The Dream Vacation and Lifestyle

Source: Robb Report

Source: Robb Report

Is looking at photographs good for your health? Honestly, I think it is. When I see photos of turquoise water, rocky peaks and glorious sunsets, I can almost feel my breathing calm, my heart rate slow. Now don’t get me wrong – looking at a picture of Anguilla, in the British Virgin Islands, or Costalegre, on the Pacific coast of Mexico between Puerto Vallarta and Manzanillo, is not the same as being there. But it makes you feel good, and that’s worth a lot.

I was thrilled to see that Las Rosadas, in Costalegre, was included in the description of one of Vogue’s quiet, off-the-grid travel destinations. Along with Sedona, Madagascar and the Galápagos Islands, Costalegre is cited for its “pristine, deserted beaches,” “golfing, polo, and horseback riding” and its 300 varieties of birds. (more…)

Château du Grand-Lucé

Source: Homes and Estates

Source: Homes and Estates

Sometimes I find myself thinking how nice it would be to have a magic carpet. That’s what came to mind when I saw the article about Château du Grand-Lucé in Homes & Estates magazine: zip over to Loire Valley for an afternoon stroll through this fabulous and fully restored 18th-century French neoclassical château.

A French National Landmark, the 80-acre, 40,000-square-foot, 16-bedroom estate was constructed between 1760 and 1764, escaped destruction during the French Revolution and was even used as a hospital for wounded British soldiers during World War II. (They say that the château’s theater also served as a hiding place for paintings from the Louvre and other French museums during the war.) (more…)

Artful Face Forward – Art Staging

High-End Exhibition: Knowledge Bennett with one of his artworks at a for-sale home in Bel Air. Photo by Ringo Chiu. Source: www.labusinessjournal.com

High-End Exhibition: Knowledge Bennett with one of his artworks at a for-sale home in Bel Air. Photo by Ringo Chiu. Source: www.labusinessjournal.com

Spectacular estate properties offered for sale have for years been the venue for ever more creative marketing. If once a formal tea or luncheon for top real estate agents was the way to a buyer’s heart, soon “staging” became the must-have approach to presentation. Personal furnishings and collections were replaced (or vacant residences furnished) with a neutral palette of items that would allow potential buyers to imagine themselves and their own possessions filling the rooms.

Staging, which is today an industry in itself, has a new buzzword: art staging. With the cooperation of galleries and artists, this ambitious approach takes advantage of an estate property’s mansion-scale walls to present an exhibition of significant artworks. It allows agents and developers a chance to draw high-end buyers to their properties, allows collectors to see artworks in an impressive private setting and allows artists to expose their work to an audience that might not otherwise see it. Win-win-win!

To learn more, have a look at this recent article in the Los Angeles Business Journal.

People with Big Ideas

credit: Ethan Pines for Forbes

credit: Ethan Pines for Forbes

If you follow my posts, you probably know that I love stories about people who have really big ideas. In some way, each of these adventurers–in art, technology, medicine, philanthropy, etc.–have been unwilling to accept “the way it’s always been done” and ready to take risks in the name of discovery.

The cover article of Forbes (February 28, 2017) is about one such person: Craig Venter. “How to Cheat Death” introduces Venter’s latest brainstorm, a “$25,000 executive physical, branded the Health Nucleus.” Venter, as you may recall, was the co-founder of Celera Genomics, which took on the U.S. government in a race to map the human genome. Competitive and, according to some of his critics, arrogant, Venter has continued his foray into medical knowledge, often using himself as a guinea pig. (more…)

Captivated by Orchids

Source: www.townandcountrymag.com

Dendrobium chrysotoxum, the so-called Gold Orchid by Justin Giunta

Orchids are like butterflies – delicate, colorful and beautiful. Whether they are blooming in the rain forest, strung on a lei, standing in an elegant pot, or used as garnish on a salad, they always seem surprising and magical.

An article in the May issue of Town & Country caught my eye for the way it links the physical and spiritual qualities of orchids. It traces author Lawrence Osborne’s visit with Minguo Li, environmentalist, botanist, farmer, and spiritualist, who cultivates orchids at two reserves in China.

 

 

 

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The Most Beautiful Ruin

www.nytimes.com Photographer: Gen Aihara

www.nytimes.com Photographer: Gen Aihara

I was fascinated to read a recent article by Bianca Bosker in The New York Times Style Magazine, which introduces the current work of Hiroshi Sugimoto. Known primarily as a photographer, Sugimoto’s work can be found in museum collections worldwide. Now, at age 69, “the artist is quietly making an ambitious transition, expanding his two-dimensional vision to one that captures the world in space.”

As the article explains, Sugimoto is inspired by ancient materials – stone, wood, light – and his goal is to create structures that will survive civilization’s demise: “After it ends, my building will be the most beautiful building as a ruin.” Ten years under construction, his Enoura Observatory will open this fall in the Enoura district of Odawara, Japan, as “an artistic destination and a living monument to creative ambition.” Constructed of steel, glass, cypress and stone, the structure is oriented to the light at the summer and winter solstice. (more…)

Finding a Slice of the Pie

slice of the pieBloomberg News this week noted an interesting trend in the real estate marketplace: the homeownership rate in the U.S. “is finally poised to rise significantly.” The deciding factor is the owner-vs.-renter composition of households–a figure that is examined in each census. According to the United State Census Bureau, homeownership rates are “computed by dividing the number of households that are owners by the total number of occupied households.”

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What is Your Blood Type???

Source: www.berkeleywellness.com

Source: www.berkeleywellness.com

It may not influence your choice of a new home but, your blood type may influence your health! Since I am O negative, I must have the luck of the Irish!!! I could even be an “old soul” according to this interesting article from The Berkeley Wellness Letter!

A Healing Vision – Deogratias Niyizonkiza

Source: http://newunsungheroes.org

Source: http://newunsungheroes.org

One of the smallest countries in Africa, with one of the lowest per-capita gross incomes in the world, Burundi is bordered by Rwanda, Tanzania, Lake Tanganyika and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. For this small nation, the 20th century has been marked by coups, conflict, child soldiers and massive rivers of refugees attempting to escape the genocide of both Hutu and Tutsi peoples.

The odds of surviving such a life are low. But in the May issue of Town & Country, and in the book Strength in What Remains by Tracy Kidder, we meet Deogratias Niyizonkiza (“Deo”), a young man who has done just that–and more.

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