New York States of Mind

By Rory Winston

“You want to know what it takes to sell real estate?  It takes brass balls…” proclaimed a swaggering Alec Baldwin in the 1992 movie version of David Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross.  That this image of a broker should remain fixed in collective consciousness is in no small part thanks to cosmopolitan buccaneers who have steadfastly dressed a mogul’s worth of riches in ragtag mannerisms while having pimped raggedy properties till they smacked of gold. With TV shows like Million Dollar Listing, building on the ideal that success comes to those whose “weight” is calculated in dollars and nonsense, it becomes hard to imagine real estate business without a dose of ruthlessness, flamboyance and well-coiffed ‘always-be-closing’ madness.

‘Made in Hong Kong’ Redefined

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By Rory Winston

No, this was not that Hong Kong – not the ‘made in Hong Kong’ stuck ignominiously on the back of a trinket; not the one dreamt up by a child who watched Enter the Dragon and mistakenly believed he could intimidate the school bully by pretending to be Bruce Lee. This was another Hong Kong – the one made partially comprehensible by Wong Kar-wai, the one extolled for haute cuisine, the one I was not fated to see until a recent excursion landed me in the lobby of the renowned Mandarin Oriental. I write ‘renowned’ because the Hong Kong Mandarin Oriental is not just one in the line of five star luxury hotels but the paradigm on which the iconic MO brand had been built.

Like a modernist interpretation of a Yuntai temple crossed with a Ming dynasty tower, the elegant but stern façade of the hotel is a gateway between Victoria Harbour and the city. That this 430 roomed property should be positioned between China and the island, the island and the West - while simultaneously occupying the very grounds on which the Queen’s Building (a symbol of the British Empire) once stood - is emblematic of the hotel’s poignancy.

A French Opera in 4 Acts

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By Rory Winston

Lincoln Center may have lost the New York City Opera by late 2013, but luckily, it managed to keep the prestigious Franco-Mediterranean repertory, Picholine. With six consecutive shows a week, Picholine is the longest running opera in the area – one composed and orchestrated by the grand maestro, Chef Terrance Brennan. Like the best French works, Picholine mixes frivolity and drama in equal measure while sporting a repertoire that lends itself to cheese without ever being cheesy.

The New Era of Facial Rejuvenation

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Dr. Zeena Al-Dujaili

Dermal filler injections have literally changed the face of aging and have given us the ability to reverse the visible effects of time instantly. In recent years we have developed a better understanding of the aging process. In addition to changes in the skin, significant changes occur in the subcutaneous fat and craniofacial skeleton. This has led to a paradigm shift in our therapeutic approach to facial rejuvenation. Remarkably sophisticated and refined results can now be achieved by using these non-invasive techniques.

LIFE ON TOP

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By W.A. Muller

It came as no surprise that, back in the 1960s, the notorious publisher Bob Guccione named his new urban-lifestyle men’s magazine Penthouse, and immediately started using the trademark phrase “Life on Top” to associate with the publication.  He simply applied to his glossy journal the common perception of the highest level of luxury living “on top” of the high-rise apartment buildings.  Like the residential penthouses, Guccione’s magazine aimed (and succeeded) to be differentiated from others by its many luxury features.

TriBeCa

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By Linette Semino

TriBeCa is one of the most sought-after and expensive neighborhoods in Manhattan.  The name is an acronym for the Triangle Below Canal, bounded on the north by Canal Street, on the south by Chambers Street, on the west by the Hudson River and on the east by Church Street.  Throughout the years, TriBeCa’s borders have unofficially extended to the Hudson River to the west, Broadway to the East, and Financial District to the south.  Its Western location offers a level of privacy and exclusivity rarely found in bustling Downtown neighborhoods like SoHo or The Meatpacking District.  Privacy is not the only factor attracting New York’s most affluent to TriBeCa.  New York Magazine describes TriBeCa as follows; “By many criteria, TriBeCa could be considered the best place to live in the city.  It enjoys minuscule crime levels, great schools, tons of transit, well-planned waterfront access, and light-filled loft-type apartments in painstakingly rehabbed industrial buildings.”

Upper East Side

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By W.A. Muller

The Upper East Side has long been the bastion of the wealthy and famous. With its bespoke buildings, access to the finest shops in the world, privacy galore and exquisite taste, it is the location favored by old money and those that wish to emulate them.