Archive for the 'Beyond' Category

Now That’s a Motorcycle

I don’t ride, but I love motorcycle design. has a great article about a U.K. design firm that has developed a series of bikes that will, for sure, influence motorcycle design for many years to come.

Living Well Link of the Week: Now That’s a Motorcycle | Design & Innovation

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Michael Chiarello is the tastemaker behind NapaStyle stores, Chiarello Family Vineyards, Consorzio Flavored Oils, and Tra Vigne Restaurant as well as an Emmy-winning Food Network personality and cookbook author. Over his 20-year career, Michael has drawn on his Southern Italian roots and Napa Valley way of life to pioneer culinary and lifestyle innovations that inspire friends and family to gather around the table to create meaningful traditions in their own lives.


Food comes alive for me when it tells a story, and nearly every dish I make has one – of a childhood hike with my family to forage for mushrooms, of an afternoon spent canning tomatoes with neighbors. When I cook or eat those dishes, the flavors remind me of those wonderful experiences and the friends and family who helped prepare them.

I created NapaStyle to share these stories and the rich, uncomplicated lifestyle that the Napa Valley inspires – and to encourage you to start your own traditions around the best of every season. Whether you live in the wine country, at the shore, in the mountains, or in the city, there are great flavors all around you – if you know where to look.

My favorite section is NapaStyle lighting. It’s filled with unique and interesting fixtures.

Living Well Link of the Week: NapaStyle


Thanks Annmarie, for the link.


I invited the staff at Fivecat Studio to contribute to the Living Well blog whenever they feel the inspiration. Project Architect, Bjorn Slate sent me this post earlier this afternoon:


As the weather turns cooler and the days get shorter, it’s fun to imagine where we might run off to in the darkest days of winter for a little bit of sunshine and warmth. This new travel website features hotels with uniformly great design.

If you’re looking for something a bit closer to home, may I recommend SpaFinder, the Global Spa Resource. If it’s your first time, be sure to check out Spa 101. They assembled a collection of time tested advice to guide you through the experience. You’ll get more out of your spa experience when you understand the industry, the etiquette, and especially, the treatments.

Then again, why leave home at all?

At Fivecat Studio, we’re finding that our clients are looking to their own master bathrooms for some of the amenities they might otherwise find at their favorite spa. Whether it’s an air-massage soaking tub or steam shower, the theme is relaxation and rejuvenation. When a project calls for steam, we look no further than industry leader, Steamist.


Thanks Bjorn.

A Walking Stick

img_1509.JPG A bit off topic… but last week when Annmarie and I were visiting Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains (they were actually blue…very, very blue) we spotted this Northern Walkingstick insect on the ceiling of our cabin’s porch. I took the photo to share with my 5 year old son, but I thought I would share it with you too. It was pretty amazing.

We Will Not Fail

Great harm has been done to us. We have suffered great loss. And in our grief and anger we have found our mission and our moment. Freedom and fear are at war. The advance of human freedom — the great achievement of our time, and the great hope of every time — now depends on us. Our nation — this generation — will lift a dark threat of violence from our people and our future. We will rally the world to this cause by our efforts, by our courage. We will not tire, we will not falter, and we will not fail.

The Address by the President of the United States to a Joint Session of Congress and the American People – September 20, 2001

May God bless those who died on September 11, 2001,

their families and friends,

the brave men and women of the United States Armed Forces,

and our leaders.

Please give them the strength and courage to do what is right.

May God bless us all.

The River


As I have mentioned several times, one of my favorite places to be in this world is floating on the St. Lawrence River among the Thousand Islands.

Today I posted a new header image of “the river”. Check out more amazing photography by Ian Coristine at his website.

A New Look

I’ve decided to dress up the blog a bit with a custom image header. My plan is to change the header throughout the summer with images of some of my favorite places.

The first one is actually a painting by St. Lawrence River artist Michael Ringer. This work is from his Adirondack Series and is named, Adirondack Silence.

You can see more of Michael’s paintings here.

If you ever find yourself up in the Thousand Islands region of New York, be sure to visit his gallery in Alexandria Bay and his store in Clayton.

Fivecat… or is it Five Cats? (Chapter 1)

A recent trip over to the Name Inspector blog, inspired me to post about our firm’s name, Fivecat Studio.

Being a great fan of business, I have read a plethora of marketing books, and understand well, the importance of a great name. Annmarie and I knew that we wanted to clearly differentiate our firm from the ho-hum “Smith and Smith” firms that practice throughout the region. We tried several derivatives of the McCarthy and LePage names, but nothing seemed to click with us.

Then we started thinking outside the box (or in our case, inside the house).

Annmarie has been a life-long supporter of animal rescue and in 1999, the year we launched the firm, we acquired our fifth rescued feline. We did not plan our lives together knowing that we would be living with five cats (at least I didn’t), but through many events of good fortune, we do (we share our house with two rescued Rottweilers as well).

For now, I will not go into the wonderful stories of how each animal found its way into our home, but in the spirit of explaining the studio’s moniker, I will tell you a short (or maybe not so short) story about our little grey cat, Tarzan Fostersquanz, Lord of the Dashboard (#5).

One cold winter evening, almost 10 years ago, Annmarie telephoned me in a slightly worried panic. “There’s a cat in my dashboard!”, she cried.

Now… you could just imagine my surprise… but you’d be wrong.

At the time, Annmarie had been volunteering for a local rescue organization, Forgotten Felines. Her assignment was to help manage the population of a large feral feline colony just outside the Village of Katonah.

For weeks, she would bring food to the cats attempting to build their trust and eventually, she had them eating from the palm of her hand. The next step was to take them to a local veterinarian where they would be neutered, then returned to the colony to live out their lives.

So, on this day, Annmarie planned to crate two adolescent litter-mates that she had befriended and proceed with the plan. She brought them their lunch and as they ate, she scooped up a kitten and started to carry it back to the open cat carrier waiting in the rear seat of her car (in hindsight, not exactly the proper technique for securing a wild animal).

Well, as she headed for the car, the mother of this kitty, trying to defend her offspring, latched herself on to Annmarie’s pant leg and would not let go. Then, not entirely unexpectedly, the kitten clamped its teeth into Annmarie’s hand. She made her way to the vehicle, dropped the angry cat into the crate and closed the door. Not learning her lesson, she went back for more.

Annmarie returned to the food, snatched the other kitten and brought it back to the same crate (another flaw in her plan). She opened the door to the crate and out scrambled the first. The second cat went into the crate as the first continued to screech and swirl throughout the interior of the vehicle. Annmarie closed the doors and waited for things to calm down before attempting to recover the escapee. She slowly opened the door and peered in through the window. She looked around and saw no cat. “He must have gotten out before I closed the door.”, she thought.


Stay tuned for Chapter 2, coming soon.

Favorite Places


Everyone has their favorite places to be in this world. The Caribbean. Nantucket. The Vineyard. New England. The Hamptons. Or maybe your pleasure is in Europe. London. Paris. Milan.

My favorite places are closely tied to my best childhood memories. Captiva Island, off the Gulf coast from Fort Myers, Florida is where I would most like to spend my winters (about 30 years ago, I promised Mom a house on Captiva…I’m still working on it). Then in the summer I would head north. Way north, to the St. Lawrence River. The Thousand Islands region with its clear, clean water and majestic river views is truly paradise for me.

These are the places where I spent vacations as a young boy. Mom and Dad made sure my brothers and I enjoyed a vacation every winter and every summer. I am sure the money wasn’t always there, but somehow they pulled it off every year. The memories from those vacations are priceless.

Mom and Dad now spend their summers at their river house. They have plans to do the same with their winters in Florida as soon as Mom retires from her position with the Paramus Public School District (one more year).

Now I am lucky enough to take my kids to these same places. Shelling on Captiva beaches. Long rides on Dad’s boat. Hours and hours of swimming in the pool. We are creating memories that my boys too will cherish for the rest of their lives, and I am adding to my own memories in a whole new way. We are truly blessed!

Thanks, Mom and Dad…for the memories (then and now)!

Where are your favorite places? Tells us your best memories.

A Second Story at Second Story

Chappaqua’s Second Story Book Store is getting a lot of buzz lately.

A few months back they survived an eviction from their long-time digs at 75 North Greeley Avenue. Now they’ve been selected by the Clinton Museum Store in Little Rock, Arkansas to offer a full line of Clinton presidential memorabilia.

Ten Mann, over at LoHud’s Suburbarazzi, posts a link to the recent Journal News article.

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Living Well in Westchester is a trademark owned by Mark R. LePage, AIA, LEED AP | © 2006 - 2013 Mark R. LePage, AIA, LEED AP | All Rights Reserved.


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