We here at Viva! Lifestyles are a team of writers who enjoy the good life in New York City, and it’s our goal to share with you our experiences. Beyond just reviewing theater shows, films, restaurants, hotels, as well as our beautiful city sites to visit, whether you live in the city or are a tourist, we also have a team of international students who translate our reviews to a few other languages, so please don’t think that Russians, Brazilians, Italians, the French, the Japanese, and the Chinese are taking over New York. No way! It’s just our work trying hard to help other visitors whose English is not so fluent.
We founded Viva back in 2009, when I–Lucas Eller–decided to bring a group of writers together and review film and theater. It all started with Stuart R. Brynien, Joao Junior, and Allen Hubby–the latter is the vice-president of the Drama Book Shop, who’s helped us so much in the last 7 years. Eric Jensen used to be our proof reader and also reviewed a few restaurants in the last 6 years. Sadly, Mr. Jensen got sick with a cancer that ended up taking him away from us. I, the editor-in-chief, particularly miss him, because he was a great tutor in my earlier years in New York while I was still learning English, he used to make fun of my thick accent, and I would get very upset because I thought it was impossible to learn English. Those were nice days we went through, and fun to remember how naïve I used to be as a publisher. To me, Eric is unforgettable, I’ll probably always mention him in future issues in decades to come.
Stuart R. Brynien has a full-time job at the world-famous Drama Book Shop, the largest theater bookstore in the world, where he’s been working for over 10 years. It was back when I worked at the DBS that he and I first spoke about a seasonal publication on theater, and we ended up doing more than just theater. Mr. Brynien is one of the most knowledgeable members of their staff, and he’s written dozens of film, theater and cityscape reviews over the years.
Allen Hubby and Joao Junior are not part of our writing team, but they always help with extra information we need. Mr. Hubby is like “an encyclopedia alive”, he is so knowledgeable on various subjects and his information is very valuable to our magazine. Mr. Junior takes care of our website and has created part of the design of our printed version. Thanks to both we’re still running.
Later on, other writers were invited to join our team. Among them are Kate Mulley, who also works at the DBS on occasion. She seems to have a great time writing reviews while she studies at Columbia University. Ms. Mulley is also a playwright, and one of her plays is now being done in China.
Lorenzo Pozzan was a model in Italy, where he was born to an American mother, and decided to move to New York in 2011 to pursue a career as an actor, contrary to his father’s wish that he would become a lawyer. Mr. Pozzan has been writing for us since 2012, while he still models when he goes to school here. In the last 6 months he has spent a lot of time in Europe and Asian, modeling and traveling back and forth. Not so bad for a 27-year-old whose life as a writer, model and actor sounds exciting.
Lorenzo Lars Vallot joined our team more recently. I met him at the American Ballet Theater in 2014, when we were onstage as supers for the ballet. Mr. Vallot and I were so nervous we didn’t leave the stage when we were supposed to, just a few seconds made a difference that the director looked at us in the hallway later and said: “You guys shouldn’t love the stage too much, and leave it when it’s the right time to do so.” We were so embarrassed that we really learned well for the next shows. Besides writing film reviews and about museum exhibitions, he also translates our articles to Italian, his mother-tongue.
Hiroya Matsumoto and Alvin Chen are our Asian writers based in New York, whose jobs are to translate to Japanese and Chinese, respectively. We don’t get much insight from our readers in these languages yet, yet we’re very proud of their fabulous work covering translations to the biggest continent of all.
Hanna Strezh , who’s a journalist, translates to Russian. She moved here almost a decade ago, and she almost ended up in Washington D.C., but luckily she came to New York. Her first years in the city weren’t so easy: Read the interview with actress Alessia Sushko for details on Hanna’s story.
Hudson Oliver, Thayana Teixeira, Tony Giusti and I translate to Portuguese. There’s a big amount of readers in Portuguese who are interested in what happens in New York, especially those living in Brazil, the fifth largest country in the world population- and territory-wise.
We would like to thank you for reading our magazine, as well as for liking and leaving your comments on our FaceBook page. Your participation is very important to us.
Happy Memorial Day.
EDITORIAL by Lucas Eller