Palm Beach Book Fest Starts… Now!

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A 2016 Palm Beach Book Festival panel discussion. Photo by Taylor Jones.

Short notice is better than no notice at all.

The Palm Beach Book Festival has been on our calendar for three months, but we forgot to tell YOU about it. Our apologies.

Day One (that’s today) is hosted by Palm Beach Atlantic University, and includes two panels:

  • David Denby and Ed Boland, discussing the question, “Are the classics still relevant in today’s classrooms?”
  • Laurie Hernandez, an Olympian, TV personality, and debut memoir writer on hopes, dreams and being 16.

Day Two is the 9-5 literary big bang, held at CityPlace’s Harriet Himmel Theatre. Click here for a full schedule and complete description, but here are the highlights:

  • 9-10 a.m.: “You Go, Girl!” Panel discussion on the writing of memoir vs. biography, with authors Leslie Bennetts, Geri Hirshey and Dani Shapiro.
  • 10:30-11:15 a.m.: In conversation with New York Times bestselling author Sebastian Junger.
  • 11:45 a.m.-12:30 p.m.: “Oprah’s Book Club,” with authors Amor Towles and Joan J. Buck.
  • 1:15-1:45 p.m. In conversation with (Palm Beach resident) James Patterson.
  • 2:30-3:15 p.m.: In conversation with New York Times bestselling author Jeffrey Toobin.
  • 3:45-4:30 p.m.: In conversation with movie legend Robert Wagner on his memoir, moderated by co-author Scott Eyman, a local film expert.

You have two hours and 35 minutes to get to PBA for the first panel. Go.


pbbor-tree-bwPublished monthly, the Palm Beach Real Estate Guide showcases available Palm Beach real estate, from estates and historic homes to in-town flats and waterfront high-rises. Subscribe or contact us.

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And Now, Raptis

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Photos courtesy of Raptis Rare Books

For years and years, Palm Beach was a small island with two bookshops.

Now there are three.

But the Classic Bookshop (310 South County Road) and The Palm Beach Book Store (215 Royal Poinciana Way) have little to fear from Raptis Rare Books. Raptis specializes in first editions and important volumes in exceptional condition, serving literary collectors in Palm Beach and around the world.

Raptis celebrated the grand opening of its Worth Avenue shop earlier this year. As its name indicates, it’s not your first choice if you’re looking for a great beach read. This is where you’re going to go if your library won’t be complete without a $16,000 signed copy of Albert Einstein’s biography, an inscribed first edition of Watership Down  ($12,000), or the first English edition of Machiavelli.

Raptis was founded by Matthew and Adrienne Raptis, members of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America (ABAA) and the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB), who also exhibit at major book fairs in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Boston, as well as other regional fairs. Hours at the Worth Avenue gallery are 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Saturday.


pbbor-tree-bwPublished monthly, the Palm Beach Real Estate Guide showcases available Palm Beach real estate, from estates and historic homes to in-town flats and waterfront high-rises. Subscribe or contact us.

 

Dramaworks: 2017-18

We’re always excited when Palm Beach Dramaworks releases the next year’s schedule. Somehow, this company always manages just the right balance of new work, lesser-known pieces, and classic plays. We saw Driving Miss Daisy 15 years ago during the company’s early years, and still have fond memories of an outstanding show.

Just out, the 2017-2018 lineup, along with show summaries direct from PBD:

  • The Little Foxes by Lillian Hellman (Oct. 20-Nov. 19, 2017): At the turn of the century in the Deep South, the ruthless, moneyed Hubbard class poison everything they touch.
  • Billy and Me by Terry Teachout (World Premiere, Dec. 8, 2017-Jan. 7, 2018): Tennessee Williams and William Inge – two great American playwrights, one turbulent friendship.
  • On Golden Pond by Ernest Thompson (Feb. 2-March 4, 2018): A retired couple’s solitude in interrupted when their daughter arrives with her fiancé and his son.
  • Edgar & Emily by Joseph McDonough (World Premiere, March 31-April 29, 2018): In this comic fantasia, emerging poet Emily Dickinson is unexpectedly visited by a desperate Edgar Allan Poe.
  • Equus by Peter Shaffer (May 18-June 17, 2018): A psychiatrist attempts to treat a young man who has a troubling obsession with horses.

Subscriptions are on sale now. To learn more, visit the Palm Beach Dramaworks website or call 561-514-4042.


pbbor-tree-bwPublished monthly, the Palm Beach Real Estate Guide showcases available Palm Beach real estate, from estates and historic homes to in-town flats and waterfront high-rises. Subscribe or contact us.

Sensory Arts for Autism

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Photo courtesy of the Els Center of Excellence

April is Autism Awareness Month, and no one does more locally for the cause than professional golfer Ernie Els and his family.

This year, the Jupiter-based Els Center of Excellence is eagerly awaiting its new Sensory Arts Garden, which will provide a creative place that can be experienced through touch, sight, hearing, smell, taste and movement.

The focus of this year’s giving campaign, the project will feature special outdoor areas or “garden rooms,” each featuring different plants and textures. The area will be healing and therapeutic for individuals with autism and other sensory processing challenges, because they can interact with nature in their own way and at their own pace.

“Nature offers children and adults with autism spectrum disorder with wonderful opportunities for adventure, exploration and engagement,” says Dr. Marlene Sotelo, director of programs and operations for the Els for Autism Foundation. “When individuals with autism engage with nature, they develop not only a special interest in birds, animals or plants, but also opportunities to develop their social skills.”

To contribute or to learn more about the Sensory Arts Garden, the Els Center or the Els for Autism Foundation, visit the website.


pbbor-tree-bwPublished monthly, the Palm Beach Real Estate Guide showcases available Palm Beach real estate, from estates and historic homes to in-town flats and waterfront high-rises. Subscribe or contact us.

Flower Power

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Photos courtesy of Jeff Leatham

For its biennial flower show, the Garden Club of Palm Beach isn’t just bringing in a floral designer as its keynote speaker. The Garden Club of Palm Beach is bringing in the floral designer as its keynote speaker.

Jeff Leatham is the artistic director of the Four Seasons Hotel George V in Paris. In 2014, he was awarded the prestigious Chevalier de L’Order des Arts et Lettres, the equivalent of a knighthood for contributions to French culture. That’s an astonishing achievement for anyone, but particularly for an American.

Flower show 2017Leatham is the author of Flowers by Jeff Leatham, Flowers by Design, and Jeff Leathan: Visionary Floral Art and Design. He has partnered with Alexander Wang, Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga, Bulgari, Philip Treacy, Swarovski, Givenchy, Ellie Saab, Burberry, Tiffany & Co., Waterford, and Dom Perignon. His A-list clients include Tina Turner, Oprah Winfrey, Madonna, Kylie Minogue, The Kardashians and Celine Dion, the Dalai Lama, and President and Secretary of State Clinton.

Jeff Leatham is, in other words, a Very Big Deal.

You can hear his lecture at 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 8 in the Four Arts’ Gubelman Auditorium… if there are tickets left. Call (561) 655-7226 to find out.

The weekend-long flower show, this year titled “L’Orangerie,” runs from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. April 8 and noon-4 p.m. April 9. Hundreds of entrants will compete for awards in fresh or dried floral arrangement, botanical arts, and photography, among others. The show is open to the public and free of charge. (The wildly popular preview party is Friday night, but it’s by invitation only.)


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Society Sings Sondheim

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Have we mentioned the Choral Society of the Palm Beaches?

Since 1962, its mission has been to celebrate and promote “the universal beauty and intrinsic value of the vocal arts… and make choral music accessible and inspiring to all.” Bravo.

This weekend, Florida Atlantic University’s Lifelong Learning Society (5353 Parkside Drive, Jupiter) is partnering with the Choral Society to offer a tribute to Broadway giant Stephen Sondheim. Soprano Lisa Vroman is joined by last season’s favorite, Mark Sanders, in a look at the musical legacy that includes favorites from Into The WoodsSweeney ToddCompanyFollies, and many more. Performances are Saturday, March 18 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, March 19 at 4:30 p.m.

Already have plans this weekend? Then mark your calendar for April 29-30, when the Choral Society performs Mozart’s glorious and final masterpiece, Requiem.

All performances are at FAU’s Jupiter campus Lifelong Learning Society, 5353 Parkside Drive. Tickets are available online.


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Affairs of State

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This came in the mail last week and oh, dear, how we wish we could attend.

It’s sure to be an elegant evening at the Findlay Galleries, 165 Worth Avenue.

John Moeller verticalWe know the good work that goes on every day at Hospice of Palm Beach County.

But the real reason? The “state dinner” that will be created by former While House Chef John Moeller, who served during both Bush administrations and also during the Clinton years. Good taste, it would seem, is non-partisan. Palm Beach is no stranger to très soigné cuisine, to be sure, but we’d love to see and sample what Chef creates for this evening.

The event (on Friday, March 24) begins with a 6:30 p.m. cocktail reception and silent auction of art (donated by the gallery), followed by 8 p.m. dinner on the terrace. Individual tickets are $150 for drinks and auction only, and $450 for cocktails, auction and dinner. Table sponsorships are $5,000 and $10,000.

RSVP by March 21 to Lauryn Barry, 561-494-6888 or lbarry@hpbcf.org.


pbbor-tree-bwPublished monthly, the Palm Beach Real Estate Guide showcases available Palm Beach real estate, from estates and historic homes to in-town flats and waterfront high-rises. Subscribe or contact us.

Art in the Estate

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Photos courtesy of The Monacelli Press. Reprinted with permission.

It’s a balancing act, to be sure – marrying a stately Palm Beach mansion with edgy postwar art and sculpture. In his new book, The New Formal (The Monacelli Press, 240 pages, $60), interior designer James Aman shows us how it’s done.

Throughout the lush pages, Aman’s niche emerges. The scale of the homes, whether in Palm Beach, Manhattan, or the Hamptons, tends to be grand, the perfect canvas for art that ranges from the provocative to the (ever so slightly) alarming. Everything revolves around the owners’ collections, while the furnishings and surroundings retain warmth and elegance.

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Jim Aman and Emily Fisher Landau, who wrote the book’s introduction, at the Palm Beach launch.

Each chapter begins with a one-page essay about the design considerations, but beyond that, it’s a photo-rich storybook. Three Palm Beach residences feature prominently:

The Regency estate: Aman describes the home as “classic with an edge.” Spare but not stark, the décor is kept minimalist in order that each room can showcase one or two major pieces from the owners’ collection, which ranges from an imposing George I giltwood console to an explosive pink/coral/salmon/green wall hanging by Jorge Pardo.

The Breakers retreat: Low, streamlined furnishings maximize all the views in this space – the art and the ocean. At any point, the art arrangement includes about two dozen pieces, some of which are permanent fixtures and some that rotate at the owner’s desire. Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns, Frank Gehry, Willem de Kooning – it’s a who’s who.

Lake Worth adventure: This home is a little harder to pin down geographically. We presume it’s on Lake Worth, rather than in Lake Worth. The space is stately and serene; the art is electric and sexy. It’s at once a home and a gallery or, as the owner says, “a visual adventure as we move from room to room.” Aman designed the home as it was being built. “Our goal in virtually all cases was to tone things down,” he says, “to keep the color palette of the walls and furnishings quiet so the art could project in full glory.”


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Explore the Row

Imagine: Dixie Highway is closed to vehicles, so you can freely wander the five venerable blocks of West Palm Beach’s antiques district.

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Put it on your weekend fun list. Saturday, March 4 from 6-9 p.m., it’s Evening on Antique Row, the signature fundraising event benefitting the Historical Society of Palm Beach County. Visitors can explore the area’s unique shops, which feature 17th– to 20th-century antiques, decorative arts, fine art, and design services.

In addition to luxe shopping, the street festival brings “the Row” to life with live music, entertainment and games, cocktails, and gourmet food trucks. The wristband that comes with your ticket allows you five tasting plates.

Nibbles will come from InspirAsian, Virgo Bomb, CrayZlicious, Scoop Coop, Needa Pita, Hampton Forks, Sandy James Fine Food Productions, Gourmet Galaxy, Belle and Maxwell’s, and Don Ramon.

The Atlas Afterparty (8-11 p.m.) will cap off the evening with more cocktails, more food and more entertainment. Access to the party (in the Belle and Maxwell’s parking lot) is included in the VIP tickets. General admission ticket holders can upgrade their tickets prior to or at the event.

All proceeds go to support education programming in history and civics for tens of thousands of children and adults throughout Palm Beach County. Event organizers expect 1,200 guests, so we’d say it’s officially a Big Deal. Visit the website for FAQs.


pbbor-tree-bwPublished monthly, the Palm Beach Real Estate Guide showcases available Palm Beach real estate, from estates and historic homes to in-town flats and waterfront high-rises. Subscribe or contact us.

The Art of Sound and Music

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Image by Ken Brower & Deborah Ory, courtesy of Holden Luntz Gallery

Go, right now, to the Holden Luntz Gallery at the southwest end of Worth Avenue, just next to the Everglades Club.

What you’ll find surpasses art, surpasses photography, surpasses dance and transcends to the altitude of angels, still images that somehow capture sound, movement, costume and performance.

The gallery hosts “The Art of Sound and Music” from February 22 through March 18. The 30-image collection surveys the photographic representations of music and dance, using one art form to document another.

It’s the Beatles, it’s James Brown, it’s the New York City Ballet. It’s breathtaking.


pbbor-tree-bwPublished monthly, the Palm Beach Real Estate Guide showcases available Palm Beach real estate, from estates and historic homes to in-town flats and waterfront high-rises. Subscribe or contact us.