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Color Factory in NYC’s Soho: “Kid-tested mother approved!”


Color Factory 2

The Color Factory in NYC’s Soho-

a treat for the senses!


Leticia Marie Sanchez

Visting the Color Factory in NYC’s Soho was like stepping into the whimsical novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Color Factory 12

Even before entering the galleries we were greeted with savory Mochi and once inside treats galore: macaroons, vanilla blueberry gelato, and candies!

Left: One of many sweet treats on our visit:




But the sweetest part of the day was the stimulating visual lesson on color!

Color Factory 1


At the entrance of the exhibit

was 100 colors by

Artist Emanuelle Moureax.




Color Factory 3


One of my son’s favorite rooms was “Balloon Wishes” with a welcoming placard,

When you wish upon a balloon/You find yourself in this Ombre Room.” Each balloon had a delightful wish bestowed by a student from 826 NYC.





A room that was especially memorable and enriching to me was From Absinthe to Zephyr:  An Alternative Alphabet of Unusual Colors written by Kassia St. Clair.

(Photo Below)


Color Factory 6I learned that the color “Terra Cotta” comes from the Italian for “Baked Earth” and that ”Nymphea” was a pink favored by Claude Monet.

Color Factory 7










Color Factory 5

Nymphea Color













Having a ball



And of course, the ball pit at the end was a blast!

Tips: Buy tickets ahead of time online as when we went no tickets are sold at the door

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Snapshot of Manhattan, August 2019 with the words of Walt Whitman 1867

Manhattan PhotoGive me faces and streets — give me these phantoms incessant and endless along the trottoirs!

Give me interminable eyes…

Give me such shows —

give me the streets of Manhattan!

Walt Whitman, 1867


All photography ©2019 Leticia Marie Sanchez

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The Sherry-Netherland: A welcome dose of Beauty and Civility

 Review: The Sherry-Netherland

A welcome dose of Beauty and Civility in Manhattan


 Leticia Marie Sanchez

Sherry Netherland Clock

Amidst the hustle and bustle of New York City is a place that embodies civility at its finest: The Sherry-Netherland. If you find yourself lost, a sidewalk clock on Fifth Avenue bearing the hotel’s name lets you that you have arrived.

The resplendent lobby ceiling harkens back to the Vatican. In fact, the artist who created the ceiling, Joseph Aruta found inspiration for his glorious mural in Raphael’s frescoes in the Vatican Palace.

More ceiling sherry


ceiling sherry netherland

Many of the details of this gilded building, including the walls, mosaic floors, and panels inside the elevator were originally part of the Vanderbilt mansion. White-gloved attendants lead you to the elevator, squiring you to your room where fresh flowers await. The joyful white flowers are accompanied by handwritten welcome note from the hotel management and a box of Louis Sherry Chocolates. This confectionary detail evokes the hotel’s history, as the hotel was named for Louis Sherry, a Gilded Age businessman and candy maker, whose company acquired the hotel. The Netherland component of the hotel’s name harkens back to its original name, the New Netherland. (The Dutch Republic had named a portion of the East Coast “The New Netherland,” and its capital was New Amsterdam, located at the southern tip of Manhattan.)The detail of the flowers and chocolates underscores perhaps the most memorable detail of the Sherry-Netherland: the graciousness of its first rate staff.

I was intrigued to discover that the Sherry-Netherland is also home to private residences. The hotel staff is equally attentive to its residents and hotel guests.

Lenny Sherry Netherland Julian

On my first stay at the Sherry, when my son was 2 years-old, Lenny, one of the bell captains, greeted him with an adorable toy giraffe and book, which Julian Giraffe Sherry Netherlandmade his day.









Rabbit Sheery


Then, on this visit two years later, when my son was 4 years-old, Pedro, one of the elevator attendants, kindly entertained my son in the splendid Vanderbilt elevator by making rabbit ears on the shadows of the elevator wall. He, then showed my son the figure of a rabbit etched into the wall of the lobby. The staff at the hotel’s world class restaurant, Harry Cipriani, is also superb.  Moreover, one of the drivers at the Sherry-Netherland, George, drove us to JFK on what proved to be my smoothest drive to the airport ever.

The elegance and refinement of the Sherry-Netherland building make it exceptional and the warm, gracious staff make it unforgettable.

golden ceiling sherry

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Painting à la Pollock, East Hampton


pollock frame


mom and Julian Jackson Pollock

Painting à la Pollock:

Child’s Painting Class and Tour

at Jackson Pollock’s Home

East Hampton


Leticia Marie Sanchez

Photography and text © 2019 Leticia Marie Sanchez

Cultural Cocktail Hour® is a registered trademark

Jackson Pollock Trees

Painting with my 4-year-old son underneath the sun dappled trees at Jackson Pollock’s home as we overlooked the abundant natural beauty of the Accabonac Creek proved one of the most treasured moments on my artistic foray to the Hamptons.

My son and I participated in the wonderful Imagine That! Tour and art class led by engaging art educator Joyce Raimondo.

The class commenced with a tour of Jackson Pollock’s studio, where the children searched for traces of the artist’s footprints in the vibrant floor covered by vestiges of his drip painting.

Jackson Pollock Footprints

Pollock art Tour

The children then peered through a book showcasing Pollock masterpieces that currently hang at world famous museums in order to match the color palette of these paintings with the spot on the floor on which they were created.

Tour Pollock

In addition to the art detective work by the children, old paint cans and images of Jackson Pollock made the studio experience vivid and compelling.

From the studio, Joyce led us up the stairs to Jackson Pollock’s home where he lived with his wife, artist Lee Krasner.  We stepped back in time, as my son discovered old fashioned telephones and viewed Pollock’s collection of hi-fi phonographs.

Old telephonespollock records






After we toured the home, Joyce led us outdoors where the children created their own drip painting à la Pollock.


Jackson Pollock Mat

Jackson Pollock 2




We sat in a blissfully serene spot under the trees. I was struck by the enveloping beauty of East Hampton with its arboreal splendor and vistas of sky blue water on the horizon.





Jackson Pollock 1

Jackson Pollock 2










Pollock Creek

Photo Left: Accabonac Creek at Jackson Pollock’s Home.

No wonder Jackson Pollock felt inspired!

Drip Painting Class at Jackson Pollock’s Home:


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Review: Ugo Rondinone’s Buoyant “Sunny Days” at Guild Hall East Hampton

Ugo Rondinone’s “Sunny Days” at Guild Hall, East Hampton

August 10-October 14. 2019


Leticia Marie Sanchez

Cultural Cocktail Hour® is a registered trademark

Guild Hall Gala

Photo Left: Cultural Cocktail Hour Editor-In-Chief Leticia Marie Sanchez at the Guild Hall Summer GalaSunny Days








Guild Hall entrance

Photo Above: Tree-lined Main Street

in East Hampton

site of the Guild Hall Summer Gala

On summer nights in August, the Hamptons social season is in full swing, and the vibrant Summer Gala on August 9th at Guild Hall was no exception. The festivities marked the opening night of Ugo Rondinone’s “Sunny Days,” an exhibit which proved a balm for the soul.

Rondinone is a Swiss born, New York-based contemporary mixed-media artist who works with sculpture, painting, video, sound, and photography. ”Sunny Days” is comprised of three parts: paintings, sculptures, and a poignant, heartwarming gallery showcasing art made by children. The narrative thread linking all three components is the buoyant symbol of the sun.


Guild Gala 2

Firstly, Guild Hall’s Woodhouse Gallery contains a series of sun paintings. In these works artist Ugo Rondinone cleverly conveyed the dizzying effect of attempting to view the solar form with the naked eye. Rondinone spray painted canvases with soft concentric yellow rings. Inside the Woodhouse Gallery, I spoke with Guild Hall Executive Director Andrea Grover about the effective, disorienting nature of looking upon Rondinone’s creative work which mimics the act of gazing upon the sun itself.  Grover observed that these paintings by Rondinone are “Mesmerizing. The paintings convey the impossibility of looking directly into the sun.”


Guild Gala

Secondly, in Guild Hall’s Moran Gallery, one can view a series of sun sculptures created by Rondonine who cast vine branches in aluminum and then gilded them. The slim golden orbs symbolize the life cycle.  This metaphor in the gallery is two-fold: vines bear fruit each year on a rhythmic cycle which evokes the overarching theme of the exhibit: the sun which makes its own cyclical trek through the universe.



The third component of “Sunny Days” proved emotionally uplifting. I cannot recall an exhibit of late in which an artist generously shared his space with school children, which is precisely what Rondonine did here. He invited children to fashion their own representations of the sun in an exhibit entitled “Your Age and my Age and the Age of the Sun.” On the bright, colorful wall one can view Smiling Suns, Setting Suns, Rising Suns, Red Suns, Seaside Suns, Suns Wearing Shades, a seemingly infinite panorama of buoyant suns. These works on watercolor and paper were made by children from Leuven, Oaxaca, and Long Island. I found myself magnetically drawn back to this room again and again, revisiting it many times during the course of the evening, for an infusion of spirit healing warmth. The exhibit at Guild Hall bestows us with Sunny Days for the mind, heart, and soul.


Guild Gala WallGala Wall




gala gold










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Review: The 2019 Hampton Designer Showcase House in Southampton

eti showcase house

Cultural Cocktail Hour® is a registered trademark


An artistic oasis in Southampton

by Leticia Marie Sanchez

Photo Left: Cultural Cocktail Hour Editor-In-Chief Leticia Marie Sanchez at the 2019 Hampton Designer Showhouse presented by Traditional Home to benefit Stonybrook Southampton Hospital.

What struck me about the design of this Southampton retreat on Rosko Lane was that it was simultaneously a calm, light-filled seaside escape as well as a dynamic, cosmopolitan space for entertaining guests. This moveable feast of textures and colors made both the indoors and outdoors an artistic oasis.

Showhouse designer


Many design firms were involved in creating the distinct features of the house, and I will highlight a few that caught my eye:

Alessandra Branca designed the living room that balanced tranquility with modern touches like these on the left.



Hamptons window

In the Master Bedroom by Morgan Harrison Home, a dreamy peach palette framed the verdant nature of the Hamptons outdoors; it was a very painterly, landscape portrait effect. (Photo Left)


One of my favorites was the whimsical lounge and bar designed by Betsy Wentz of design firm Studio B. The colorful, indoor bar featured sofa covered in Christian Lacroix velvet stripe and Designers Guild velvet. 

(Photos Below)


Bar Showhouse

 Christian Lacroix. Designer Showhosue











The Pool Surround designed by Brittany Bromley Interiors and Bromley Landscape Design.

The elegant soigné coiffeur of the figures on the right (looking a bit like Marie Antoinette!) were designed from seashells. Very befitting of a seaside home!

Plus showcase house Showhouse moreShowhouse 5Showhouse 3

Showhouse 8

Photo Left: Artistic Inspiration in the Salon designed by Megan Gorelick Interiors

A lovely afternoon of creative inspiration in Southampton!

All photography and text ©2019 Leticia Marie Sanchez

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Throwback Thursday to Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week!


Leticia Marie Sanchez

Throwback Thursday to last year at Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week! A highlight for me was hearing one of the most moving pieces of classical music, “Lark Ascending” during the show, in the video clip below!

Editor’s Note: This article first appeared in Cultural Cocktail Hour in 2018

Greetings from Paris!

At Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week Fall Winter 2018, the uplifting strains of Ralph Vaughan Williams’sLark Ascending” played during the presentation of the ethereal designs by Azulant Akora.


 The stirring music was befitting of a collection that proved inspirational, ethereal, and exquisite.

Akron’s presentation was filled with showstoppers including a intricate floral-imbued gown and a royal green dress that was regal and perfectly showcased in the golden, classically gilded room at La Maison Champs Elysées.

info@imaxtree.comWhat was even more impressive about Akora’s collection was that her creations managed to be both dreamy and functional at the same time. Her collection was seamless, yet each silhouette was unique: with shapes alluding to Art Deco or even the resplendent ladies of Gustav Klimt.

Akora emerged onto the Australian fashion scene in 2013 where she was awarded the Australian Wool Fashion Award. She entitled her latest collection AVATAR after the film. Akora stated that her collection’s main theme is that: “ All energy is only borrowed, and one day you have to give it back. In life, everything is about balance; giving back as much as we take and respecting the Earth.”

 Cultural Cocktail Hour  Editor-in-Chief Leticia Marie Sanchez had the opportunity to interview designer Azulant Akora after the show.

When asked about the inspiration behind her collection, the young designer directly addressed her generation, encouraging “Millennial to be more aware of what we do.” Akora revealed, “Fashion has a global voice. Fashion is also conscious and connects people all over the world.” Akora successfully executed her idea of connection and conscious. Her collection resonated with her audience, inspiring each of us to an elevated self.


VIDEO CREDIT: Leticia Marie Sanchez, Cultural Cocktail Hour, © 2018

Photo Below: Cultural Cocktail Hour Editor-in-Chief Leticia Marie Sanchez at Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week, La Maison Champs Elysées.

at Paris Haute Couture Fashion week



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Happy Midsummer’s Eve!

 I recently discovered this 1915 painting by

Daniel Garber which currently graces the walls of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

I was struck by the translucence of the fabric, the glistening leaves, and the soft light: pure magic.

Wishing my readers a Magical Midsummer Eve!

Daniel Garber Painting


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Cultural Cocktail Hour visits New York!

Throwback Tuesday to New York trip two years ago!

Looking forward to visiting New York again next week!

All photography ©2017 Leticia Marie Sanchez

“If London is a watercolor New York is an oil painting”- Peter Shaeffer

Central Park, New York,  July 2016

Manhattan 3Manhattan 4Manhattan 1

Manhattan 2

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Get Lost! (Lost in Liberty Park, that is)

Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared in Cultural Cocktail Hour in 2008.

In 2017, the Sphere moved from Battery Park to Liberty Park, where it now overlooks the World Trade Center site.

 Fritz Koenig’s The Sphere


Leticia Marie Sanchez

It is the stillness after the storm, a place for reflection on the violence that occurred nearby in lower Manhattan. It is what Mayor Michael Bloomberg called a symbol of the “power of art to heal.”

The Sphere, a globe sculpted by the German artist Fritz Koenig, is the only structure to survive and remain standing after the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. The 45,000-pound steel and brass work, its face dented, chipped, fragmented, scuffed and scratched, now rests in a quiet place in Liberty Park, a short distance from Ground Zero.

More than survivor, the Sphere plays the role of witness, a witness that bears physical evidence of the assault. According to an interview in the online magazine Echo Germanica with Koenig’s translator, Percy Adlon, “They found the innards of one airplane inside a hole that was ripped open in the top of the sculpture. They found a bible in there, an airline seat, papers from offices on the top floor.  It became its own cemetery.”

Originally, Koenig was opposed to resuscitating this small graveyard, but, later told the World Trade Center Commemoration on-line, that he eventually realized that, in its scarred survival, the Sphere “has a different beauty, one I could never imagine…it has its own life-different from the one I gave to it.”

This sculpture conveys a symbolic spiritual message. Unknown forces transcend human limitations and the struggle for power and domination. The moment when the sun hits the Sphere, casting off gold flecks, marks the transition from minor to major, melancholic cords yielding to harmony.

Confused at the panoply of memorabilia on the lawn, a little boy asks his mother, “What do we take?”

Embarrassed, his mother scolds him, “We don’t take anything. We’re just looking at it.”

 But looking is itself a form of appropriation. Each person takes away something different. Observing the scene was Asia Henderson, a Park Enforcement officer from the city, someone who sees The Sphere every day. When asked what the statue meant to her, she paused. “It’s a symbol of hope. Life goes on.”

Upon exiting Liberty Park you will find yourself on the New York streets with the bustle of cars, red sightseeing buses, taxies, sirens, and honks. Life goes on, on the streets, near Ground Zero, in Manhattan skyscrapers, in private homes.

Anyone who yearns for that moment of stillness after the storm should Get Lost, lost in Liberty Park, and visit the tree-sheltered Sphere.

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