Category: New York Bulletins

Sasha Petraske, Bar Owner Who Revived Luster to Cocktail Culture Around the World, Dies at 42

Sasha Nathan Petraske was the owner of Milk & Honey. Credit Ben Rose Photography
Sasha Nathan Petraske was the owner of Milk & Honey. Credit Ben Rose Photography

Robert Simonson writes:

“Sasha Petraske, who helped restore lost luster to the venerable cocktail as the founder of the New York cocktail bar Milk & Honey and other polished drinking spots around the world, was found dead on Friday morning at his home in Hudson, N.Y. He was 42.

His wife, Georgette Moger, said he had died overnight. The cause had not been determined, she said.

Mr. Petraske’s role in the modern cocktail revival is difficult to overstate. The opening of Milk & Honey in 1999, in a narrow space on a dark, little populated block of the Lower East Side, has been called instrumental in the revival of cocktail culture across United States and beyond.

Though unmarked and unadvertised, Milk & Honey became a phenomenon, known for its unapologetic dedication to expertly crafted, pre-Prohibition era cocktails, not to mention its eccentric reservation system and exacting rules of decorum. In a Manhattan bar world then ruled by glitz and noise, sloppy drinks and sloppy behavior, it served as both a rebuke and a utopian alternative.”


Step-grandaughter of Morgan Freeman murdered in New York

Step-granddaughter of actor Morgan Freeman has been stabbed to death in New York.
Step-granddaughter of actor Morgan Freeman has been stabbed to death in New York.

Actor Morgan Freeman has paid tribute to his step-granddaughter, who was stabbed to death in New York.

Officers responding to a 911 call at around 3am on Sunday found 33-year-old Edena Hines lying on the street with multiple stab wounds to the chest. She was pronounced dead at Harlem Hospital.

A 30-year-old man who police say was in a relationship with Ms Hines was taken into custody at the scene – in front of the victim’s apartment on West 162nd Street.

Police say he is undergoing a psychological evaluation at a hospital. No charges have been filed.

Mr Freeman issued a statement that said: “The world will never know her artistry and talent, and how much she had to offer.”

Ms Hines had studied acting and was involved with teaching urban youth. She is the granddaughter of Freeman’s first wife.

Daphne Guinness, The Heel-Less Wonder

Daphne Guinness seen in NYC in 2014. Getty Images.
Daphne Guinness seen in NYC in 2014.
Getty Images.

Anna-Lisa Yabsley writes:

I like to imagine that I first met Daphne Guinness when I was a child. As the story goes, I was with my parents one day when they were stopped by a photographer on a photo shoot on the streets of London. I have no idea what I was wearing or why we were stopped, but as it turned out, the photographer inquired if my parents would allow me to be in one of his shots. They obliged. However, once I caught a glimpse of the woman I was to be photographed with, I looked scared, ran into my dad’s arms and refused to be involved. I’ve been told the exaggerated smokey eye makeup triggered it. In my defense, as a 3-year-old, I simply couldn’t appreciate the striking vision standing before me.

I never knew who the woman was, nor could my parents tell me. But I’ll never forget their description— striking, half-fashion, half-fantastical face of makeup and polished, two-toned Cruella de Vil-esque hair.

Granted, the age difference between Guinness and myself does not 100% support this theory — word has it she was still wearing Chanel suits in the late ’80s — yet I think it’s clear why she will continue to pop into my mind when I relive the story.

In the interest of full disclosure, I have always been in awe of Daphne Guinness. When you read interviews with her, her broad spectrum of knowledge from fashion to ancient history and everything in between is apparent. An eclectic fashion icon who has stayed true to her style, she’s often dismissive of the mainstream industry.

Heiress to the Guinness brewery family, muse to Steven Klein (and many more) and close friend of the late Lee Alexander McQueen, Guinness has been collecting fashion since long before I refused to be photographed with her [apparently]. And while I could write about Guinness for days — the films she has produced and edited, her music video directed by Nick Knight, her acting career, MAC make-up collaboration and, of course, the exhibition at New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology — I won’t. Each warrants coverage in its own right, as does her impressive personal fashion archive, including the entire wardrobe of her dear friend, the late Isabella Blow, which she purchased in 2010, three years after Blow’s death.

In 2012, the fashion muse did a serious wardrobe clean out – auctioning off 102 of her archive pieces in order to raise money for the Isabella Blow Foundation. It was there that Lady Gaga purchased one of Guinness’ Alexander McQueen gowns, once worn for a Harpers Bazaar shoot. Gaga reportedly paid 85,250 GBP, setting a new record for a McQueen item.

Connecticut Death Penalty Ruling Stirs Painful Memories of 3 Grisly Killings

Steven Hayes and Joshua Komisarjevsky, convicted of the murders of Jennifer Hawke-Petit and her daughters, Hayley and Michaela, at their Cheshire home in July 2007. Credit Connecticut Department of Corrections
Steven Hayes and Joshua Komisarjevsky, convicted of the murders of Jennifer Hawke-Petit and her daughters, Hayley and Michaela, at their Cheshire home in July 2007. Credit Connecticut Department of Corrections

Nicholas Casey writes:

CHESHIRE, Conn. — Celine Bonilla was only 11 when she looked out her first-floor window and saw police officers pinning a man down on her front lawn. It was 2007, and that man and an accomplice had just killed two of her friends and their mother, dousing them with gasoline and burning them alive in their home in what became known as one of the grisliest crimes in Connecticut history.

Yet Ms. Bonilla, now an 18-year-old nursing student, said she opposed the death penalty — even for the two men who murdered her neighbors that morning. “They deserve to be in jail,” she said, explaining that she believed executions were cruel and unusual.

The Connecticut Supreme Court expressed a similar opinion on Thursday when it struck down the state’s death penalty law in its entirety, sparing the lives of 11 prisoners, including the two men, Steven J. Hayes and Joshua Komisarjevsky, who were convicted in the killings here.

While a state law enacted in 2012 had prohibited the imposition of any new death penalty sentences in Connecticut, the court went further with its 4-to-3 decision this week, saying that even those already on death row before the law’s passage could not be executed because the punishment “no longer comports with contemporary standards of decency.”

Arab Bank Reaches Settlement in Suit Accusing It of Financing Terrorism


Stephanie Clifford writes:

A Middle Eastern bank has reached a settlement with hundreds of American plaintiffs, including victims of terrorist attacks in Israel, who had filed a lawsuit against the bank accusing it of supporting terrorism.

A spokesman for the bank, Arab Bank, and a spokeswoman for one of the plaintiffs’ law firms confirmed Friday that an agreement had been reached, but declined to offer additional details, including the amount of the settlement.

Last year, a jury in Federal District Court in Brooklyn found Arab Bank liable for financing terrorism by processing transactions for Hamas members. The second phase of the trial, assessing the damages Arab Bank would have to pay to victims of attacks by Hamas, was scheduled to start Monday.

All of the plaintiffs are victims of Hamas attacks or family members of people who were killed.

A person who had been briefed on the case, but was not authorized to speak publicly about it because details of the settlement were confidential, said that the settlement covered all the claims brought by plaintiffs under the federal Anti-Terrorism Act, a total of about 500 plaintiffs.

About 300 plaintiffs were part of the trial, and 17 of those were included in the phase of the trial set to start Monday, which was meant to be a sort of bellwether for how much the bank might owe.

The Hamas claims were tried first, but there were other claims against Arab Bank involving terrorist groups other than Hamas. Those have not been tried, but plaintiffs in those claims were part of the settlement, the person briefed on the case said.