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By Robin Jovanovich

Not many moons ago, Rachel Gordon was a little girl whose mother, Esther, donned her wizard’s hat to come up with a fun way to help her daughter overcome her shyness. When Esther coincidentally learned that a friend’s once-shy daughter was now competing in children’s fashion shows in New York, the news cast an enchanting spell over the Gordon household in Purchase.

After winning the Vicky’Z New York Modeling Competition this spring, it was off to the runway for Rachel, in this case, as Brand Ambassador for Vicky’Z New York. In July, she was one of 1,000 children, ages 4 to 14, on the catwalk at the weeklong Vicky’Z International in Bejing, where she came in third.

In September, Rachel was one of the shining stars at the largest runway venue, New York Fashion Week. And while many media eyes were on the grownup super models, it was Rachel who once again brought home a first-place trophy.

Over Veterans Day weekend, hundreds of girls were excited to be part of the East Coast Starz Runway Competition held at the Hilton Hotel in Parsippany, N.J. Five-year-old Rachel co-captained team Bossa Nova and graced the runway in colorful individual and sponsored outfits. The team came out on top in the 3 to 6-age group, earning a crown, a champion vest, and a trip around New York City in a big pink Hummer.

How has life changed in the past six months for the Ridge Street School kindergartener? When we caught up with Rachel at her home, she was poised but far from retiring. In between going to the kitchen to see what her younger brother Jared was up to, she excitedly showed us her trophies and photos from the runways. How does she like modeling? “It’s fabulous! I plan to do more.”

As we were leaving, she asked if we’d like to hear her play one of the pieces she was practicing on the piano, which, unsurprisingly she does beautifully.

Like any young girl with a head on her shoulders, Rachel Gordon knows where she’s going. She plans to follow in her parents’ footsteps and be a caring, smart mom and a surgeon who helps people like her dad, James.

Here’s to happy endings.

 

#1-At the East Coast Starz Runway Competition

#2 The “New York Ambassador” in Bejing

# 3 Rachel Gordon standing next to a display of her trophies and a photo of herself at New York Fashion Week.

 

 

 

<<December>>

1

RyeACT/Parent University Workshop: “Home for the Holidays”, Rye Library 11 am-12:15 pm

2

Christmas Tree Sale, Christ’s Church, 9 am-5 pm; same time Dec. 3

Volunteer Corps Workday, Read Sanctuary, 10 am

Holiday Boutique, Wainwright, 10 am-4 pm

Volunteer Work Project, Marshlands, 1-3 pm

Performance by Violinist Akiko Kobayashi, Rye Library, 2-3 pm

Student/Teacher Recitals, Rye Arts Center, 1-6 pm

3

Closing Reception for Photography Exhibit, Marshlands, 2-4 pm

Holiday Bonfire & Sing-a-Long, Rye Rec, 4 pm

5

Crochet Workshop, Rye Library, 6:30-7:45 pm

6

City Council Meeting, City Hall, 7:30 pm

7

iPhone Informational Workshop, Rye Library, 10 am-12 pm

Homeopathic Medicine, Rye Library, 7:30-9 pm

8

Little Garden Club “Winter Garden” Boutique & Luncheon,

Apawamis Club, starting at 10 am

Ring in the Holidays, Wainwright, 7-10 pm

9

Snowmaking Program, Rye Nature Center, 1 pm

Winter Wildflower Arrangements, Read Sanctuary, 1 pm

Chakra Workshop, Wainwright, 2-4 pm

Jay Day Birthday Bash & Holiday Open House, Jay Center, 2-5 pm

Paper Ornament Workshop, Rye Library, 3-4:30 pm

10

Holiday Candle Making, Marshlands, 2-3:30 pm

13

Talk by Astronomer Paul Alimena, Wainwright, 3-4:30 pm

14

3-D Programming, Rye Library, 6:30-7:45 pm

Current Events Book Group, Rye Library, 6:30-8 pm

16

Pancakes with Santa, Rye Rec, 10 am

Holiday Decorations Workshop, Rye Nature Center, 1 pm

Nature’s Winter Survival, Read Sanctuary, 1 pm

Robert Rogers Puppet Company, Square House, 1 pm

Author Talk by Peter Feinman, Rye Library, 2-4 pm

Holiday Sing-a-Long, Square House, 4 pm

20

Nutrition Seminar, Rye Y, 11:30 am-12:30 pm

 

By Georgetta L. Morque

How often have you had a night out or weekend away with friends and had to painstakingly spend hours dividing up everyone’s expenses afterwards? You only hope that a banker or mathematician is in the group to figure it all out.

Francis Verdier has solved the problem with his app, iOmoney 2, which quickly and accurately computes the amount each person owes or is owed through a special algorithm that calculates individual tabs from a group bill. “You put the different expenses in and the app will tell you who is in the red, who is next to pay, and balances everything,” says Verdier. It also sends reminders and lists unpaid balances.

A native of France, Verdier developed the app after several years of struggling with expenses from ski trips with friends in Europe. He originally wrote the app on a Palm Pilot and kept it up to date until the iPhone became the tool of choice. When researching Apple for similar apps, he only came across ones that helped split the bills at restaurants. Now, in its ninth version, iOmoney 2 offers much more.

“You can use the app in many ways and people have found some interesting uses,” says Verdier, noting that poker clubs have found it very helpful. It’s also handy for party, holiday, and house expenses, in addition to dining and travel.

A lifelong techie, Verdier grew up with computers — his dad was in the business — and started coding by age 12. He went to engineering school in Paris and worked as a developer in a financial firm. Verdier and his British wife, Caitlin, moved to New York and settled in Rye at the suggestion of his employer. He is currently the Chief Information Officer at a global asset management firm in the city. Caitlin Verdier runs a successful parent-to-parent consulting and advocacy business, ParentAble.org, as well as Caitlin’s Cuisine.

The app, which is available in four languages, is used by thousands worldwide. Verdier isn’t trying to make money, but likes to cover his expenses. The app can be downloaded free from the iTunes App Store and used on a trial basis for up to five expenses. Afterwards, there’s a $1.99 charge for unlimited use.

In addition to working, building apps — he has created many — and parenting two teens, Verdier also plays bass guitar in an indie rock band, The M62s, a group of ex-pats from Ireland, France, and Great Britain, with one American. M62 is a highway north of England, which links the towns where the band members are from. The M62s, who also use iOmoney 2 to calculate band expenses, include Angus Scott, Steve Shaw, Mark McCarthy, Simon Bradley, Jim Kuster, Allison McCarthy, and Cameron Kamer, when he’s not in college. They’ve had gigs in the area, and will play at Molly Spillane’s in Mamaroneck December 1 at 7 p.m.

 

Francis and Caitlin Verdier

 

 

For many Rye residents, the offseason is the best time to enjoy the natural grandeur of Playland. The historic Boardwalk is where families stroll, children learn to ride bikes, dogs gambol, sun-worshippers set up beach chairs on a warm winter morn, and everyone catches up with their neighbors.

So, when longtime resident JoAnn Cancro went down to the pier again recently, to walk and photograph one of her favorite local landmarks, she was outraged to discover beer logos above the pier and totems nailed into the white and blue poles.

“The Tiki Bar leases space at the park and puts tables out in the summer months, but who allowed them to put up all of these ugly totems in the most photographed Art Deco pier in the country, and what can we do about it?” asked Cancro.

 

The entrance to the Playland Pier before and after its “decoration.”