About Me

My husband Andrew and I channeling Lou Reed and Nico even though she was blonde and way cooler than I’ll ever be.

Writing my Bio always makes me ridiculously uncomfortable because I’m never sure what people want to know about me. So, I’ll start with some basics. I was born March 12, 1966, in Brooklyn, NY, and grew up in Teaneck, New Jersey, which I mostly loved, especially High School, where I made an incredible group of friends and was even the president of Playcrafters, our school drama club. I went to Tufts University, where I majored in English and sang co-ed acapella for a spell with a group called the Amalgamates. I’d be utterly remiss if I didn’t say that I spent some of the greatest moments of my life at Camp Modin in Canaan, Maine. And that I am still close friends with many people I met there.

I play lefty short-scale guitars like Sarah, and while she graduated to full-sized Gibsons thanks to her moment with Heavy Artillery, I haven’t been able to swing it yet.

My first job was as a fact checker for the American Lawyer Magazine, which was totally not my scene, so I moved on to AdWeek’s Marketing Week as a staff writer. My favorite job, hands down, was being a beauty, products, and features editor for Women’s Wear Daily. The people were terrific and really taught me about the industry and how to write and report. And I never felt like I had to pass a groove test to work there the way I did in some other places. I went on to become the beauty and fitness director for the teen magazine YM and the plus-sized fashion magazine Mode.

I am most proud of working with an extraordinary team to create Girl magazine, the first multicultural and multi-size fashion and beauty magazine for teens. After that, despite my wild hair, sensible shoes, and decidedly “basic” fashion sense, I somehow became Elle magazine’s beauty and fitness director for several years. I have since contributed to many major women’s magazines, including Self, Shape, Fitness, Glamour, Real Simple, InStyle, Town & Country, and Harper’s Bazaar.

Clyde & Mouse keeping cozy together.

The best thing that ever happened to me was in 1990 when my Grandma Ruth Appelbaum insisted on inviting family friend Andrew Kagan to her 90th birthday party, completely against my wishes. We got married in 1992, and I love him more with every passing year—#luckiestgirlever. We live in the Bronx with our two grey and white kitties, Mouse and Clyde, who sadly haven’t decided whether they like us yet. But hope springs eternal.

These days I only sing and play guitar for myself and my amazing guitar teacher, who I’ve jammed with for nearly 20 years. But I hope Sarah will inspire me to finally get up the nerve to play an open mic.