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San Francisco Social Diary: The First Lady of Napa

Travel
NAPA VALLEY – “SALUTE, SANTE, CHEERS, MARGRIT! Tonight we raise our glass to you!” read the invitation from Festival Napa Valley, for a tribute to Margrit Biever Mondavi this past July. The 91-year-old widow of vintner Robert Mondavi, who is credited with putting California wines on the world map, Margrit was honored for her more than fo... READ MORE
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Music, Mosaics and Moonlight in Sicily

Travel
For two weeks in Ragusa Ibla, a baroque UNESCO world heritage site in southern Sicily, the streets were alive with the sound of music as young musicians from around the world gathered for the Ibla Foundation’s annual classical music competition. For 25 years, the Foundations’s founder and organizer, Dr. Salvatore Moltisanti, has accepte... READ MORE
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San Francisco Social Diary : An Art Bash At Stonescape In Napa Valley

Travel
One of the most creative and buzz-worthy events of the Bay Area summer “high season” is the biennial fete hosted by art collectors and philanthropists Norah and Norman Stone. The party takes place at Stonescape, their country estate and retreat at the far northern end of the Napa Valley, near the Calistoga hot springs resort […]... READ MORE
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July in Paris: All that glitters

Travel
April in Paris has its charms, but so does July, especially during haute couture week which is when I spent a few whirlwind days in the City of Light, getting an up-close look at glittering jewels and glittering fashions, all the while enjoying some wonderful meals and squeezing in a bit of shopping (mais bien […]... READ MORE
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San Francisco Social Diary: The Oscar de la Renta Gala

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At the black tie, invitation-only opening of the first Oscar de la Renta retrospective, held at San Francisco’s de Young Museum, friends and fans turned out in their best Oscars to honor the designer, who passed away in 2014. DE LA RENTA IN SPAIN, PARIS, AND NEW YORK Known for his show-stopping and glamorous evening gowns, […]... READ MORE
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Shanghai Social Diary Literary Lunch: Shanghai’s Vintage & Modern Architecture

Travel
One afternoon in Shanghai, I wandered over to the famed restaurant M on the Bund for a “Literary Lunch,” where American architect Ben Wood and Shanghainese author Andrea Mingfai Chu spoke about Shanghai’s architecture heritage. SHIKUMEN HISTORIC LANE HOUSES Wood and Chu educated us about Shanghai’s shikumen houses. Popular in the c... READ MORE
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Nina in Paris/Morocco, Part II of II

Travel
Happily, after a smooth three-hour flight, we landed in Marrakesh and I proceeded through immigration and customs in a breeze. NO sense of impending/recent terrorism here. This airport appeared relaxed and free of all concerns. My step-brother had sent a driver from the house and I happily settled into the SUV and enjoyed the perfect weather [&hel... READ MORE
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Nina in Paris/Morocco, Part I of II

Travel
On Tuesday, November 10th, I left New York for Paris to a visit a dear friend.  My four days in Paris were to be followed by a three-day trip to Marrakesh, as the guest of my step-brother and two dear friends, who had taken a six-bedroom riad in the medina for a week. I was […]... READ MORE
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Shanghai Social Diary: Hiking In The Chinese Countryside

Travel
Early one autumn Saturday, venture capitalist Jennifer Yan, publisher Andrea Mingfai Chu, and I went on a day trip to the countryside with our hiking group. Our destination was Tai Hu Lake, west of Shanghai, to visit an authentic farming and fishing village. ARRIVAL IN THE VILLAGE After a two-hour drive from Shanghai, we arrived in the […]... READ MORE
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My Time in Saudi Arabia, Part IV

Travel
I’ve been fascinated by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia since I was a child. As a painter and a writer, I never imagined I could go there. Then I became Executive Vice President of the Huntsman Cancer Foundation, which has strong relationships in Saudi Arabia. Recently, and incredibly, I not only got to go to […]... READ MORE
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My Time in Saudi Arabia, Part III

Travel
“Cancer will touch the lives of everyone — either through their own diagnosis or that of a loved one or friend. A notoriously dreadful illness, cancer is a leading cause of death. It strikes regardless of race, socioeconomic status, gender, or age.” — Dr. Mary Beckerle PhD, CEO and Director of Huntsman Cancer Institute. The [&hellip... READ MORE
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My Time in Saudi Arabia, Part II

Travel
Say “The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia” and, for many, the first thoughts are one of opulence, royalty, palaces, monuments rising out of the desert. It is all that. Absolutely dazzling. Yes, it was opulent, but I was in search of more than a palace tour. I was after the action and lively hustle I expected […]... READ MORE

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