A MUSICAL LEGACY

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When it comes to pianos the name Steinway needs no introduction. For over a century and a half, top performing artists as well as the general public have associated Steinway with the world’s finest pianos.

Henry Engelhard Steinway founded Steinway & Sons in 1853 in a Manhattan loft. Over the next 30 years, Steinway and his sons built pianos one at a time, taking nearly a year to complete each. Today, the company builds instruments with the same attention to detail.

Local music lovers can acquire one of these artisan-made instruments by stopping into the Steinway Piano Gallery of Charleston, which opened in April 2015 in West Ashley. The Gallery is owned by the Fox family, contributors to Charleston’s musical landscape for four generations. (They are also owners of North Charleston’s Fox Music House.)

Chris Clark, the Gallery’s general manager, emphasizes that Steinways are good investments. Built with the best materials and to high standards, they retain their value and, if cared for, actually appreciate over the years.

For those who can’t afford the top of the line, Steinway offers their Boston and Essex lines, which incorporate patented features and quality materials at a lower price point. These are perfect for parents who want to purchase a superior instrument for their child but aren’t sure that he or she will become a serious musician. Add to this the Steinway promise: You can trade a Boston piano in and apply your original purchase price toward a Steinway of equal or greater value for up to 10 years. That way, you lose nothing if you discover you have a prodigy on your hands!

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Recent news is Steinway’s Spirio line of pianos, 100 percent acoustic pianos with the ability to play back performances recorded by the world’s top artists. All the dynamics and nuances are there, exactly as played. The piano comes with access to an ever-growing library of performances. Yes, for 20 percent more, you can bring Lang Lang into your living room! steinwaycharleston.com, 843-642-8588.

SOPHISTICATED LADY

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What’s better than being young, beautiful and able to wear just about anything? Not much. But finding clothes that make you look and feel young and beautiful sure helps.

Pauline Sokol Nakios’ Leo & Sage line makes any woman feel special. Hers is a contemporary collection of knits and ready-to-wear clothing that emphasizes luxury fabrications and architectural silhouettes. Her garments, made of silks and cashmere, put forward a distinctive, elegant look. These clothes drape beautifully on your body! (Nakios, a Charleston native, is also the owner and creative director of Lilla P, a lifestyle collection of everyday casual silhouettes.)

For spring 2016, the Leo & Sage line will evolve into a more comprehensive collection that complements Nakios’ signature knitwear. Included will be fringe knits, oversized shirts, knit dresses and linen-blend separates. The muted palette will feature pastels with black and white accents.

This fabulous line is available at Gwynn’s of Mount Pleasant and, in Charleston, at Christian Michi and The Finicky Filly. It can also be found in high-end specialty boutiques across the United States and in the United Kingdom. leoandsage.com

RECIPE FOR SUCCESS

You may be already a fan of Sarabeth’s, a line of awardwinning jams and preserves sold in gourmet shops across the country. But you probably aren’t familiar with the brand’s history—how its owner rose from talented pastry chef and jam-maker to international restaurateur. It all started in Manhattan, a city where dining establishments come and go like fireflies on a summer night.

My husband and I discovered Sarabeth’s when we were living in New York City in 1981. That’s when Sarabeth Levine opened her eponymous café on Amsterdam Avenue, a few blocks from our home. Her motivation: to introduce to the world her now-legendary orange- apricot marmalade, made from an old family recipe, as well as her considerable baking skills.

The store was an instant success. Every Saturday morning we rushed to be first in line for her hot-from-the-oven croissants and savory pumpkin muffins.

When husband and general contractor Bill Levine realized how popular the café was becoming, he dropped everything to help her open, in 1986, a full-scale restaurant across the street. There she served breakfast, lunch and dinner— and quickly acquired an even broader following.

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Today, the couple has eight locations in the New York area; one in Key West, Florida; four in Japan; and one in South Korea. Now we hear restaurants are scheduled to open in Japan, Dubai and Taiwan. Thankfully, the cuisine is better than ever, and the restaurants retain their air of relaxed sophistication.

Sarabeth Levine has been twice nominated for the Perrier-Jouët Pastry Chef of the Year Award and has won the esteemed James Beard Outstanding Pastry Chef of the Year award. Her latest book, Sarabeth’s Good Morning Cookbook, was published in October 2015.

Sarabeth’s jams and preserves are available at Southern Season in Mount Pleasant and at sarabeth.com. Better yet, on your next trip to the Big Apple stop by one of her restaurants. sarabethsrestaurants.com.

CALL OF THE WILD

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The Southeastern Wildlife Exposition (SEWE) will have its 34th annual celebration of wildlife and nature in Charleston from February 12 – 14, 2016. The largest and longest running wildlife art and sporting lifestyle event of its kind in the United States, this year’s exposition will feature art exhibitions, wildlife viewing, conservation education, sporting demonstrations and much more. The featured artist this year will be Kyle Sims, an American realist painter from Belgrade, Montana.

Renowned television personality, author and conservationist Jack Hanna will join SEWE once again to entertain attendees at Charleston’s newly renovated Gaillard Center. One of the most respected animal ambassadors and wildlife educators in the world, Hanna always delights. Meanwhile, the Gaillard Center will also showcase a mix of art and crafts, including handcrafted furniture, wood carvings and nature photography.

Back for a third year is the performance-art event “Duets and Quartets,” during which two artists paint an original oil painting while two sculptors create a sculpture out of plaster and clay—all while the Charleston Symphony Orchestra Quartet plays in the background. An auction of the works will follow.

The Center for Birds of Prey will conduct flight demonstrations with a variety of raptors, including falcons, eagles, owls and hawks. SEWE will also host the only two-tank Dockdogs event east of the Mississippi, an event in which dogs display their athletic prowess (think “extreme” retrieving).

Other SEWE attractions include fly-fishing and fly-tying demonstrations, a petting zoo, pony and camel rides, and a rock-climbing wall. sewe.com, 843-723-1748.