Manhattan 360




Childhood Connection
’60’s & ’70’s

Carol was known as Candy by family and friends until later in NYC as you will see.

Candy tagged along with Daddy Joe on his men’s clothing buying trips from Western Massachusetts to New York. Learned about business and went to lots of restaurants.

Candy Becomes Carol
January 1981 – May 1981

Candy taught Spanish & French at Longmeadow High School and was “rookie of the year” and Keyettes advisor whose club won the national award for excellence in Washington, D.C. After 6 years, she left teaching and her old life  to embark on a new phase. Wanted to try a career in business in New York City. The Seven Sisters college network helped make connections for entry level positions. Spent cold winter days interviewing at places like Deloitte Touche Ross Accounting, Revillon Furs, and Republic National Bank. Hung out at St. Patrick’s Cathedral between appointments to keep warm. At an interview with CW, a top executive at Republic Bank, he told Candy she’d have to be called by her given name Carol as it was more professional. Fine. New life. At 30 it was time.

Got several offers but ended up at Republic, leaving $9,500 teaching salary for a whopping $18,000 a year as Executive Assistant to CW, Head of Asian Lending. Moved from Massachusetts to Scarsdale, New York to live with sister Cindy & her roommate Elaine. For the next several months commuted into Manhattan on Metro North.


55 West 76th
May 1981  –  October 1981

Carol & Cindy soon moved into the City on the Upper West Side. Now got the B Train down to work. On a whim one night strolled over to the Park where Tosca was being performed al fresco. Walked by throngs on blankets when a voice yelled, Candy! Turned to see former college roommate Jane Levy waving. Sat with her to catch up and she mentioned that her Greenwich Village friend was single and interested in dating someone new. He’s a handsome pediatrician, went to Columbia, but doesn’t commit so just for fun. A few days later, Dr. Gary Levine called for Candy. He asked what was her real name. Had become Carol at work at that point anyway, so. After that, talked on the phone a few times, then face-to-face downtown at his place in the Village. A truly blind date. July 15, 1981. Carol met Gary. The rest is history.


Republic National Bank of New York
January 1981  –  June 1982


452 Fifth

French Château on 40th & Fifth. 7th Floor. Carol’s own huge window up there second from the left. Assistant to top executive CW. Two rows of mahogany desks. Everyone worked in a fun open atmosphere. Syrian, Lebanese, European, American Muslims & Christians & Jews. Quite the Ecumenical Banking Crew. Amongst the best people Carol ever knew.

Every morning she’d greet the guard at the door as the trolleys of gold bullion were being lowered from the armoured truck to the basement vault. Republic was the gold price standard for the markets each day. Bank Notes, too. Edmond Safra, a Syrian Lebanese Brasilian Jew owned the Bank. He had the entire 9th Floor Penthouse office suite where he held court for the Marcos’ and Saudi princes alike. With his mafia Cyril Dwek, Shua Yedid, Jeff Keil, Walter Weiner. Edmond took a group of us to the opening of the Rodin Wing at the National Gallery in Washington D.C. He and his wife Lily donated it. Yes. That’s right.

In 1999, Edmond died in an infamously murderous fire at his Monaco château.

Greenwich Avenue
West Village
October 1981 –  June 1982


54 greenwich

Gary and Carol continued to date. He was teaching medicine at Metropolitan Hospital. One day Carol impressed him with a Republic Bank limo which picked him up to meet her for lunch at Le Relais on Madison & 63rd. After that and a few weekends in East Hampton on Long Island with home-cooked Colitti Spaghetti, Gary asked Carol to move down to his loft on Greenwich Avenue. She did. And a few nights later during the Halloween parade, threw him a surprise party for his 33rd birthday with costumes and friends galore. In his own place. Was he shocked? Yes.

In the Spring of 1982, Gary and Carol traveled to China. Carol’s sister Cathy moved to New York to live with Cindy for a month to mind Carol’s desk at Republic while CW was also traveling in Asia. They all survived that. Pretty well.

Soon after…  Gary went out to Great Neck to visit his Mom. He came back with a something in his shirt pocket. His mother’s engagement ring. A true beauty which became mine. Our parents met for the first time at Windows on the World at the top of the World Trade Center. Gary’s dad Ellis was a member. Although Gary’s mother had a wicked cold, she showed up to tell us in front of my parents that we should get married before moving to San Francisco. So. They did.

But before. Reverse bachelor parties. Gary spent the evening dining with all of the women from his “Friends” building and beyond. Carol had dinner with Gary’s buddies. Doesn’t get any better than that.



76th & Park
June 20, 1982


Missy’s Apartment
Generous Friend & Hostess

With Joey & Joe





With Dad & Mom
Joe & Carole

With Gary’s Dad & Mom
Ellis & Betsey
(yes she did) 


Gary with his new family




Gary’s cousin Marilyn with Aunt Vera





Cindy & Vera 


Grandma Birdie Strahl charming
Uncle Billy Russell

Grandpa Phil Levine






Carol’s colleagues from Republic Bank
Danny  Betsy&John  Annette  Hope  Rouby  Deborah

Friends of Gary
JaneG&Willie  Cindy&Howie  Andy&Vi  Stanley&Susan  Peter&Joy

Matchmaker Jane Levy


Family partied after Wedding Eve dinner
Grotta Azzura Little Italy

Deb, Joey, Billy, Martin, Don
Cathy, Cindy, Vera
Mom, Dad, Dennis



Aw Love







Carlyle Hotel
76th & Madison
June 20, 1982

Photo from C&G’s honeymoon suite
San Remo towers across the Park
Who knew they’d live next door in a few decades

Honeymoon/ Cross-Country Road Trip to Move to Fog City
Pacific Heights, San Francisco  1982 – 1994

Then Carol Gary & Ben Moved to Paradise City
Northampton, Massachusetts  1994 – 2016

But still spent lots of time in New York City …

500 Park Avenue

For a time, Carol even commuted from Northampton to Manhattan. That’s right. Took a car service to New Haven, then Metro North to Grand Central. Walked up Park to 59th to ABN AMRO North America HQ. She’d been promoted to Regional Managing Director to head up an Eastern U.S. marketing group. Corner office looked out at a Caviarteria.

ABN AMRO soon imploded from internal corruption and got bought out by Royal Bank of Scotland, which then failed during the financial crisis. A former global international banking behemoth, ABN AMRO shrunk to become a retail bank in the Netherlands.



88th & Second Avenue
March 2001

Friends & family came from Coast-to-Coast
Gary hosted everyone at the
Excelsior Hotel
Limo’d crosstown to
Elaine’s & then a mafia disco to celebrate

Gary  Cathy&Dennis  Joe&Alison  Deb&Craig  Cindy&Bob  Lucy  Lydia  Eileen&Bob  Nancy  Robert&Rosemary  Mike&Kim  Anne&Peter




















Central Park
Winter 2005

Visited the City frequently
Stayed at the
Excelsior Hotel
Brother Joe & Alison worked at
Frank Stella Men’s Store across the block

San Remo towers in the background
Who knew it’d become C&G’s future backyard




2007 – 2011

Ben had 2 tours of NYU. It was clear, that was the place for him. Later, Ben became an Ambassador who gave his own tours to prospective NYU students. He was one of those guys walking backwards around Greenwich Village. He and President John Sexton got to know each other on the street. When the College of Arts & Sciences was looking for a new Dean, Sexton asked Ben to be the only undergraduate on the Search Committee.

While Ben was at NYU and for several years after, Mamma & Dad stayed at the Hotel Giraffe in the Flatiron on Park Avenue South. Its comfortable lobby with evening wine & cheese was our favorite place to hang out with Ben on many weekends.

Lots of walks around Madison Park, too.






New York University
May 2011

Proudest and a most dear memory

ben grad

On stage at the Javits Center stands Ben with 3 other honored undergrads behind faculty illuminati during NYU’s College of Arts and Sciences graduation. 1,800 classmates cheer him on from the floor as he is introduced recipient of the Borgman-Phi Beta Kappa Prize for Most Outstanding Undergraduate Honors Thesis –

Functional Data Analysis of Economic Bubbles:
Creating a Coherent Shape of Inflationary Phenomena’

As Ben crosses the stage with his diploma in Economics (highest honors) and Journalism (magna cum laude), President John Sexton reaches for a heartfelt hug. Ben says, ‘Thank you, John’. John replies, ‘Thank you, Ben’.    Kleenex please.

ben and sexton


Ogilvy Career
2011 –


ogilvy associates

As a freshman at NYU, Ben took an honors seminar. Carla Hendra came to talk to the students about her work as an Executive at Ogilvy & Mather. After thatBen became interested in advertising as a potential career. As soon as he graduated, he applied to get into the extremely competitive Associates program at Ogilvy. And he did. It was during the Mad Men television era, so Mamma dubbed him mAdBen.

Selected a Young Lion in 2014, at Cannes Lions in France with Neil deGrasse Tyson.

ben and neil

Then. Meteoric progression.

By 2018, mAdBen was an Executive Group Director and Lead for Global Partnerships. In 2019, an Executive Partner and member of Global Leadership Team.


2007 – 2016

Freshman year at Hayden dorm on Washington Square, roommate Andrei, from Romania; Financial District, Water Street first semester sophomore year with Rob; second semester at NYU in London, Nido. Junior & Senior years on St. Mark’s Place with Susie.

St. Mark’s Place

st marks

Washington Square

washington square

River Place

Ben moved to 42nd & 12th overlooking the Hudson
For several years after NYU
when he started his career at Ogilvy

Upper West 80’s

Then Ben moved uptown
C& G visited him & stayed again at old fave
Excelsior Hotel





March 2016

March 9 – Birthday visit to look for apartment
Photo at dawn from Excelsior Hotel
Found their apartment next to those San Remo towers



74th & Central Park West
Spring 2016


Full Circle








Central Park
Christmas Day 2016

xmas central park


Carlyle view from C&G’s CPW bedroom window
Thanksgiving 2017

first balloon


Snowy April 2018
Carlyle always in the distance



Father’s Day Eve 2018
Al fresco at Tavern on the Green

daddy & ben