NEWPORT COAST LIVING MAGAZINE
Cycling Ever Higher With The Swerdlows
By Jill McLean
Perched in the hillside of sparkling Crystal Cove, the home and history of the Swerdlow family speaks volumes about friendships, excellence of character and an entrepreneurial spirit. Coming from an impressive lineup of education and accomplishments, both Cyd and Steve—the dynamic husband and wife team who met in1991 at The Grolier Club in NYC—work hard and enjoy the fruits of their ongoing aspirations, including the delight of watching their 4 adult children excel in life. Starting out at Weston High School in Connecticut for Ali (34), Adam (31), and Sage Hill High School for Sasha (22) and David (20), all followed in their parents’ footsteps with superb university education and ambitious beginnings for their careers and futures. Always active and on-the-go, a wide range of interests constantly engage the Swerdlows both individually and as a family—everything from working out together, yoga, skiing, coaching, equestrian, surfing, fishing, hockey and the arts, to name a few. And they don’t stop with just the physical activities… there are awards, leagues, and traveling that reflect their love of growth, exploration and seeing what they are made of. Close-knit and supportive of one another, the Swerdlows are a true reflection of how the whole community is where they live.
The spot where the Swerdlows live is a magical, special street, and realtors have dubbed the residences “The Lucky Nine”. In the very beginning of this specific Crystal Cove land development, the lots were in such demand that they were won by lottery! Each homestead and family planted roots for a future all at once in 2007… building, renovating and evolving as a high-profile and accomplished community. Cyd and Steve, along with their children, have experienced such authentic community that life-long friendships have been forged with all of their neighbors. No matter what the cause, need or project is, the residents of their street all band together in unity to help and support, fulfill and educate, enjoy and participate. There is also an abundance of gatherings, entertaining and fun, especially now that the adults are “free birding” after the kids have gone on to their own ventures of college and career. This group of super-accomplished, high-profile residents also know how to have fun! One such way they gather is through their regular “Progressive Dinner Parties”… walking house to house and enjoying food and wine pairings, a real margarita bar and even beer on tap. There are lunches, too, and Cyd enjoys the pool-side yoga group which is part ofwhat The Crystal Cove Community Association offers to its residents. A more recent group is the “Fifty Shades of Grape” for some of the Sage Hill School dads (most are now alumni), where the focal point is learning all about wine (along with the enjoyment of the tastings, of course!).
But it’s also about working hard and seeing results. Steve brings major accomplishments to the area, with a BS from Yale and a JD from NYU. While he and Cyd were originally living in Connecticut, Steve’s business offered them the incredible opportunity to make Orange County their home in 2007. Steve is now a CEO for CBRE, Asia Pacific, with the two of them traveling often to exciting places like Hong Kong, Tokyo (Cyd’s favorite), Singapore, Dubai, Australia and Hawaii (where Cyd is from).
Cyd has a background that is wildly diverse, working for heavy-hitters such as Wells Rich Greene Advertising, Robert DeNiro’s Tribeca Film Center, “As the World Turns”, and various independent feature films. As with all excellence in thought and character, Cyd has transformed an injury that threatened her lifelong passion for fitness and dance into a unique and successful business that continues to thread these same passions into an inspiration and transformative power for others. Launching her own brand of indoor cycling, she has created the successful POPcycle 2.0 and continues to find new ways to impact the lives of others. With up to 9 instructors and a mission of bringing to light how the low-impact, easy fitness venue can seriously improve the quality of one’s health, image and energy, Cyd says, “We’ve only just scratched the surface with this! Seeing the fitness level of my clients, family and instructors increase and the success and positive mind-set this creates has been the biggest reward. I just love seeing the smiling sweaty faces after every class and get huge inspiration from them. I would love everyone to try POPcycle 2.0… it is addicting, but good for you. Anyone who can sit on a bike and pedal can do it.” Her clientele includes age ranges from the 70’s down to some really exciting groups of high schoolers. There are even nights of clean fun for them, keeping healthy and safe all while exercising at Cyd’s north Laguna Beach studio. At holiday times, she offers “Grand Rides” to burn 1,000+ calories before those major meals from which we all seem to gain the extra fluff in some way or another.
There is no shortage of charities and causes that both Cyd and the whole family seriously support. They are natural collaborators for the greater good. Charity rides through POPcycle 2.0for Challenged Athletes Foundation and others in Orange County take place frequently. Most of all, the Swerdlows’ deep love for animals takes center stage, and they are huge advocates of organizations such as ASPCA and Downtown Dog Rescue (caring for canines of the homeless population in Los Angeles). Of course, this deep love of animals wouldn’t be complete without their 3 dogs that are members of the family!
When I asked Cyd what she feels most viscerally about in their lives and location here in Crystal Cove—especially as part of “The Lucky Nine”, with preserved views of a sparkling Pacific Ocean and endless beach—her face glowed and she replied, “I have lived all over the U.S. and Hawaii, and have visited many exotic places like the Great Barrier Reef, Bali, Amalfi Coast, South of France, Caribbean, and numerous Mexican resorts… but where we live now is what I call paradise. It is the American Riviera, and we are so fortunate to live here. I happen to be lucky enough to also have a very tight network of amazing friends whom I love and depend on for so much, including—and in between—a good laugh and a good cry.”