Bubbles Set in Stone

By Rory Winston

"Come meet me in the sky", sings Lily Allen in her recent hit single Air Balloon – an escapist anthem that asks us to enter an alternate universe in which ‘monkeys run off from zoos’ and ‘ceilings turn into floors’. Reveling in a host of exotic images, the song entreats us to partake in an elevated experience by simply stepping through a door. What door? Where? Getting directions for a place that exists solely in someone’s imagination can be quite a challenge.

Birds of a Frotta

Ciano_FEB14

By Rory Winston

Shortly after Flatiron’s Ciano closed, the genius of a restaurateur, Stratis Morfogen, insouciantly announced, “Well, I’m going back to Italian-American” - this after realizing that his renowned purist of a chef, Shea Gallante, was taking himself out of the picture. The comment, unlike the resulting cuisine, could have been taken with a grain of salt especially since like most of Morfogen’s creations, the new Cucina Ciano was a work of art in progress – one in which process and vision were not only in flux but coexisted in what can best be referred to as a progressive tarantella whose outcome would prove seductive. With the help of his partner, Unik Ernest, Cucina Ciano has succeeded in becoming a tiny gourmet bastion in the Upper East Side.

Aesthetics Sans Frontières

by Kenji Nakamura

Dr. Kassir, The Man Behind the Faces

By Rory Winston  |  Photography by Kenji Nakamura

Oh darling, I absolutely adore that new dress; and where ever did you buy those lovely lips and matching breasts?” Yes, things have certainly changed – especially on the West Coast and Down South where it has become a sign of affluence to undergo rather exaggerated cosmetic procedures. The more pronounced the mutation, the better the buzz. As a colleague of mine in Tinsel Town recently stated, “Remember when ‘porn celebrity’ was still an oxymoron… way back, before people thought of their bodies as compromised versions of ‘silicone sex dolls?’”

Fortunately, New York has remained its own aloof island trapped forever between elite European aesthetics and East Coast self-consciousness. With a sensibility at one remove from the rest of America, savvy locals embrace an understated style with a functionalist bent. Do we want to look better? Unless your only means of employment is a cardboard sign, a cup and a forlorn look, the answer is a resounding yes. Do we want others to conclude that vanity was the motivating factor? In a city that shuns ostentation and celebrates the sublime, aspiring to perfection is hardly a carte blanche for overt revamping. So although the zeitgeist insists ‘faux youth is preferable to aging,’ broadcasting rejuvenation is frowned upon by the smart set.

Few are as aware of this ‘subdued cosmopolitan ideal’ as Dr. Ramtin Kassir, the triple-board certified facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon who is also an otolaryngologist, a specialist in head and neck surgery and an expert in sleep medicine. With extensive field experience in cosmetic, endoscopic and laser surgery, Dr. Kassir is our very own Ponce de León with a space age GPS – he is a man who has not only found the much sought-for fountain of youth, but has managed to bottle it in a discrete and tasteful manner.

An Impresario for Our Times

By Rory Winston For all his flaws, Sergei Diaghilev was the quintessential impresario. Beyond scouting out the most exceptional talents of his day, he inspired them to traverse what were otherwise strict boundaries. He created interdisciplinary collaborations that brought diverse artists the likes of Stravinsky, Nijinsky and Picasso under one roof. Whether or not Mikhail…