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V O L U M E V / I S S U E I / J A N U A R Y- F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 1

A B I E R T O D E A R G E N T I N A D E PA L E R M O E M I R AT E S P O LO C H A M P I O N S H I P I N T E R N AT I O N A L

THE SILVER LINING OF LAST YEAR

THE SOUP OF FREEDOM

'SOUP JOUMOU' WINES SO FINE GROWN MEN CRY HINT: THEY'RE VERY, VERY EXPENSIVE

ROBERT DE NIRO

WHY HAIR TURNS WHITE AND HOW TO STOP IT THE YEAR OF THE PAJAMA

GET COMFY IN READY-TO-WEAR ESSENTIALS

NOBU BEACH INN MAKE YOUR LOVE LIFE SIZZLE HEAT UP VALENTINES

GIVING AWAY BILLIONS


VOLUME V / ISSUE I / JANUARY 2021

Ambassador Claude-Alix Bertrand Publisher

Joshua Jakobitz Editor-in-Chief

Gregory Bertrand Copy Editor

Claire Barrett

Head of Photography

Eva Espresso

Contributing Photographer

Cezar Kusik

Wine Contributor

Raphael K. Dapaah Art Contributor

Joey Velez

Wellness Columnist

Elle Chrysler

Polo Contributor

Charles Ward

Mansions of the Month Curator Brand Representatives Anne-Isabelle Saint-Pierre - Dubai Michael J. Snell - The Hamptons Stanley Pierre-Etienne Caribbean Sara Ali - London Jessica Foret Wax - Santa Fe Charles Ward - Montecito K & Co. Media - Los Angeles Contributing Photographers

Jyoti Paintel

Mathias Callejo

Stanley Pierre-Etienne

Polo Lifestyles is a publication of HT Polo Publishing Co. 995 Detroit Avenue, Suite A Concord, CA 94518

Spiritual Contributor

Style Contributor

Brett Chody

Trends Contributor

Anne-Isabelle Saint-Pierre Style Contributor

Michael J. Snell

Lifestyles Contributor

Philippe Lucas

Luxury Contributor

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William Smith

Philanthropy Contributor

Content Copyright Š Polo Lifestyles 2020 All Rights Reserved. For information or to advertise Contact editor@htpolo.com Read online at www.pololifestyles.com Cover Photo of Robert De Niro by Charlie Gray


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INTERNATIONAL POLO CLUB The Joe Barry Cup The Ylvisaker Cup The Inglehart Cup THE GAUNTLET OF POLO U.S. Polo Women's Open Championship GRAND CHAMPIONS POLO CLUB The Sterling Cup - High Goal Limited Edition 12 Goal Series The $100,000 World Cup by Audi The All-Star Challenge The Grand Champions Cup The Palm Beach Open GHANTOOT RACING & POLO CLUB Al Amal Polo Day for Charity HH President of UAE Polo Cup MARRAKECH POLO CLUB International Women's Day Polo Cup AL HABTOOR POLO CLUB UAE National Day Cup Sir Winston Churchill Cup

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VOLUME V / ISSUE I / JANUARY - FEBRUARY 2021

SCOREBOARDS & COCKTAILS S O C I A L D I S T A N C I N G P O L O

LA DOLFINA NABS 8TH TITLE EXCLUSIVE PHOTOS FROM PALERMO page 28 POLO LIFESTYLES EDITORS & CONTRIBUTORS

Ambassador Claude-Alix Bertrand Publisher Polo Lifestyles @haiti_polo_captain

Elle Chrysler

Polo Contributor U.S. Polo Connection @ellechrysler

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Josh Jakobitz

Editor-in-Chief Polo Lifestyles @joshuajakobitz

Charles Ward

Mansions of the Month IdeaWorks Global @ideaworksglobal

Claire Barrett

Head of Photography

Claire Barrett Photography

@clairebarrettphoto

Eva Espresso Photographer

Eva Espresso Photography

@eva.espresso

Raphael K. Dapaah

Jyoti Paintel

Art Contributor Dapaah Gallery @dapaahgallery

Spiritual Contributor Polo Lifestyles @jyotipaintel

Michael J. Snell

Gregory Bertrand

Lifestyles Contributor MJS Groupe @agnello_1

Copy Editor Polo Lifestyles @bertrand7367

Cezar Kusik

Wine Contributor Polo Lifestyles @cezartastesearth

Joey Velez

Brett Chody

Trends Contributor Polo Lifestyles @brettchody

William Smith

Wellness Columnist

Philanthropy Contributor

@velezmentalhealth

@willismith_2000

Velez Mental Performance May & Stanley Smith Charitable Trust


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Polestar electric luxury makes US debut page 89

Luxury abodes perfect for staying-at-home page 164

Make your romance sizzle this Valentines page 66

Which philanthropist donated $6B in 2020? pg 82

ROBERT DE NIRO BILLIONAIRES ONCE FLOCKED TO BARBUDA. ROBERT DE NIRO BETS THEY WILL AGAIN. PAGE 98

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ARGENTINA

W

E MADE IT. DURING A YEAR WHEN AN HOUR COULD FEEL LIKE A WEEK AND A WEEK COULD FEEL LIKE A MONTH, THERE WERE MOMENTS WHEN I DEFINITELY WONDERED: WILL WE MAKE IT TO 2021? IF YOU’RE READING THIS, THE GOOD NEWS IS, WE DID MAKE IT.

We decided about six weeks ago that the January issue of Polo Lifestyles would focus on good things that came out of a (insert your own adjective here) year. Plenty of bloggers and magazines have done tongue-in-cheek versions of this, but ours is heart-felt, assembled in gratitude and humility. Several of my favorite pieces this month were penned by Jyoti Paintel and William Smith. They both reflected on moments of clarity and goodness as related to their respective fields: personal growth (wellness) and charitable acts. About a week ago, I started making my official list of “Silver Linings,” and I also penned a story about things that made 2020 better, shinier and, in some cases, just more bearable. Writing it felt cathartic, almost like shedding the skin of 2020 to enter 2021 fresh and new. Journaling has been something I’ve done well – and also done terribly, but it’s been helpful to me this year to keep things in perspective. Our mental wellness coach Joey has suggested methodical journaling to me countless times over the last four years. One of my New Year’s resolutions will be to make it part of my daily regimen. Also, did I mention ‘four years’? Yes, that’s right. This month starts Volume V of Polo Lifestyles. My most sincere appreciation goes to the team that makes it possible every month. No one will ever know the hours kept, the stories written and rewritten, the photographs touched up and replaced, wording tweaked and edited until it’s just right. So, to our Polo Lifestyles family, I say, Thank you. You make me laugh, cry, smile and take deep breaths. Your work and contributions are noted, reposted and tagged. To our extended Polo Lifestyles family of readers, advertisers and collaborators, I say, Thank you, too. May 2021 bring goodness, health, wealth and grateful hearts, for we made it through the longest year, enduring unimaginable restrictions and precautions so that we might be together again soon. Josh Jakobitz josh@pololifestyles.com


CHOOSE YOUR X. THE BMW X RANGE.

NOW WITH 0% FINANCING.

2021 BMW X3

The Ultimate Driving Machine.


VOLUME V / ISSUE I / JANUARY - FEBRUARY 2021

partridgejewellers This stunning @chopard creation will flatter any wrist and warm any heart on Valentines Day

baccarat What are you dooooooing, on New Year's Eeeeeeeeeve? Cheers to an amazing 2021

ferrarioflongisland Did you find anything this fantastic under the tree or in the driveway on Christmas morning? page 24

archwell The Duke and Duchess of Sussex launched the Archwell Foundation and partnered with Chef Jose Andres

time Guardian of the year: #essentialworkers from hospitals to grocery stores

jefflewiscpt What's your breakfast game? This easyto-make, Paleo skillet inspired us to open the fridge and light the stove

studioissa Equestrian vibes abound in this bright, traditional foyer by Studio Issa designs

thegoodquote Just a little timely reminder that Everything Will Be Ok in due course

jordancohen1 Mansions of the Month - Curated by Charles Ward... so many contenders, who will be chosen first?


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Click and comment on our choices... tag @pololifestyles. We will share noteworthy comments with you next month.

christiangrosso La Dolfina beat out Ellerstina in Palermo in front of a 25% occupancy stadium due to COVID-19

archwell Holidays are tougher when we're farther apart, says the Duchess of Sussex... ask friends, "Are you ok?"

purarazadivino This Andalusian white horse shot by Tess de Weerdt is ready for Valentines Day

whoisadiv Debuting his single, "Blue Gene," Haitian-American artist ADIV didn't skimp on cowboy hats and horses

nexa_eventi Will 2021 be the year we can go back to normal? Weddings? Parties? Restaurants? We wait to see

donatetoinspire Good news for immigrant workers on the front-line of COVID-19 response: citizenship from France

neillstrain Neill Strain Floral Couture's signature Valentines arrangement from his shop in Belgravia neighborhood

byfthzcn_horsephoto Expressions of joy all around captured by Turkish equestrian photographer

elitetransportationsystems

Vaccines, under the watchful care of multi-national carriers, began arriving at healthcare facilities page 25


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AR G E N T I N A 20 2 0 LA DOLFINA

W I N S 8TH CO N S ECU T IV E A BI ERTO DE A RG EN T IN A F I N AL: LA DO LF I N A 10 / 8 E LLERSTINA

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1 2 7 T H A B I E R T O D E A R G E N T I N A D E PA L E R M O P H O T O G R A P H E D B Y K AT E R I N A M O R G A N F O R P O LO L I F E S T Y L E S

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I

N A POLO SEASON UNLIKE ANY OTHER IN HISTORY, A 40-GOAL LA DOLFINA LINEUP (ADOLFO CAMBIASO, PELON STIRLING, PABLO MACDONOUGH AND JUAN MARTIN NERO) RECORDED THEIR EIGHTH CONSECUTIVE ARGENTINE OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP IN A BARN-BURNING 10-8 WIN OVER THE 39-GOAL

ELLERSTINA (FACUNDO PIERES, HILARIO ULLOA, NICO PIERES AND GONZALITO PIERES) AT PALERMO BEFORE A RESTRICTED AUDIENCE (25 PERCENT CAPACITY ALLOWED). La Dolfina notched their fourteenth Argentine Open Championship in the last 21years. With Ellerstina playing the part of the Washington Generals (a reference to the basketball team

that consistently loses to the Harlem Globetrotters in their exhibition performances) for the thirteenth time in the last fifteen years. Anew aspect to this year’s Argentine Open competition, aside from the effects of the worldwide pandemic has been the injuries suffered by members of the La Dolfina team throughout the Argentine high-goal season. The once unstoppable 40-goal lineup saw player after player sidelined by injuries as they muddled their way through the Tortugas

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ARGENTINA 2020

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P H O T O G R A P H E D B Y K AT E R I N A M O R G A N F O R P O LO L I F E S T Y L E S

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and Hurlingham Opens with Juan Martin Nero, Pablo Macdonough and Pelon Stirling each finding themselves watching from the sidelines while waiting for their bodies to mend. An early Argentine Open loss to Murus Sanctus cast some doubt on the physical soundness of the La Dolfina players, but a sound 21-10 thrashing of a talented La Natividad-Las Monjitas entry (Jeta Castagnola, Polito Pieres, Barto Castagnola and Ignatius Du Plessis) suddenly thrust them back into the position of favorites as the final began to take shape. Giving further credence to La Dolfina’s ability to successfully defend their title was Ellerstina’s 14-13 semifinal overtime win against La Dolfina Polo Ranch (Guillermo Terrera, Juan Britos, Diego Cavanagh and Alejo Taranco).

P H O T O G R A P H E D B Y K AT E R I N A M O R G A N F O R P O LO L I F E S T Y L E S

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ARGENTINA 2020

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ARGENTINA 2020

A partly sunny sky and 72-degree weather greeted the two polo powerhouses with Facundo Pieres sending the first shot on goal out of the throw-in wide. An Ellerstina foul sent Adolfo Cambiaso to the penalty line where he converted from 60-yards for the early 1-0 lead. Moments later Hilario Ulloa tied the game, taking the ball out of the throw-in and carrying it down the field on three shots, driving it through the La Dolfina goalposts on the nearside to make it 1-1. Another Ulloa shot on goal went wide, followed by a missed shot on goal from Cambiaso at the 1:20 mark of the opening chukker. Then Facundo Pieres send the ball through the posts from 65-yards out, giving the 2-1 advantage to Ellerstina. A foul whistled on the ensuing throw-in was called against Ellerstina, with Cambiaso returning to the penalty line for a shot from the 60-yard line. The attempt by Cambiaso was stopped by Facundo Pieres, and the chukker ended. page 38


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The second period belonged to La Dolfina, with immediate pressure being put on the Ellerstina defense. A pass to Pelon Stirling from the throw-in was taken down the field where the shot on goal went wide. A technical was called on Ellerstina at the 5:26 mark, resulting in a 60-yard penalty goal from

Cambiaso that tied the game at 2-2. La Dolfina continued to press their attack with shots on goal from both Cambiaso and Pablo MacDonough missing the mark. With just over a minute left in the chukker, Cambiaso sent the ball through from the boards on the right side of the field for the final goal of the period and

a 3-2 La Dolfina advantage. La Dolfina continued to gain momentum in the third with Cambiaso leading the way. Facundo Pieres fouled on the opening throw-in followed by a missed neck-shot on goal from MacDonough. Facundo Pieres missed a 60-yard pen-

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alty shot following a foul by Cambiaso. Cambiaso extended the La Dolfina lead on a 60-yard penalty shot that rolled over the goal line to make it 4-2, La Dolfina. Facundo Pieres scored his fortieth goal of the tournament, cutting the La Dolfina lead to a single goal,4-3. Cambiaso scored the final two goals of the period, sending a blistering shot down the middle of the goalposts,5-2, and converting a 60-yard penalty shot for the 6-3 score. Gonzalito Pieres scored his first goal of the day, sending a shot in off the left goalpost, 6-4 followed by a spectacular nearside tail-shot from Ulloa, 6-5. Both teams struggled to convert shots on goal with the first half ending with La Dolfina on top,6-5. Goals were hard to come by in the fifth and sixth chukkers as both defenses stiffened. A scoreless fifth period saw numerous shots on goal go wide from both sides, with the sixth providing only a single score as Ulloa tied the game at 6-6 with a neck shot at 4:22. MacDonough scored the first goal of the seventh on a 40-yard penalty shot following an Ellerstina foul (Ulloa runs into Cambiaso, forcing an injury timeout), 7-6 La Dolfina. Gonzalito leveled the score once again at 3:35, with a goal from the field followed by a goal from Ulloa who scored on a 50-yard neck-shot to end the chukker with Ellerstina in the lead,8-7, and one chukker left in regulation play. Ellerstina watched their narrow lead slip away as La Dolfina took control of the final chukker. The La Dolfina attack was at full strength with the team that would be playing their last Argentine Open together fought to secure their place in polo history, scoring three unanswered goals and riding off with the 2020 Argentine Open title on the strength of a 10-8victory. Cambiaso led the La Dolfina attack with six goals (four on penalty conversions). MacDonough scored all three of his goals from the penalty line and Nero added a goal for the win. Facundo Pieres scored six times for Ellerstina with Ulloa and Gonzalito Pieres each adding a goal in the loss. Adolfo Cambiaso was awarded the Gonzalo Heguy Trophy as MVP, and his Cuartetera clone, B09 received the Lady Susan Townley Cup as Best Playing Pony. It was interesting to note that seven of La Dolfina’s 10 goals came from the penalty line while all eight of Ellerstina’s goals came from the field (Ellerstina committed 13 fouls to only six for La Dolfina). Reporting by Alex Webbe

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The creation of this exceptional clock draws its inspiration from the concept "tempus fugit" (times flies), providing an endless source of fascination. Whether long or short, friend or foe, time runs wild and free. The idea of "taming" it - not to gain mastery over it but rather to better appreciate it - this was the starting point of the amazing adventure which gave birth to the mare and her foal, an automaton and exceptional clock baptized “Hippologia.� The Parmigiani Haute Horlogerie Manufacture has mastered the fine art of creating beautiful timepieces shrouded in mystery. Through its restoration work, Parmigiani is intimately acquainted with historical masterpieces, enabling it to hone its own creativity. This manifests itself in the form of unique timepieces, each a real piece of watchmaking bravura. In the past, the manufacture has already created many table clocks decorated with sculptures reproducing a dynamic movement. This year, Parmigiani Fleurier wanted to dream bigger and go further.


VOLUME V / ISSUE I / JANUARY - FEBRUARY 2021

E M I R ATES POLO CH AM P ION SHI P I N TER N ATI ON AL

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HUMPING WIN FOR GHANTOOT AS EMIRATES POLO CHAMPIONSHIP INTERNATIONAL OFF TO FLYING START Ghantoot made a perfect start with a thumping win over Bin Drai team as the Emirates Polo Championship International – the first major tournament of the United Arab Emirates polo season – kicked off. page 46

The 20th edition of the Emirates Polo Championship International is being held under the patronage of Sheikh Falah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of Ghantoot Racing and Polo Club. The support of Ghantoot Racing and Polo Club in association with the Abu Dhabi Sports Council is supported by Capex.com and Paris Reverie. The high-profile championship, which provides fantastic action, close matches and upsets, witnessed some dazzling play on the magnificent fields of the Ghantoot Club in the opening match

with a rampaging Ghantoot defeating Bin Drai 9-4.5. Santos Iriarte scored the first goal of the tournament to put the Ghantoot team ahead. Later, Manuel Toccalino’s five successive shots on target helped the hosts gain the upper hand in the game by going up 6-2 by the end of the second chukker. Cesar Crespo started the second half by scoring for Ghantoot and added one more in the final chukker. Skipper Nasser Al Shamsi also managed to get


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E M I R ATES POLO CHAAM H PPRION C LSHI E A GPUIEN TER T R ONPATI H Y ON AL DR. A POLO 8 / 7 MAHRA 20 NOVEMBER - DUBAI

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his name on the score sheet as Ghantoot registered an easy win.

Photos courtesy Al Habtoor Polo Resort & Club Tough game from Dr. A Polo and Mahra Polo, but Dr. A Polo emerged victorious in the subsidiary finals of AHPRC League 2020 by 8-7 goals.

Bautista Alberdi scored two, and Gergorio Gelosi contributed one for the losing side. Bin Drai’s Mohammed Bin Drai received a yellow card in the second chukker for dangerous use of a polo stick. Gelosi also got a yellow in the fourth chukker for arguing with the umpires. Ghantoot, who won the Emirates Polo Championship International title in 2019, will meet the Abu Dhabi team on Thursday, while Bin Drai will square off against Abu Dhabi Polo on Saturday. The tournament carries a handicap of 10-12 goals and offers a total cash prize of $100,000. The grand final of the event will be held on Dec.15. The match took place behind closed doors due to the Covid-19 precautionary and preventive measures in place. Zayed Khalifa Zayed Al Aboudi Al Zaabi, Executive Director of Ghantoot Racing and Polo Club, was happy with the success of the opener and obviously the winning start for the club’s team. “It’s a great start to the championship. We hope to see some more exciting clashes during the tourney,” said Zaabi. “There is no doubt that as the tournament reaches its climax, there will be many more thrilling battles before we crown our new champion of the Emirates Polo Championship International 2020.”

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AHPR C LE AGUE T ROPHY

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SUPERSONIC AIRCRAFT

AERION PARK CALLS THE FLORIDA SPACE COAST "HOME" FOR GAME-CHANGING AS 2 BUSINESS JET PRODUCTION

S

UPERSONIC AIRCRAFT COMPANY, AERION, THE LEADER IN SUPERSONIC TECHNOLOGY HAS STARTED DEVELOPMENT AT AERION PARK – THE COMPANY’S FUTURE STATE-OF-THE-ART GLOBAL HEADQUARTERS THAT WILL HOME PRODUCTION OF THE AS2 BUSINESS JET FROM 2023. Aerion Park – which will represent a capital investment of more than $300m in construction, machinery and equipment - will bring at least 675 new jobs to Florida by 2026 as the company ramps-up operations ahead of production of the AS2 private jet commencing in 2023. The company will be recruiting aircraft builders, designers, engineers, programmers and scientists while also expecting to

enhance future employment in the wider mobility eco system. “This is a truly exciting day for Aerion as we launch our new home and the future of sustainable supersonic flight here in Melbourne, Florida,” says Tom Vice, Aerion’s Chairman, President & CEO. “We are building the future of mobility – a future where humanity can travel between any two points on our planet in three hours or less. We will change the world and bring a new sustainable means of supersonic and hypersonic flight to reality and it will happen here, at Aerion Park.” Aerion Park will be located on more than 110 acres of the Orlando Melbourne International Airport (MLB) campus and among a growing cluster of aerospace and technology companies on Florida’s Space Coast. The Park will incorporate the company’s new global headquarters plus an integrated campus for research,

design, production and interior completions of the company’s AS2 supersonic aircraft and future hypersonic aircraft. Flanking the main site will be a new Aerion Customer Experience Center, from which customers will be able to directly access Orlando Melbourne International Airport’s runway. The new experience center will include a customer completions center and a full-size AS2 cabin mock-up, affording customers the opportunity to customize their chosen interior specifications in configuration, materials, colors and finishes. “We are grateful and proud to be the home of Aerion’s new global headquarters where the AS2 business jet will come to life,” said Greg Donovan, A.A.E. executive director at Orlando Melbourne International Airport (MLB). “With more than $100m rein-

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vested into our airfield over the last few years, our new runways and air traffic control tower are ready to support this revolution in supersonic flight. Aerion is a special part of our Space Coast community’s future and we are eager to see the path forward as we welcome the fine talent that will be joining our thriving aerospace campus at MLB.” Just as the AS2 seeks to deliver carbon neutral flight, the home in which it will be created aims to be the most environmentally sustainable of its kind in the aerospace sector. Aerion Park is planned to be powered by clean energy – using the very latest in photovoltaic solar technology to generate energy for manufacturing. On-site electric vehicle charging stations will also be installed and rainwater that lands on the campus reused.

Recycled materials will be used in the construction of Aerion Park wherever possible, sourced locally to minimize emissions and the Park will be dedicated to creating zero waste. The campus will incorporate buildings spanning some two million sq. ft, including a vast aircraft assembly facility which is the equivalent size of fourteen football fields, plus a systems integration laboratory which will house the AS2 ‘Iron Bird’. Also included on the site will be engineering flight test headquarters. The facility will enable flight crews, mechanics and support personnel to fly AS2 aircraft in the certification flight test program as well as conduct serial production testing prior to customer delivery. Aerion intends to flight test the AS2 from the site, in the surrounding

airspace, in supersonic testing corridors as well as at additional off-site locations. “Aerion is an exciting place, fueled by entrepreneurs, creators and innovators,” adds Tom Vice. “We are building more than the airplane of tomorrow – we are building the global transportation networks of the future and we will seek the smartest, most creative and collaborative minds to join our team and our journey to tackle the toughest mobility challenges of the future.” Aerion has already opened a temporary office location on the Orlando Melbourne International Airport campus to house a growing Florida-based employment base, while major construction work at Aerion Park will begin in 2021 ahead of the first AS2 aircraft flight

SUPERSONIC PASSENGER TRAVEL The Concorde proved supersonic passenger travel viable but its disappearance from the skies was a step back for aviation. New startups are attempting to remedy this with the next-generation of aircraft. The Aerion AS2 will boast a subsonic range of 5,400 nautical miles, comparable to a Gulfstream G500, and a supersonic range of 4,200 nautical miles. Flying from New York to London will only take four hours while flying to Sydney will take less than 14 hours, though the latter will still require a fuel stop. Local residents won't have to worry about their local airport turning into the next noisy international hub. The AS2 will use what's known as "boomless cruise," which means the jet can fly above the speed of sound and the dreaded supersonic boom won't reach the ground. When flying subsonic, the jet's top speed will be Mach .95, faster than the Cessna Citation X that tops out at Mach .935. page 57


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test vehicle commencing production in 2023. Aerion plans to deliver 300 aircraft over ten years of production, supported by a growing domestic and international order backlog which now tops $6.5 billion+.

The AS2 supersonic private jet is the starting point in Aerion’s pursuit of faster and sustainable point-to-point travel. Designed to be inherently environmentally responsible from first flight, the AS2 is the first super-

sonic jet designed to be powered by 100 percent synthetic fuel and reach supersonic speeds without the need for an afterburner.

POLO LIFESTYLES X AERION LIAISON C H A R L E S WA R D : C H A R L E S @ P O LO L I F E ST Y L E S . C O M

P H O T O G R A P H S C O U R T E S Y A E R I O N C O R P O R AT I O N

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P U T T I N G TO DAY ' S TO P LU X U R Y L I S T I N G S AT T H E F I N G E R T I P S O F H N W B U Y E R S

Polo Lifestyles proudly announces its strategic alliance with Idea Works Global’s luxury guru and famous polo sponsorship marketing powerhouse, Charles Ward. Change your listing from For Sale to Sold by telling the story of your uniquely valuable estate within each Mansions Of The Month spread, be it situated in the greater Aspen Valley, Miami, Malibu, Montecito, Monaco or any other magnificent destination. Reserve your space in forthcoming issues of Polo Lifestyles with Mansions of the Month Curator Charles Ward. Contact Charles: charles@pololifestyles.com Click here to read the Rancho San Carlos case study - After languishing on the real estate market for years, it was a featured property in Polo Lifestyles - and closed less than 60 days later for $63 million dollars. page 62


VALENTINES 2021 PAGE 68:

INSPIRING ROMANCE

PAGE 72:

 VIRTUAL DATE NIGHTS

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MAKE YOUR LOVE LIFE SIZZLE


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INSPIRING ROMANCE

WILL A BACHELOR AND A BACHELORETTE MAKE IT?

O LEVEL.

N MARCH 15, PATRICK PHIRI WAS READY TO TAKE HIS GLOBAL ROMANCE TO THE NEXT

Patrick, 32, lives in Malawi. His girlfriend, Fiona ten Have, is Dutch. And he was on his way to see her after nearly three months apart. He was relieved as he waited for his plane to take off from the airport in Lilongwe, Malawi’s capital. It’d taken months to prepare his visa application. page 68

And he was nervous about meeting her parents. Fiona, 27, was nervous too. “I really wanted my parents to like him,” she remembers, “to spend some time together so they could get to know him.” That they did. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Patrick ended up staying for seven and a half months, with no job and no routine — a test of any relationship. FIRST DATE Fiona and Patrick met on July 1, 2019, while working for Heifer International,

a nonprofit group that supports agricultural projects in some 21 countries, including Malawi. Patrick was a project coordinator, supervising officers in two districts. Fiona had just arrived in Lilongwe for an internship as an animal health specialist. Malawi is known as the “Warm Heart of Africa,” and to Fiona this rang true. People were friendly to her, always ready to help. She also found that her preconceptions about a country like Malawi were not entirely accurate. “The level of poverty was a real shock to me.


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Middelstum, where Patrick and Fiona spent an extended lock-down together.

To walk past an elderly woman or child sleeping on the street. That really broke my heart,” she said. “But there were lots of things that were the same as in the Netherlands. Roads, shops, technology. That surprised me too.” “After about a week, he asked if we wanted to have lunch. Then he asked for my number. He said he wanted to learn Dutch,” Fiona said. “I liked him straight away.” “From the first moment I saw her, I felt different. And I loved the way she smiled and talked,” Patrick said. But he wasn’t yet sure Fiona felt the same way. So Patrick took her around the city. He told her about his 3-year-old daughter, Zara, who lives with Patrick’s ex-girlfriend in Blantyre, a six-hour drive south. He and Fiona grew closer. Their walks become longer and longer. “He was making silly jokes all the time. I really liked that.” However, Fiona didn’t know if he had a girlfriend, so she remained cautious. “But once I knew he was single, things went pretty quickly,” she said. “It just felt right. I knew he was ‘the one.’ “

That November, a month before Fiona’s internship would be over, the two even talked of marriage. Six months after Fiona met Patrick, she returned to the Netherlands on Dec. 31. She moved back in with her parents while looking for work. But Fiona was keen to go back to Malawi as soon as she could. She wanted to be with Patrick. Despite being thousands of miles apart, she and Patrick began making plans: for him to visit, to build a house in Lilongwe, to get married. Fast-forward to March 16 and Patrick’s arrival at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam. He and Fiona traveled to the village of Middelstum (population 2,419), where she lives with her parents, Aaldert and Rita ten Have. Even though the couple had discussed marriage, there was no proposal. And Patrick had a strategy: He was going to ask Fiona’s father and mother for permission to marry their daughter and then pop the question. He thought they’d say no because he was a stranger. But Rita and Aaldert gave their permission. “They were touched

by the gesture of me asking them first,” Patrick recalls. They were surprised — but supportive. “They deserve all the happiness in the world, so why not?” explains Rita. On a windswept March 23, while walking on a nearby dike, Patrick got on one knee, took out a ring and asked Fiona to marry him. She said, “Yes.” “It was one of the best moments of my life,” Patrick said. The couple made the most of the three weeks they had planned as a couple. Since Fiona still hadn’t landed a job, they were together constantly: meeting friends and family, spending time with her folks, riding bikes, admiring tulips. And visiting farms. Patrick grew up on maize and tobacco farms his father managed, so in some ways he felt at home in Middelstum. But he was struck by the stark visual differences between Malawi and the Netherlands. “In Malawi, although people are very religious, there are not that many churches. Every village has a church in the Netherlands, it seems,” he said. “Also, when I arrived in March,

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there were no leaves on the trees. I thought the trees were all dead.” LOCKED-DOWN LOVE In the background, COVID-19 was lurking. It was declared a pandemic early on March 11. Countries began closing borders and locking down. Patrick was due to return home April 3. Two days prior, Malawi announced a moratorium on arriving international flights. “In the beginning, it was great! I thought, ‘Yes, He gets to stay another week,’ “ Fiona said. Then she found a job with the local health authority, “calling people to tell them they tested positive for COVID-19.”

to keep himself busy, from doing odd jobs at her parents’ house to visiting farms to learn about their animals. He also rediscovered his love for painting. “I used to paint animals when I was a child. But when I grew older, I no longer had the time.” Fiona found him an easel, and Patrick began painting scenes that reminded him of home. He even sold a few pieces, including a depiction of Malawi’s “Big Five” wild animals that a villager commissioned for a door.

Patrick, too, is struggling with the separation: “I feel so lonely.”

One unexpected outcome for Patrick was the embrace of the village community: “Everyone knew my story. People would come up to me and ask, ‘How are you?’ “

“Our cultures are so different — that initially caused some friction, but as we got to know Patrick, we saw what a great guy he was,” said Aaldert. Rita will miss her daughter when she moves to Malawi. “But if she is happy there, then we are too.”

Patrick spent more and more time alone. As the weeks went by, he became despondent. “It was hard because I was stuck. I could do nothing,” Patrick recalls. He found it difficult to deal with the stress, and he missed his daughter.

But it took him a while to get used to the famous directness of the Dutch. “Here people will talk about things very openly, like illness or other private experiences. In Malawi, we don’t open up this much about our lives.”

Fiona did what she could. “Whenever he had a bad day, I would try to be there. A hug or a kiss, whatever we needed, to let each other know that we still love each other.”

On Sept. 1, Malawi reopened its airports for a limited number of international flights. But obstacles still loomed, from flight cancellations to a lack of funds for a new ticket.

Fiona was promoted, responsible for a team of health workers. She was working 50 to 60 hours a week.

But on Nov. 3, Patrick flew home. “It has not really hit me yet that he’s gone. I really miss him when I wake up,” said Fiona.

And Patrick eventually found ways

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The bride- and groom-to-be are excited about 2021. “I am looking forward to starting a life with my beautiful Fiona,” said Patrick. Fiona, who hopes to move to Malawi in May, looks back on their seven months together as a blessing in disguise. Her parents got to know Patrick better than they could have ever hoped for.

Patrick feels his time in Middelstum was a transformative experience for Fiona and him. “We faced this challenge as a couple. Sure, we had our fair share of fights, but we resolved them.” Fiona believes living together so intensely for seven months made them stronger. “Patrick has learned to share his emotions with me. We’ve survived and are more in love than ever.” And for Patrick and Fiona, that’s a romantic silver lining to the pandemic. NICK SCHONFELD NPR 2021


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VIRTUAL DATE NIGHTS

SWAP OUT 'ROUTINE' FOR 'UNEXPECTED' WITH THESE ROMANTIC IDEAS FOR FEB. 14

A

S LONG AS THE CURRENT COVID-19 TRENDS CONTINUE AT THE CURRENT PACE, IT IS VERY UNLIKELY THAT BY FEBRUARY 14 OUR SOCIETY WILL HAVE RETURNED TO ANY SEMBLANCE OF NORMAL. IN FACT, LIFE AS WE’VE COME TO UNDERSTAND IT IN 2020 WILL LIKELY CONTINUE FAR LONGER INTO 2021 THAN WE’D ENJOY. To adjust to our new normal, we must accept adjustments for important dates such as Valentine’s. In fact, everyone will be looking for simple ways to make the transition seamless, without missing out on the celebration of the day. So, whether you’re celebrating Valentine’s Day or Galentine’s Day or Single Appreciation Day, here are some safe, virtual and stay-at-home friendly ideas to help make February 14 a memorable one in the midst of a pandemic.

VIRTUAL DINNER FOR TWO The first date idea for Valentine’s Day page 72

2021 is to have a virtual dinner. This could be from food that you have ordered out from a pre-selected restaurant. You could choose to order from the same restaurant and try similar meals or from different restaurants to try something different each and review them. Another option is to pick similar dishes from different restaurants and use the opportunity to see which restaurant serves the better version of that meal. The diversity associated with getting food this way brings flair and interest for a day that would otherwise have passed by. It is a good conversation starter and gives you plenty of time to talk and spend quality time together. In San Francisco, you might try the roasted Chicken for Two from Zuni Café. Specialty delivery service, Gold Belly, brings specialties from all over to your front door: BBQ from Kansas City, decadent desserts from New York’s finest bakeries, or Los Angeles’ best breakfast burrito (amazing any hour of the day) from Cofax. In addition to enjoying delicious dishes with someone special, you’ll also be supporting local restaurants that have been heavily impacted by the restrictions of the pandemic.

BINGE-WATCH SOMETHING SEXY Just as we are on the topic of quality time, it would be a good Valentine’s Day date idea to watch a movie or bingewatch a mini-series or a whole series throughout the day in the safety of your home. A show marathon is a perfect date idea for Valentine’s Day 2021. The process of picking the show and preparing to see it can serve as a bonding session even before the day arrives. Honest commentary about the show and candid conversations as the show goes on will help getting to know each other better. This is an ideal first date, as it is a good icebreaker, but anyone can enjoy a binge-watching marathon. We suggest Netflix’ Bridgerton, with enough romance and passion to heat up your own evening, too.

TAKE A VIRTUAL TRIP As the COVID-19 pandemic has changed circumstances all around the world, many tourist locations are offering virtual journeys and tours of museums, natural wonders, markets and parks. If museums, galleries and parks


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were some of your favorite places to visit pre-pandemic, this is a perfect virtual outing for you. All that is required is to show up to your computer and enjoy the show. Honestly, when the pandemic is over, we’ll probably never want to tour somewhere virtually again, so take advantage of the current popularity and utilize this for Valentine’s Day 2021. Booking the showing simultaneously will make it so that it feels like you are both physically there.

HOST A (ZOOM) THEME PARTY Is a theme party more to your liking on Valentine’s Day? Be it a slumber party, a listening party, a game night party… the possibilities are endless. Just as well, Valentine’s Day 2021 should be no different. Any thematic party can be organized virtually, with as much flexibility as needed or with certain regulations. In advance, plan the theme and dress code to ensure everyone is synchronized. The fun and, honestly, distraction, will help release the tension of not being in the same room. This idea can be modified to whatever specifications you and the party participants come up with together. Get creative!

PICNIC AL FRESCO If you are looking for an outdoor idea, it might be fun to have an outdoor picnic in the backyard or somewhere safe away from large groups of people. A day of spending time in the sun and the outside air is refreshing. It also helps with the cabin fever everyone has been experiencing. If it’s still chilly where you live, throw on a fur coat or cape for the occasion. Bring out the good champagne and pick up some sweets from a local eatery. Hopefully these date ideas inspire your

Valentine’s Day 2021 planning as we all must celebrate love in the midst of a pandemic. COMPILED BY THE EDITORIAL STAFF POLO LIFESTYLES 2021 page 73


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MAKE YOUR LOVE LIFE SIZZLE EXPERTS WEIGH IN ON PANDEMIC LOVE

KEEP YOUR ROMANCE ALIVE

W

HETHER YOU’VE BEEN TOGETHER FOR A HANDFUL OF MONTHS OR SEVERAL DECADES, IT’S FAR TOO EASY TO GET SWEPT UP IN THE DAILY INS AND OUTS OF LIFE.

This becomes even more difficult when faced with the stark uncertainty of the coronavirus pandemic, when the attention and energy you’d otherwise give to your relationship is easily directed elsewhere.1 While it’s not a bad thing to lean into the comfort of an established relationship and some sense of routine during this time, keeping that spark of romance ever-present bodes well for your emotional and physical connection, as well as your mental health. Below we’ve outline four specific ways you can do just that.

COMMIT SMALL GESTURES OF LOVE “Relationship research has concluded repeatedly that everyday gestures that express fondness and appreciation for your partner are essential to feeling close and connected,” notes Elizabeth page 76

Hale-Rose, LCWS for Privé-Swiss Wellness in Connecticut.

Every person is unique regarding the types of gestures they’ll appreciate most, and you know your partner best. Ideas include: •

Shooting them a lovey text message in the middle of the workday (Even if you’re only a few feet apart)

Having breakfast ready for them on a weekend morning

Tackling a dreaded chore that he or she usually tends to

Delivering a cup of soothing tea to the couch come nightfall

Taking time for little hugs and kisses throughout the day

The increased amount of time you’re spending together provides ample opportunity to make at least one small gesture every day. It will make you feel good to offer these tokens of love, as well.

CHECK-IN WITH YOUR PARTNER REGULARLY Even if you know your partner backward and forward and can usually anticipate their every need, we’re all experiencing something we’ve never

gone through before. If you’re in the beginning of a relationship or still figuring each other out, it’s also important to step back and check-in with your partner. The bottom line is that taking the time to specifically ask your partner what they might need from you during this unprecedented time signals your love for them, fosters a romantic connection, and can help you both weather the storm.  “With life running at normal speed it can be difficult to sense your partner’s needs, but under the umbrella of all this chaos it may be impossible if you don’t actually check in with them,” says Dr. Colleen Mullen, PysD, LMFT, and author. Examples of what you might say:

How can I best support you today/ right now/in these next months?

It looks like you’ve been handling all of this really well, but I just wanted to check in with you to make sure.

Do you want to talk about anything you’re feeling right now? If not now, maybe later?

You can also take this time to share your own concerns or needs with your partner. Being vulnerable will help you both remain on the same page, be a


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when meeting each other’s families or friends. If you’re in a more established relationship, go ahead and crack open an old photo album or your Facebook photo reel, look through old cards or mementos, or simply sit face to face recalling hilarious or heartwarming memories.

PLAN FULL-BLOWN DATE NIGHTS

figurative and literal shoulder to cry on, and will make it easier to practice empathy even when lashing out or getting on each other’s nerves. When life really picks up steam, finding the time (or desire) to be physically intimate can become increasingly difficult. Still, physical intimacy is incredibly important to maintaining romance and deep emotional connection with your partner. And this definitely doesn’t have to always mean sex. Some other ways you might foster a physical connection include the following: •

Kissing and snuggling on the couch

Holding hands on a long walk

Trading five-minute massages

Simply having conversations about physical intimacy can help spark desire and connection, too. You might find that now is a good time to talk about (and/or satisfy) each other’s fantasies or things you’ve been curious about.

Interestingly, having sex has also been linked to reduction in stress hormones.2

SIT DOWN AND REMINISCE TOGETHER Looking back at the “good ol’ times” can bring happy memories, make you laugh, and make you remember just how far you two have come together over the months or years. “Brain research informs us that intentionally recalling good times helps strengthen the neural pathways that support well-being. We know that brains store information through an associative process so, in other words, neurons that fire together wire together,” says Hale-Rose. “Intentionally recalling pleasant, sexy, and fun memories with your partner helps associate the feelings generated by these memories with your partner.” If your relationship is relatively new, think back to those initial flirty text conversations, your first few days, or funny moments that might have occurred

We’re clearly spending quantity time with our partners through the coronavirus pandemic, but also make sure you’re taking moments to spend quality time together. “The kicker on this is that, of course, date night is still within the same four walls non-date nights take place, so it will take some creativity to change the set up.” Maybe that means transforming the dining room into a white-linen, candlelit space, pushing the furniture out of the living room to create a dance floor, or setting up an indoor picnic complete with basket and checkered blanket. Movie nights are OK, but also make sure you’re planning events where you can truly engage.  Whatever your date night might entail, Mullan says to focus conversations on each other and to do your best to avoid talking about the virus, fears, money, cabin fever, etc. There’s a time and a place for those conversations (you can even proactively allocate time to discuss these topics) but the purpose of date night is to fall into each other. WENDY GOULD POLO LIFESTYLES 2021 page 77


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MACKENZIE SCOTT DELIVERS BILLIONS GIVING PLEDGE PHILANTHROPIST DONATES NEARLY $6B IN 2020

BY WILLIAM SMITH Philanthropy Contributor @willismith_2000

$4.2

BILLION. WITH A “B.” THAT WAS THE AMOUNT SPLASHED ACROSS MAJOR NEWS OUTLET HEADLINES AND PRESS RELEASES OF HUNDREDS OF ORGANIZATIONS THROUGHOUT DECEMBER – AND MANY ORGANIZATIONS ARE STILL COUNTING.

While COVID spurred the desire among so many to give in this time of need – and to give generously – Billionaire MacKenzie Scott stands out from the crowd in the sheer largess of the billions she gave away to charities as 2020 drew to a close. Since September, Scott’s philanthropy has been on hyper-drive, with the latest

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round of giving benefiting at least 384 organizations. This comes on top of the $1.7 billion she invested in nonprofits in July 2020, bringing her publicly announced total of charitable giving to nearly $6 billion in a single year. Most experts concur – no single person has given away such a large amount of money to charities and done so as quickly as Scott has done. THE GIVING PLEDGE Scott is one of the ultra-wealthy with a social conscience who has signed the Giving Pledge, a commitment from the world’s wealthiest individuals and families to use the majority of their wealth to support philanthropic causes during their lifetimes. Scott is among 216 pledgers from two dozen countries who signed the pledge. She did so just one month after her high-profile divorce from Amazon founder Jeff Bezos finalized in April 2019, making her one of the richest

women in the world. The divorce settlement was worth $38 billion. To that extent, Scott has been very public with her philanthropy from the outset, finding resonance with the purpose of the Giving Pledge itself – holding other members of the uber-wealthy class accountable for joining in and giving back. But Scott isn’t just public about her philanthropy, she’s frequently profound and wonderfully eloquent in expounding upon it. For example, in commenting on the signing of the Pledge, Scott wrote, “We each come by the gifts we have to offer by an infinite series of influences and lucky breaks we can never fully understand. In addition to whatever assets life has nurtured in me, I have a disproportionate amount of wealth to share…and I will keep at it until the safe is empty.” Scott has deftly utilized her blog to continue her narrative of philanthropy. Her December grants announcement


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DELIVERING BILLIONS

PHILANTHROPIST MACKENZIE SCOTT

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came via her blog on Medium where she began by reflecting on the isolation of 2020 and by quoting Emily Dickinson. After all, Scott is also an award-winning novelist. But in addition to wonderful prose, the self-reflection and understanding of her own privilege consistently emerges as a theme. In July’s blog of grant updates, Scott wrote, “I’m posting an update today because my own reflection after recent events revealed a privilege I’d been overlooking: the attention I can call to organizations and leaders driving change.” PURPOSE-DRIVEN GIVING Scott’s desire to give back goes well beyond her own desire and capacity to do so. The events in the U.S. in 2020 served as a call to action to Scott and catapulted her intentions in signing the Giving Pledge. “Like many, I watched the first half of 2020 with a mixture of heartbreak and horror,” said Scott. “Life will never stop finding fresh ways to expose inequities in our systems; or waking us up to the fact that a civilization this imbalanced is not only unjust, but also unstable.” Scott went on in this same blog to underscore that addressing inequities of every sort are at the core of how she thinks about philanthropy and that the solutions to these inequities are best addressed by organizations and individuals who have actually experienced them. Scott’s first round of grants in July underscored a “nothing about us without us” approach, providing funds to racial, page 84

gender and LGBTQ+ equity groups that Scott emphasized were led by people with lived experiences in each of these areas. As the year progressed, it became clear to everyone, including Scott and her team of advisors, that the economic impacts of the prolonged pandemic were serving to exacerbate the inequities in society. Scott, again expressing her innate capacity for honesty and accountability, put it succinctly, “This pandemic has been a wrecking ball in the lives of Americans already struggling. Economic losses and health outcomes alike have been worse for women, for people of color, and for people living in poverty,” she wrote. But she did not stop in merely stating the obvious. “Meanwhile, it has substantially increased the wealth of billionaires,” she continued. Billionaires, including her. In fact, over 2020, Scott’s own wealth grew by $23.6 billion according to Bloomberg’s Billionaire Index, with a net worth of $60.7 billion and holding the rank of 18th wealthiest person in the world. Like her ex-husband, the source of Scott’s wealth is primarily from Amazon, which since the start of the pandemic has experienced explosive performance. In 2020, Amazon’s stock performance had a 73.5 percent return year-to-date, nearly five times the performance of the S&P 500 over the same time period, according to reporting by Motley Fool.

Notwithstanding the financial winds in her own sails, Scott saw the very inequities she set out to address initially through her philanthropy becoming even worse as a result of the pandemic and she moved into action. Scott’s unprecedented grant-making in December was designed to address both immediate basic needs of vulnerable populations and to double down on her grants from July that supported organizations addressing what she called, “Long-term systemic inequities that have deepened the crisis.” As she did earlier this year, Scott listed the organizations that received grants. The nearly 400 grantees in July were diligently culled from nearly 6,500 on an original list. Many grantees are familiar to most Americans – over 40 food banks and Meals on Wheels programs to address food insecurity, which has reached a crisis point in so many communities across the U.S. YMCAs and YWCAs. Nearly four dozen Goodwill organizations. United Ways, community foundations and other entities hosting COVID-19 relief funds. And over 20 Easterseals affiliates from coast to coast. Less familiar perhaps, but critical in seeking systemic solutions to inequity, are investments in Native American organizations like the Institute of American Indian Arts, a stone’s throw from my own home here in Santa Fe, N. M., or the National Urban Indian Family Coalition. There is also my friend Ana Marie Argilagos’ Hispanics


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WITH NO TIME TO WASTE, WITH HER HEART ON HER SLEEVE AND WITH A DEPTH OF PURPOSE RARELY WITNESSED OR EXPRESSED, MACKENZIE SCOTT HAS QUICKLY BECOME THE PHILANTHROPIST OF NOTE IN THE U.S. in Philanthropy, as well as the National Women’s Law Center and RIP Medical Debt. There is also Lambda Legal, the NAACP and the Southern Partners Fund. There are also innovative wealth building organizations like Community Vision Capital and Consulting and the Community Reinvestment Fund.

DELIVERING BILLIONS

MULTIFACETED. DIVERSE. STRATEGIC. AND FAST. AND LET ME UNDERSCORE… FAST.

Multifaceted. Diverse. Strategic. And fast. And let me underscore… fast.

in 2020 can be found in her blog site Mackenzie-scott.medium.com

With no time to waste, with her heart on her sleeve and with a depth of purpose rarely witnessed or expressed, Scott has quickly become the philanthropist of note in the U.S. All her grants made

While you’re there, take the time to read her fabulous prose with purpose. WILLIAM SMITH PHILANTHROPY CONTRIBUTOR POLO LIFESTYLES 2021 page 85


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ROYAL OAK CONCEPT FROSTED GOLD FLYING TOURBILLON CASE Hammered 18-carat pink gold case, glareproofed sapphire crystal and caseback, crown set with a translucent sapphire cabochon. DIAL Multi-layers graded blue dial with sunray pattern, pink gold Royal Oak hands with luminescent coating. BRACELET Hand-stitched “large square scale” blue alligator strap with hammered 18-carat pink gold AP folding clasp. Additional shiny blue rubber strap.

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HIGH SOCIETY

HIGH SOCIETY


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POLESTAR

FULLY CHARGED

ALL-ELECTRIC SWEDISH INGENUITY ARRIVES IN THE HAMPTONS

P

OLESTAR IS REDEFINING BOTH DESIGN AND PERFORMANCE STANDARDS AS ONE OF THE TOP EMERGING ELECTRIC VEHICLE AND HYBRID MANUFACTURERS. NOW THEY ARE STUNNING US WITH TWO GLORIOUS MODELS: THE POLESTAR 1 AND 2.

Making their move into the U.S. market, the Swedish-founded Polestar is an independent electric performance car brand originally by Volvo Cars and Geely Holding that enjoys both the specific technological and engineering synergies with Volvo Cars while gaining their significant economies of scale as a result. Who could argue that as a downfall? Having originally launched in 2017 with the Polestar 1 – a low-volume, impeccably styled Electric Performance Hybrid GT with 619 horsepower and an electric-only range of 70 miles (the longest of any hybrid car in the world) it was time for their team to design something fully electric – enter Polestar 2. PHOTO G R A PHY BY U GU R D U R SU N F O R M J S GR O U P E

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HIGH SOCIETY During a curated tour, Polestar made its first entrance into The Hamptons during a series of drive events with their East Coast partner, Manhattan Motor Cars showcasing both the 1 and 2. Officially, Polestar Manhattan and team were onsite at the exclusive, invite-only experience held at the notable Baker House 1650 in East Hampton. A limited group of attendees was given the opportunity to get behind the wheel of Polestar 2 and were introduced to the brand’s edgy style, sustainability and performance. Manhattan Motor Cars, which is one of three first retail partners for Polestar in the U.S., brought four Polestar vehicles as part of this exciting weekend event. Gregor Hembrough, head of Polestar USA, both greeted guests and provided product knowledge alongside Marketing Manager Christopher Schultz. Robert Marchhart, director of marketing for the Manhattan Motor Cars family, and his team safely executed the driving experience that wound through the beautiful Hamptons’ winter scenery and coastpage 90

line. This tour, which was produced by The MJS Groupe and was held over a two-day activation, featured a luxurious catered luncheon, homemade seasonal bakery favorites, bubbles (post-drive, of course) by Champagne A L’EST and also showcased Drive Coffee, which is inspired by the world of motorsports and racing. The focus of the tour was to show off the ease and ability found in the Polestar 2, especially being that of the all-electric build. The Polestar 2 is a powerhouse, which is derived from its two electric motors, one up front and another located in its rear, providing the gripping, all-wheel drive guests experienced. Each engine produces 201 horsepower and 243 pound-feet of torque, for a total output of 402 horsepower and 487 pound-ft of torque. Quite impressively, you’re able to zip from 0-60 mph in 4.1 seconds, not that we will admit anyone was shooting through The Hamptons at those speeds.

The test drive vehicles also featured the Performance package that included the 20-inch wheels, stiffer suspension components as well as adjustable Öhlins dampers, and upgraded Brembo front brakes. This combination contributed to the 2’s 0.90g of cornering grip and 157-foot stopping distance from 70 mph. Polestar also provides three levels of regenerative braking, with the strongest capable of bringing the car to a complete stop without touching the brake. The 2, which is fully electrified, accommodates a 78.0-kWh lithium-ion battery pack under the floor. The electrical system supports fast charging up to 150 kilowatts, with Polestar stating a fully discharged battery up to 80 percent in 40 minutes, which is quite quick. The 2’s interior artfully merges woods, fabric, and textures in a simple yet artful way. It looks modern, with clean lines, a spartan color palette, and minimal switchgear. Polestar also provides options for the interior including eco-friendly vegan fabric and leather.


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For a real treat and a great place to keep your small packages, use the storage in the frunk (front trunk) since you no longer need that bulky engine.

We were told after speaking with Hembrough that the future of Polestar will be held with the 3. The addition to the brand’s portfolio will be a fully

electric performance SUV and one that is excitingly anticipated.

PHOTO G R A PHY BY U GU R D U R SU N F O R M J S GR O U P E

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HIGH SOCIETY

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PHOTO G R A PHY BY U GU R D U R SU N F O R M J S GR O U P E

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ROBERT DE NIRO

LAUNCHING NOBU'S FIRST "INN" CONCEPT IN BARBUDA BILLIONAIRES FLOCKED TO THE TINY ISLAND OF BARBUDA. THEN TRAGEDY STRUCK AND IT FELL OFF OUR RADAR. ROBERT DE NIRO BETS YOU'LL GO THERE AGAIN.

“I

LIKE THE WORD INN,” SAYS ROBERT DE NIRO ABOUT WHAT WILL, OVER THE NEXT THREE YEARS, ARISE ON 391 ACRES ALONG THE SANDY SHORES OF BARBUDA. AND THOUGH IT MIGHT BE DIFFICULT TO IMAGINE THE AWARD-WINNING ACTOR BEHIND THE YOUNG VITO CORLEONE AND JIMMY CONWAY AS A KINDLY INNKEEPER, THE DEVIL, AS WITH EVERYTHING DE NIRO DOES, IS IN THE DETAILS— EVEN SOMETIMES IN WORD CHOICE. INN IS IMPERATIVE HERE.

De Niro has been on these shores before. Thirty years ago, while taking a day trip from Antigua, he asked the boat’s crew to stop so he could see a stretch of Barbuda. Some things you just remember, and by 2023, schedule permitting, the Nobu Beach Inn will offer one- to four-bedroom villas with private pools and direct beach access. Surrounding the property will be privately owned residences, fully serviced by the inn. Enjoying the chef ’s miso cod on this pristine beach sounds like a dream, and it has taken time. “I knew that if I were going to build something like this, I would have to find the perfect place. It’s a lot of work. And,” he says quietly, “I do other things.” Some might remember this stretch of undeveloped turquoise water as

the site of the K CLUB, one of Princess Diana’s favorites. That resort had fallen into disrepair by 2004; 10 years later De Niro and inn co-founder James Packer started looking into developing the property. There was opposition from community groups, and then came Hurricane Irma, which devastated the island in 2017. De Niro vowed to support Barbuda’s recovery. The word community comes up often— both the island’s existing one and the environment De Niro hopes to create with the inn. He wants it to be somewhere people come back to year after year, a destination that is “not too formal, the kind of place people really want to go to, and that they will make the effort to get to.”

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NOBU BARBUDA Barbuda, like St-Barths and other exclusive islands, currently gets no direct commercial flights. An airport is opening next year that will accommodate private jets and small planes, so effort is required—but that seems part of the recipe for a low-key, wordof-mouth kind of place reminiscent of Mustique or Parrot Cay, or even De Niro and team’s Nobu Ryokan in Malibu or the Greenwich Hotel page 100

In 2019, the Wall Street Journal asked De Niro, Where is a place you'll always return to? Robert De Niro: "Barbuda in the Caribbean. We’re building—at this point, we’re calling it the Nobu Beach (Inn) on four-hundred acres, very special place. Been working on it for five years or more."

in New York. “Bob’s vision is for the Nobu Beach Inn to have the feeling of a hideaway,” said Trevor Horwell, CEO of Nobu Hospitality group. Globally, there are now 42 Nobu locations, and 20 of those boast hotel rooms. But Barbuda will be Nobu's first inn. “There will be a sense of privacy and anonymity. The Malibu property you

can’t even book online. Barbuda is like that. It’s quiet. We don’t want to make it a big destination. And we want local families to be a part of this, and to be proud of it.” Creating a place that people return to, that becomes part of their lives, takes vision, strategy, and a little magic. Though the inn isn’t yet ready, a Nobu Barbuda restaurant was planned to open on the beach in December.


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ROBERT DE NIRO, IN HIS OWN WORDS, IN REGARD TO HIS PROJECT IN BARBUDA A few years back, I took a yacht from the Grenadines all the way up to Saint Martin. I’d been thinking for a long time that I’d love to create a hotel somewhere in the Caribbean, if only I could find the right spot – somewhere really special that would be worth all the effort. So I decided to take this trip and look up any possible places to buy. The idea was that if there were any stunning spots for sale, we’d sail there and check them out. We had all these spots lined up and a route planned – but I kept thinking about Barbuda. About 30 years ago, I’d stayed at Jumby Bay in Antigua and had taken a day trip over to Barbuda and I always remembered it. It was just an amazing place. On this recent trip we wound up taking a detour and anchoring at the same spot. And we found this spectacular place that was just perfect for us. Honestly, it’s one of the most beautiful places I have ever laid eyes on. We had to get in touch with the government and track down the owners and see if they would sell. We finally bought it. And now, at last, we have this absolutely incredible Caribbean property. I want to do a Nobu Beach Club there – to curate it in a very nice way. A landing strip is going in at the moment, so people can fly there direct from the U.S. East Coast, rather than have to go via Antigua – that’s key.

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BARCELONA NOBU

MIAMI NOBU

WARSAW NOBU

LAS VEGAS NOBU

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MALIBU NOBU

WASHINGTON, D.C. NOBU

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NOBU BARBUDA page 104


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BARBUDA is a small island located in the eastern Caribbean forming part of the sovereign Commonwealth nation of Antigua and Barbuda. It is located north of the Antigua Island and is part of the Leeward Islands of the West Indies. Antigua and Barbuda gained full independence on 1 November 1981 as a constitutional monarchy within the Commonwealth of Nations. The island is a popular tourist destination because of its moderate climate and coastline. Historically, most of Barbuda’s 1,634 residents have lived in the town of Codrington. However, in September 2017, Hurricane Irma damaged or destroyed 95 percent of the island›s buildings and infrastructure and, as a result, all the island's inhabitants were evacuated to Antigua, leaving Barbuda empty for the first time in modern history. page 105


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THE SOUP OF

FREEDOM T

O MAKE SOUP JOUMOU, THE HAITIAN CHEF WESLY JEAN SIMON INSISTS, YOU MUST FIRST FIND THE BIGGEST POT IN YOUR KITCHEN. “You cannot make a small pot of soup joumou,” he said, as there are so many components to the aromatic, orange-yellow squash soup, and it is meant to be shared with others.

Jean Simon was getting ready for Haitian Independence Day, Jan. 1, when he’ll prepare and serve the dish — free and safely, in disposable cups — to anyone who stops outside his Haitian restaurant, Zanmi, in Prospect-Lefferts Gardens near Brooklyn. For Haitians, liberation and soup joumou go hand in hand. Under French colonial rule in the 17th and 18th centuries, enslaved Africans in Haiti were forced to cultivate squash, which grew abundantly on the fertile land. According to Laurent Dubois, a professor of romance studies at Duke University and a leading historian of Haiti, there are slightly differing opinions on the soup’s origins, but a popular

story goes that the soup the enslaved Africans made with this squash was reserved only for their oppressors. When Haitians won independence on Jan. 1, 1804, the culmination of the Haitian Revolution, they celebrated with soup joumou, a symbol of the foods that had been forbidden to them. The tradition continues today in Haiti and its diaspora, with festivities often beginning with a get-together the evening before, and continuing with another celebration on Jan. 2, known as Ancestors’ Day (Jour des Aïeux in French or Jou Zansèt Yo in Haitian Creole) — honoring Haitian revolutionaries like Jean-Jacques Dessalines, Toussaint L’Ouverture and Henri Christophe.

Jean Simon grew up in the Cité Simone (now Cité Soleil) neighborhood of Port-au-Prince, and he can’t remember a new year that has gone by without eating soup joumou. Three years ago, he nearly skipped the tradition because he was working a busy shift as a sous-chef at the Hard Rock Cafe in Times Square — until a cousin dropped off a bowl for him at the restaurant. “My cousin was like, ‘You didn’t have no

soup?!’” he said with a laugh.

Now that he has his own restaurant, just outside Brooklyn’s Little Haiti, he does for the neighborhood what his cousin did for him on Jan. 1. His Independence Day celebration usually starts with a party the night before at the restaurant, where the soup is served around 4 a.m. Because of the coronavirus, Jean Simon won’t be having the big party this year. But he is one of many Haitians planning safe ways to distribute soup joumou to their communities. The annual ritual “is a reminder that even though we are not home, we have something to hold onto our culture and bring all of us back together,” he said. “We can invite all the people to understand our culture and what the day means to us.” In the new book “Black Futures,” by Kimberly Drew and Jenna Wortham (a New York Times staff writer), the activist and writer Zoe Samudzi noted: “Haiti was the world’s first liberated Black nation, and her freedom in 1804 became a blueprint for Black insurrection and self-determination on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean.” The Haitian Revolution

RECIPES AND SPECIAL INGREDIENTS ARE PASSED DOWN FROM GENERATION TO GENERATION TO MAKE THIS TRADITIONAL SOUP BOTH FILLING AND SYMBOLIC. page 109


The finished product, ready for friends and family

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inspired uprisings by enslaved people in other parts of the world, including the United States, and contributed to the ending of the slave trade. This is why Manie Chery, 39, who hosts a YouTube series called “Love for Haitian Food” believes the holiday should be more widely acknowledged. “Anyone who is against oppression and stands for justice and freedom for all people should be proud and celebrate that first victory for enslaved Africans against their oppressors.” For those who observe Haitian Independence Day, preparation of soup joumou often begins the day before and sometimes even earlier. The variety of squash used, the calabaza — also known as the Caribbean pumpkin, or giraumon — is known for its intense flavor, which comes through in the soup. Traditional versions of the dish include that squash, along with beef marinated in epis seasoning, a verdant mixture of alliums, page 110

peppers and herbs; a varying assortment of vegetables, like carrots, celery, yams, potatoes and cabbage; and pasta. Jean Simon said it’s important to add the ingredients in stages, starting with the meat and ending with the pasta, so “nothing breaks down and you can taste every item in the bowl.” The result, he added, should be “savory, with an underlying sweet” flavor. Making soup joumou is a long process, and a skill acquired over many years, said Rose Michel, the owner of Belmere Catering in Miami. “It is not something you can just get off and say today, ‘I know how to make soup joumou,’ because you will be criticized.” Every family, she said, has its own variation — a specific variety of pasta, the addition of other vegetables — and opinions on what does and doesn’t belong in the soup. Michel, who grew up across all five

boroughs of New York City, remembered that her aunt stayed up all night on Dec. 31 to make the soup. Relatives that Michel hadn’t seen all year would visit one another’s homes, eating soup at every stop. “No matter whose Haitian household you are going to be at, it is cooked,” she said. “It doesn’t matter who is quarreling.” When eating soup joumou, people put their differences aside. The soup has sustained Ms. Michel beyond Independence Day. Her family ate it on any special occasion, from christenings to Christmas, and it was served at both of her parents’ funerals. When she lived in a homeless shelter at age 28, she made the soup for her peers, “to brighten up their days.” Soup joumou “helped save my life,” she said. In 2015, she began an annual Haitian Independence Day tradition of bringing


The squash that makes the base of Soup Joumou

Chef Wesley Jean Simon preps Soup Joumou in Brooklyn

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the soup to Prospect Park in Brooklyn to serve the homeless, and anyone else who wanted to eat. Now, in Miami, she is partnering with the local Movement Church to make the soup and pack it in to-go containers to feed more than 200 families in Homestead, a heavily Haitian and Hispanic suburb. Last year, she offered the soup in a park in North Miami, and people lined up an hour before she began serving. Living in a country whose news media often portrays Haiti through the lens of its poverty (and whose president once used an expletive to describe Haiti and its neighbors), Michel said serving soup joumou “gives us the opportunity to share who we really are” and “what we represent to the world. We represent strength. We represent unity. It’s the reason we won the revolution.” In Michigan, where the Haitian population is much smaller, the Haitian Network Group of Detroit hosts an an-

nual Independence Day celebration that both Haitians and non-Haitians attend. Community members prepare and serve soup joumou, along with pâté baked in flaky puff pastry, and sing the Haitian national anthem. This year, the soup and pâté will be offered for curbside pickup. “If I don’t have soup joumou within the first couple of weeks of January, I feel like I have set myself up to have bad luck that year,” said Shirley Alcé-Konaté, treasurer of the group and a senior business analyst at Henry Ford Hospital. Margareth Corkery, the president of Haitian Network Group of Detroit and a board member at two local health organizations, said she keeps the soup tradition alive largely for her two children, 15 and 27, who are half-Haitian and grew up in America. “If they don’t hear it from us, they won’t hear it in school,” she said. “It is our duty to make sure they know, and also to educate Americans who don’t know.”

Cindy Similien, a New Yorker who has written numerous books on Haitian food and culture, said soup joumou feels especially meaningful right now, “as a symbol of freedom and unity to overcome the challenges posed by Covid-19” and the relics of enslavement that still exist, like mass incarceration. “You continue that legacy of freedom,” she said. “In sharing opportunities and resources with our community so that they can be uplifted.” That freedom also feels personal, said Belinda Baptiste, who plans to serve the soup at a drive-through outside her restaurant, Unforgettable Bakery & Cafe, in Savannah, Ga. Eating it reminds her “That we can do whatever, we can become whomever we want to become.” “Is there something magical about it?” she wondered aloud. “I guess. There is a magic in soup joumou for Haitians.” JAMELLE BOUIE THE NEW YORK TIMES 2021 page 111


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2020'S SILVER LINING WHAT'S WORTH CARRYING FORWARD INTO 2021 IT WAS A YEAR MANY WOULD RATHER FORGET, BUT DON'T OVERLOOK THE IMPORTANT MOMENTS THAT DEFINED THE BEST PARTS OF 2020

B

ACK IN EARLY 2020, MUCH ADO WAS MADE ABOUT THE INADVERTENT AND POSITIVE EFFECTS ON THE ENVIRONMENT WHEN WE STOPPED FLYING, DRIVING, RELENTLESSLY AND AIMLESSLY SHOPPING AND HURRYING TO-AND-FRO. POLLUTION LEVELS DROPPED, THE SKIES CLEARED UP AND THE PRICE OF CRUDE OIL SANK. THE TEMPORARY SHIFTS IN PERSONAL BEHAVIORS ADDED UP TO BIG, NOTICEABLE CHANGES IN OUR WORLD.

return to our old ways and manners, but there may be some fundamental shifts that could, should and would stick around - if we were open to the idea of taking the best parts of 2020 with us into 2021. Without further ado, here are some great things we learned to appreciate in 2020 that we’ll take with us into the new year.

As soon as we can get back to business-as-usual, we will almost certainly

Sanna Martin, prime minister of Finland, Jacinda Ardern, prime minister

WOMEN LEAD BETTER The global disaster showed us all who possessed the grit and determination to look the pandemic in the eyes and say, “We aren’t playing.” Among the heads of state who distinguished themselves in 2020, a disproportionate number of them had something very obvious in common.

of New Zealand, and Angela Merkel, chancellor of Germany, all set the standards of response and plan, including Ardern’s “hard and early” strategy, often cited as one of the most effective global responses. New Mexico’s and Michigan’s governors, Michelle Lujan Grisham and Gretchen Whitmer, locked down and protected their residents in two of the United States’ most aggressive, state-led strategies.

WORK FROM HOME WORKS – FOR SOME Let’s be honest. Working from home took a major adjustment. But once we found our ebb and flow, the routine started to feel almost-normal and even efficient. “Oh, you’re going to take your call here? I’ll set up in the garden.” We even found a rhythm for keeping our AirPods charged and ready. We had a page 113


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WORK FROM HOME

reason to splurge on that essential home office item we’d been putting off buying. Larger companies reimbursed purchases specifically for home office setups. Plus, for all of the time-card watchdogs out there, without a commute, many of us added 30-60 workable minutes to our day.

READING

Much has been said about polo networks that will charge for subscriptions in 2021, but we’ll gladly pay to continue enjoying the premium content. Now, please excuse us; we’re going back to watching the finals live from Aspen of the Snow Polo Championships.

POLO STREAMING

RENEWED APPRECIATION FOR LITERATURE

We can watch, and even enjoy, polo on TV vis-à-vis global streaming services like Global Polo TV, Chukker TV and PoloLine TV. In addition to chukkers, we downloaded and streamed interviews with players, coaches and celebrities. For us, the heroes of the field are the techs, camera operators and still photographers, limited to restricted media areas but still capturing the footage to bring us into the action.

A surge of unprecedented sales of minority-penned books didn’t go unnoticed by the world of book editors, who are rushing more similar manuscripts to press. But not so fast; the hashtag #publishingpaidme revealed substantial pay gaps and offers within the minority community, something publishers are working to correct. Here at Polo Lifestyles, we added a monthly book review by our resident copy editor and

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self-professed book worm, Gregory Bertrand, that delved into some of the hot topics of 2020.

UNIVERSAL BASIC INCOME IS SUDDENLY PRACTICAL While replacement income varied heavily from country to country in the Western world, the concept went from a wildly progressive pipe dream of a little-known presidential candidate in the United States to a highly popular program that seemed, at least at first, in touch with a majority of households during uncertain times. Even though many of us didn’t qualify for the payments, it was still pleasant to hear the stories from families incredibly grateful for the one-time or monthly stimulus checks or subsidized unemployment wages.


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PEDESTRIAN-FRIENDLIER CITIES

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PEDESTRIAN-FRIENDLIER CITIES

The pandemic forced cities to make shrewd urban land-use discoveries to accommodate social distancing: more outdoor dining in public places. Streets were closed off to cars as parking spaces were re-imagined as sidewalk cafes. Arenas were transformed into voting sites. While we’d like our parking spaces and ball games, back we can’t say we don’t enjoy dining al fresco under the stars.

forward. The entire essential worker pool – millions and millions of people – makes our world go round on a daily basis. At first, it felt good to clap for essential workers at 6 p.m. from the comfort of our front steps, but the sentiment didn't translate to those actually working 12-hour shifts on the front lines of the pandemic. Worker protections, wages and benefits must change going forward to protect those who protect us.

ESSENTIAL WORKER APPRECIATION

THE TRIUMPH OF SCIENCE AND MEDICAL RENAISSANCE

That tireless clerk who smiles at you in the grocery, asking how you’re doing, while risking his or her health to work for minimum wage 40+ hours a week? Yeah, that person is an essential worker, and we can’t but think about how laws and protections need to change going

The pandemic and its fallout are terrible, but the possible side effects could be helpful. As labs around the world pursue, develop and distribute vaccines, scientists are expected to stumble upon other related and unrelated health advances. This sort of rapid research and development could yield extremely ben-

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SCIEN CE RENA ISSAN CE

PEDESTRIAN-FRIENDLIER CITIES

eficial effects to combat other health or climate crises in 2021 and beyond. We’ve also witnessed unprecedented global collaboration in medical, health and engineering fields that should continue long into the future. JOSH JAKOBITZ EDITOR-IN-CHIEF POLO LIFESTYLES 2021


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FASHION & STYLE

THE RISE OF FANCY SWEAT PANTS DIOR'S LUXURY SKI LINE page 119


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LEISUREWEAR THE RISE OF FANCY SWEATPANTS

LUXE KNITS SKYROCKETED IN POPULARITY THANKS TO THE PANDEMIC. IT'S NOT OVER YET, AND THESE BRANDS ARE CASHING IN.

BRETT CHODY

D

Trends Contributor

@brettchody

UE TO THE COVID-19 LOCKDOWNS ACROSS THE WORLD, OUR TYPICAL DAILY WARDROBES WERE PUT ON HOLD. WORKING FROM HOME VIA ZOOM MEANT A BUTTON-DOWN ON TOP WITH LESS-THAN-PRESENTABLE PANTS ON THE BOTTOM; THE CONCEPT OF PUTTING ON A PAIR OF JEANS WAS NOWHERE TO BE FOUND. ALL ANYONE WANTED TO

WEAR WERE COZY GET-UPS AND CUTE ONES AT THAT. IN CAME THE MYRIAD OF LOUNGEWEAR BRANDS THAT QUENCHED THE WORLD’S CRAVING FOR CUTE AND COMFORTABLE CLOTHES. Over the past few years, trendy loungewear has become all the rage. What started as a fashionable approach to elevated sweatpants and sweatshirts has become an entire sector of the fashion industry by its very nature. And to no surprise, loungewear is the only category of clothing that has consistently been in high demand throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

In May, NPR reported that spending on clothing and accessories had plummeted 78 percent since the beginning of quarantine. All the while, loungewear sales skyrocketed across the United States and the world. Online retailer ASOS told the Associated Press that sales of their “not-so-basic tracksuits” were up 200 percent from the previous year. What’s more, luxury online store Net-a-Porter reported that, “Lingerie and loungewear had the largest sales increase worldwide of any category besides beauty products,” and track pants were up more than 1,300 percent compared to last year. Many online shopping sites and loungewear brands across the

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Madhappy's success might be in the name: the clothes just make you feel mad-happy.

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world echoed these same statistics. According to the AP, retail data company Edited reported that tracksuits and matching sweatsuit sales and sweatpant sales were up 70 and 80 percent, respectively, in April compared to February. Krista Corrigan, an analyst at Edited, explained her take on why loungewear’s popularity has increased since March. “The customer is not just buying these for practical use, but also for the purpose of looking on-trend, whether it be for social media or just because they want to feel cute in the house,” said Corrigan. She is right. College student Madison Nicolson purchased a few sweatsuits in quarantine, one from Los Angeles-based brand Madhappy. Nicolson snapped a photo in her electric blue sweatsuit and posted it to her Instagram account with the caption, “Haven’t moved.” page 122

“I have always been super-into loungewear, and since I was spending so much time at home in quarantine, it was fun to shop for it,” Nicolson said. “Sweatsuits are the best because they are super comfortable and easy to throw on, but also make me feel like I’m put together.” While Madhappy has been popular for a few years now, other brands capitalized during the COVID-induced loungewear rage. Take Pangaia, for example. The European brand with an environmentally friendly mission soared in popularity in mid-2020. Hannah Chody, an associate at Goldman Sachs in New York City, was the first person I know to order from Pangaia. “I came across Pangaia when it was a lesser-known brand, and I loved their environmentally focused ethos and ordered a sweatsuit right away,” Chody said. Like Nicolson, Chody snapped a

picture in her sweatsuit and posted it to her Instagram in the early days of quarantine. “Soon after [I ordered that sweatsuit], the brand exploded in popularity, and their loungewear became more difficult to order, but thankfully, I’ve managed to get my hands on a few more pieces,” Chody said. With countries around the world heading into the second round of lockdowns and stay-at-home orders, the obsession with loungewear isn’t expected to end anytime soon. In fact, it is estimated that the loungewear market will generate a whopping $37.7 billion USD in revenue in 2021, up from $29.8 billion USD in 2016. So, take this as the formal announcement that you can put your jeans back into storage and buy yourself some loungewear for 2021. BRETT CHODY TRENDS CONTRIBUTOR POLO LIFESTYLES 2021


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Pangaia saw sales of leisurewear skyrocket in 2020.

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HIT THE SLOPES

DIOR DESIGNS PREMIUM SKI GEAR INFLUENCED BY LEGENDARY DESIGNERS

I

N CELEBRATION OF THE WINTER SEASON, DIOR HAS LAUNCHED A COLLECTION OF SKIS, SNOWBOARDS, AND GEAR. This project was the brainchild of Kim Jones, Artistic Director of men’s collections, in close collaboration with Descente, AK SKI, and POC. The collection includes everything you could need for a day on the slopes. Not only have they produced a beautiful line of luxury skis and snowboards, but they have helmets, masks, poles, jackets, and gloves. They have the apresski necessities as well, a blanket and a travel mug to warm you up after a fun day outside. REPRINTED WITH PERMISSION FROM THE IMPRESSION 2021

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IT’S EASY TO UNDERSTAND WHY BRANDS WOULD CATER TO SNOW SPORTS — THEY’RE BELOVED BY THE ELITE AND THOSE WHO PARTAKE OFTEN HAVE PLENTY OF DISPOSABLE INCOME. BUT FOR DESIGNERS, IT PRESENTS A UNIQUE CANVAS FOR CREATION WHERE THE SHACKLES ARE CUT LOOSE. LET’S BE HONEST: THE GEAR, WHEN TAKEN OUT OF CONTEXT, IS NUTS. IT’S BIG AND INTENSE, RENDERING THE WEARER AS A KIND OF SCI-FI CREATION. COMBINE THAT EXPRESSION WITH FUNCTIONALITY, AND ITS TRANSITION FROM PISTE TO PAVEMENT MAKES SENSE. AFTER ALL, COLD WEATHER IS COLD WEATHER, WHETHER YOU’RE IN ST. MORITZ OR STANDING ON A STREET CORNER.

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STAY-AT-HOME ENTER "THE SILENCE" OF A

WORLD WITHOUT ELECTRONICS GREGORY BERTRAND Copy Editor @bertrand7367

W

Don’t you know it’s the only way to meet people today? You don’t want to be a cultural dinosaur, do you? Quick, hurry, subscribe to Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max and other streaming services to see what everyone’s raving over and then join the discussion on Twitter. Don’t be left out! It never ends.

E ARE ALL BEHOLDEN TO A MASS OF DIGITAL BLACK SCREENS: PHONES, TABLETS, E-READERS, LAPTOPS AND NAVIGATION SYSTEMS IN OUR VEHICLES; IT’S GETTING TO THE POINT WHERE THERE IS NO ESCAPE. WHAT WAS ONCE MERELY A LUXURY FORM OF ENTERTAINMENT IS NOW SEEMINGLY THE ONLY WAY WE CAN EXIST AS CITIZENS IN THIS DIGITAL ERA.

I want you to try an exercise. If you’re reading this digitally, close your laptop or shut off your phone, sit wherever you are and see how long you can stare into space without looking at a screen. Staring into space was something I used to be good at, until I got a smartphone—of which I was a pretty late adopter, not getting my first iPhone until 2014—up until that point, if I was waiting for a bus or riding on a train if I wasn’t reading a book, I had no choice but to sit there and stare.

Want to find a job? Well, open your laptop and log on to Indeed, or Monster or whatever jobs board you prefer. Are you lonely and want to find a partner? No need to fret; just download our dating app onto your phone.

When I finally did get that iPhone, I was able to resist that digital siren call, leaving the device in my pocket unless it was absolutely needed. However, sooner rather than later, it wore me down, and I became hooked, just liked

millions of other people. If it sounds like I’m being rather anti-tech, it’s only because rampant technology is the theme of Don DeLillo’s newest novel, “The Silence,” in which an unidentified phenomenon occurs that takes down all human technology. It starts on Super Bowl Sunday 2022, with our trio of characters—Diane and Max Stenner and Diane’s former student, Martin—settling in for the kick-off of the big game, but, even before the national anthem is sung, the television cuts off, and the lights go dark. What they at first assume is a run-of-themill power outage quickly turns out to be so much more. “He and Diane checked their phones. Dead. She walked across the room to the house phone, the landline, a sentimental relic. No dial tone. Laptop, lifeless…” Thus, ends humanity as they know it. By now, there is nothing profound page 133


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“THE SILENCE” IS QUITE DIALOGUE-HEAVY. NORMALLY, SUCH HEAVY USE OF DIALOGUE WOULD BOTHER ME, BUT READING THE WAYS THESE CHARACTERS INTERACT MAKES THEIR SITUATION EVEN STRANGER, AS THEIR CONVERSATIONS TAKE ON LESS AND LESS HUMAN-LIKE QUALITIES. JUST AS COMPUTERS AND PHONES ENGAGE IN CONVERSATIONS BY EXCHANGING BINARY 1S AND 0S, THE CHARACTERS IN “THE SILENCE” BEGIN TO TRADE INFORMATION BACK AND FORTH, SPOUTING ONE STRANGE THEORY AFTER THE OTHER.

or controversial in saying technology turns us into zombies, and DeLillo smartly avoids the cliché. What makes “The Silence” engaging is in witnessing how our characters react, or rather, how they don’t. The trio, who is soon joined by a couple from out of town, remains seated in this dark apartment awaiting the return of digital bliss, for the rest of the novel. “The Silence” is quite a dialogue-heavy novel and it’s not hard to one day see it turned into a play. Normally, such heavy use of dialogue would bother page 134

me, but reading the ways these characters interact makes their situation even stranger, as their conversations take on less and less human-like qualities as this new reality sets in. Just as computers and phones engage in conversations by exchanging bits of information, binary 1s and 0s, the characters in “The Silence” begin to trade information back and forth, spouting one strange theory after the other. It’s frightening to realize how much we humans rely on technology to remain human. The night before

starting this review, I was watching television when my power went out; frustrated, I figured I could just go on YouTube until services returned, only to quickly remember no power meant no wireless. Then, I thought I could at least get some work done, but again, I realized, everything I wanted to work on was in the cloud, which I couldn’t access until the power returned. So, I ended up standing out on my balcony, unsure of what to do, just as Max Stenner sat in his chair in front of the black screened television waiting for his precious football game to return. To further drive this point home, in the early hours of December 14, around 4 a.m. Pacific Time, many of the services Google allows us to use went down for several hours. Everything from Gmail to YouTube, Docs to Classroom, to any third-party apps that verify your identity using your Google account didn’t work. Even though this problem only lasted a few hours, it

became a major issue for millions of people; now, imagine Google’s problem didn’t last for just hours, but days, or maybe even weeks, what would we do then? What would happen to our economy in this already stressed time? There is no doubt that technology has allowed us to do amazing things, its benefits are countless, as are the ways it has made our lives easier, but with that comes a trade off. As big tech invades our lives more and more, making everything from driving to cooking to shopping a simpler and simpler task, the harder those tasks become when the technology begins to fail. “The Silence” is not a ground-breaking work of fiction in revealing anything that we don’t already know, but it does give the reader something interesting to think about, especially when the first thing you do when you’ve finished reading it is to check Twitter. GREGORY BERTRAND COPY EDITOR POLO LIFESTYLES 2021


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{PRIVATE VIEWING}

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WONDERS SHALL NEVER END

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DANNY WONDERS

STILL VIVIDLY RECALL ONE LATE NIGHT IN 2019, DANNY AND I TALKING ABOUT THE POTENTIAL OF AFRICA AND THE ABUNDANCE OF OPPORTUNITIES AVAILABLE TO THOSE OF

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US IN THE DIASPORA WHO DARE TO DREAM, BE BOLD AND MAKE THE MOVE BACK “HOME”. It has been a year since that inspiring conversation, and in that time, Mr.

Wonders has pushed past his initial fear of returning to his ancestral home of Ghana; and, in typical fashion, has made an impact as an emerging cultural ambassador (without portfolio) of Ghana, and the wider African continent. He’s not only found his calling but, in


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At the Accra Polo Club

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doing so, has showcased the motherland as not only an amazing place to visit but one to live your best life and thrive. Danny Wonders in his own words: How long have you been capturing portraits, and at what point did you consider yourself a professional photographer? I have been capturing portraits for two and a half years now. I was the kind of friend that broke their blackberry and upgraded to a Samsung S4 rather than an iPhone. At the time, I had the best camera in my crew; so my friends would ask me to take their photos and later send it to them via WhatsApp. During all of this, I never once thought I’d ever need to, or even want to do photography. Fast forward a couple of years later, in 2017, I found myself in a situation where my camera equipment was confiscated by the police during a video shoot that unfortunately occurred at the wrong time and place. I continuously pursued the police for my equipment, as they had taken it unfairly, and I felt a deep attachment to my camera. I literally said to God, “if I get my camera back, I promise to use the camera to its full capability.” Thankfully, by the end of the following year, in 2018, I received an email stating that I can get my camera back! The camera felt so heavy in my hands; I felt the weight was an expression of the potential I had to bring out of it. I took a photo of my sister, contemporary artist Sarah Owusu, and she posted it on Instagram and received her first 1000 likes! Ever since then, I decided that I’m going to take this craft seriously. Tell us a bit about your background. Where were you born and raised, and what was your upbringing like? I was born in Homerton hospital and raised in London in a three-bedroom apartment with five people; my four younger siblings and two parents. I wouldn’t say we were raised in poverty. page 142

The hood (Hackney) is like a community in which we are all struggling, so at the time, I just felt like we grew up normally. The most important thing was that we were able to build a strong family unit, especially amongst my siblings. I think that strong foundation and bond with my siblings helped a lot in shaping the man that I am today. It doesn’t sound believable today, but back then, I was the type to be out every day, with a crew of up to 30 guys, just looking for trouble or doing nothing with my time at all. Despite that, I still always saw myself as bigger and better than my circumstances and surroundings. I knew one day I’d live a better life. Eventually, my parents managed to move us from Hackney a bit further out to the Waltham forest area I was now away from my neighborhood and could focus more. Even though I’m a “uni dropout”, I needed that one year of university to teach me independence, and that’s where I officially learned to think for myself. Where do you currently live and work now? I work remotely. Anywhere in the world I can make wonders happen. I am currently living in Accra, Ghana, in West Africa. It’s a whole new experience, especially as I was the type of person who always vowed that I’d never live there or anywhere in Africa. In late 2018 I got a calling in my heart to travel to Ghana to reconnect with my roots. When they used to say, “if you don’t know where you come from, you don’t know where you’re going”, I always thought that meant coming from “The Hood”. Once the true meaning hit me, I made it my mission to face my fears and retreat back to the motherland. Your work today pays homage to the African experience and people and dispelling the negative narrative associated with the continent. What was the inspiration behind this? Funny enough, when I started photog-

raphy, I was shooting any and everything. Whether that be the train station or a random man playing the trumpet on the streets. Before my trip to the motherland, I spoke to you (Raphael Dapaah), and you asked me if I had heard of photographer James Barnor. I hadn’t heard of him, but you assured me my work was going in that direction, so I should check him out. He sent me his book, “James Barnor, Ever Young” and it helped me align my purpose in what I was going to Ghana to do as nobody in my generation was doing so. I was also working on my documentary at the time, and real-time documentation was my thing, so I decided to focus on it full time. Name three visual artists, painters and photographers included, who inspire you, and why? I’m the type of creative that isn’t really inspired by other creatives; I’m inspired by thinkers, innovators, anyone who went against the grain whether it be Malcolm X, Muhammad Ali, Marcus Garvey, Kwame Nkrumah all the way to Dame Dash, Master P and even my personal friends. Anyone who said they were going to do something and they did it. Inspiration is all around us as long as we look for it.


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As the global visual art world has been impacted by Covid-19, how has the lockdown impacted your work? When the lockdown first hit, I didn’t know if it was serious. I continued creating as if there wasn’t a lockdown until I couldn’t go outside to shoot anymore, and people were afraid of Covid. I went back to my YouTube channel and made myself more productive by creating content. I realized that where we are going in this world, content is the real currency. The more I’m able to create visually and photo-wise, the more people can consume whilst they’re at home. I would say COVID-19 taught me to never wait for disaster to make moves, but prepare

Coconuts

and work during the process as if a disaster is coming. At the end of all of this, the only thing that’s immune from danger is the work we leave behind. I’ve been motivated to work harder and to not procrastinate. What is next for you as a visual artist, and what can we expect in the future? My legacy is building; I believe I’m solidified now in my field. It’s not the magazine features, TV interviews or celebrity co-signs that will do this, but the execution and the heart I put into the outcome of my processes. I’m also at the point in my life where I’m ready to build up the Wondervision

team on a global level. I understand I can’t do this all on my own, especially if I want to build a solid empire. I am focused on being the best and doing the best. I will go down as one of the most legendary creatives to ever do it in this generation, all whilst having fun along the way. I will also become an example that being creative isn’t just fun; it’s also about owning your business and keeping your integrity. The game does its best to tear you down to become a monster, but you have to avoid all the traps. I’m on my way to impacting the masses, and I can’t slow down now. Wonders shall never end. RAPHAEL K. DAPAAH ART CONTRIBUTOR POLO LIFESTYLES 2021

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AVING LONG FOLLOWED THE WORK OF GLENN HARDY JR, WHOSE STUNNING PORTRAITS VISUALLY REMINDED ME OF THE GREAT AFRICAN-AMERICAN RENAISSANCE PAINTERS OF THE 1920S AND 1930S, YET RETAINED A 21ST-CENTURY SPIR-

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IT AND SENSIBILITY, I WAS COMPELLED TO EXTEND AN INVITATION TO HIM TO TELL ME MORE ABOUT HIS STORY THUS FAR. FORTUNATELY, THE YOUNG AND EXTREMELY AFFABLE ARTIST GRACIOUSLY ACCEPTED, AND THE REST IS HISTORY.

Glenn Hardy Jr, artistically known as Glennardo, in his own words: How long have you been painting, and at what point did you consider yourself a professional artist? I have been painting actual canvas for about three years now. It started with drawing as a child, and as I was entering my final year in high school and throughout college, I was painting ten-


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GLENNARDO THE MODERN RENAISSANCE ARTIST

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I noted with great interest that you are invested in the marriage between contemporary art and high fashion, which has become a mainstay of late. What do you enjoy most about the parallels between the two worlds? nis shoes. Once I graduated college, I had the opportunity to sit down and actually work on a canvas and I loved it! To be honest, I still wouldn’t consider myself a professional artist. Yes, I have had the honor to share my work with people via social media and a few exhibitions, but I still have a full-time job that I’m hoping I’ll be able to leave in the future so that I can focus all of my time on painting. Tell us a bit about your background. Where were you born and raised, and what was your upbringing like? Of course, well, my name is Glenn Hardy Jr.; I am a self-taught artist born in Washington DC, raised in Waldorf, Maryland (MD). I grew up as the youngest child and only son. I was blessed to have had both of my parents around my entire life, and I believe that played a huge role in who I am today. Where do you currently live and work now? page 148

As of right now, I do still currently live and work in MD, with plans on moving in the near future. Your work today pays homage to the African - American experience, from intimate domestic scenes to the mundane and everyday. What drew you to capture these moments, and what do they mean to you? Yes, I try to make it my duty to capture Black people in situations where they aren’t seen as either dangerous or in danger. I place these dark skin individuals in comfortable situations to show the viewers that we’re just human like everyone else. It’s like every single day there’s a new name of a Black person being harmed for little to no reason at all. Aside from that, in our normal everyday lives, we can often be looked at as a menace to society before people even get to know us as an individual. For these reasons, I try to paint the picture of Black people being comfortable, something I often call an oxymoron.

While I do enjoy fashion, it doesn’t necessarily have to be high fashion for me. I love putting together basic pieces and making it look high end when it all comes together. What I enjoy most about the two is that they both allow you to be who you are unapologetically. With art, you are able to tell a story, a story some people may not understand; some people may not like or even be interested in; the same goes for fashion. Fashion is unique in so many ways that it can also tell a story about an individual, whether it be where they come from depending on the fabric designs, how they see colors, their level of confidence, and so much more. Being able to intertwine the two brings a new level of expression out of you. Name three fashion brands you would love to collaborate with, and why? If I had to choose three fashion brands to collaborate with, they would probably be Telfar, Off-White and the last one is a toss-up. I say Telfar because myself and others have enjoyed the paintings that I created on a few of their bags. Also, it is a Black-owned company that makes bags affordable for just about everyone. I chose Off-White because I enjoy how different it is in terms of the creative


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aspect. I love the way certain things are constructed in a deconstructed manner that, to me, reveal things you wouldn’t normally see on an everyday basis, which is what a lot of my paintings revolve around. I also believe that Offwhite should have more black creators. Lastly, it is hard to choose, but I want to say Beyoncé, and her Ivy Park line because she embodies what it means to be a strong Black woman of many shades, shapes and sizes, and I enjoy that. As a young contemporary artist with great promise and an undoubtedly bright future, which emerging and established artists inspire you most, and why? Wow, I truly appreciate the faith you have in me, that means a lot. I get inspired every day by so many things; it’s hard to keep focus on what I want to express at one given time. As far as emerging artists who inspire me, I would say: Malik Roberts, Khari Turner, Osaze, Collins Obijiaku and Derek Fordjour if he can be considered emerging. Those are only a few of many! When it comes to established artists, I would say my inspirations are: Kerry James Marshall, Annie Lee, Ernie Barnes, Jacob Lawrence, Basquiat, Kehinde Wiley; there’s so many. However, out of all the artists listed, I will say that Kerry James Marshall is my biggest inspiration.

As the global art world has been impacted by Covid-19, how has the lockdown impacted your art? I would honestly say that COVID-19 is a terrible thing that’s happened, and I send my condolences for all of the lives lost during this time. It has been very bad for a lot of people, and there’s been some light in it as well. Although the pros may not outweigh the cons, this time of instability has opened the eyes of a lot of people as to what is going on in other communities around the world aside from COVID. It allowed certain voices to be amplified and acknowledged in a way that may not have been possible if it weren’t for the lockdown. It gave me a clearer focus on my works, people’s thoughts, and how we’re perceived. It gave artists like myself a broader audience to share our feelings with. While Covid-19 has taken the art world by storm, the world has also been rocked by the ongoing protest against police brutality in the U.S. and globally, as well as the recent U.S. general election. Do you believe, as an artist, you have a role to play to raise awareness and document the times, or do you take the view that artists should not mix with politics? Do I believe artists play a role in raising awareness? Yes, 1,000 percent. Art from a historical perspective has always been about what’s going on around the

respective artists at that moment in time. Artists create to express, to portray and to speak on things they may not have the words to explain. Politics and art go hand in hand more often than not. We as Black artists are chronicles of life; being Black, Black talents, Black “comfort” and Black voice. We visualize perspective in how black people should be viewed for those that claim to be visual learners. I, personally, always say that public speaking has never been a strength of mine, but there’s a lot to be said to the public. My intentions are to turn your eyes into ears so that you can hear where we’re coming from. What is next for you as an artist, and what can we expect in the future? What’s next for me… well, I am working diligently to get my work in more exhibitions, shows and collections. I just want people to be able to see our story with hopes that they’ll understand or at least try to. I still have a ways to go, but I am staying consistent; I know my chance is coming. I can’t go without saying thank you so much for the opportunity to be featured! I truly appreciate your love for my work and the willingness to reach out wanting to learn more about me. RAPHAEL K. DAPAAH ART CONTRIBUTOR POLO LIFESTYLES 2021

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PHILANTHROPY AS A LIFESTYLE

A SNAPSHOT OF GIVING IN 2020 AND WHAT'S AT STAKE IN 2021 AS THE WORLD CONTINUES TO RESPOND AND REACT TO OVERWHELMING NEEDS WILLIAM SMITH Philanthropy Contributor @willismith_2000

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ERIODICALLY IN THE PAGES OF POLO LIFESTYLES, WE HIGHLIGHT A PHILANTHROPIST WHOSE WORK HAS BEEN PARTICULARLY NOTEWORTHY. AS YOU CAN SEE, WE’VE DONE JUST THAT WITH THE LARGER PIECE ON MACKENZIE SCOTT EARLIER IN THIS ISSUE. But with our focus this month on lessons learned from COVID-19, from the philanthropy side of things, we would be remiss in failing to stress that the most important philanthropy that has flourished during this crisis is the individual giving from everyday people. Throughout the pandemic, individuals of every economic level have page 152

responded to the profound needs of neighbors and strangers alike. One report showed that in the U.S., there was a 7.5 percent increase in charitable giving during the first half of 2020 over the same period last year (and that was after a 6 percent decline in the first quarter of 2020 compared to the first quarter of 2019). Smaller gifts, those under $250, were up nearly 20 percent over 2019. Underlying this uptick, however, is a shift in the pattern of where people are giving that could have long-term implications. Responding to the need for the most basic of things like food and shelter, other nonprofits and civil society organizations have seen declines in giving that range from worrisome to existential. Those organizations not directly engaged in pandemic relief efforts have suffered from an understandable lack of attention in 2020. As 2021 comes into view, we have to hold two realties side-by-side – things are getting better and at the same time, the economic recovery from COVID-19 will be long, and especially so among geographies and demo-

graphic groups that started out in a place of deficit. Further, in so many nations, including the U.S., public sector responses have failed to provide sufficient supports. If you need evidence of this, look at those claiming anemic unemployment benefits and the shocking food insecurity that has come front-and-center, in even the wealthiest nations. Every person has the power to create a brighter 2021 by giving back. Even small amounts of money can make a difference, as can volunteerism and the donation of goods like clothing and food. At the same time, we also need to look around our own communities and understand that unless we give monetary support like never before, cherished institutions may be gone when we emerge from our homes and seek out the pleasures of real life once again. It’s a call to give like never before. So, the philanthropic lesson from COVID? Give. Give generously. And give diversely. WILLIAM SMITH PHILANTHROPY CONTRIBUTOR POLO LIFESTYLES 2021


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ALIGN WITH YO SPIRITUALITY · FAITH · QUESTIONS · GROWTH · FOCUS

2021: TIME FOR CHANGE “A time to gain, a time to lose, A time to rend, a time to sew, A time for love, a time for hate, A time for peace, I swear it’s not too late.” -PETE SEEGER JYOTI PAINTEL Spirituality contributor @jyotipaintel

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OMETHING BECAME VISIBLE DURING 2020 IN PARTS OF INDIA FOR THE FIRST TIME IN OVER 30 YEARS DUE TO THE ABRUPT HALT IN ECONOMIC ACTIVITY- THE STAGGERING AND MAJESTIC BEAUTY OF THE HIMALAYAN MOUNTAINS. This actually serves as a perfect metaphor for our own lives - perhaps something magical (that was actually there all along) will be revealed to us when the smog of the all this turmoil lifts? In fact, yes! Despite the enormous challenges, we continue to live with, the events of this tumultuous year might be a chance to patiently and meticulously use a fine– toothed comb to look deeper and find

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the ways our lives changed for the better in 2020. The pandemic caused an awakening of sorts, forcing us to really open our eyes to all the goodness that was present in our lives, but also what we stood to lose. This is a silver lining that I believe will stay deep in our collective consciousness: we are better people today because of what we all faced together yesterday. “Love knows not its own depth until the hour of separation.” Khalil Ghibrain THE RECKONING

Perhaps the massive loss of life and of liberty experienced in 2020 can best be described in this beautiful quote from the poet Khalil Ghibrain. Social distancing as a way of life has disrupted not only our outer life but it has also possibly caused a disturbance in our souls. The pandemic also caused many of us to inadvertently recognize that we had taken many things in life for granted, especially our social relationships.

This last year, most of us were either directly or indirectly affected by the suffering and tragedy caused by the pandemic, the extreme social and political upheaval across the globe and the ongoing economic crisis caused by whole industries that have been hobbled. We have hope now that we have a vaccine, yet we can no longer deny that the world has been altered, and it might not ever look the same. The dystopia of living in a world in a contagion feels like we are stuck in the worst-case scenario disaster movies we once considered science fiction. Indeed, in America we are in the middle of a worst-case scenario: our infection and death rates are skyrocketing, and we still don’t have any real idea what the future will hold for us. This year, the deeply ingrained inequality of America’s racist past came to a shocking head as the cauldron of tensions boiled over and spilled onto the streets after the murder of George Floyd in police custody. The violence and mayhem that ensued demanded addressing injustice in a


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OUR PURPOSE IN SY N C W IT H YO UR V IB E

R E N E WA L · C O M M U N I T Y · S U P P O RT · E X P LO R AT I O N · E N E R G Y WHILE WE HAVE ALL BEEN IN SOME WAYS COURAGEOUS IN THE FACE OF SUCH UNCERTAINTY, THERE HAS BEEN RESEARCH PUBLISHED THAT WE NOW NEED A NEW TYPE OF COURAGE – THE COURAGE TO FACE OUR OWN FRAILTIES AND ACKNOWLEDGING THE FRAILTIES OF OUR PARTNERS, FAMILIES AND COLLEAGUES, TOO. magnitude not seen since the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s. THE REVOLUTION: MOVING TOWARD A BRIGHTER FUTURE TOGETHER

We are connected to each other this year, not only through heart-breaking losses, but also through acts of bravery, kindness and solidarity in the community. It was clear as people played music, sang songs to cheer one another up and applauded health workers from balconies and windows in many cities across the world. We found courage through these corporate acts of unity. When time came for a change in ways that roused the heart and spirit, people around the world rose to meet that change. At rallies, demonstrations and protests, people as far away as the Middle East painted murals depicting Floyd along with his last words, which have now become an anthem for oppression, “I can’t breathe.” As a people, we have now lived through a trauma together and this is also our connection - it gives us the support and tools to help us recover. A TIME TO TALK

When was the last time you made time to have an open discussion with

your family, friends, or co-workers? Sometimes just asking a few simple questions, ‘How are we all coping? Does anyone need help?’ is the perfect opening. Talking about our pain and discomfort collectively can ease the burden of isolation we all feel. Try to set up a weekly get-together on Zoom or FaceTime with friends who you cannot see and allow this to be a special time and place where you can take turns sharing. Creating this outlet can also take stress off other areas of your life such as family or work, even if you are only sharing your frustrations – letting others know its okay to feel weary and just decompress is profoundly healing. While we have all been in some ways courageous in the face of such uncertainty, there has been research published that we now need a new type of courage – the courage to face our own frailties and acknowledging the frailties of our partners, families and colleagues, too. Being a strong and loving support system means that others can come to us when they are depressed, burned out, afraid or feeling overwhelmed. It might seem like a lot to put on our plate to feel responsible for others, but, in fact, it can give us greater confidence and assurance

in our own abilities to know that we have enough strength to let someone else lean on us. At a time in our lives when we have limited access to health care, and especially mental health care, we learned the technique of ‘self-soothing.’ One of the best ways we can implement self–soothing is keeping our emotional gauge finely tuned. When you feel upset, angry, afraid, or overwhelmed, develop a threestep soothing plan such as this one: Acknowledge what you are feeling, and that it’s okay to put an emotional label on it such as irritation or worry. Realize that you might not have all the answers to what might be causing it or even how to get rid it. Have a list of things that you know alleviate stress and immediately go to the best-feeling option, no matter how small or insignificant: a bath, calling a friend, going for a walk, having a cup of tea, watching a TV show We might not have all the answers to how to move forward with the world in 2021, but we can find some solace in knowing that we are capable of finding them. JYOTI PAINTEL SPIRITUALITY CONTRIBUTOR POLO LIFESTYLES 2021 page 157


Wines that make Grown Men Cry

BY CEZAR KUSIK

SOMMELIER & WINE WRITER


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In Search The WinesofofSolace Tears

CEZAR KUSIK Wine Contributor @cezartastesearth

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HROUGHOUT MY 20 PLUS YEARS OF WORKING AS A WINE GUY, I HAVE BEEN FORTUNATE TO TASTE SOME AMAZING WINES - WINES THAT I COULD NEVER AFFORD TO BUY OR ACQUIRE. NO MATTER THE PRICE OR THE ACCOLADES, I HAVE ALWAYS TRIED TO APPROACH WINE HUMBLY, UNPRETENTIOUSLY AND WITH THE PROVERBIAL GRAIN OF SALT. I have never really been tempted by or participated in the commercialized aspects of the business; I look at wine in the broad context of history, culture, its origins, the making processes and, page 162

most importantly, in the social spectrum of human interactions. Without the derision or belittlement, I like to say that wine, after all, is a fermented grape juice. Fermented grape juice that has been a major part of my personal and professional life and the accompaniment to some of the best moments of my adulthood. The wine’s appeal lies in the beholder’s sensory experience and should not be considered precise and absolute, but liberatingly subjective. What you like is yours, and do not let anyone tell you otherwise. There are wines permanently ingrained into my life by the sheer impact of their taste. Two of them stand out through the fact of managing to bring me to tears. Yes, I cried tears of exultation twice while drinking a wine. In both instances, it happened at my old job at Rubicon restaurant, where some of the world’s best wines were accessible. In both cases, it was also a rather embarrassing spectacle of unexpected outbursts of visceral emotions. Other

people were present (in one case, the witnesses were guests at the restaurant), and they looked on with confused expressions on their faces, attempting to show empathy, but at the same time not understanding why they should. What were the wines, you ask? Chateau Rayas 1990 Rouge was one, the other: Henri Jayer’s Cros-Parantoux 1978. The former was 100 percent Grenache from Rhône Valley, the latter was 100 percent Pinot Noir from Burgundy. Aside from the magic, what else could there be that sets these two wines apart from many others? For starters, both wines were blessed with spectacular vintages in their respective regions. As Henri Jayer said himself, “1978 was one of the most beautiful vintages I vinified. Undoubtedly, one of the best in the century.” Fair enough, but other wineries made wines in those years as well, and some of them were spectacular. I have tasted a few of them as well, and there was pleasure, but no tears. Somehow those two wines tapped into the deep


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recesses of my psyche and tickled my soul like no other. But let’s take a look at the other factors that may have contributed to the outstanding quality of these wines. The godfather of Burgundy, Henri Jayer, was born in 1922 in the small town of Vosne-Romanée, where some of the best Pinot Noir wines come from. He studied at the University of Dijon, where he earned a degree in enology. He passed away in November of 2006. Humble and unassuming, the man has left an indelible mark on the region of Burgundy. Jayer’s wine making principles have been adopted by many who followed, his legacy continues to inspire, and his wines stand out as the Holy Grail of wine making achievements. From his first vintage in 1945, until his last bottling in 2001, Jayer was an avid believer that the quality of wines begins and is mainly influenced by the vineyards’ meticulous care. Healthy grapes rigorously selected, low yields and harvesting at the optimum ripeness were the staples of his farming philosophy. When it came to vinification, he believed in extended maceration, full destemming, the use of ambient (natural) yeasts, followed by no filtration. Jayer was a pioneer of cold soak technique, which prevented spontaneous fermentation and increased his wines’ aromatic and textural complexity. All these practices were novel at the time, frowned upon and treated with skepticism by Henri’s peers. But the results were irrefutable. The wines were highly concentrated with complex and multi-layered flavors, remarkable typicity of the terroir and impressive aging potential. It is the Premier Cru vineyard of Cros-Parantoux that belongs arguably to Jayer’s most sought-after wines. Coming from a tiny parcel of land at 1.01 hectares, the wines’ production has always been minuscule. The vineyard

was in a pitiful state after World War II, and it was Jayer who brought it back to life, turning it into one of the greatest sources of Pinot Noir grapes in Burgundy, often outshining some of the illustrious Grand Cru bottlings. The wines’ scarcity, combined with the legendary quality, has deemed it to be one of the world’s most coveted and expensive wines. 750ml size bottles of Jayer’s Cros-Parantoux can fetch upward of $20,000. Then there is Chateau Rayas. Located in France’s Southern Rhone region of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Rayas stands out among other appellation domains for numerous reasons. Its story started in the 1880s when the winery was purchased by Albert Reynaud and has remained in the family’s hands ever since. Over the years, the winery has

acquired additional land, standing at 30 acres under vines nowadays. The winery’s hey-days are considered the 1970s, 80s and 90s, with Jacques Reynaud at the helm. His reputation as an evasive and eccentric, but a brilliant winemaker has been a topic of many often hilarious stories. He used to hide, literally, in the bushes from wine critics and importers who desperately tried to visit the property and meet him. No road signs and no Internet reception still make the winery impossible to find in this deeply rural part of the country. The winery has always resisted technological advances—even operating without electricity for the longest time. The word primitive comes to mind when looking at the property. Still today, the building’s rough stone walls are bare, covered in cobwebs and glistening from page 163


VOLUME V / ISSUE I / JANUARY - FEBRUARY 2021

The Wines of Tears

must and moss. The barrels seem ancient with stains, discolorations and looking in desperate need of repair. The newest barrels are said to be around 30 years old. Just like in the case of Jayer, the wines of Rayas are unfiltered and unrefined. Red Rayas is composed of 100 percent Grenache, very unusual for the region’s preference for blends. Grenache is the dominant grape, but Syrah, Mourvedre, Cinsault and a few others often find their way into the mix. The micro-climate and terroir are unique as well. The soil is mainly composed of red sand, limestone and clay rather than rocks and pudding stones dominant in other parts of the region. Surrounded by pine trees, Rayas is in one of the coolest areas of Châteauneuf-de-Pape, making it one of the last wineries to harvest. That allows for the optimal ripeness of page 164

the grapes with naturally low alcohol potential and purity of flavor. The wines are sublime, with perfume-like aromas of raspberry, kirsch, sandalwood and lavender dominating. Notes of truffles, forest-bed-after-rain and a touch of dustiness fill the gaps. The wine lingers forever, with new nuances unveiling on and on. There is a white Rayas of a minuscule production of average of 425 cases a year and composed of an unusual blend of Clairette and Grenache Blanc. Its alluring aromas and structure gave it the nickname Montrachet of the Rhone Valley. The Jayer label is not produced anymore. The vineyards were passed on to Henri’s nephew Emmanuel Rouget who studied under his uncle, and his wines are of remarkable quality. Chateau Rayas is now in the hands of Jacques Reynaud’s

nephew, also Emmanuel, who, after a few difficult years, managed to regain control and bring back the luster to the name Rayas. It so happened that the wines that moved me to the point of tears are now expensive. As a matter of fact, they are awfully expensive. It was not so at their inception, in the years of their releases. Even at the time when I drank them in the early 2000s, they cost a fraction of their present price tag. Sometime in the future, the demand and their scarcity will make them unobtainable until the last bottle is opened and drunk, and I will always remember the days I was fortunate enough to be able to taste wines that no longer will be. CEZAR KUSIK SOMMELIER AND WINE CONTRIBUTOR POLO LIFESTYLES 2021


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CORINTHIAN ISLAND’S ICON

Francisco skyline, Angel Island, the Bay Bridge, Belvedere Island and the adjacent Corinthian Yacht Club.

74 BELLEVUE AVENUE BELVEDERE, CALIFORNIA 94920 

Built in 2002 with exquisite custom details that combine old-world craftsmanship with modern design, the approximately 6,340 square foot residence features four bedrooms and three and one-half bathrooms, expansive formal living, dining and entertaining areas, and a luxuriant master suite on its own level. Approached through a gated drive, the home’s privacy is enveloping thanks to established hedges and lush Mediterranean gardens. The south-facing view side of the home

$25,495,000 4 BEDROOMS | 3.5 BATHS | 6,340 SQ FT

ABOUT 74 BELLEVUE AVENUE The grandeur and elegance of Italian Riviera living awaits at 74 Bellevue. Situated on the southernmost tip of Corinthian Island, the Italianate estate has commanding views of the San page 168

has several terraces and verandas on multiple levels, a putting green, pond and a sculpture garden with a fireside lounge, all of which offer panoramic vistas. Additional highlights include an expansive gourmet kitchen, three-car garage, two fireplaces, two wine cellars, a sprawling family and entertainment room and a breathtaking double-height foyer with a grand limestone staircase. Direct walking distance to Tiburon’s bucolic shops and dining, a quick ferry commute to San Francisco and yacht life at your doorstep make this timeless, iconic estate a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the most discerning of buyers.


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VOLUME V / ISSUE I / JANUARY - FEBRUARY 2021

EUROPEAN RESORTLIKE ESTATE 109 Fawn Drive San Anselmo, California 94960 $7,500,000 5 BEDROOMS | 7 BATHROOMS | 7,600+ SQUARE FEET | 0.8 ACRES

ABOUT 109 FAWN DRIVE One of Marin’ s most exquisite estates, 109 Fawn Drive, is grand, elegant and timeless with a resort-like scale. Refined classic aesthetic with graciously proportioned spaces throughout, a perfectly situated property on nearly an acre of completely level grounds. The private, gated estate is of modern European design. Meticulously manicured front-gardens surround a seamless horseshoe drive, showcasing the grand page 170

stature of the property. Enter through the handsome arched door to a dramatic double-height foyer with soaring domed ceiling and sweeping staircase. The home is brilliantly designed around an open central courtyard, providing a luminous flow of beautiful light and calm to the main living spaces. The home’s heart is anchored by an open concept, expansive chef ’s kitchen with great room and adjacent formal living and dining rooms with a spectacular stone fireplace. Almost every room on the main level opens to the interior courtyard, or the resort-like outdoors, making the boundary of inside and out disappear. The exterior features are abundant, with a professional tennis court, sparkling in-ground pool and spa, three waterfalls, cabana, sweeping level lawn and wrap-around limestone terrace off the main living areas, perfect for entertaining and al fresco dining.

The interior main level also features a library, two separate offices, a children’s study, two bathrooms and a spacious three-car garage with plenty of built-in storage. A second grand staircase accesses the upstairs level featuring three en suite bedrooms with generous sitting areas and wide hallways, a dedicated spa room featuring a steam room and sauna, and finally a magnificent owner ’s suite featuring gorgeous built-ins, a large walk-in closet, a spa-worthy bathroom, all with views of the stunning grounds. This 7,600+ square foot residence boasts tremendous scale and outstanding execution of indoor and outdoor flow throughout, providing the perfect California lifestyle and the entertainers’ dream. Close to the many quaint, vibrant shops and restaurants of San Anselmo and nearby hiking/biking trails. A once in a lifetime opportunity to have it all!


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WHY HAIR TURNS WHITE S

AND HOW TO STOP IT

CIENTISTS SAY THEY MAY HAVE DISCOVERED WHY STRESS MAKES HAIR TURN WHITE, AND A POTENTIAL WAY OF STOPPING IT HAPPENING WITHOUT REACHING FOR DYE In experiments on mice, stem cells that control skin and hair color became damaged after intense stress. In a chance finding, dark-furred mice turned completely white within weeks. US and Brazilian researchers said this avenue was worth exploring further to develop a drug that prevents hair color loss from aging. Men and women can go gray any time from their mid-30s, with the timing of parental hair color change giving most of the clues on when, and although it’s mostly down to the natural aging process and genes, stress can also play a role. But scientists were not previously clear exactly how stress affected the hair on our heads. Researchers behind the study, published in Nature, from the Universities

of Sao Paulo and Harvard, believed the effects were linked to melanocyte stem cells, which produce melanin and are responsible for hair and skin color. And while carrying out experiments on mice, they stumbled across evidence this was the case. “We now know for sure that stress is responsible for this specific change to your skin and hair, and how it works,” said Professor Ya-Cieh Hsu, research author from Harvard University. ‘Damage is permanent’ Pain in mice triggered the release of adrenaline and cortisol, making their hearts beat faster and blood pressure rise, affecting the nervous system and causing acute stress. This process then sped up the depletion of stem cells that produced melanin in hair follicles. “I expected stress was bad for the body,” said Hsu. “But the detrimental impact of stress that we discovered was beyond what I imagined. After just a few days, all of the pigment-regenerating stem cells were lost. Once they’re gone, you can’t regen-

erate pigment anymore - the damage is permanent.” In another experiment, the researchers found they could block the changes by giving the mice an anti-hypertensive, which treats high blood pressure. And by comparing the genes of mice in pain with other mice, they identified the protein involved in causing damage to stem cells from stress. When this protein - cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) - was suppressed, the treatment also prevented a change in the color of their fur. This leaves the door open for scientists to help delay the onset of gray hair by targeting CDK with a drug. “These findings are not a cure or treatment for gray hair,” Hsu told the BBC. “Our discovery, made in mice, is only the beginning of a long journey to finding an intervention for people. It also gives us an idea of how stress might affect many other parts of the body,” she said. REPRINTED WITH PERMISSION FROM THE BBC page 175


VIRTUS QUILTED SMALL TOTE BAG Timelessly elegant, this small tote bag is a perfect companion to business, off-duty or evening events. Crafted from quilted nappa leather, the style is embellished with golden Barocco V hardware, an emblem of the Virtus line.


VOLUME V / ISSUE I / JANUARY - FEBRUARY 2021

MOLD YOUR MIND 2021 MINDSET MAKING A DIFFERENCE JOEY VELEZ MA, MBA @velezmentalperformance Healthy Lifestyles Contributor

D

O YOU KNOW ANYONE WHO HAS BEEN GREATLY AFFECTED BY THE MANY EVENTS OF 2020, ESPECIALLY THE PANDEMIC? ARE YOU AWARE OF THE REPORTS OF HOW MANY PEOPLE LOST THEIR JOBS? While the pandemic may not have impacted our own lives too much, many other people cannot say the same. One thing is for certain; we do not take for granted the little things in life as we once did. With that said, what would happen if, instead of looking out for our own well-being, we started looking out for others? As a kid, I thought that to make someone feel better, you should give them a gift, a material item. However, material things do not have the page 178

same impact that other forms of “gifts” might. This month, we are not only going to talk about how you can give back to your community and those important people in your lives, but also the positive impact it can have on your mental state.

POSITIVE IMPACT OF GIVING BACK Giving back to your community and providing support to those in need can have a positive impact not only for yourself, but for the individual as well. There was a study conducted in 2013 about the “science of happiness.” In this study, individuals were told to write about someone they were grateful for and then call that person and read what they wrote. The simple act of writing down why they were grateful increased the participant’s happiness by only 5 percent, but those who called the subject of their writing to express their gratitude had their happiness increase by 20 percent. There was no data to see how this impacted the person on the other end of the phone, but if it helps increase your own happiness by 20 percent, imagine what it can do for the other person. Psychologist Barbara Fredrickson has done a lot of research on the impact of positive emotions. An increase in positive

emotions can create new ways of thinking, processing and acting for the self. Positive emotions open up our creative channels to think of alternative solutions, whereas more negative emotions simplify our processing into more of a fight or flight response: do I stay and fight or do I run away? Not only do positive emotions create new thinking patterns, but Fredrickson also states that, “The psychological broadening sparked by one positive emotion can increase an individual’s receptiveness to subsequent pleasant or meaningful events, increasing the odds that the individual will find positive meaning in these subsequent events and experience additional positive emotions.” The more you can increase the number of positive emotions you experience, the more likely you will be able to take a more positive, optimistic perspective when things may not go your way.

MAKING OTHERS FEEL GOOD One quality that I have always possessed is wanting to please others and make them happy. The more common way that I have done this is by giving gifts and providing humor, which is something I excel at. The rush of positive emotions that I feel from making somebody laugh, helping somebody succeed at a task or making their life a little bit easier is unmatched.


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At times, I witness the shadow side of this quality, and sometimes I forget about making myself feel good, but nevertheless, it excites me to impact someone else’s life positively. However, as I have gained more life experiences and have gone through a Sport Psychology program, I have learned other ways to achieve this goal of pleasing others and making others happy. Providing humor will never go away, but I have incorporated a lot more expression of gratitude, making small donations to charity, and providing a simple helping hand. The power of expressing gratitude is unmatched. Studies show that expressing gratitude can reduce the risk of depression, anxiety, substance abuse, lowers stress and increases self-esteem. Not only do I experience these benefits, but the person I’m expressing my gratitude towards experiences similar benefits as well. I have also begun to donate to charity more in the last couple of months. They aren’t huge donations, but no amount is too little. Due to this pandemic, instead of going out to restaurants, I order from GrubHub, which gives you the option of rounding up your order total and donating that money to a food kitchen. I do not know where this money goes or who gets it, but I do know that extra $0.58 might help a family have dinner one night. Finally, the act of offering your services can have a tremendous benefit. I have noticed that even if the individual does not accept your help, there is a general appreciation for the offer. I used to ask my boss every day at work an hour before I clocked out, “What can I do to help you leave on time today?” Some days he had something, other days, he did not, but the fact that I asked made him feel a sense of comfort that others were looking out for his well-being. It can be difficult to know who is struggling, feeling overwhelmed or needs help on a specific task. But the simple offer of, “How can I help you today?” can let somebody know that you are there for them.

WAYS TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE One act you can do to brighten somebody’s day is through a letter of admiration. Pick somebody in your life who you greatly appreciate. This can be a family member, a friend or even the barista at your local coffee shop. Your first task with this activity is to write a letter about why you admire this person. What is it that you admire about them, how have they impacted your life and what makes this person special are some questions to consider when writing this letter. This one doesn’t have to be full sentences, as it can be bullet points because the next step after completing this letter is to pick up the phone and call that person. Let them know the things that you wrote. Let them know your admiration for them, how they have impacted your life, and express your appreciation for them. Not only will you experience positive emotions, but this individual will also have a similar experience, and the connection between the two of you will become that much deeper. Another action to take is to recognize someone for their hard work that they have been putting in, or maybe you know somebody who has overcome a recent challenge. This does not require you to sit down and write a letter to somebody, but it is similar because you are acknowledging something special in another individual. For example, let’s say you have a friend who has increased their amount of exercise in hopes of losing weight. It may be difficult for them to notice any change, so provide them with words of admiration and recognition for their hard work. Speaking from experience, hearing such words can provide a motivational aspect to keep pushing and work even harder.

Recognizing somebody for their hard work, or overcoming a challenge, can provide both parties a rush of positive emotions. Finally, take a trip to your local donation or charity foundation. Whether it is donating clothes, toys, household necessities or even your time, giving back to your community and others in need cannot only provide you with a sense of purpose, but you are providing another individual or family to feel a little less stress for a brief moment. There are organizations such as Angel Tree, Toys for Tots and The Red Cross that are always accepting donations that can provide comfort to other families. This pandemic has put many individuals and families in dire situations. Any form of giving back, whether big or small, can have a tremendous impact on our society as a whole. At the end of the day, we are all in this together. We live on the same planet, we breathe the same air, we all experience similar setbacks and challenges, so let’s raise each other up to make this world a better place to live. One way you can do that is by finding ways to give back or express your appreciation towards others. Not only will you experience a rush of positive emotions or a clear mental state, but imagine how you are impacting the life of somebody else. If you are experiencing these positive emotions, how do you think the other person might be feeling? You have the ability to change the trajectory of someone else’s life. You never know how your words can positively impact somebody. Let’s take advantage of this, let’s lift each other up, and let’s help each other succeed and live life to the fullest. page 179


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Polo Lifestyles - Haiti: Jan-Feb 2021 Robert De Niro Introduces NOBU Beach Inn Barbuda  

Plus exclusive photos from Palermo, where La Dolfina nabbed their 8th consecutive title; Polestar electric cars arrive in The Hamptons, Who...

Polo Lifestyles - Haiti: Jan-Feb 2021 Robert De Niro Introduces NOBU Beach Inn Barbuda  

Plus exclusive photos from Palermo, where La Dolfina nabbed their 8th consecutive title; Polestar electric cars arrive in The Hamptons, Who...

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