Hark! So much news – from above and below. December is a time when new businesses, new ideas, and top ten lists are almost everywhere. Here are a few that piqued our natural Pursuitist curiosity from December 14-19.
The Experience Of Space
This week, World View Enterprises, the commercial balloon spaceflight company, released actual footage of a sunrise from a recent flight that Voyagers will experience during their journey to the edge of space. This footage depicts the sun rising over the curvature of the Earth as rays of light reflect off the cloud layer to create a majestic glow.
Last year, we wrote about World View, and how the voyagers at the high altitude will float to the edge of space, and still have Wi-Fi and an onboard bar. The capsule will glide at peak altitude of 100,000 feet for one to two hours. The cost is $75,000 per ticket, but the experience may just be priceless.
Here is the video of the sunrise:
Two So Blue: The Two Most Expensive Jewels at Auction in 2014
The Zoe Diamond —The 9.75-carat Fancy Vivid Blue diamond from the collection of Mrs. Paul Mellon, estimated at $10 – 15 million, sold for US$32,645,000 or $3,348,205 per carat) setting a new world auction record total price for any blue diamond and a new world auction record for price-per-carat for any diamond. Sotheby’s NY
The Winston Blue — The largest flawless fancy vivid blue diamond in the world, weighing 13.22 carats, sold for $23,795,372. It was bought by Harry Winston. – Christie’s Geneva
Ten Best Luxury Hotel Openings in 2014:
Luxury Travel Intelligence completed this research, and posted the results this week. Here they are.
Top 10 new luxury hotel openings of 2014
- Beaumont, London
- Portrait, Florence
- Loews Regency, New York
- Four Seasons, Moscow
- Maalifushi, Maldives
- Cape Weligama, Sri Lanka
- Raffles, Istanbul
- Four Seasons, Dubai (Jumeirah Beach)
- Waldorf Astoria, Amsterdam
- Cromlix House, Scotland
Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite and… Artsy
According to the New York Times this week, 21 French museums have joined forces to promote their collections and exhibitions by disseminating images and information through Artsy, the online search engine and database that began two years ago by Carter Cleveland, to help collectors and the general public learn more about art.
The new museums including the Louvre, the Fondation Cartier, Musée du Quai Branly, Palais de Tokyo, Musée Rodin, Musée Guimet and Musée de Cluny will participate, highlighting special exhibitions and works from their collections as part of the project, “Museums of France,” which will be available on the website and on Artsy’s iPhone app.
While many French museums, including the Louvre, already have online digital databases of their collections, the project is the first large digital collaboration by French art institutions and is aimed at cultivating online audiences the museums might not be able to reach themselves.
This admission is a meaningful one, in that it acknowledges the viral power of Artsy in specific, and the influence of the Internet in general.
A New Hotel Trend? : Designer Inspired Signature Suites
Loews Regency Hotel, a newly renovated (January 2014) luxury hotel in Manhattan, announced this week of the addition of six designer-inspired Signature Suites, marking the culmination of the hotel’s $100 million transformation. Designed by New York City’s finest talents, including Nate Berkus Associates, Meyer Davis Studio, Inc., Rottet Studio and Haynes-Roberts, Inc.
Nate Berkus —The Signature Suites are anchored by the Nate Berkus-designed suite on the 21st floor. The spacious 1,000 square foot suite includes a formal living room, dining room, kitchen, bedroom and balcony, fashioned in a classic mix of sand-blasted oak flooring, patinated metals and layered furnishings.
Meyer Davis Studio Inc. — Led by Will Meyer and Gray Davis, the Uptown Bohemian Suite on the 21st floor, combines the aesthetic of SoHo with the clean lines of Chelsea. The residence has an eclectic, curated selection of artwork – photography, paintings and found artifacts that interact is this space. This Studio is also the design mind behind Bespoke, a suite located on the 20th floor, which gathers its inspiration from the fashion industry of New York City.
The Rottet Studio —Loews Regency tapped international architecture and design firm Rottet Studio for The Grand Suites, inspired the cultural icon, Marilyn Monroe. Suite 1620, The Glamour Suite, is an interpretation of what might have been Marilyn’s Park Avenue pied a terre, evoking how she would have lived in the heyday of her celebrity glamour in New York City. Next door is the Pop Art Suite, which pays homage to pop artist Andy Warhol. Black and white architectural finishes, inspired by comic books and ad-based Pop Art graphics, provide a bold background.
Haynes-Roberts, Inc., a Manhattan based residential interior design firm, created the last suite. Its design was inspired by the glamorous apartments of Milan from the 1970s.
And…the $100.00 Portion of Lasagna.
YUM! Gold Lasagna – and only in Las Vegas. Travelers looking to enjoy themselves at the dining table instead of at a club this holiday season should check out Portofino at The Mirage. The chefs created quite possibly the most luxurious piece of Lasagna in existence. Diamond and Gold Lasagna is made with Kobe beef, Iberico ham, prosciutto di Parma, Parmigiano-Riggiano, buffalo mozzarella, porcini mushrooms and foie gras Alfredo sauce. If this wasn’t enough decadence, this creation by Chef Michael LaPlaca is finished off with white-diamond truffles and 23-karat gold leaf. It is only on the menu through the end of the year.