Visions of lazy, sun-filled days tanning on the beach and jumping the saltwater waves were still fresh and foremost in my mind when my doctor informed me I had melanoma. The news suddenly eclipsed my hopes and dreams for the future.  For several weeks there had been an annoying itch around the bra closure area on my back.  Caryl had noticed an irregular looking mark while applying suntan lotion and suggested that it wouldn’t hurt to see a dermatologist.  My weekends of sun and surf were interrupted with a trip to Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Need a summer read? Check out the Tribeca Book Club's Complete LIst

Summer reading New York City style
You asked for it, and so here it is: All the books members of the Tribeca Book Club have read since they began almost four years ago. Maryl and Caryl always encourage our readers to support
their independent book store but if you can't and want to order one of the books below from Amazon, just click on the title. Now find a hammock, a beach chair, or a room of your own and get reading. If there's one (or more) books from the list that you've  already read and loved, please leave a comment below. And, if you would kindly like us, we hope to reach 300 by summer's end.  It's almost like the New York Times Best Sellers list for us.