What is Shangri-La?

Views of SHANGRI-LA in Cortland, NY

Shangri-La Cortland, Window

Shangri-La Cortland, From Front Welcome to Shangri-La, Cortland, NY.

NOTE: Shangri-La regrets the loss of its Cortland store due to fire in October 2005. We have left this page up as a memorial to our loss.

Here are some photos of what our Downtown Cortland location used to look like.

“There are moments in every man’s life when he glimpses the eternal.” – Robert Conway in Lost Horizon.
Shangri-La Cortland, From Corner
Shangri-La Cortland, From Side

Shangri-La Cortland, From Back

Our downtown Ithaca and downtown Cortland shops regularly hosts art exhibits by nationally and internationally recognized artists. Click HERE to see photos from our winter fashion show!

Shangri-La Cortland, From Front after Fire Shangri-La Cortland, From Back after Fire
Thank you for visiting our shop in the heart of Downtown Cortland, for an art event, to see our fine merchandise, or just for a friendly chat.


Shangri-La occasionally takes items on consignment. Insurance for any items on consignment are the sole responsibility of the owner of those items, and not the responsibility of Shangri-La Group Corporation, its agents, or its representatives. Consignors are responsible for arranging their own insurance coverage for any potential loss on consigned artwork or items of any other nature.

Joaquin Canay & Vera Sazonova

We have had a lot of fun designing our eye-catching window displays at Shangri-La in Downtown Cortland.
Here are some views of our Mardi Gras display!


In Hilton's novel, adapted for the silver screen by Frank Capra in 1937, a group of Britons led by idealist adventurer Robert Conway crash-land in a fertile mountain pass brooded over by a mountain called Karakal, or Blue Moon. In utopian Shangri-La, where the aging process is dramatically slow, Conway is hosted by Buddhist High Lama and falls for the Manchu royal Lo-Tsen, a 68-year-old who looks 18.

Hilton himself never went to China. Some claim that he plucked the setting for his tale from an article in National Geographic magazine about Austrian-American Joseph Rock, who explored the region for 27 years, but we at Shangri-La know the TRUTH! Click HERE to learn the real origin of Hilton's novel, Christian Zeeman, father of the mathematician, Sir Erik Christopher Zeeman!

Learning about Joseph Rock's trek is still interesting. He was based 100 kilometres (60 miles) south of Zhongdian in Lijiang, a centuries old hamlet and backpacker haven, which also made a bid for the mythical title. Quaint, misty Lijiang has grown exponentially in recent years from a windfall of tourism.

But the dusty town of Zhongdian remains underdeveloped, despite having built an airport to facilitate visits to placid sites such as the White Water Terrace, a limestone plateau carved from a hillside by trickling azure pools.

The Zhongdian government also has held talks with Hong Kong's Shangri-La hotel group and agreed both sides could use the name. But only one county would officially take the name of the land which, in Hilton's words, was "touched with the mystery that lies at the core of all loveliness".

Click HERE to View our Ithaca Store!

Click HERE to VIEW A TRAILER CLIP of the 1937 film Lost Horizon, directed by Frank Capra.

"Gentlemen, I give you a toast. Here's my hope that Robert Conway will find his Shangri-La.

... Here's my hope that we all find our Shangri-La."

Visit Shangri-La's exciting line of exclusive workout gear - ART IN ACTION!

Also visit our page of LINKS for the downtown ITHACA COMMONS shops! In Ithaca, NY, Shangri-La is located at 171 East State St. in Center Ithaca, "The Commons," TEL 607 272 5955. ITHACA LOCATION HOURS for Summer: MON 5 PM to 9 PM, TUE 11:30 AM to 7 PM, WED & THU 11:30 AM to 8 PM, FRI & SAT 11:30 AM to 10 PM, SUN 1 PM to 4 PM. In Cortland, NY, Shangri-La is located at 55 Main St., at the corner of Court St. CORTLAND LOCATION is Closed until further notice.

Also contact us by Email: shangri_la_publications@hotmail.com for more details.

Neighboring shops bring uptown downtown
Cortland Standard, Business Section, Friday 9 September 2005, p. 5

"Shangri-La Gifts mixes class, culture" - By Brian Bosch, Staff Writer

CORTLAND - Cortland and haute couture fashion aren't often together in the same sentence. And finding such a boutique in downtown Cortland is just as unexpected. But Shangri-La Gifts, a store recently opened in June on 55 Main St., wants to offer a taste of both unique clothing and cultural events for locals looking for the spark of the new.
The store is owned by husband and wife Sheldon and Min-You Gosline. Sheldon Gosline has taught at colleges in America and China. In April, he presented a paper at the new Bibliotheca Alexandrina (Library of Alexandria) in Egypt, Min-You Gosline worked as a public relations representative for a five star hotel in China before coming to America.
They said Shangri-La Gifts is a way to share the experiences of their own lives. It sells ready-made and couture clothing, meaning it is measured to personally fit each individual and is designed to the customer's own specifications of fabrics and design, made by Gosline and You-Min. Gosline cuts the fabric while Min-You sews.
Cortland is not the first Shangri-La that Gosline and Min-You have opened. Another store has been open for two years in Ithaca where the Goslines developed a way to bring out the type of product they want.
"I think it's true of any small business owner. In order for it to be a successful business you have to put an awful lot of yourself into it," said Sheldon Gosline. "To make it into your own type of business. We are putting throughout our design work, our creative work, creating an environment that is comfortable and relaxed."
Min-You stressed the personal touch that she want Shangri-La to be known for explaining she finds very satisfying in coming to an area, connecting with the community and being able to offer part of herself through her store, "We can bring multiple cultures together, bring something different, something new."
Min-You and Sheldon decided to bring their business to Cortland because they live close by.
They have had plans to expand to Corning but hesitate due to the timing complications of commuting over such a distance. The only employees beyond the two of them are so far collaborators who work on commission, bu there are possible plan to soon hire additional employees.
One part of the business Sheldon believes to be important is adapting and offering the possible products that customers in Cortland might want. So, he says they're looking for input.
"One of the things we are constantly doing is listening to our customers, what they're interested in having as merchandise and then we try to bring it on board as part of our total package. So I encourage people in Cortland to come in and tell us what you'd like us to carry."
Sheldon believes Shangri-La can succeed because it offers a type of style that's unique from the more regimented chain stores, adding, "I think there is a real hunger for things that are made by hand and crafted with style and design that's unique. People are looking for their own way to express themselves."
To generate additional interest, college students are are being given a discount through September.
Shangri-La is more than a clothing store. Comprised of the interests of Gosline and Min-You, Shangri-La was formed years ago.
"We started eight years ago, publishing books as Shangri-La Publications. And we still publish academic books," said Sheldon.
Now Sheldon and Min-You use their stores to promote cultural interests, as an art gallery, venue for fashion shows and dance classes.
The Cortland store gallery features Chinese artist Yi Hong-bin, described by Shangri-La as "... a leading politician, newspaperman, poet, musician, and novelist." This month, artist Jeff Bass, who has a portrait of President H. W. Bush in the National Museum of Aviation, is scheduled for some of his artwork to be on display.
A fashion show of Shangri-La products was held in Ithaca April 2. Min-You hopes to duplicate the show in Cortland sometime in the future.
Shangri-La Latin Dance lessons are a definite and will be happening soon. Two teachers from Cornell are being brought in for instruction and the first class is already scheduled for Sept. 16, 7 to 10 p.m., with more details available at Shangri-La.
For more information, visit the Web site at www.shangrilagifts.org.

Shangri-La wishes to thank Cortland Standard for permission to reprint on the web this article from 9 Sept 2005.

What is Shangri-La?
es el prototipo del paraíso mítico, pero esta vez en Asia, en un lugar remoto y perdido del Tibet, en pleno Himalaya. En este país de extraordinaria belleza, la gente era centenaria por los siglos que podía vivir. No obstante, cuando abandonaba el tranquilo lugar, envejecía rápidamente.

Shangri-La es una réplica del Shambhala tibetano, un lugar legendario y alegórico, donde todas las referencias simbolizan la mente humana, su ignorancia, sus deseos, sus caprichos, sus conflictos y también su grandeza.

James Hilton's Shangri-La
James Hilton
publicó en 1933 su famosa novela "Horizontes Perdidos" dando forma a la leyenda que corría por toda Asia acerca de este lugar utópico de ensueño: Shangri-La. La idea original parece pues que no fue suya, y hay quien la atribuye a Mike Brown, pero de todas formas Hilton tuvo el mérito de popularizar y hacer llegar esta historia a los lectores occidentales.

La novela de Hilton es una de las más representativas de todas aquellas que, por aquel tiempo, hacían apología del pensamiento y el modo de vida oriental. Otras obras, en cambio, se prestaban a enfoques aún más soñadores.

En Horizontes Perdidos, Hilton parece tener una visión del futuro que espera al Tibet, cuando uno de sus personajes, el padre Perrault dice "presagio un tiempo en el que el hombre, exultante en la técnica del homicidio, montará con tanta cólera contra el mundo, que todas las cosas preciosas estarán en peligro, cada libro y pintura, todos los tesoros acumulados durante dos milenios ..."

Estas atrevidas predicciones tuvieron su resonancia en las advertencias del 13 Dalai Lama, el predecesor del actual cabeza espiritual y político del pueblo tibetano. En efecto, su sucesor, el 14 Dalai Lama, tuvo que huir de su país en 1959 y establecer un gobierno provisional en el exilio en Dharamsala, la India.

Frank Capra's Lost Horizons
El director de cine Frank Capra
, que ganaría un Oscar en 1934 por "Sucedió una noche", realizaría una adaptación a la gran pantalla en 1937, siguiendo el texto original con bastante respeto (teniendo en cuenta las numerosas licencias que siempre se ha tomado Hollywood con las adaptaciones literarias).

El argumento base es bien conocido: el avión que trasporta a un grupo de norteamericanos se ve obligado a realizar un aterrizaje forzoso en las cumbres del Himalaya, dejando a sus ocupantes indefensos ante la nieve y el hambre. Atónitos, descubrirán una ciudad perdida en las nevadas cumbres: Shangri-La, donde la gente vive en paz y armonía, en un aparente paraíso que parece durar eternamente. Pero algunos de ellos no se adaptarán a la forma de vida utópica de Shangri-La, y desearán regresar al mundo exterior. En 1973 se realizó una nueva versión, pero está vez a modo de película musical, protagonizada por Peter Finch y con canciones de Burt Bacharach y Hal David.

La idea todavía resuena y pervive, incluso en ámbitos tan dispares como los del turismo, ya que en Asia, una gran cadena de hoteles lleva este mismo nombre.