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Featuring Illustrations by Colin Hayes

Look back on your New Year’s resolutions. Did you vow to become a smarter, handier, more well-rounded person? That’s all well and good, but did you come up with a game plan for how to do it, too?

No? Lucky for you, we did. Westchester’s packed with experts ready to teach you everything from the art of faking conversations with wine snobs to shedding those holiday pounds (while at work). Read on, and learn how to…

[Arts & Leisure]

…Buy Art That’s Not Junk

Be honest: would you know a genuine Jackson Pollock from a splattered drop cloth? With a few pointers from a pro—gallery owner Anelle Gandelman of Anelle Gandelman Fine Art in Larchmont—and a little time to develop your eye, you just might.

1: Do Your Research. “Avoid impulse buys,” Gandelman says. “If considering artwork by a living artist, research whether the work is priced appropriately relative to the artist’s sales history and other comparable artists. Ask for more information on the artist, such as what notable collections his work can be found in, if he’s received any reviews, or if the artist has been in any museum shows.” Gandelman says that, when considering artwork on the secondary market (i.e., art that has had previous owners), provenance (the previous owners and how they acquired the art) and a condition report are important.

2: Buy from Reputable Dealers. “Avoid tourist galleries, galleries in malls, or buying art on a cruise ship. The ‘art’ in these galleries tends to be overpriced and usually is purely decorative—that means it will not hold its value or appreciate over time.”

3: Beware “Limited Editions.” According to Gandelman, “limited-edition” prints are just overpriced reproductions of original artwork. “They often have edition sizes of more than one hundred, and the signature is usually printed on the piece. However, don’t confuse these with fine art prints, such as etchings that are original pieces in their own right.”

4: Develop Your Eye. “The more art you look at, the more you will refine your personal tastes, and the more you will be able to identify ‘good’ versus ‘bad’ art through comparison.”

5: Buy the Best You Can Afford. “It’s better to buy a great work by a lesser-known artist than an inferior work by an established artist for the same price,” Gandelman says. “Even famous artists have created bad work at some point in their careers.”

6: Trust Your Own Taste. The bottom line, says Gandelman, is, “love the art you buy.”

…Win at Beer Pong

Okay, so maybe it’s not a full-blown sport—yet. But beer pong is growing in popularity and, for those of you looking to gain an edge on your fellow pong player, these simple guidelines should help.

1: Take Your Time. “Playing beer pong is like shooting a foul shot; no need to rush your shot,” says Sam Pines, CEO of World Beer Pong Tour, LLC.

2: Aim at a Cup. “Some players just throw the ball and hope it goes in,” Pines says. The cups that you should be aiming for first are the front cups, Pines advises. “Pretend it’s bowling. Aim for the front cup and you will be fine.” It also makes your shot a lot shorter.

3: Have Good Technique. Have a good grip on the ball you are working with. Pines likes the three-finger grip with the thumb on the left side of the ball, and the pointer and middle finger on the right.

4: Don’t Forget Defense. “Your opponent might try to sneak a bounce shot in on you,” Pines says. “Make sure one player is always trying to block these shots, and the other player is catching rebounds.”

5: Know When to Rack. A traditional beer pong game is played with 10 cups and two cups remaining. “I recommend always taking the four rack on your first rack and two on the second rack,” Pines says. “If you are losing by a large margin to your opponent, go with the six rack first.”

…Go Wild in Westchester

Who says the ’burbs are too tame? True, swinging from a jungle gym is more our style than swinging through an actual jungle, but there are still lots of ways for adventurous types to get in touch with their wild and crazy sides right here in Westchester. Here’s how:

1: Howl with the wolves. Meet, howl, and yes, if you wish, dance near the wild ancestors of all those Larchmont Labs and Purchase peek-a-poos at South Salem’s Wolf Conversation Center (914-763-2373).

2: Drive yourself wild. Yes, Virginia, Westchester’s not all SUVs and Volvos. Who needs NASCAR when you’ve got Grand Prix New York Racing in Mount Kisco (914-241-3131)? Let loose and get that adrenaline pumping on Grand Prix’s European-inspired indoor racetrack.

 

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