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LUXCIOR

H O U S T O N ’ S H I S PA N I C L U X U R Y L I F E S T Y L E A U T H O R I T Y

2017

ARRIVAL AWARDS

Mel Gibson’s

HACKSAW RIDGE

Rediscovering

.com

XIMENA DUQUE

THE MASAI Spirit of Ecstasy


ESPIRITU

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THE DATEJUST 41 The new generation of the essential classic, with a new movement and design that keep it at the forefront of watchmaking. It doesn’t just tell time. It tells history.

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Bentayga Unquestionable elegance in the city unmatched off-road performance.

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The Bentayga is Bentley’s sector-defining fourth model line, the fastest, most powerful, luxurious and exclusive SUV in the world. With an all-new W12 powertrain, it offers a true Bentley driving experience while showcasing innovative technology and features.

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Cover: XIMENA DUQUE LIMITACION DE RESPONSABILIDADES - LUXCIOR Magazine no endosa, recomienda o se responsabiliza por la opinión, comentarios, contenido explícito o implícito, o la naturaleza de ningún artículo o participación publicada por nuestros colaboradores. Dichos artículos expresan la sola opinión de su autor, y son su expresa responsabilidad. Queda prohibida la reproducción total o parcial de cualquier parte del contenido de LUXCIOR Magazine, por cualquier medio impreso y/o digital. Los comentarios, preguntas y recomendaciones de nuestros lectores son siempre bienvenidos; por favor diríjalos por email a publisher@LUXCIOR.com. Para anunciarse, por favor llame al 713.758.0550 de lunes a viernes de 9:00 a.m. a 6:00 p.m., o por email a Advertising@LUXCIOR.com. © 2016 LUXCIOR Magazine. Todos los derechos reservados. - Vol. V # I

FOLLOW ALL THE ACTION ON FACEBOOK. AND OF COURSE,

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Mel Gibson's

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2017

ARRIVAL AWARDS


Cosmetic Surgery

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HOUSTON’S LUXURY LIFESTYLE AUTHORITY

TM

MARTIN GONDRA FREDIANI CEO | Publisher

Editor - ERIN ENGLAND Assistant Editor - CAROLINA GONDRA Junior Editor - ITZAIAN GONDRA

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Empowerment Writer - CARMINA ZAMORANO Writer - MAGDA GONDRA Writer - CAROLINA ESTRADA Writer - ALFREDO PEÑALOSA Writer - MARCELO MATHUS Writer - GINO FREDIANI Writer - MARIANA ROMBADO Writer - CAMILA DURÁN Writer - LINDA STRICKLAND VP of PR and Marketing MANUEL CANDIA-REUTER

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Sales Director LARITZA GARCIA CAPDEZUNER Fotography ALEXANDER ROGERS GARY MALTZ JOHN GIRIES FREDDIE SANCHEZ Distribution PUBLICATION CIRCULATION SERVS. Website CARLOS ACUÑA Advertising & Inquiries

Rediscovering

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713.758.0550 Info@LUXCIOR.com Mailing Address P.O. Box 460 5090 Richmond Ave. Houston, Texas 77056 LUXCIOR.COM


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W W

hat an exciting year ahead! Great things are coming Houston's way,

starting with the HOUSTON BLACK BOOK OF LUXURY (HBBL). This is Houston’s

only ultra-elite network of luxury brands, retail stores, and professional

services, ensuring the ultimate membership club experience, and

white glove private concierge service. I encourage you to visit

HoustonBlackBookOfLuxury.com to get all the details.

Additionally, I'm delighted to announce the publishing of the actual BLACK BOOK OF LUXURY, HBBL's annual publication, mailed to all Blue and White Diamond members, and delivered to the rooms of Houston's most prestigious hotels. The distribution also will include many other relevant locations. I'd like to invite you to read HACKSAW RIDGE, the movie and tribute to an extraordinary man: Desmond Doss (page 34). Finally, take the 10-page tour of the nation's most expensive property: 924 Bel Air Rd. (page 102).

UN MENSAJE A NUESTROS VISITANTES HISPANOS Para los amigos Latinos visitando Houston en viaje de negocios, en plan de compras y placer, o por motivos de salud: Los negocios que se anuncian en LUXCIOR no sólo se posicionan indisputablemente entre los más prestigiosos de la ciudad, sino que además han mostrado tener un alto interés en los Hispanos visitando Houston, ofreciéndoles sus mejores servicios y productos, todo en Español. Te animamos a disfrutar con ellos de una experiencia ampliamente superior a la de cualquier otro negocio. Y si necesitas ayuda para encontrar algo durante tu estadía en Houston, no dudes en llamarnos al 713.758.0550. Estamos para servirte.

Martin Gondra Frediani Publisher

Biz Card

Facebook

Web


TM

Houston’s only and inconceivably exclusive, ultra-elite network of luxury brands, retail stores, and professional services, ensuring the ultimate membership club experience, and white glove private concierge service.

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The objective of the HOUSTON BLACK BOOK OF LUXURY can be defined at two levels: I. "BLUE DIAMOND" BUSINESS MEMBERS - Our premium business members work closely together, at senior director level, for mutual business opportunities and client development. We substantially assist our Blue Diamond members in gaining and sustaining a competitive business advantage, promoting brand recognition, establishing strategic alliances, sharing pre-qualified high-net-worth clients, producing B2B and B2C networking, developing constant marketing strategies’ innovation and optimization, enhancing business performance and, ultimately, acquiring new clients and becoming more profitable. II. "WHITE DIAMOND" PRIVATE INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS - Our discerning individual members enjoy an opportunity to experience Houston's ultimate white-glove concierge service. They are introduced to the top brands and businesses across multiple relevant industries, gain exclusive access to a wide range of VIP services and benefits, preview new luxury products and services before they are made available to the public, are informed of new openings and expansions, participate in select networking and social events, receive preferred advanced special promotions and offers, and stay on top of the world of luxury.

For more information, please visit our website at HoustonBBL.com, or give us a call.

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THE HOUSTON BLACK BOOK OF LUXURY

The actual Balck Book of Luxury is HOUSTON BLACK BOOK OF LUXURY's annual publication, mailed to all Blue and White Diamond members, and delivered to the rooms of Houston's most prestigious hotels. Distribution also includes all private FBOs, high-end retailers, elite doctor's offices, select spas, luxury yacht and automobile dealerships, premier apartment buildings, consulates and many other relevant locations. The upcoming supersize edition of the BLACK BOOK OF LUXURY will be published this fall.

HOUSTON BLACK BOOK OF LUXURY, LLC

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The finest possible service for the finest possible farewells… Geo. H. Lewis & Sons Funeral Directors, serves as Houston’s most prestigious funeral, cremation and memorial service provider. For over 80 years, we have offered the most discerning families the highest quality of “white glove” service with unprecedented attention to every detail. Located in the Uptown/Tanglewood area, we have proudly been setting the standard of excellence in care and service.

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2017 TOP BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY If you have talent and an entrepreneurial spirit, we have the tools and resources to help you become the owner of your own agency. Starting your own business with the support of the Farmers family is an easy and very rewarding experience. Our award-winning University of FarmersÂŽ, combined with the training and support of our local district managers, financial support options, and a prestigious, nationally recognized brand, are available to help you succeed.

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HACKSAW RIDGE

A

The movie, the miracle.

by Martin Gondra - Publisher

s a Seventh-day Adventist Christian myself, a real-life story like this one reaches too close to my heart. A similar feeling to what I expe rienced when I watched "Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story". Mira cles are something we all need, and I have seen plenty of them in my life as a believer. A believer in the unquestionable fact that there is a loving God that watches over me like I watch over my own children. A Divine Father that is ready to answer to my needs as I am to answer to those of my children. Hacksaw Ridge is an extraordinary biographical war drama film about the reallife World War II experience of Desmond Doss, an American pacificist combat medic who was a Seventh-day Adventist Christian, refusing to carry or use a firearm or weapons of any kind. Doss became the first conscientious objector to be awarded the Medal of Honor, for service above and beyond the call of duty. While growing up near Lynchburg, Virginia, young Desmond Doss nearly kills his younger brother, Hal, hitting him with a brick. This traumatizing experience, along with a talk from his religious Seventh-day Adventist mother, firmly reinforces Desmond's belief in the sixth commandment: "Thou shalt not kill". Years later, Doss saves a man who becomes injured by a car and

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while taking the man to hospital, is instantly smitten with a nurse, Dorothy Schutte. They soon begin dating and fall in love, and Doss begins to learn about medicine from her work. With the majority of his town, including his brother, enlisting in the Army to fight in World War II, Doss is motivated to sign up as well. His father, a troubled veteran from the First World War, is deeply upset as he expects to lose his sons just as he lost his childhood friends. Because of his beliefs as a conscientious objector, Doss intends to serve as a combat medic. Before he leaves for training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, he asks for Dorothy's hand in marriage, and she accepts. Doss is placed under the command of Sergeant Howell, and while he excels physically, he immediately becomes an outcast among his fellow soldiers when he refuses to handle his rifle and train on Saturdays, as he is a Seventh-day Adventist. After Howell and Captain Glover fail to get Doss discharged for psychiatric reasons, Howell worsens Doss' conditions by putting him through grueling labor and turning his fellow soldiers against him by mistaking his beliefs for cowardice, intending to get Doss to leave of his own accord. Despite being beaten one night by his fellow soldiers, he refuses to disclose the identities of his attackers and continues training.


SPIRIT

Doss' squad completes basic training and are released on leave, during which Doss intends to marry Dorothy, but he is arrested for insubordination for his refusal to carry a firearm. Dorothy visits Doss in jail, and tries to convince him to declare a guilty plea in his upcoming trial so that he can be released without charges, but Doss is still unsure, not wanting to compromise his beliefs. At his trial, Doss pleads not guilty, and before he is to be sentenced, his father barges into the courtroom with a letter from his former commanding officer (now a Brigadier General) stating that his son's refusal to carry a firearm is protected by an Act of Congress. The charges against Doss are dropped, and he and Dorothy are married. Doss' unit is assigned to the 77th Infantry Division and sent to the Pacific theater to participate in the Battle of Okinawa. At Okinawa, Doss' unit is informed that they are to relieve the 96th Infantry Division, which was tasked with climbing the cliff face of the Maeda Escarpment, nicknamed "Hacksaw Ridge", to take on the Japanese forces stationed there. Because the Japanese forces are dug in on the ridge, artillery bombardments from the US Navy have not had much success in softening up the landing zone. Consequently, U.S. forces have been pushed off the ridge repeatedly, in each case taking heavy casualties. In the initial fight, losses are heavy on both sides, and Doss is successful in saving several soldiers, including ones whose injuries appear too severe for them to survive. The Americans LUXCIOR.com

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bivouac for the night, and Doss spends the night in a foxhole with Smitty, a squad mate who was the first to call Doss a coward. Doss tells Smitty that he nearly shot his drunken father after he threatened his mother with a gun, revealing his aversion to holding a firearm. Smitty apologizes for doubting his courage and the two make amends. The next morning, the Japanese launch a massive counterattack and drive the Americans off Hacksaw. Smitty is killed and many Americans, including Howell and several of Doss' squad mates, are injured and left on the battlefield. Doss hears the cries of the dying soldiers and decides to run back into the carnage instead of away from it. He spends the entire day and night carrying wounded soldiers to the cliff's edge and rappelling them down on rope, each time praying to save one more. The arrival of dozens of wounded who

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were presumed dead comes as a shock to the rest of the unit below. When day breaks, Doss rescues Howell and the two finally escape Hacksaw under enemy fire. Captain Glover tells Doss that the men have been inspired by what they are calling his miracle, and that they will not launch the next attack without him. Despite the next day being Doss' Sabbath day, he joins his fellow soldiers to care for the wounded. Along with extra reinforcements, they begin to win the battle. During an ambush set by a falsely surrendering group of Japanese, Doss manages to save Glover and others by knocking enemy grenades away with his bare hands. Doss is wounded by the blast of one grenade, but the battle is won. Doss is safely lowered down the cliff, clutching the Bible Dorothy gave him.


Desmond Doss and wife Dorothy

SPIRIT

After rescuing over 75 soldiers all by himself at Hacksaw Ridge, Doss was awarded the Medal of Honor by President Harry S. Truman, the first time in history it was given to a conscientious objector. Doss stayed married to Dorothy until her death in 1991. He died on March 23, 2006, at the age of 87. The film was directed by Mel Gibson and written by Andrew Knight and Robert Schenkkan, based on an earlier documentary about Doss, and stars Andrew Garfield as Doss, with Sam Worthington, Luke Bracey, Teresa Palmer, Hugo Weaving, Rachel Griffiths and Vince Vaughn in supporting roles. Hacksaw Ridge was chosen by the American Film Institute and National Board of Review as one of the top ten films of 2016 and has received numerous awards and nominations, including six Oscar nominations at the 89th Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor for Garfield. It also received Golden Globe nominations for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor and 12 AACTA Awards nominations, winning the majority, including Best Film, Best Direction, Best Original Screenplay, Best Actor for Garfield and Best Supporting Actor for Weaving. In some of the many interviews about the movie, Gibson stated that he couldn't show in the movie all the details of what actually happened at Hacksaw Ridge, as people would think he was exaggerating the miracles that took place. The accounts gathered from surviving soldiers saved by Doss, even in recent interviews surrounding the movie, are nothing short of extraordinary. As for me, I believe God performs miracles in my life, and the lives of many others, every single day. Sometimes they may go unnoticed, sometimes, they may be extraordinary and the direct answer to prayer; but one thing is certain: although they may not make it to the movies, they are just as real and powerful as in this documentary. President Harry S. Truman awarding Desmond Doss with LUXCIOR.com the Medal of Honor.

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SOCIAL

RECOGNIZING IMMIGRANT ACHIEVEMENT

2017

T

he University of Houston Law Center Immigration Clinic provides law students with an unparalleled op portunity to learn the art of lawyering and to gain hands on experience while at the same time helping those in great need. The Clinic specializes in assisting individuals who have been victims of torture and persecution, domestic violence and human trafficking, those fleeing civil war, genocide or political repression, and children who qualify for special immigrant juvenile visas. The Immigration Clinic also represents clients in immigration related federal court appeals. Founded in 1999 by the late Professor Joseph A. Vail, a former immigration court judge, the Immigration Clinic has mentored more than 280 law students who have represented clients in nearly 2,000 cases. Under the close supervision of clinical faculty, each of whom has years of experience in immigration law, students carry out all the duties of a practicing lawyer from initial interview and

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appearance in immigration court to trial and filing of appellate briefs in federal courts, in at least one precedent-setting case, all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. The Immigration Clinic also participates each year in more than 20 informational presentations, training clinics, and workshops with law enforcement agencies, women’s centers, schools, and community organizations. In addition, the Clinic’s Deferred Action Initiative has assisted more than 300 DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) applicants through one-on-one consultations, outreaches, workshops, and direct representation. The intense experience pays off for those who commit their time, effort, and heart to help others while learning by doing: “We have recent graduates who are now working in the top immigration firms in Houston, as government counsel, as a public interest attorney with the YMCA, and as a member of the Administrative Appeals Office in Washington,” said Immigration Clinic Director Geoffrey Hoffman.


Charles C. Foster, FOSTER, LLP, 2017 Arrival Awards CoChair, presenting one of three awards to Roberto Contreras. Roberto Contreras President and CEO of St. Christopher Holdings, Ltd. A businessman with strong ties in the United States, Mexico and Europe, Mr. Contreras has made a name for himself as a respected entrepreneur. Mr. Contreras has started and owned several highly successful companies, including a surfacing company that is renowned worldwide, Cosentino North America.

Charles C. Foster, FOSTER, LLP, 2017 Arrival Awards CoChair, presenting one of this year's Arrival Awards to Manolo Sánchez. Manolo Sánchez Chairman and CEO of BBVA Compass Manolo Sánchez is chairman and CEO of BBVA Compass and was named U.S. country manager for BBVA Group in 2010. Under his leadership, BBVA Compass has established itself as a bank driven by people, principles and innovation and a model of community involvement from Florida to California.

ARRIVAL AWARDS CO-CHAIRS Charles C. Foster Foster, LLP

PREVIOUS HONOREES Samuel Abraham

Gordon J. Quan

Sofia Adrogué

Quan Law Group, PLLC

Durga D. Agrawal

EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE Sofia Adrogué Gray, Reed, & McGraw PC Robert H. Etnyre Royston, Rayzor, Vickery & Williams

Eduardo Aguirre, Jr. Taseer Badar Leopoldo "Polo" Beccera Leeshan Birney Ghulam Bombaywala Dr. Oscar Castaneda Nancy T. Chang Celina Fein Mary Foreman

Nathaniel Martinez

Ana Hernandez

Munsch Hardt Kopf & Harr

Renu Khator, Ph.D.

Michael A. Olivas

Kase L. Lawal

Interim President

Ayaz Nasser

University of Houston

Dr. Adan Rios

Downtown Peter D. Williamson Chamberlain, Hrdlicka, White, Williams & Aughtry

Gordon J. Quan, Quan Law Group, PLLC, 2017 Arrival Awards Co-Chair, presenting this year's award to Pershant Mehta. Pershant Mehta President and CEO of Je Matadi Inc. Mr. Mehta is president and CEO of Je Matadi Inc. and founder of Sean Collection Inc., Genesis Brands Inc and Luminess Direct LLC., the fastest growing direct cosmetics & skincare beauty company in North America. Located in Stafford, Texas, Luminess is positioned to become an annual billion dollar sales company by 2020 as it expands its footprint into retail.

Ali Saberioon Farouk Shami Y. Ping Sun Don Wang Chris Wilmot

LUXCIOR.com

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2017 The University of Houston Law Center Immigration Clinic presented the 2017 Arrival Awards to Roberto Contreras, President and CEO of St. Christopher Holdings, Ltd., Pershant Mehta, President and CEO of Je Matadi Inc., and Manolo Sรกnchez, Chairman and CEO of BBVA Compass, recognizing their achievements as successful immigrants. The awards were presented by Co-Chairs, and renowned immigration attorneys, Charles C. Foster, of FOSTER, LLP, and Gordon J. Quann, of Quan Law Group, PLLC. The fabulous dinner event, held at the stylish River Oaks Country Club, attracted many personalities and successful immigrants from a variety of countries and backgrounds, all sharing one common dream: a meaningful contribution to Houston, Texas, and to our country.

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SOCIAL

LUXCIOR.com

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SOCIAL

THERE IS A NEW

Sheriff IN TOWN W

W

by Martin Gondra - Photography Victor Escalante

ith over 53% of the votes, Democrat Ed Gonzalez won the recent election against the Republican incumbent Ron Hickman, and he is the new sheriff in town.

The former Houston police officer and city council member, is the second Latino to be elected sheriff in Harris County, after Adrian Garcia.

While working for 18 years with the Houston Police Department, Gonzalez led murder investigations and rose to the rank of Sergeant. The experience on the field taught him that to reduce the number of repeat offenders they should have the knowledge and skills to get a job. He is initiating reforms to offer education and job training to non-violent offenders, to make sure they don’t continue in the path of crime and are able to succeed once they are released. The Houstonian has a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from the University of Houston Downtown, was a homicide investigator and served on the elite hostage negotiation team. Gonzalez retired from the police force in 2009 and went on to serve three terms representing District H on the Houston City Council. He also chaired the council’s Public Safety & Homeland Security Committee and served as mayor pro term on 2012. His experience on the law enforcement field helped him improve neighborhood protection and public safety.

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Sheriff Ed Gonzalez

Ed and his wife, Dr. Melissa Gonzalez, live with their daughters in Lindale Park and are members of St. Patrick's Catholic Church. Volunteer public service has been a very important part of Ed’s life. Juvenile issues and crime were a focus of several public service committees he served on. He also served as a Gulf Coast Community Services Association (GCCSA) board member, helping families by administering Head Start and Early Head Start programs. He is an active participant in numerous community-based initiatives. He promised to improve the Harris County Jail and bring transparency into the sheriff’s office. I had the pleasure of meeting with Ed personally, and I left his office with the strong impression that I had been in front of a decent human being and a fine Sheriff for our city. When I asked him the $1 million dollar question, he indicated he doesn't have any plans to have his department act as immigration officers on our streets. We extend our best wishes to our new Sheriff, and his lovely family.


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Monaco's MEGAYACHTS

The French Riviera is the place to scratch your superyacht itch. Since Monaco is home to the largest number of millionaires and billionaires per capita in the world, it’s only fitting that some of the world’s largest yachts come to show off in the world’s second smallest country that’s synomous with luxury. But the true megayachts - over 200-feet-long -, don’t really come out to play until the Monaco Yacht Show later in September. So here’s only a taste of the over 500 yachts and countless toys that will be on display this year.

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LIFESTYLE

LUXCIOR.com LUXCIOR.com

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LIFESTYLE

SilverFast The name of this Australian-built 252-footer accurately describes its appearance and its capabilities. The aluminum hull and superstructure are a head-turning metallic silver, and, according to the builder, Silver Fast can reach a top speed of 27 knots. Designed by Monaco-based Espen Øino, the yacht features an upper deck that is reserved entirely for the owner’s apartment. In addition to a suite with twin bathrooms and a walk-in wardrobe, the apartment includes an office, a living room, and a private sundeck. Another highlight is the “winter garden,” a glass-enclosed dining space on the main deck that accommodates 20 guests and can be heated or air-conditioned.

At $85 million, Silver Fast is in fact the fastest yacht of its class.

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LIFESTYLE

Silver Fast has a ‘beach club’ with a full spa area including a sauna, steam room, gym, massage room and beauty salon. Contemporary interiors include teak panelling, grey glass mirrors, metallic painted walls and leather steps on the central stairwell. Silver Fast's sun deck features an outdoor cinema, mirrored bar and comfortable seating for approximately a dozen guests. As if the metallic silver livery didn’t provide enough of a wow factor, the helipad can accommodate a twin-engine helicopter. Silver Fast is a renowned favorite at the Monaco Yacht Show.

LUXCIOR.com

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The 'King' of

$4.5 BILLION World's floating Gold mine -literally-.

Blowing all previous records in superyachts out of the water, is The History Supreme. It was recently delivered to an anonymous Malaysian businessman for a staggering $4.5 billion earning this floating extravagance title of the world’s top most expensive luxury yacht. The value of this relatively small 100ft. floating gold mine is the fact that literally, it is. The vessel was designed by world-renowned UK designer Stuart Hughes, creator of the most expensive iPad and iPhone and the most expensive suit in the world. The boat took 3 years to complete and gets its name and value because is plated with 220,000 pounds of gold and platinum. Precious metals cover the entirety of the boat from the base to the dining area, rails, deck, staircases and even the anchor. The master bedroom showcases a wall feature made from meteorite rock and genuine Tyrannosaurus Rex bones. Also on board, we can find a 150 lbs 24-carat gold Aquavista Panoramic Wall Aquarium and a liquor bottle featuring an extremely rare 18.5ct diamond worth $45 million.

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MONACO

Jacob Sudhoff, Sudhoff Companies

LIFESTYLE


HOUSTON'S MOST EXHILARATING EVENT OF 2017

The 2017 edition of the HOUSTON EXOTIC AUTO FESTIVAL & Luxury Lifestyle E-X-P-O is the most anticipated and exhilarating automobile show in Southern Texas, bringing ALL the luxury and exotic brands under one roof, and attracting an audience of over 5,000 fans. Including luxury dealerships, top performance aftermarket exhibitors, auto clubs and a variety of magnificent brands from non-automotive industries, the show will offer private owners of exotic and luxury automobiles, the unique opportunity to celebrate their masterpieces and compete under several categories in front of the most enthusiastic and demanding audience. Fabulous trophies and prizes will be awarded to the winners selected by a team of judges and the public.

Secure your Premium Exhibitor Space Now. Limited Spaces Available. 713.793.6353 | info@ HoustonExoticAutoFestival.com

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LUXCIOR.com

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Get ready for Summer

Get ready for some serious, luxurious fun. 510 Sundancer

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Os verdadeiros sabores do

l i s a Br

(The true flavors of Brazil)

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SIP’N SAVOR

I

want to start this article in an unorthodox way, with a simple statement: We loved it! The restaurant’s decoration is beautiful, especially with the addition of the new covered patio, [but the food is the true showcase].

The salad bar offers a wide range of choices that would even satisfy the appetite of a vegetarian who doesn't want to try anything else. The portions of the hot dishes have been perfectly calculated, exactly as they are in the original 'churrascarías' of Brazil. And, of course, at the heart of any Brazilian Steakhouse is the meat: "with the best authentic flavor!”- as stated by my Brazilian friend, Graciani in a text I just received. She told me all about her recent visit to Chama Gaucha. The reason I mention her comments, with her permission, because I find them very significant - Graciani is not only an original “brasileira,” but she also has a refined taste for high-quality things. Her opinion definitely matters. Chama is the Portuguese word for flame. So, Chama Gaucha means Gaucho Flame, in honor of the legendary Brazilian cowboys’ passion. When the evening comes, they gather around the fire of the grill, underneath the starry sky, while sharing stories and anecdotes while enjoying delicious meats. Brazilian cuisine is as unique as the way it is served. Obviously The cuts of the meat are the signature of this coveted South American style. Houston, situated at the forefront of international gastronomy, has several Brazilian

restaurants, but Chama Gaucha definitely takes the lead. The first thing you will discover is a salad bar unlike many others in town. The variety is precise, the freshness of the ingredients is readily evident, and the flavors and seasonings are unbeatable. It is an experience in itself. From the moment you walk in, you know you are in an unconventional place. The team of waiters, who, in the best style of this cuisine, do not stop circulating around your table. They do not spare any effort in making you feel as comfortable as being in your own home, and giving you a tour of the wide variety of options at your disposal, from every cut of meat to the wine selection. It all starts with a delicious yucca bread served with cheese. And we cannot overlook the polenta (made of corn), or banana and yucca bread, or the mashed potatoes prepared to perfection. The true experience of a Brazilian restaurant is definitely the meat, served in the characteristic style of carving. Each waiter walks attentively, and near your table with a distinct and juicy cut, fresh from the fire. To signal that means you want them to keep serving you more varieties, you keep a disk on your table, with the green side facing up. While this side is visible, the waiters will keep on offering you more choices. When you want to stop, either momentarily or if you are finished, simply turn the disk, leaving the red side up, showing them you have enjoyed enough food.

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SIP’N SAVOR

The cuts of meat include: the famous “Picanha” – a home specialty, “Ribeye” - my favorite, “Fraldinha” – one of the tastiest, “Costela,” “Filet Mignon e Frango,” “Porco” – pork ribs, “Frango e Linguica” – chicken and pork ribs, and “Cordeiro” - lamb. Our choices included the "Picanha" – the best part of the loin sautéed with garlic and sea salt, a true marvel; the “Cordeiro” – a cut consisting of tender pieces of leg of lamb, a feast for the mouth, and the “Ribeye,” tender and delicious as few as I have tasted before. The service and attention is first class and the atmosphere is pleasant and elegant; suitable for a business lunch, as well as for an unforgettable dinner with family and friends.

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The wine list includes a wide variety of national and imported brands. However, we chose one of the traditional Brazilian Caipirinhas, a tropical rum-based drink. Of course, no matter how satisfied you may be, you cannot say you have had a complete Chama Gaucha experience without tasting the delicate desserts. The ice creams and puddings are an absolute sensation. Although the traditionalist would have called for a final tasting of the select coffees, we had to pass on the temptation; it would have been too much pleasure for one visit. Chama Gaucha is definitely a LUXCIOR favorite.


CHAMA GAUCHA 5865 Westheimer Rd., Houston, TX 77057 713.244.9500 | chamagaucha.com

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Valentino - Donna Valentino Donna keeps the sugary scents of its masculine counterpart, Valentino Uomo. Sweet and fruity blends are the top notes, with a touch of citrus, Italian leather and vanilla. This perfume is very pink, very feminine.

Dior - J'adore

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If you want to be recognized the moment you enter a room, J’adore is for you. The blooming personality comes from floral elements like Damask rose and sambac jasmine absolute. This perfume is coquettish and romantic.

Spring

February is the perfect excuse to update your signature scent. With so many varieties, it could be hard to look for the perfect fragrance for you or your special one. You won't go wrong with these suggestions.

La Prairie - Midnight Rain My Burberry Festive Edition My Burberry captures the fragrance of a London garden after the rain. Top notes of sweet peas and freesias with a touch of geranium make the scent seductively sweet, the patchouli provides a smoky finish, balancing the floral aroma.

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Oriental flowers are impregnated with the aura of sensual woods, juicy water notes and natural floral touches making this a mysterious and captivating fragrance. It summons an aromatic sensation of comfort, pleasure and wealth.


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Elizabeth Arden Red Door Celebrating its 25th anniversary, Elizabeth Arden’s trademark fragrance mixes the juicy flavors of raspberry, blackberry nectar and cassis in the initial notes and is highlighted with violet leaves absolute with scents of honey, patchouli and musk. It renders sophistication, glamour and elegance.

Guerlain - Shalimar Inspired by Mumtaz Mahal, the woman for whom the Taj Mahal was built, this bergamot, vanilla, iris and amber scents were combined in 1921. Opulent, tenacious and exotic, is an everlasting classic.

Marc Jacobs - Decadence With liquid gold as its inspirations, the limited edition bottle not only looks luxurious but it also complements the sensual woody scent in a perfect manner. The notes include saffron, jasmine, rose, iris, vetiver and amber.

Maison Lancome Jasmins Marzipane Charlotte Tilbury Scent of a Dream Drawing “love, lights, power, positivity and sex” to the wearer, Scent of a Dream features notes of peach, black pepper, fire tree, jasmine and patchouli, igniting an individual fire every time you use it.

With a beautiful bottle made of glass and gold designed by French artists Alex & Marine, which embraces a lively, feminine and irresistible fragrance. Sambac and Grandiflorum Jasmine provide opulent and animal tones with leathery and fruity accents.

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AGING NECK How to treat it effectively by W. Marshall Guy, M.D. Unfortunately, some of the earliest signs of aging can be seen in the neck. This may take the form of vertical bands running from the chin to the dĂŠcolletĂŠ, skin sagging down in the jowls and neck, wrinkling of the skin, and development of a double chin. The good news is there are many different treatment options directed towards each of these problems. To appreciate why you see those signs of aging, a little anatomy lesson is in order. Around the front of the neck is a large muscle, called the platysma. It starts around the ears and goes towards the collar bone, then comes forward and has fibers that join together the two sides of the muscle in the middle. This

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muscle then attaches to the overlying skin and depending on a combination of genetics, diet, and exercise, there may be a noticeable amount of fat both in front of (pre platysma) or behind (post platysma) the muscle. Below the jaw line on the sides are two glands that produce saliva, called the submandibular glands. These may or may not be visible, but they can be felt. Gravity also can pull these glands down creating fullness below the jowls. Finally, the way you bend your neck can create horizontal lines running across the neck. These lines begin to develop when you are younger and can become more pronounced with time. With this in mind, what can be done to improve the appearance of the neck?


HEALTH & BEAUTY

The double chin, if present, is usually one of the first concerns that will lead people to seek treatment. There is a strong genetic component to this. The fat can develop in front of the platysma or behind it, which affects what can be done to treat it. Stress and weight gain can further exacerbate the appearance and the amount of fullness. The good news is there are several options. The most direct option is liposuction, either laser assisted or alone. Liposuction and direct removal of fat can be quite effective. It allows your surgeon to directly control how much is being removed with an immediate appreciation for the improvement. Liposuction can be effective for younger patients when performed as an isolated procedure. However, once you reach around age 35-40 the skin lacks the elasticity to tighten back up predictably, and if skin tightening is not also performed, you may change a double chin for a turkey waddle of loose skin. Non surgical treatment for the double chin can also be effective, but the results are best described as delayed gratification. One of the newer options on the market is Kybella ®. This is an FDA approved injectable product that is naturally found in the body and simply dissolves fat. Similar to liposuction, the fat that dissolves is permanently removed, and any future weight fluctuations will always leave the neck looking better than if it hadn’t been treated. Treatment with Kybella® is performed as a series of injections in the office. It takes anywhere from 2-4 treatments that are spaced about 4-6 weeks apart, and it is only approved to treat fat in front of the platysma muscle. The biggest benefit of Kybella is that there is no down time, and the treatment takes only a few minutes in the office. Another treatment option for the double chin is CoolSculpting ®. This involves the application of cold temperatures and suction on the double chin to physically kill the fat, and then the body absorbs it. Treatment takes anywhere from 35 minutes to an hour depending on the version of the device used. For heavier necks, multiple treatments may also be needed. There are other non invasive treatments out there that are approved for other parts of the body that may eventually gain approval for the double chin as well.

If the skin has appropriate tone but the texture is beginning to show mild wrinkles, then resurfacing procedures and even topical products may be all that is needed. It is important to realize that the neck skin is thinner and a different quality than the facial skin. Because of this, treatments used on the face may not be appropriate treatments for the neck. Topical products with low concentrations of vitamin A derivatives and light resurfacing treatments can work to improve these findings. For the more prominent horizontal bands there is no excellent treatment, but these options may help to soften the harshness of the line. As it may be evident above, the gold standard for neck improvement is surgery. But surgery is not for everyone and everyone is not a surgical candidate. With that in mind, it is important to learn about all of the various ways to improve the different neck conditions. With all of the various treatment options out there, how can you decide what is best for you? The answer is you shouldn’t be deciding. It is a very complex area with many different options depending on your anatomy, your goals, your downtime available, and the time course you are hoping to get results. Because of this, it is always best to seek a consultation with a facial plastic surgeon to learn about the surgical and non surgical options for you. For some necks, surgery is the best and only option. For other patients, one or a combination of treatments will produce the best result with the least downtime. At your consultation you can learn about the expected outcomes, the treatment timeline, and what to expect during and after each treatment. _______

For more information on this an other plastic and reconstructive surgery procedures, please contact:

For those patients with loose skin being more of the problem, then liposuction, Kybella ®, and CoolSculpting ® would not offer much. For minimal skin laxity, especially in the jowl area, and for patients with good skin texture and tone, Ulthera ® can be effective. Ulthera ® works by using high intensity ultrasound to deliver heat energy to the deeper structures and effect skin tightening. It won’t address fat, but it can be combined with other treatments. Other technologies that are designed to improve the area include radiofrequency technology like Thermage ® and more invasive treatments like ThermiRF ®. To truly address the lax skin, a surgical neck lift may be the best and only option for some patient. This involves a small incision under the chin in a natural crease and a few incisions behind the ears into the hair to physically remove the excess skin and take out the slack. This can also be combined with liposuction to create very impressive results. If vertical bands in the neck are more of the problem, then your options become a little more limited. Botox ® or another neuromodulator like Dysport ® or Xeomin ® may help to soften the bands. What these bands represent are the front edges of the platysma muscle. Neuromodulators are designed to weaken the muscle in that area so the band won’t stick out so much. The results tend to not be very dramatic, but they can be effective for mild bands. The other option is surgery which involves addressing those muscles. This is more invasive but produces a longer lasting and more dramatic result.

W. Marshall Guy, M.D. Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeon 128 Vision Park Blvd Suite 150 The Woodlands, Texas 77384 832.956.1040 | drguyfacialplastics.com

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HEALTH & BEAUTY

What You Need to Know About Coronary Artery Disease

T

by Jon-Cecil Walkes, M.D.

he American Heart Association estimates that more than 16 million Americans suffer from coronary artery disease. It is the number one killer of both men and women in the U.S.

Coronary artery disease (CAD), or coronary heart disease, is a common term for the buildup of plaque in the heart’s arteries that could lead to heart attack. These fatty deposits may develop in childhood and continue to thicken and enlarge throughout life. Called atherosclerosis, this thickening narrows the arteries and can decrease or block the flow of blood to the heart. It is the most common cause of heart disease.

gen-depleted blood must be carried away. The coronary arteries run along the outside of the heart and have small branches that supply blood to the heart muscle. Therefore, any coronary artery disorder or disease can reduce the flow of oxygen and nutrients to the heart and that may lead to a heart attack and possibly death. The symptoms of coronary heart disease will depend on the severity of the disease—and they must be taken seriously. Some people with CAD have no symptoms, some have episodes of mild chest pain and some have more severe chest pain.

It is important to understand the causes and symptoms of CAD and to know that there are actions you can take to reduce your risk of a heart attack from the disease.

If too little oxygenated blood reaches the heart, a person will experience chest pain called angina. When the blood supply is completely cut off, the result is a heart attack, and the heart muscle begins to die.

Coronary arteries supply blood to the heart muscle. Like all other tissues in the body, the heart muscle needs oxygen-rich blood to function, and oxy-

So it is important to recognize symptoms of coronary artery disease that can include:

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Jon-Cecil Walkes, M.D. is a board-certified cardiothoracic surgeon and medical director of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery at St. Joseph Medical Center.

St. Joseph Medical Center

HEALTH FAIR & EXPO Heart disease symptoms tend to present differently in women than men. Learn more about women and heart disease from Dr. Walkes at the 4th Annual Women’s Heart Health Luncheon on Friday, February 17 at St. Joseph Medical Center. There will be a health fair & expo from 11 a.m. – 12 p.m., followed by lunch and the program from 12 – 1:30 p.m. Proceeds will benefit the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women campaign. For more information and to register, visit sjmctx.com/wow or call 713-756-5051.

Heaviness, tightness, pressure or pain in the chest behind the breastbone.

Pain spreading to the arms, shoulders, jaw, neck or back.

Shortness of breath.

Weakness and fatigue.

ments include coronary artery stenting and coronary artery bypass surgery (CABG.) All of these treatment options may be used alone or together in the treatment of coronary artery disease. Your risk of coronary artery disease can be minimized by controlling the risks factors that are within your control. Living a healthy lifestyle that incorporates proper nutrition, weight management and getting some physical activity can play a big role in avoiding or delaying the progression of CAD. Preventive measures instituted early are thought to have greater lifetime benefits.

Controlling risk factors is the key to preventing illness and death from CAD. There are several conditions and behaviors that increase the risk of CAD such as smoking, physical inactivity, obesity and having diabetes or hypertension. Family history of CAD is always a consideration and should be discussed with a physician. Additionally, being post-menopausal for women and being older than 45 for men are traditional risk factors.

Most importantly, call 9-1-1 for yourself or anyone who is experiencing symptoms of chest pain, shortness of breath, palpitations or fatigue. Do not delay. Calling 9-1-1 at the first signs of a heart attack could save a life because reducing time to medical treatment is the primary factor in surviving a heart attack.

There are several treatments that may be prescribed for CAD, including oral medications that can decrease blood clotting, reduce cholesterol levels and lower blood pressure. These medications, and changes in lifestyle and behavior, could help reduce risk and lessen the onset of chest pain. Other treat-

So when was the last time you had a check-up with a physician? If it’s been awhile, take the time to make an appointment with your primary care physician to review your risk factors. If you need a physician, visit the Find the Right Provider tab at sjmctx.com or call 713-757-7575 for a complimentary physician referral.

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Principles of Positive

DISCIPLINE

Policy makers, educators, child rights activists, and researchers from 21 different countries including the United States, England, France, Israel, Ethiopia, Australia, and New Zealand, gathered in Dallas for “The Global Summit on Ending Corporal Punishment and Promoting Positive Discipline”. Dr. George Holden of Southern Methodist University organized this conference, the first ever to bring together internationally recognized experts from diverse fields to promote awareness of child rights, the negative consequence of using corporal punishment (e.g., spanking and other forms of physical discipline), and ways of encouraging positive discipline in homes and schools. Dr. Elizabeth Gershoff, Co-Chair of the Summit’s Organizing Committee and a professor at The University of Texas at Austin, summarized the results of many studies examining the negative effects of corporal punishment of children. She asserts “until researchers, clinicians, and parents can definitively demonstrate the presence of positive effects of corporal punishment, including effectiveness in halting future misbehavior, not just the absence of negative effects, we as psychologists cannot responsibly recommend its use”. Careful review of the research literature provides a clear picture: there are no positive effects of such punishment, only negative effects. Gershoff acknowledges that discipline is one of the most challenging tasks of being a parent. Given that very few parents receive formal training on how to discipline their children effectively, they primarily learn “on the job” or default to using the strategies their parents used. Gershoff laments, “this unfortunately means we sometimes use discipline methods that are familiar but not effective”, such as corporal punishment. This brings us to the important question of what constitutes effective, positive discipline that can teach children acceptable behavior. Drawing on the research literature as well as years working with children, Gershoff outlines four main principles of effective positive discipline. 1.

Guide, not punish. Punishment can teach children what not to do, but it is even more important for parents to teach their children what to do.

2.

Focus on the positives. Building a strong relationship with your child is the cornerstone of effective discipline.

3.

Be prepared. Let your child know what type of behavior you expect in different situations.

4.

Be consistent. Children appreciate consistency – create fair consequences, share these with your child, and implement when needed.

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by Lisa Rosen, Ph.D.


YOUR HEALTH IS OUR BUSINESS. In addition to providing comprehensive inpatient care, St. Joseph Medical Center offers a wide range of OUTPATIENT SERVICES for your convenience.

Downtown

The Heights

• Behavioral Health Programs • Breast Care Center • Cardiac Services • Day Surgery • Diagnostic Imaging • Emergency Care • GI/Endoscopy Services • Lab Services • Maternal Fetal Medicine Clinic • Pulmonary Function Testing • Sleep Center • Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation Services – Occupational, Physical and Speech Therapies • Wound Care Center/Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

• • • • • •

Cardiac Services Day Surgery Diagnostic Imaging Emergency Care GI/Endoscopy Services Lab Services

St. Joseph Cancer Centers

To learn more about our services or to find a physician on our medical staff,

visit us at sjmctx.com or call 713-757-7575.

• Downtown • Med Center • West Houston

Downtown: 1401 St. Joseph Parkway Houston, TX 77002 • 713-757-1000 The Heights: 1917 Ashland Street Houston, TX 77008 • 713-969-5400

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Garden plot on wheels

FOR THE URBAN JUNGLE 84


TECHNOLOGY AUTO

R

inspeed presented the clever urban “Oasis” runabout at the CES in Las Vegas and the NAIAS in Detroit.

You can count on Swiss automotive visionary Frank M. Rinderknecht when it comes to reimagining mobility. With the Rinspeed concept vehicle “Oasis,” the ingenious self-driving electric vehicle for the city and surrounding areas, he refutes the deeply ingrained notion of the urban jungle that requires SUVs the size of battle tanks for the daily struggle for survival. His alternative concept: a maneuverable speedster with an integrated small garden plot behind the windshield. The Rinspeed boss therefore challenges the martial appearance with mobile urban gardening. With its large glazed areas and shrouds on the front wheels, the refined and swift two-seat runabout looks rather futuristic and is somewhat reminiscent of a modern interpretation of famous Star Wars icon R2D2. They both can turn on their wheels with almost a zero radius. In the case of the “Oasis,” thanks to a special steering angle, two in-wheel electric motors and torque vectoring, all developed by ZF on Lake Constance. The self-driving Swiss vehicle is not a wallflower or strictly functional like the Google Car, but rather “next gen” - with a host of technical and visual treats inside. Because in keeping with a great tradition, the twenty-third Rinspeed concept car was again engineered by Swiss company 4erC and executed by Esoro.

Speaking of inside: The ultimate eye-catcher is the small garden with enough space for growing radishes or even little Bonsai trees. Automotive supplier Kostal adds the element of nature to the car to make it a true third space. “Home+Garden” becomes “Car+Garden” - brought together by a custom removable planter. The small garden plot is just one of features that creates a new living space in the interior of the car. Armchairs, sideboard and TV provide a modern living room ambience in white. Everything looks welcoming and inviting, thanks to the efforts of the innovative Swabian textile developers at Strähle+Hess, and Dutch company Stahl, the world market leader in leather and synthetic surfaces in automotive interiors. Together, they created a remarkable ensemble of natural, functional leather with various designs and surfaces complemented by textiles with bright edging highlights. For this purpose, Schoeller Spinning Group supplied an all-new highly elastic wool yarn. Also worthy of note are the elegant aluminum seat bases from GF Automotive in bionic lightweight design, the futuristic retractable air vents, and the multi-purpose storage box from Dr. Schneider Unternehmensgruppe. The floor is made from real wood, and created by the specialists from MeisterWerke. All adhesive bonds in and on the “Oasis” are realized with innovative adhesives from Sika Automotive. An eerie quiet around the football arena, but the activities on Twitter show: Injury time is almost up and tens of thousands of fans will soon flood the streets. The Rinspeed “Oasis” is equipped with Harman LIVS technologies

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ART & CULTURE

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A simphony on wheels

(Life-Enhancing Intelligent Vehicle Solutions), which put it always a step ahead, and its finger on the pulse of the social web - the “Oasis” has long since planned the alternative route. The “Oasis” lets its driver know that several Facebook friends with similar tastes have recently liked a new restaurant that just opened nearby. A quick ‘Ok’ signaled to the personal assistant of the “Oasis,” and the table has been reserved. That fast. To interact with the Harman system, the occupants use a slightly curved 5K widescreen display with voice- or gesture-control that spans the width of the “Oasis” in front of its passengers. In manual mode, it presents the most important information in condensed form. The images of the electronic rearview mirrors are dimmed when not needed. The steering wheel from ZF folds flat and thus turns into a keyboard or work surface. The car thus becomes a self-driving office on wheels, complete with Office productivity software and Skype video telephony with live translation. The personal assistant not only knows which of the occupants is talking to it at the time, but also in what language the occupant speaks. The “Oasis” passengers are able to exchange and share interesting news on social media channels by using swiping gestures. In keeping with a ten-year tradition, a mechanical Carl F. Bucherer watch is integrated on the steering column. What is more: On the “Oasis,” the new Manero Flyback is rewound by the steering motions. The next business trip begs. After dropping its owner off at the airport, the “Oasis” chauffeurs a nice couple who had searched for a ride on Facebook into the city. After dropping them off at their destination, the “Oasis” goes on Twitter to let the owners’ friends know that it is available for use at any time.

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They are able to summon it via WhatsApp and other social media apps. Two days later, the “Oasis” returns to the arrivals terminal of the airport, thanks to Harman LIVS punctual to the minute and unperturbed by potential flight delays, traffic jams and long lines at the baggage claim.

Curtains up for the evening entertainment with viewing enjoyment in CinemaScope, accompanied by the Harman Kardon 24-channel sound that virtually follows the passenger as the seat glides into the fully reclined position. The personal assistant takes a photo of the stunning sunset in passing - the “Oasis” keeps a diary and if desired also acts as a travel blogger to keep the Instagram followers up to date. Feeling like taking back the wheel? Gladly - after passing an automatically administered fitness and alertness test. By the way, the personal assistant is also at the driver’s disposal outside the car. Thanks to a link to the Harman Ignite Cloud Platform, it allows controlling the owner’s smart home from the “Oasis,” for example. Always a step ahead, it takes care of the lights and the wellness climate as the situation demands. BlackBerry QNX supplies an integrated and certified secure and protected software platform for self-driving vehicles. The windscreen serves as a giant display for virtual and augmented realities. Holographic laser projection technology developed by WayRay allowed to make area covered by displays significantly larger than in conventional head-up display used today. US Company Techniplas, a specialist for cognitive and networked products, developed the multi-functional rear window. It integrates not only the usual lights at the back of a car; it also serves as a dis-


TECHNOLOGY

Always a step ahead: In the “Oasis,” the journey becomes the destination. play panel for the integrated clever micro delivery box. It can even be cooled or heated as needed. As a special touch, the box was sized to fit a power bank form EVA Fahrzeugtechnik, which increases the range of the “Oasis” when circumstances demand. When it comes to automotive lighting, Rinspeed relies on proven Osram quality. The manufacturer supplies the powerful LED headlights and the two projectors in the front surround. The LED ambience lighting with reading lights integrated into the headliner comes from Forster Rohner.

The who’s who in the use of the vehicle Who will own the car, who will operate it and what will it be used for? Rinspeed boss Rinderknecht has designed and equipped the car to keep all conceivable options open - if society is willing to share goods in a beneficial way. “Oasis” can be a shopping cart in the morning, a shipping services counter for a parcel service in the afternoon, and a pizza delivery vehicle at night. A digital access system from German supplier Huf makes it possible. Apart from consulting firm EY, which contributed a study on the individualization of mobility, the masterminds behind the “Oasis” also include TOG-Tübitak. The Turkish research center - an institution not unlike the German Fraunhofer Institute - examines issues of tomorrow’s transport in its own mobility lab. However, even the “Oasis” does need a dash of masculinity: Futuristic 20inch Borbet Aero Design rims with laser-engraved “Oasis” logo underscore the vehicle dynamics. Transmitting large volumes of data and information requires perfect connections and consequently is of fundamental importance for autonomous driving in particular. The intelligent antenna systems from Vites integrated into the

roof play a crucial role in this regard. Intelligent traffic management solutions from Siemens help optimize the traffic flow and thereby are a factor in providing more comfort in traveling, minimizing emissions, and enhancing the safety of all road users – for example, by warning road users of an approaching emergency vehicle. The “Oasis” uses different sensors based on NXP technology to capture a 360-degree view of its surroundings with pinpoint precision. Thanks to vehicle-to-vehicle communication, it can even look around corners and obstacles. This sensor fusion is then used to compute the safe driving maneuver. An innovative app from MHP allows choosing potential passengers by interest or profession. For passionate car enthusiasts who just met, this can make the long drive to the vintage car event a sheer pleasure. The “Mini Mica” from connectivity specialist Harting is a scalable and flexible computing architecture, which uses different modules for adapting the “Oasis” to the particular requirements of the vehicle user, and installs the corresponding technology features. This makes an individualization of the “Oasis fleet” with efficient use of resources possible. The secure transmission of data and information was tested and certified by independent and impartial certification specialist Dekra. Axa Winterthur provides insurance and peace of mind if the unthinkable happens. Urban gardening on wheels as a new trend? A little bit out there? Maybe. But as always, the creation of Swiss mobility innovator Frank M. Rinderknecht is an oasis for inspiration in the otherwise rather expansive automotive wasteland. On display at the CES in Las Vegas and the NAIAS in Detroit in January 2017, and in spring 2017 - in a manner of speaking, in the Swiss national own front garden - at the Geneva Motor Show. As always, put in the best light by Vollmond Advertising Agency from Saarland, Germany. The "Oasis“ was just be exhibited at the 2017 CES Las Vegas in the Hard Rock Hotel in the Harman Venue and at the the 2017 NAIAS in Detroit.

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LIFESTYLE TRAVEL & ADVENTURE

Rediscovering

THE MASAI By David Marek

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had been to the Masai Mara in Kenya many times in the past. For those that have been to other parts of Africa on safari, it seems that first trip to the Mara is like experiencing safari for the first time. All the films and photography on The Great Migration just do not do it justice. Still and sadly, with the great herds of animals come the great hordes of vehicles—the minibus of foreign tourists now sticking their iPads out the window to take a photo of a cheetah, all the way to the classic safari vehicle with its safari clients armed with their professional cameras and zoom lenses. Getting a shot of a cheetah or lion or a crossing is not a problem. Getting a shot without other vehicles in the frame is another story. In search of the more private safari experience, I swore off going back to the Mara until somehow it changed. That change started in 2006 when hundreds of Maasai landholders brokered a deal with area conservationists to create additional conservancies bordering the Masai Mara Reserve. Now the Greater Masai Mara eco-system spans an area almost twice its original size. The area has rebounded and contains one of the highest cat densities in all of Africa. It was an amazing turnaround... or so I was told. But seeing is believing, so off I went with my bride in tow. Our itinerary for this trip had us staying four nights with Great Plains Conservation

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at Mara Plains camp. Getting to the Mara from Nairobi is easy: a one-hour Safarilink flight. Then it is a 30-minute drive to camp, if you don’t stop to do any game viewing; we stopped often. The annual migration was just entering our area, so we were fortunate to be able to drive along the leading edge as it made its way west to the Mara River. The Mara Plains tents, if you can call them that, are exceptional with about 1,500 square feet of living space. The floors are made of railway ties, polished to a wonderfully smooth finish. The furnishings give you the feeling you are on a safari from the 19th-century. The flush toilets and Wi-Fi connections brought us back to our 21st-century reality. Free-flowing water has replaced the bucket shower, and you have the choice of a shower or a beautiful copper bath tub; Gana chose the copper tub. One of the truly unique features of all Great Plains properties is they provide each tent with either a Canon 50d or Canon 7d camera body along with a Canon 100–400mm lens and a wide-angle lens. Every evening they will download your images to a CD to take home. In addition to the camera, the staff offers first time users instructions on how to take the best images. Activities at Mara Plains include morning and evening game drives. I chose to leave early from camp and take a packed breakfast, greeting the animals with the first morning light, a prime time for some of the best photography of the day. Other activities include early morning balloon flights over the Mara,

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wildlife walks, a visit to a remote Maasai village, and a visit to a local school supported by Great Plains. Game viewing in the conservancy was the best I have ever experienced. In the four days at Mara Plains, I saw lion kills, cheetah kills and leopard kills, and watched wildebeest and zebra cross the Mara River. We even witnessed cheetah chase through a herd of wildebeest from the comfort of our private deck, while sipping an adult beverage. One of the great things about this region is that you don’t have to visit during the migration to see great predator activity. The predators are always here, as are the resident herds of antelope. Meals are served either in the main dining area or outside under the stars. On our last night at Mara Plains, Gana and I returned from the game drive to find that dinner would be served on our private deck, with the moon coming up over the horizon, wildebeest on the plains in front of us, and hippo enjoying the pools on the river behind us. The rebirth of the Masai Mara is happening. This hit home for me on my final morning. We drove along the river looking for a leopard mother and cub and within 30 minutes found them. I spent two hours with the pair as the cub climbed around its mother. Our vehicle was the only vehicle there. Within the Masai Mara proper, this sighting would have had dozens of jeeps, vans, and trucks surrounding it. But here in Olare Motorogi Conservancy, we had it all to ourselves.


Camp. We witnessed cheetah chase through a herd of wildebeest from the comfort of our private deck, while sipping an adult beverage.

The Mara Plains tents, if you can call them that, are exceptional with about 1,500 square feet of living space. The floors are made of railway ties, polished to a wonderfully smooth finish. The furnishings give you the feeling you are on a safari from the 19th-century.

The predators are always here, as are the resident herds of antelope.

For information about this and many other safari experiences in Africa, Asia, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, and South Pacific, we encourage you to contact the world's premier Safari organization, right here in Houston:

Ker & Downey 6703 Hwy Blvd, Katy, TX 77493 281.371.2500 | kerdowney.com

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Real estate developer Bruce Makowsky has unveiled a mansion that is a flamboyant display of luxe living. He describes it as the ‘eighth wonder of the world’. Located in the ultra-exclusive neighborhood of Bel Air, within Beverly Hills, in Los Angeles, 924 Bel Air Road has recently been completed and takes the title of the most expensive house in the United States. At a price $250 million, far from the record of $147 million of an East Hampton estate sold back in 2014. The luxurious mansion comes with 12 bedrooms, 21 bathrooms, a massage studio, an 85feet Italian glass infinity pool, a Louis Vuitton-designed bowling lane, an outdoor theater, an indoor 007-style cinema, 3 gourmet kitchens, Hermès plate settings and prop helicopter from the TV show Airwolf.

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With a 38,000 sq. ft. of floor space spread over four levels -surrounded by a moat-like canal-, the property boasts 270 degrees of panoramic views of the LA area. The house also has a Hobie Cat sailboat, glass ping pong and billiard tables, a crocodile-embossed elevator, 56 TV screens, two wine cellars and Willy Wonka-style cylinders filled with candy. Join us on a a visual tour in the next pages, or better yet, watch the video from the link in the cinema page.

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924 Bel Air Rd. is, literally, a glass-house with exceptional views of Los Angeles.

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Of course, bowling lanes are a must at 924 Bel Air Rd.

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BOYS’ TOYS

This dream estate, a true accomplishment in achitecture and design, even includes a private car showroom, filled with exotic cars and motorcycles with a value of over $30 million. The decoration includes 100 art installations, hand-cut stone and marble, sculptures designed by Gale Hart, Lamborghini wall clocks, vintage fire extinguishers and gas cans and Rock Royalty Custom guitars. Inspired by multimillion dollar yachts, Bruce Makowsky, the developer, built this house for the “ultimate billionaire who wants the best of everything that exists in life”. He wanted to build the most spectacular house in the country, and sure enough, he did.

Makowsky purchased the site in 2013 for a mere $11 million, according to property records. Sources familiar with the development told us that he spent north of $50 million to transform it. If it sells for its record asking price, he would net a not-too-shabby $189 million return on his investment. While not the largest new home listed, the Bel Air property is a marvel of technology, design, craftsmanship, exotic materials and natural views. The mansion went on sale in January and with a crew of 250 workers, took four years to be built. Now it comes with a staff of seven, including a yoga instructor and a masseuse, paid by the developer for the next two years. Are you ready to make an offer?

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The

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Giorgetti, the venerable 118-year-old Italian furniture maker, is embarking on a project that is unique in its field—a luxury condominium under the company’s own brand name. The boutique mid-rise will be built in the Upper Kirby district, a lively and elegant setting known for its art galleries, boutiques and restaurants. Giorgetti Houston is a collaboration with Mirador Group, a Houston-based firm specializing in architecture and interior design; Sudhoff Companies, a leader in property sales, marketing and consulting; and Stolz Partners, a veteran Georgia-based real estate development and investment venture. The seven-story boutique mid-rise will feature 32 flats ranging in size from 2,400 square-feet up to 4,500 square-feet for one of the four penthouses.

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Ceilings will range in height from 10 to 12 feet, with balconies from 500 to 2,000 square feet. Giorgetti will create a complete residential environment from the kitchen and outdoor cabinetry to paneling, lighting, carpets, closets, woodwork and furnishings. Most of Giorgetti’s designers are actual architects, who create bespoke products known for their clever mix of styles and high-quality craftsmanship. The company has collaborated on impressive projects including hotels, yachts, celebrity residences and royal palaces. These collaborations include the $24 million penthouse at New York’s Plaza Hotel, the Shangri-La Hotel in Toronto, Fontainebleau Chateau Suites in Miami, Four Seasons Residences in Austin, Torch Doha and The Reverie Saigon in Ho Chi Minh. “Branded projects by Armani/Casa, Versace, Porsche, Baccarat, and Bulgari have been created, but this groundbreaking project marks Giorgetti’s first totally luxury-branded real estate project,” said Jacob Sudhoff, CEO of Sudhoff Companies. “The building will be representative of the Giorgetti Italian lifestyle—a harmonious fusion of innovative design, architecture, form and function that truly distinguishes the pioneering brand. Each of the flats will be timeless, works of art.” In addition to Giorgetti’s unusual furniture shapes, maple and walnut combined with metal, marble, leather and fabric, served as inspiration for the project. In particular, Giorgetti’s Origami cabinet was the inspiration for the

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external façade of the building. “For us, beauty is the first source of inspiration, including and above all, for the contribution it can make to improving the quality of where we live," commented Giovanni del Vecchio, Managing Director of Giorgetti. “With our partners, we share the same passion, vision and love for the brand and for the lifestyle that we are able to create and express. The result is very special—a remarkable living space, imbued with the spirit of modern elegance." Mirador Group led the design and planning of the building, artfully reflecting Giorgetti’s aesthetic sensibility and hallmark sense of comfort and functionality. “Everything from the building’s location to its fixtures and finishes within have been inspired by the brand, enabling us to create a unique, refined setting in which elegant form and function are balanced,” says Jerry Hooker, Principal of Mirador Group. “The culmination of history, craftsmanship and art creates a sophisticated environment and a precisely classic building for generations to come.” Framed by a canopy of nearly 100-year-old trees at the northeast corner of Steel and Virginia streets, the boutique condominium features outdoor kitchens and al fresco dining, pet-living amenities, a gym, concierge services and low Home Owner Association fees. ______ For more details, visit giorgettihouston.com.

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C Select Time Pieces

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The Galleria Mall 5085 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX 77056 713.966.3500 | simon.com/mall/the-galleria

The Vintage Park 110 Vintage Park Boulevard | Houston, TX 77070 281.655.8000 | vintageparkhouston.com Uptown Plaza - Houston 4715 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX 77027 877.775.3462 | uptownparkhouston.com

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Deutsch & Deutsch 3747 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX 77027 713.627.7787 | deutschjewelers.com

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ROLEX 5015 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX 77056 713.850.7100 | rolex.com/houston Patek Philippe DeBoulle River Oaks District 4444 Westheimer Rd. A168, Houston, TX 77027 713.621.2400 | deboulle.com Deutsch & Deutsch 3747 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX 77027 713.627.7787 | deutschjewelers.com Blancpain DeBoulle River Oaks District 4444 Westheimer Rd. A168, Houston, TX 77027 713.621.2400 | deboulle.com Hal Martin's 6266 Westheimer Rd. | Houston, TX 77057 713.785.1111 | halmartins.com

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C Men's Boutiques Norton Ditto 2425 W Alabama St. | Houston, TX 77098 713.688.9800 | nortonditto.com

C Travel & Adventure Ker & Downey 6703 Hwy Blvd, Katy, TX 77493 281.371.2500 | kerdowney.com

C Museums

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Sal y Pimienta Kitchen 818 Town and Country Blvd #105, Houston, TX 77024 713.907.0412 | salypimientakitchen.com Italian Cuisine

Grotto - Uptown Plaza - Houston 4715 Westheimer Rd. | Houston, TX 77027 713.622.3663 | grottorestaurants.com

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Via Emilia 10700 Kuykendahl Rd, The Woodlands, TX 77381 281.465.9555 | viaemiliarestaurant.com Brazilian Steakhouse

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Abraham's Oriental Rugs 5000 Westheimer, Suite 200, Houston, TX 77056 713.963.0980 | abrahamsrugs.com 2515 Bartlett St, Houston, TX 77098 713.622.4444 | abrahamsrugs.com

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C Auto - Luxury & Exotics Aston Martin Houston Star Motor Cars 7000 Katy Rd., Katy, TX 77024 713.868-6813 | starmotorcars.com

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Bentley Houston 1530 West Loop South | Houston, TX 77027 713.850.1530 | bentleyhouston.com Crave Luxury Auto 2408 Timberloch Place #1, The Woodlands, TX 77380 281.651.2101 | craveluxuryauto.com American Custom Jeep 9125 Daffodil St, Houston, TX 77063 713.540.2655 | americancustomjeep.com Jaguar Houston Central 7025 Old Katy Rd., Houston, TX 77024 713.293.6100 | jaguarhoustoncentral.com Land Rover Houston Central 7019 Old Katy Rd., Houston, TX 77024 713.293.6100 | landroverhouston.com Mercedes Benz of The Woodlands 16917 Interstate 45 South | The Woodlands, TX 77385 936.206.7500 | mbotw.com Maserati - Alfa Romeo - Fiat Northside Imports Houston 23110 I-45, Spring, TX 77373 281.712.2207 | northsideimportshouston.com Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Houston 1530 West Loop South | Houston, TX 77027 713.297.2837 | rollsroyceofhouston.com

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C Exotic Automobile Rentals

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Suzanne Bruce & Asdociates UPTOWN / GALLERIA 1900 Saint James Pl. Suite 650 Houston, Texas 77056 713.850.0240 | sba-skincare.com

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Haras Spa 26503 Peden Road, Magnolia, TX 77355 281.789.6071 | harasspa.com

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C Dentists

Persona - Spa para Hombres 2311 West Alabama St. | Houston, TX 77098 713.630.0772 | personamedicalspa.com

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Elite Doc Sugar Land 4665 Sweetwater Blvd., Suite 200 Sugar Land, TX 77479 832.446.3206 | EliteDocHealthAndBeauty.com

C Opticians 1960 Eye Surgeons CYPRESS 21216 Northwest Fwy # 340, Cypress, TX 77429 281.970.5346 | 1960eyesurgeons.com WILLOWBROOK 13333 Dotson Rd #200, Houston, TX 77070 281.890.1784 | 1960eyesurgeons.com

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TM

HoustonBlackBookOfLuxury.com


Beauty

KNOWS NO BOUNDS. AND NEITHER DOES OUR CARE. THE BEST YOU IS WHAT WE DO.™ Aren’t you ready for a natural,

refreshed

beauty?

Dr. Patronella | Dr. Mentz | Dr. Newall | Dr. Fortes | Dr. Morales | Dr. Hustak

ACPS™ is proud to announce the grand opening of our new 11,000 sq ft Center of Excellence opening winter 2016. This state of the art facility will host our new surgical facility, research department, and medical spa. This center will continue the ACPS tradition of leading aesthetic plastic surgery for years to come.

MyBeautifulBody.com | 713.799.9999

GALLERIA | MEMORIAL

LUXCIOR - Feb 2017 - Digital  
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