According to its publisher, Promenade will serve the "wealthiest 1% of the world's population when they're visiting New York." Fair enough. But if the old adage is true -- you can tell who reads magazines by the ads -- the top drawer wants dental implants, antique paperweights and oversized fossils. Where can they purchase a 400-year-old seahorse? At the Astro Gallery of Gems. Say what you will about rich eccentrics, but I don't see Rupert Murdoch trolling for emeralds. Frankly, if I were as rich as Rupe, I'd do that voodoo that he do so well: buy media. A Cartier watch is lovely, but shaping world opinion is priceless.

On the plus side, Promenade boasts a fanfare of sleek galleries and stores, though the adjectives are overheated. Press for the winter issue describes the new Greek and Roman galleries at the Metropolitan Museum as "breathtaking," a word usually reserved for women of great beauty, like Greta Garbo or Lila, the crazy girlfriend in "Dexter," the Showtime hit where film noir goes tropical. Garbo was cool and unreachable, while Lila has a tangible lust for the dark side. So did the Romans, who got visceral with sex, politics and food. Art collecting may be a province of the wealthy, but when it comes to enjoying great works, the Met welcomes 4 million visitors a year. They can't all be well-heeled.

But what of the magazine? Does it fulfill its mission to cater to current-day Gatsbys? I'd say yes, assuming that what they want most is a $3,000 Saeco Primea Touch Plus, the ultimate in coffee makers. Conversely, I have hinted repeatedly to my boss about the $24.95 Gevalia. His wry smile means I still bring my own java. So if you're among the 1% and want to do a little media charity this month, the office thanks you. Perhaps you'd prefer to sample SoHo chic at Hastens, where the Swedish company's singular blue-and-white gingham-covered beds can command $50,000. They give new meaning to "go to the mattresses."

In short, Promenade is a mix of shopping/product plugs and art features, like the Met piece, and an interesting story on the Neue Galerie, highlighting the work of Gustav Klimt. The Neue showcases German and Austrian art and design of the early 20th century. Added bonus: the Neue's pricey Café Sabarsky, patterned after the great Viennese cafes of the late 19th. The pastries are sublime, but the café also doubles as a cabaret. With luck, you'll catch German chanteuse Ute Lemper, who channels the Weimar era, making her occasional appearance.

Also on tap are the "Editor's Picks." They are curiously pedestrian: the ice rink at Bryant Park, the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center, the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. Nice, but let's face it: predictable tourist fare. If you were a billionaire, would you stand in line to skate? Would you stand in line for anything?

Instead, consider a box at the Metropolitan Opera to see "War and Peace." The opera depicts one of the largest land battles in European history and the magnificence of imperial balls in Czarist Russia. With 65 solo roles, it's one of the biggest productions in Met history. It's Prokofiev's adaptation of Tolstoy's epic novel! Sorry, but it beats the tree.

Promenade also includes listings of bookstores, upscale boutiques, resplendent spas, where I would live if I had the lucre, shoe stores, including Carrie Bradshaw's favorite, Manolo Blahnik, museums, theaters and restaurants. Here's a thought: theme night! Dinner at the beguiling Russian Tea Room, dining on Caspian Sea caviar, chicken Kiev or beef Stroganoff, and downing its signature cocktail, the Moscow Mule (vodka and ginger beer). Then take a short stroll to Lincoln Center for "War and Peace."

The current incarnation of Promenade, which has been published since 1934, is a relaunch. This round, it's targeted to those who frequent 85 of Manhattan's most luxurious hotels. In truth, it's similar to Where magazine or In New York, which note many of the same attractions. All underscore the same point: The rich like to be spoiled. But when did they start mingling with the hoi polloi?


Published by: Davler Media Group

Frequency: Quarterly

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