Ever wondered what the break down of an (average) airline ticket cost is? "Flying is expensive, really expensive, but only kinda, and it's only partially the airlines' fault." [more inside]
Chrindie '95: A collection of essays about a seminal year in Christian indie rock. [via mefi projects].
1995 was also an incredibly important year for the scene we've come to call “Chrindie,” for Christian indie rock. Much has been written about the weird world of contemporary Christian music, but whatever you think it is , you’d be surprised by how many genuinely great Chrindie records were released twenty years ago. During the course of the year, we’ve been writing about brilliant, beautiful, challenging, difficult, weird albums that went mostly unnoticed by mainstream radio and the music press and MTV, in part because they were released on tiny labels with no budgets and marketed primarily to evangelical teenagers in the suburbs.[more inside]
"The room was upholstered in crimson and oatmeal and decorated with Socialist Realist frescoes of industrious maidens. A hefty multipointed star descended from the ceiling like a satellite returning from space. Above the tables a pair of identical life-size plaster statues of Soviet schoolgirls faced each other in the manner of temple guardians. They drummed on drums with a look of patriotic ecstasy; crimson blindfolds bound their eyes. Taking a swig of kvas, a fermented bread beverage that's slightly reminiscent of root beer, I wondered whether the statues were intended to be a political statement, nostalgic kitsch, or just a really ambitious exercise in color coordination." - The Surreal Thrill Of Moscow Dining by Alex Halberstadt
The entirety of Greene Street in SoHo is pretty short, as New York City streets go -- just five blocks long. Walk along it today between Houston and Prince Streets and you’ll pass an Apple Store, a Ralph Lauren store, and a variety of other high-end retailers. A hundred and forty years ago, you’d be walking by brothels. A new website, The Greene Street Project: A Long History of a Short Block, covers more than four hundred years of that one block section -- just 486 feet long -- illustrated with photographs, maps, newspaper clippings, survey data, and charts. [more inside]
A bulbous, friendly little thing - The Verge’s Nilay Patel spends a day with the Apple Watch. [more inside]
I AM INTO THIS. Who are the Cambridge Satchel Company and why should we care? The company started in 2008, and they sell old-style 1950s/60s era British school satchels. Originally meant for kids (the founder states, "I honestly thought that it would be schoolchildren and parents buying my bags!"), the satchels have become a more modest and budget-friendly alternative to designer bags. As a small startup company, they relied on enthusiastic word-of-mouth from the internet to bolster their profits; Deane states,"I think online was the only way that we could really engage and get traction really quickly" (warning: autoplaying video). This is the perfect storm of internet obsession: you click the link, and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes. [more inside]
what it's like to fly the $23,000 Singapore Airlines Suites Class (includes lots of photos) [more inside]
Van Cleef & Arpels, purveyors of super fine jewelry, have created the Midnight Planetarium, which holds part of the solar system on your wrist:
This new Poetic Complication timepiece provides a miniature representation of the movement of six planets around the sun and their position at any given time. Earth and Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn are set in motion thanks to a self-winding mechanical movement of great complexity: equipped with an exclusive module developed in partnership with the Maison Christiaan van der Klaauw, it contains 396 separate parts. The movement of each planet is true to its genuine length of orbit: it will take Saturn over 29 years to make a complete circuit of the dial, while Jupiter will take almost 12 years, Mars 687 days, Earth 365 days, Venus 224 days and Mercury 88 days.[more inside]
2013 Hater's Guide to the Williams-Sonoma Catalog. The Miele Rotary Iron is a machine as old as the hills and used to be called a mangle. A mangle. For what it did to your fingers. I know, because I inherited one from my grandmother. [more inside]
Orlando, FL - 10 ac, 90K sq ft, 13 bed, 30 bath, 20 car garage, 3 pools, 2 tennis cts, bowling alley, skating rink - $100M [more inside]
The Knight XV from Conquest Vehicles: For when you absolutely, positively need a luxury ride that can withstand the Apocalypse. With a limited production run of only 100 vehicles, this luxury armored SUV - inspired by the Gurkha military vehicle - costs a paltry $310,000 USD; its nearest competitor, the Dartz Pombron, has no base price listed (estimated cost: $1.5 million USD). [more inside]
The Man's Suit (p2/p3/p4) has influenced politics, shaped fashion, and signaled everything from stodgy conformity to rock stardom, sex-appeal, power, and success. And yet the man's lounge suit was originally considered the casual option. It is an iconic image of Western (and today, global) masculinity, even when used to question and challenge traditional gender iconography. And where are the finest men's suits in the world made? [more inside]
Smell is our most primitive, least understood sense. Perfume manipulates that sense, reminding us of good times past, and speaking of glamour and sophistication to those who get close. --- "Perfume", Episode 1: Something Old, Something New [pt2/pt3/p4]. Guerlain are considered by many to be the essence of Frenchness in a scent. Ancienne école comme attendez! But the house whose founder/namesake wrote his first formulae in the 19th C. face the challenges of the 21st, including the first non-Family perfumer, updating a classic, and the fall of 4th generation family perfumer Jean-Paul Guerlain after his openly racist comments on French TV. We also follow the corporate entity known as Tommy Hilfigger as it tries to bottle and market the scent of Rock & Roll to the Drum 'n Bass generation [more inside]
Then, coming on six o'clock, Mr. Myhrvold, the former Chief Technology Officer of Microsoft and an inventor with hundreds of patents to his name, came in, wearing chef's whites, and ushered us into dinner. Boy, people eat early around here, I thought. Little did I know I would be eating non-stop for the next three hours. (previously: 1,2) [more inside]
The newest and most exclusive residential tower for this city’s superrich is a cantilevered sheath of steel and glass soaring 27 floors into the sky. The parking garage fills six levels. Three helipads are on the roof. There are terraces upon terraces, airborne swimming pools and hanging gardens in a Blade Runner-meets-Babylon edifice overlooking India’s most dynamic city. There are nine elevators, a spa, a 50-seat theater and a grand ballroom. Hundreds of servants and staff are expected to work inside. And now, finally, after several years of planning and construction, the residents are about to move in. All five of them. [more inside]
Inside the private jets of African dictators and other heads of state. (Slideshow of photographs by Nick Gleis.)
Adnan Khashoggi was one of the high society news makers in the 80's, considered by some to be on Donald Trump's level. While things have gone alright for the Donald, Khashoggi hasn't done as well... [more inside]
If you're like me, you're in the market to buy yourself an island-sized boat, but you're not satisfied with the world's current inventory of formulaic, fuel-guzzling, cruise-ship-like mega-yachts. You might want to consider picking up a WHY 58x38, which offers 36,000 square feet of living space, a 120-foot "beach," three decks, and an 80-foot interior pool, topped by a vast solar panel array. It won't break your budget -- at a mere $151 million, it doesn't even crack the top four most expensive yachts in the world! [more inside]
Roman Abramovich, the Russian billionaire owner of Chelsea Football Club, has launched his 557-foot yacht, Eclipse.
The Most Expensive Journal blogs about $4,200 computer keyboards, $2.7 million guitars, and $11 million watches.
Coincidental to the publishing of her memoir, Candy Spelling - the widow of legendary television producer Aaron Spelling - is selling her Beverly Hills mansion for $150 million. (Daughter Tori Spelling is not expected to share in the proceeds.)
Conspicuous Combustion: since May 2007, 292 luxury cars have been burned in Berlin. A simple Google Map at brennende-autos.de ("Burning Cars") charts the date, model, and location of each.
Luxury items, once made by European artisans, fetched a high price due to the craft of making the items by hand in small workshops. But now, although the prices are even more astronomical, the products themselves are really cheaply produced in Chinese factories, similar to those that make Gap socks, or baseball caps. Despite this, they continue to be worn as badges bought on thinning credit.
These days, you don't have to be rich to have all the right stuff, at least for the night. Going deep or flying high, these days you don't have to be rich, to pretend. Just a good credit card, and no thought for the future.
Busted! In one of the biggest counterfeit busts in years, a 19-month investigation reached its climax on Tuesday as federal officials conducted early-morning raids throughout the NY metropolitan area, arresting 29 people, seizing more than $230 million in merchandise and ultimately dismantling three operations believed to have imported more than $700 million in fake products over the last 24 months.
Bling h2o is the invention of Hollywood producer Kevin G. Boyd. It;s water in a frosted glass bottle with a cork and emblazoned with Swarovski crystals. At $24 a 750ml bottle, it's targeted at the super-luxury market. Is water from Tennessee really worth that much? Apparently, for some celebs, it is: "A lot of times when you have some water, people are like, 'You're drinking water?' Instead, you say, 'Naw man, I'm blinging." -- Jamie Foxx
"Please understand that this is an extremely special piece of furniture, of exceptional quality and design – it is not for everyone by a very very long way and can only be afforded by the lucky few of us with exceptional wealth." (Videos [1, 2, 3.])
Le Grand Jardin. For only $65m dollars you can own a thousand year old villa along with the bastille that housed The Man in the Iron Mask.
The world's most expensive restaurants, though even these eateries pale in comparison to the $37,000 lunch and the $10,000 Martini on the Rock, poured over a diamond. As a New York Times food critic defends pricey meals, it is clear that times have changed since another famous Times critic drew letters of condemnation from the Vatican for his expensive dinner in 1975, which itself was a pale shadow of the most legendary costly meal ever, that of Antony and Cleopatra.
Getting Bored is Not Allowed at the Plaza Hotel, at least not according to its famous fictional resident, the exhausting, spoiled and infectiously ebullient Eloise. Sadly, though, today's news is anything but boring: the Plaza's new owners announced plans to close the iconic hotel for 18 months, and renovate it to create private condos -- throwing hundreds of employees out of work. It's been said that nothing unimportant ever happens at the Plaza: from its 1907 opening to Truman Capote's 1966 Black and White Ball, the Plaza has hosted literati, glitterati, rock stars, and royalty. It has graced the screen in movies such as Breakfast at Tiffany's and The Great Gatsby, making Hollywood history when it became the first fully on-location film shoot for North by Northwest. Ernest Hemingway told F. Scott Fitzgerald to give his liver to Princeton and his heart to the Plaza; Dorothy Parker got her pink slip from Vanity Fair there. Residents, at various times, included Frank Lloyd Wright, Cary Grant, and Judy Garland. Every President since Taft has stepped through its giant engraved revolving doors. Chef Boyardee of canned-spaghetti fame got his start in its kitchens. No New York tourist's rounds are complete without a bloody mary and some bluepoints at the Oyster Bar, a martini in the Oak Room bar, or tea in the Palm Court, and its French-chateau facade is a Central Park centerpiece. An employees' group and a supporting 'Friends of the Plaza' group have begun working to save the gracious place, with the goal of preserving not only the building and their jobs, but the very idea of the quintessential New York luxury hotel. Almost enough to make folks want the Donald back.
It takes more than 40 hours to cover Mr. Potato Head with more than 23,000 Swarovski® crystals in 14 different colors.
A real Gucci bag out of your reach? Don´t worry, just compensate by naming your kid Gucci! Or Lexus, Evian, Enternity.... more brand baby names here.
An L.A. restaurateur just won a rare 2-pound mushroom in an annual "charity truffle auction" in Santa Monica. The winner paid $35,000 for the truffle after a fierce bidding war between a New York-based restaurant owner and Gunther IV, who placed his bids through a subsidiary due to the fact that he is, in fact, a dog. The canine heir to a vast German fortune lost the auction, and the honor of placing the highest recorded bid ever for a mushroom. Go ahead, read it again. This is all, mind you, before anyone actually got their hands on the giant 'shroom.
The Brand And Burger Concerto: Luxury And Poverty For All In The U.S.A. Is luxury becoming democratized? Are ostentation and conspicuous consumption not only tolerated now but demanded of anyone but the poorest and least ambitious? As James B.Twitchell, whose well-off father drove a Plymouth, pithily puts it in this adaptation of his book Living It Up: Our Love Affair With Luxury, would you go to a doctor who drove a Plymouth? Well, he confesses he wouldn't. His essay is full of interesting (though perhaps too easily answered) questions. Are time and philantropy really the two remaining luxuries for the truly wealthy? And is it really true almost anyone can now be king for a day or an hour? [I'd add that what he says about the U.S. is even truer of present-day Western Europe, where the stigma previously attached to ostentation was much more powerful among the middle and upper classes than ever it was with rich American WASPs.]
Worldcom staffers to enjoy all expenses paid cruise. Isn't that nice! You've just contributed to the biggest bankruptcy in U.S. history! What are you going to do now? Eat filet mignon and caviar!
For The Discerning, Segway-Hating Man About Town: Hammacher-Schlemmer's fantastic Unexpected catalogue is full of classy transportation devices, among countless other fascinating products, with prices to suit all pockets. The Two-Person Submarine is a snip at $62,900 but claustrophic types are well catered for too. There's the Zem 4-person bicycle for $6,499.95; the One Person Helium Balloon for 20K, the popular All-Terrain 2-Person Hovercraft; the very European Vespa motorbike; the extremely enticing Danish Police Runabout at only $5,999.95; the sexy little Amphibious Car for $9,995.95 and many, many more outlandish and distinctive vehicles, from 7 Person tricycles(for you, 16K)to a wooden '54 wooden Mercedes 300SL. For more sedentary gentlefolk, there are Feline Drinking Fountains, Impervious Unbreakable Chip Trays and, for only 25 bucks, a Barbershop Hot Lather Machine. Fancy anything, Madam or Sir?
oh glorious rapture, vertu has launched. (flash) the phones (called "instruments" in vertu-speak) are okay, but the real meat seems to be the one-touch vertu concierge: allows one to find theatre tickets, make reservations, or (assumably) order KFC. and, as promised, they are indeed clutch-the-pearls expensive: €6000 to €24000. golly.
Nike Air Jordan XVII priced at 200.00. Nike unviels this years prize court shoe that comes complete with metal carrying case and CD. But $200? Thats a wholelota Doritos yo!
Best. Auction. Ever. Check out the details here. Basically, the Scottish whisky makers Chivas Regal is auctioning off 450 "lots" of some of the coolest and most unobtainable things ever: like an audience with the Pope, and performing with the Moscow State Circus. Which would you choose?(via fark)
Why bother with insurance forms--go to the Luxury Hospital. And they're helping Medicare costs stay low too!! (?)
I got in!!! Remember that link to Quintessentially a few weeks back? Well, after countless hours of anxious waiting, I finally received my acceptance letter (the complete text of which is inside). At last, I can enjoy the finer things in life - it'll only cost me $600 a year .