You can’t keep a strong woman down.
Martha Stewart, who graces our cover this month, has seen some pretty dramatic ups and downs over the years, but she is currently looking at a career upswing after her company saw a merger late last year. It’s the latest chapter in her long climb back from prison in the mid-2000s.
The 74-year-old lifestyle guru, with an Amazon series now in the works, is trying to connect with millennials and revealing her true offbeat sensibility these days, easing away from her longstanding image as the exemplar of perfection and propriety. That includes tweeting about riding a hoverboard while buzzed at the house of a Qatari diplomat, and telling dirty jokes during a Comedy Central roast for Justin Bieber.
(Martha also likes to party: Our staff had an epic getting-to-know-you sushi dinner where she taught us that if you drink beer after sake, you won’t get drunk. We put this to the test, and it worked!)
Reporter Chris Cameron sits down with the multi-faceted and prolific domestic diva — did I mention she is working on her 87th book? — for a story starting on page 12.
Meanwhile, our other main profile in this issue is of another woman who has laid a pioneering path, but in a different area — namely, the male-dominated world of horse racing.
Sheila Rosenblum, a Manhattan socialite, former ballerina and model, has become one of the few women to invest in and manage racehorses, as reporter Isabel Schwab writes. She launched a horse racing syndicate a few years ago with eight other women and has racked up an impressive record that includes wins at Belmont, Aqueduct and Saratoga.
She stumbled badly out of the gate — her early years involved costly mistakes and being targeted by swindlers, simply because she was a woman in a male-dominated area, she suspects. But today she is off to the races with her female-heavy crew, adding diversity to the racing world — “We walk in and it’s a little more glamorous,” she says. See page 30.
It’s interesting, too, that our profiles of these groundbreaking women occur against the backdrop of the U.S. presidential race. Has there ever been a woman — besides Martha, perhaps — who has seen as enormous ups and downs as Hillary Clinton? (Most recently, those “downs” have included being harshly criticized by the FBI for careless handling of sensitive information on her email server.) While much of the focus during the election has been on Donald Trump’s grandstanding, the race is also about the role of women, in a way that hasn’t been as widely covered recently. I suspect that some pro-Trump votes are really anti-women votes. All of which makes our profile of Stewart and Rosenblum that much more timely.
On a lighter note, our coverage of the Hamptons this issue is quite extensive, all the better to play, eat and sleep more luxuriously on the East End this summer.
In our “Luxe Life” feature on page 10, we present plenty of new sporty gear to use this season, from tennis racquets that record your strokes to help make you a better player, to paddle boards designed for racing.
If you are looking for a place to use that racquet, how about John McEnroe’s house in Southampton, which naturally has its own court, and is on the market for $14.5 million. We’ve got the former tennis great’s mansion, plus other celeb homes that are available for purchase or to rent (or just to ogle at) in a story on page 36. You might get a relative steal, as the market for high-end Hamptons properties is weaker than the market for more moderately priced homes right now (see page 50).
You’re bound to be hungry after all that exercising (or spending), but too tired to go out. Luckily, some of the best young chefs today are eschewing a traditional career working in restaurants and are available for private hire. We highlight some of the top chefs available for intimate dinners or parties starting on page 26.
Finally, getting out to the Hamptons in the first place can be the biggest hurdle of them all. Forget the Long Island Expressway or cramped seaplanes and helicopters. If you are looking for something new, try a yacht service (see page 84). Or else just buy your own yacht (see page 113).
And if you need another vacation after your Hamptons vacation, we’ve got that too. Just flip to page 114 for some ideas, from Montana to Machu Picchu.
Enjoy the summer and enjoy the issue.