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summer 2015

the palaces of

perla lichi HIGH style of a miami icon


South Florida OPULENCE

Summer 2015

Murano at Portofino Miami Beach, Florida

Deering Bay The aragon Coral Florida BocaGables, raton, Florida

Continuum North Tower st. Tropez Miami Beach, Florida sunny isles, Florida

The FinesT in Luxury residenTiaL ProPerTy ManageMenT Csi Management services is a full-service property management company focused exclusively on high-end, luxury residential properties. We offer the highest levels of technical and management competence in residential property management, and our client services include, but are not limited to:

• on site Management by LCaM Managers • Janitorial, general Maintenance and engineering • accounting and Financial Management • Precise Management Transition Plans • Vendor evaluation and supervision • Building inspection and regular site Visits • First Class Customer service and Concierge

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Fort Lauderdale Headquarters • 6700 North Andrews Avenue, Suite 400 Phone: 954.308.4305 • Fax: 954.331.6028

love where you live

2060 N Bayshore Drive I Miami, FL 33137 Photo credit: Andrea Loppnow Property courtesy of Milic Mico Novovic Š 2014 Opulence International Realty 2

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Summer 2015

Home is your sanctuary You juggle important responsibilities, manage critical priorities, and meet impossible deadlines. You don’t need a typical luxury real estate agent. You need a company that knows coming home means leaving the world behind. We’ll take you there. 305.615.1376

Summer 2015

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South Florida OPULENCE

Summer 2015

Summer 2015

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South Florida OPULENCE

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Miami Cardiac & Vascular Institute at Baptist Health South Florida has been advancing care in the community for over 25 years by pioneering treatments of heart and vascular conditions. Now with a $100 million expansion and integration of services at over 25 convenient locations, more of your loved ones can experience the most trusted cardiovascular care in the region from some of the nation’s most renowned physicians. Learn more at

A not-for-profit organization supported by philanthropy and committed to our faith-based charitable mission of medical excellence Summer 2015

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Islands | Epoxy on Aluminum | 35 x 70 x 2 inches

Holland’s illustrious career has placed his paintings in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art, the Guggenheim, and the Whitney, to name a few. He has been called one of California’s most important living contemporary artists and is among the top ten living artists in the country. The exhibition will be on view through June 29, 2015.

NOW... and a little bit of history CURATED BY KAREN & MICHAEL BIVINS

SAMUEL LYNNE GALLERIES 1105 Dragon St. | Dallas, Texas 75207 | 214.965.9027

is Nature’s Art Fine Minerals


Precious Gemstones


Rare Crystals

The Arkenstone Gallery features thousands of natural crystals, gems, and geodes that continue to delight collectors, curators, and aficionados alike.

Left image: Wulfenite; Middle image: Dioptase on Calcite; Right image: Sulfur

Cornetite Star of Congo

i n f o @ i R o c k s . c o m | www.iRoc k s.c om | By Appointm ent O nl y


233 South Federal Highway, Boca Raton, Florida • Tel: 561.477.5444 BOCA RATON | NEW YORK | LOS ANGELES | CHICAGO | DALLAS | GENEVA | LONDON | HONG KONG | TEL AVIV | DUBAI | PANAMA | MOSCOW

ntitled-3 1

An aerial view of South Floridas Fisher Island overlooking Downtown Miami, South Beach, and the Atlantic Ocean. Summer 2014.

Introducing Palazzo Del Sol. 47 new waterfront condominium residences on celebrated Fisher Island. Where the legacy of original American chic has been brilliantly re-imagined for the New Miami. True luxury is both timeless and timely.

Priced from $6.5 million to $35 million. Now under construction. One Fisher Island Drive, Fisher Island Designed by Kobi Karp with indoor spaces by Antrobus + Ramirez and outdoor spaces by Enzo E On-site Sales Pavilion: 305 535 6071

ORAL REPRESENTATIONS CANNOT BE RELIED UPON AS REPRESENTATIONS CORRECTLY STATING REPRESENTATIONS THE DEVELOPER. FOR CORRECT REPRESENTATIONS, MAKE REFERENCE TO THE DOCUMENTS REQUIRED BY SECTION ORAL CANNOT BE RELIED UPON ASOF CORRECTLY STATING REPRESENTATIONS OF THE DEVELOPER. FOR CORRECT REPRESENTATIONS, MAKE REFERENCE TO THE DOCUMENTS REQUIRED B 718.503, FLORIDA STATUTES, ORAL TO BEREPRESENTATIONS FURNISHED BYFLORIDA ACANNOT DEVELOPER TOTO A BE BUYER LESSEE. All artist’sTO or Aarchitectural renderings, sketches, graphic materials and photos depicted orand otherwise described herein are proposed and STATUTES, FURNISHED BY A DEVELOPER BUYER OR LESSEE. artist’s or architectural renderings, sketches, graphic materials photos depicted otherwise described herein areSECTION proposed BE RELIED UPON ASOR CORRECTLY STATING REPRESENTATIONS OF All THE DEVELOPER. FOR CORRECT REPRESENTATIONS, MAKE REFERENCE TO THEorDOCUMENTS REQUIRED BY conceptual only, and are based FLORIDA upon preliminary plans, which are subject to change. This is not an offering in any state in which registration is required but in which registration requirements have not yet been met. This and are based upon preliminary development plans, which are subject to change. This is not an offering in any state in which registration is required but in which registration requirements have not yet been met.concept This ad STATUTES,development TO BE FURNISHED BY A DEVELOPER TO A BUYER OR LESSEE. All artist’s or architectural renderings, sketches, graphic materials and photos depicted or otherwise described herein are proposed and ORAL REPRESENTATIONS CANNOT BE RELIED UPON AS CORRECTLY STATING REPRESENTATIONS OF THE DEVELOPER. FOR CORRECT REPRESENTATIONS, MAKE REFERENCE TO THE DOCUMENTS REQUIRED BY advertisement is not an offering.and It isare a solicitation of interest in the advertised ofNo theoffering advertised units can in be made noand deposits can is be accepted, oror reservations, binding or non-binding, can beinmade in New offering. It is a solicitation of interest inwhich the advertised thean advertised units can beand made no deposits can be accepted, reservations, binding or non-binding, can made Newherein York until an offeringa based upon preliminary development plans, areNo subject to change. This isofnot offering any state inarchitectural which registration required butgraphic in which registration requirements have notbe yet been met. This advertisement FLORIDA STATUTES, TO BE property. FURNISHED BYoffering Aproperty. DEVELOPER TO A BUYER OR LESSEE. All artist’s or renderings, sketches, materials and photos depicted or otherwise described are proposed New York State Department of Law. York until an offering plan is filed with the New York State Department of Law. offering. It is a solicitation of interest in the advertised property.development No offering of the which advertised units can be made and no deposits can or reservations, or but non-binding, can be made in New York until offering planThis is filed and are based upon preliminary plans, are subject to change. This is not an offering in be anyaccepted, state in which registration binding is required in which registration requirements have notanyet been met. adv New York State Department of Law. offering. It is a solicitation of interest in the advertised property. No offering of the advertised units can be made and no deposits can be accepted, or reservations, binding or non-binding, can be made in New York until an offering New York State Department of Law.

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South Florida OPULENCE

Summer 2015

HOME AAHOME A HOME A HOME AS PRIVATE A HOME AS ASAS AAPRIVATE HOME HOME AS PRIVATE AS AS PRIVATE AS A HOME YOUR TRAVELS AS PRIVATE AS A HOME AS PRIVATE AS A HOME YOUR TRAVELS AS PRIVATE AS YOUR TRAVELS A HOME YOUR TRAVELS AS PRIVATE AS YOUR TRAVELS A HOME AS PRIVATE AS YOUR TRAVELS AS PRIVATE AS YOUR TRAVELS Introducing Palazzo Del Sol. AS PRIVATE AS YOUR TRAVELS 47 new PRIVATE waterfront condominium residences on AS AS YOUR TRAVELS YOUR TRAVELS celebrated Fisher Island. A haven of privacy Introducing Palazzo Del Sol. 47 new waterfront condominium residences on Introducing Palazzo Del Sol. Introducing Palazzo Del Sol. celebrated Fishercondominium Island. A haven Introducing Palazzo Del residences Sol.of privacy 47 new waterfront Introducing Palazzo Del residences Sol. on 47 new waterfront condominium on Introducing Palazzo Del Sol. 47 new waterfront condominium residences and exclusivity, minutes South and celebrated Fisher Island.from A haven of Beach privacyon 47 new waterfront condominium residences on celebrated Fisher Island. ASol. haven of Beach privacy and exclusivity, minutes from South Introducing Palazzo Del 47 the new waterfront condominium residences celebrated Fisher Island. AMiami, haven ofBeach privacy cultural attractions of with superbly and exclusivity, minutes from South andon and celebrated Fisher Island. AMiami, haven ofBeach privacy Introducing Palazzo Del Sol. Introducing Palazzo Del Sol. and exclusivity, minutes from South and 47 new waterfront condominium residences onsuperbly the cultural attractions of with celebrated Fisher Island. A haven of privacy and exclusivity, minutes from South Beach and the cultural attractions of Miami, with superbly curated building amenities and 6-star Introducing Palazzo Del Sol. 47 new waterfront condominium residences on and and exclusivity, minutes from Beach 47celebrated new waterfront condominium residences on the cultural attractions of Miami, with superbly Fisher Island. A haven ofSouth privacy the cultural attractions of Miami, with superbly curated building amenities and 6-star and exclusivity, minutes from South Beach and curated building amenities and 6-star white-glove services. Introducing Palazzo Del Sol. 47 new waterfront condominium residences on celebrated Fisher Island. A haven of privacy the cultural attractions of Miami, withand superbly celebrated Fisher Island. A haven ofBeach privacy curated building amenities and 6-star and exclusivity, minutes South curated building amenities and 6-star white-glove services. the cultural attractions offrom Miami, with superbly white-glove services. 47 new waterfront condominium residences on celebrated Fisher Island. A haven of privacy and exclusivity, minutes from South Beach and curated building amenities and 6-star and exclusivity, minutes from South Beach and white-glove services. the cultural attractions of Miami, with superbly white-glove services. Priced from $6.5 million to $35 million. curated building amenities and 6-star celebrated Fisher Island. A haven of privacy and exclusivity, minutes from South Beach and cultural attractions of Miami, with superbly thethe cultural attractions of Miami, with superbly white-glove services. Now under construction Priced from $6.5amenities million to $35 million. curated building and 6-star and exclusivity, minutes from South Beach and white-glove services. Priced from $6.5 million to $35 million. the cultural attractions of Miami, with superbly On-site sales pavilion: 535 6071 6-star Now under construction curated building amenities and Priced from $6.5 million to305 $35and million. curated building amenities 6-star white-glove services. Priced from $6.5 million to $35 million. Now under construction On-site pavilion: 305 535and 6071 6-star | the cultural attractions of Miami, with superbly curated building amenities Nowsales under construction white-glove Now under construction On-site sales pavilion: 6071 |services. white-glove services. One Fisher Island Priced from $6.5 million to305 $35 535 million. On-site sales pavilion: 305Drive, 535 6071


curated building amenities and white-glove services. On-site sales pavilion: 305 6-star 535 6071 Priced from $6.5 million toconstruction $35 One Fisher Island Drive, Fisher Island, Florida 33109 |million. Now under | Priced from $6.5 million to $35 million. Fisher Island, Florida 33109 | Now under construction white-glove services. On-site sales pavilion: 305Drive, 535 6071 One Fisher Island One Fisher Island Drive,

d, FL 33109 Enea.

Now under construction Priced from $6.5 million to $35 million. One Fisher Island Drive, Priced from $6.5 million to305 $35 On-site sales pavilion: 535 6071 Fisher Island, Florida |million. Fisher Island, Florida 33109 Priced from $6.5 million to 33109 $35 million. On-site sales pavilion: 305 535 6071 Now under construction Fisher Island, Florida 33109 Now under construction | One Fisher Island Drive, Now under construction | On-site sales pavilion: 305 535 6071 Priced from $6.5 million to $35 million. On-site sales pavilion: 305 535 One Fisher Island Drive, Fisher Island, Florida 33109 On-site sales pavilion: 305 5356071 6071 Now under construction One Fisher Island | Drive, | Fisher Island, Florida 33109 | On-site sales pavilion: 30533109 535 6071 Fisher Island, Florida Fisher Island Drive, OneOne Fisher Island Drive, One Fisher Island Drive, | Fisher Island, Florida 33109 Fisher Island, Florida 33109 Fisher Island, Florida 33109 One Fisher Island Drive, Fisher Island, Florida 33109

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South Florida OPULENCE






SALES GALLERY AT 1010 NE 2ND AVENUE, MIAMI, FL 33132 855.617.3680 /



T o p F E AT U R E S



44 The Man Behind Today’s Brigade of Gurkhas The World’s Finest Cigars

58 The princess of panache

Inside the Enchanted Walls of Interior Designer Perla Lichi

64 The Arkenstone Discover the New Art Class of Natural Treasures

70 Heaven on Earth: Bali


South Florida OPULENCE

Summer 2015

102 Non-Sensible Art of Tom Holland

F O RT L AU D E R DA L E ’ S O N LY N E W T RU E B E AC H F R O N T R E S I D E N C E S An exceptional development from the team behind many of South Florida’s most desirable properties, including Jade Beach, Jade Ocean, Murano Grande, and Apogee. With lifestyle amenities and services from the brand behind award-winning residential and resort destinations, including Esperanza, Auberge du Soleil, and Calistoga Ranch.




Obtain the property report required by federal law and read it before signing anything. No federal agency has judged the merits or value, if any, of this property. Oral representations cannot be relied upon as correctly stating the representations of the developer. For correct representations, make reference to this brochure and to the documents required by section 718.503, Florida statutes, to be furnished by a developer to a buyer or lessee. This is not intended to be an offer to sell, or solicitation of an offer to buy, condominium units to residents of CT, ID, NY, NJ and OR, unless registered or exemptions are available, or in any other jurisdiction where prohibited by law, and your eligibility for purchase will depend upon your state of residency. This offering is made only by the Prospectus for the Condominium and no statement should be relied upon if not made in the Prospectus. Developer (as is defined herein below) reserves the right to revise or modify designs and construction specifications. All depictions of appliances, fixtures, counters, soffits, wall coverings, floor coverings, furnishings, closets, and other matters of detail, including, without limitation, items of finish and decoration, are conceptual only and are not necessarily the final finishes and details included with the purchase of a Unit. The managing entities, operators, hotel operators, amenities, resort managers, spas, restaurants, and other features referred to are accurate as of the date of this publication; however, there is no guarantee that these will not change. Dimensions and square footage of the Units are approximate and may vary with actual construction. This Condominium is being developed by PRH Fairwinds, LLC (“Developer”), which has a limited right to use the trademarked names and logos used herein pursuant to a license and marketing agreement. The Related Group, Fortune International Group, and The Fairwinds Group are not, singularly nor jointly, the developer. No real estate broker is authorized to make any representations or other statements regarding the project, and no agreements with, deposits paid to or other arrangements made with any real estate broker are or shall be binding on the Developer. All prices are subject to change. Services and products offered by any spa, resort, concierge, beach club, restaurant, or other vendor are offered for a fee. Consult the Prospectus for the site plan and the location of the Unit you desire. © 2014, PRH Fairwinds, LLC. All rights reserved. Unless otherwise noted, the content is owned by Developer and the unauthorized reproduction, display or other dissemination constitutes copyright infringement.


34  Love Letters


Ryan O’Neal and Ali MacGraw Back Together on Stage

Performing Art in the Landscape

36 The New Liquid Gold Rare Vintage Whisky

 the Summer Kitchen:

74  The Reawakening 78


of Castelfalfi  agical History Tour M The Revolutionary Hermione Voyage 2015

Take a Bow, Oscar! Oscar Lopez, Winner of the Project Runway Spinoff “Under The Gunn,” Takes Couture to a New Level at Mar-A-Lago in Palm Beach

40 Brandtenders Spirited Expertise for a Savvy Investor

50 Chef Geoffrey Zakarian Reimagines New York’s Iconic Palm Court

54  world-class wine pairings For world-class dry-aged steaks & chops Master Sommelier Virginia Philip and Master Butcher Walter Apfelbaum offer stellar wine and meat pairings

87  Shutter Chassé The Photography of Silvia Pangaro


South Florida OPULENCE

Summer 2015

Idyllic Pont des Amoureux Poetic Complications watch, white gold, diamonds, “contre-jour” enamel, mechanical movement with retrograde hours and minutes.

Haute Joaillerie, place Vendôme since 1906

BAL HARBOUR - 9700 Collins Avenue - 305-866-0899


features (continued)

124 Legacy of the International Red Cross Ball


Top Luxury Spas for summer

96  Mrs. Palm Beach

127 My Life with Alzheimer’s 128 Princess Yasmin

An Exclusive Interview with Philanthropist, Author and Socialite Hilary Geary Ross

Honors Her Mother Rita Hayworth Through Alzheimer’s Association with Replicas of Her Mother's Iconic Jewelry

130 Why I Wrote “Still Alice” 99  Mighty McLaren Racing Legend Bruce McLaren’s Vision Alive and Well in the 570S Supercar Debut

I Wrote Still Alice Because I Am a Granddaughter and a Neuroscientist

132 A Rarity Most Beloved The Latest Discovery of a Shakespeare First Folio

106 The Artist as an Entrepreneur

108 Attila JK Abstract Expressionist

110  PARAMOUNT Miami Worldcenter


City Within a City

112  Sky’s the limit South Florida’s Finest Developers Demand the Best Property Management for Discerning Residents



Calendar of Events


Dining Guide




Women’s Beauty & Accessories


Men’s Grooming


Real Estate




Condo Law


Condo Insurance


Condo Living


Social Living 140, 142, 144 24

South Florida OPULENCE

Summer 2015

Miami, 10 NE 39th Street, Miami Design District, 305.573.4331 Los Angeles , Pacific Design Center, 8 6 87 Melrose Avenue, Suite G170, 310.35 8.0 9 01 New York, Decoration & Design Building, 979 Third Avenue, Suite 1424, 212.334.1271

editor’s letter

Are You Well Informed? In today’s society of social media, many young Americans get their news in short blips. Some refer to them as the “under-informed” generation, a risky label when it comes to making sound, life-impacting decisions. However, if you’re among the 20-somethings reading this, don’t take offense. History shows no matter what our age, we can all use a reminder to read and research – and make our own “well-informed” decisions. To add a bit of levity to a rather serious subject, consider these common “facts” most of us were taught in school that are, as it turns out, not so factual. Quiz yourself: 1. Who invented the lightbulb? 2. Who discovered America?

HORIZON PUBLISHING Executive PUBLISHER & Owner Geoff Hammond, CEO Jayne Hammond, President Associate PUBLISHERS Mark Blackburn David Hammond EDITOR IN CHIEF Robin Jay SENIOR CREATIVE ART DIRECTOR Adriana Naylor 954-331-3912 PR AND MARKETING MANAGER Chantal Forster 954-331-3390 Business Development director Erika Buchholz 954-609-2447

3. What’s in a camel’s hump? 4. What are diamonds made of? 5. What country invented champagne? 6. Why are flamingos pink? 7. Who held the first title as President of the United States? 8. Did Van Gogh cut off his ear? Easy stuff, right? You may be surprised. There is almost always more to the story than meets the eye. Consider the answers to the previous questions: Thomas Edison didn’t “invent” the lightbulb; he improved it by creating one that used reduced current electricity. Christopher Columbus didn’t “discover” America; Leif Eriksson beat him to it in 1,000 AD. It’s true that a camel can go seven days without drinking – but what’s inside a camel’s hump is not water, it’s fat. If you thought diamonds are derived from coal, think again. The gem is formed from shafts of volcanic rock. Grapes from the first champagne did come from that region in France, but the first bubbly champagne was made in England by Brits who imported the grapes and fermented them. Pink and orange flamingos get their color from eating carotene-filled algae, not from shellfish. The first man to hold the title “Presi-

BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT CONSULTANT Michael Jay 954-593-5060 Contributing Writers: John D. Adams Alena Klenot Carol Antman Linda Marx Michael Bender, Esq. Robert A. Newman, Ph.D. Scott Buser Jill Patterson Kyla Coker Andy Rand Rafael Cruz Ava Roosevelt Jana Soeldner Danger Todd R. Sciore Bill and Luciana Dugan Alex Starace April Erhard Joshua Stone James Espey, OBE Clifton N. Thuma Lisa Genova Carleton Varney Julia Hebert Alex Villasuso Steven Joseph Mary & Hugh Williamson Dale King

dent of the United States” was John Hanson – who served under the Articles of Confederation, but not under the Constitution – a reminder not to be fooled by vague questions. And the earlobe of artist Vincent van Gogh was indeed cut off, but two German historians recently published evidence showing he didn’t cut it off himself. It was sliced off in a sword fight by his friend (and fine fencer) French artist Paul Gauguin. Historian Hans Kaufmann explained to ABC News, “[Van Gogh] became very aggressive when Gauguin said he was leaving him for good. Gauguin, wanting to defend himself and get rid of ‘the madman’ drew his weapon and made a move toward Van Gogh and by that he cut off his left ear. Gauguin left the next day and the two men never saw each other again. In the first letter that Vincent van Gogh wrote after the incident, he told Gauguin, ‘I will keep quiet about this and so will you.’ That apparently was the beginning of the ‘pact of silence.’ ” Had the historians taken the traditional story about Van Gogh at face value and not embarked on their own studies, the world may still be under informed on the subject. Certainly, the fact fallacies mentioned here aren’t life altering, but they serve as encouragement to stay informed, do your research, check sources and think for yourself before making decisions on important matters. At South Florida Opulence, we wish you a summer rich in reading and thinking. Robin Jay, Editor-in-Chief 26

South Florida OPULENCE

Summer 2015

Photographers Harry Benson Lori Garner Douglas Lance Natasha Kertes Silvia Pangaro Heidi Somes PROOFREADER Suzanne Shaw South Florida Opulence Magazine is published quarterly by Horizon Publishing LLC. Copyright © 2015. All rights reserved. Horizon Publishing LLC, 6700 North Andrews Avenue, Suite 400, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309 – Vol. 5, No. 2 Summer 2015 (ISSN # 2157-5274) Subscription Rates: $40 per year, $10 per issue. For subscription inquiries or change of address, contact the subscription department, (954) 308-4300 Ext. 4312, Fax: (954) 331-6028. Horizon Publishing, LLC, its affiliates and contributing writers have exercised due care in compiling the information contained herein, but with the possibility of human or mechanical error, cannot assume liability for the accuracy of this data. This publication may not be reproduced or transmitted in part or in full in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording and any information storage and retrieval system without first obtaining permission from the publisher.


For ultra-secure, private storage and moving services, trust RoboVault. Our facility offers flawless protection for all your collectibles, from vehicles to wine. Our highly-trained fine art and antique handlers can be trusted with anything from a favorite painting to your entire household. Whether you want to store a piece of jewelry or move a priceless piece of art, you’ll have peace of mind.

PACKING • CRATING • SHIPPING • MOVING • STORAGE • SECURITY For more information or to request a complimentary on-site estimate, call 954-766-9997 or visit Summer 2015

South Florida OPULENCE


gadgets The Amphibious Sub-Surface Watercraft This is the partially submersible watercraft that provides above- and underwater viewing options, driving right off a trailer and into the water without the need for a crane, tender vessel, or dock. Ideal for exploring underwater environments without the need for a fully submersible craft, this one is composed of a buoyant above-water upper hull and two-person cockpit that provides 180º surface views. Price $300,000.

Polaroid Socialmatic Camera Combines the nostalgic appeal of vintage Polaroid instant print cameras with the ability to share using the camera’s built-in Wi-Fi and Android™ interface. 4GB Memory, Expandable to 32GB. MRSP $299.99.

SONY 65" class (64.5” diag) 4K Ultra HD TV • HD is upscaled to impressive 4K Ultra HD1,2 • Streaming 4K Ultra HD is enhanced for improved clarity2,3 • Brilliant, expanded color with TRILUMINOS™ display • Ultra-thin floating style shows all picture with no bezel • Skip the menu and access the top video services fast • Precise motion clarity with Motionflow™ XR 960 MFSR $2,200 www.

Apple Watch Sport The Sport collection cases are made from lightweight anodized aluminum in silver and space gray. The display is protected by strengthened Ion-X glass. And the matching fluoroelastomer band comes in five different colors.


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Summer 2015

dare to be different

PERsHing 115' 108' 92' 82' 74' 70' new 64' 62' 50'.1

a ferretti group brand









Up & Coming Events JUNE




Sushi & Stroll Summer Walks


Lisa Lampanelli “Leaner Meaner Tour” Seminole Hard Rock LiveHollywood

Visitors are also invited to indulge in Pan-Asian cuisine from Morikami’s Cornell Café.



12 Huey Lewis and The News

Seminole Hard Rock LiveHollywood Show Start Time: 8:00PM The “Heart of Rock and Roll” is still beating as icons Huey Lewis and The News return to Hard Rock Live at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on Friday, June 12




At The Parker Playhouse

Adrienne Arsht Center Ziff Ballet Opera House

Ottmar Liebert & Luna Negra

Begins June 12, 2015. Morikami welcomes guests on select Friday evenings throughout the summer to experience and explore its Japanese gardens, cold drink in hand. Sip craft sake selections from Stacole Fine Wines – some sweet, sparkling, creamy, or even in a can – that you might not find anywhere else in South Florida.


Risqué comedian and equal opportunity offender Lisa Lampanelli will perform at Hard Rock Live at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on Friday, June 5, 2015 at 8 p.m. Tickets go on sale Friday, January 16 at 10 a.m. Fans will have access to presale tickets beginning Thursday, January 15 at 10 a.m.


Twice named “New Age Artist of the Year” by Billboard magazine, five-time Grammy Award-nominee and nouveau flamenco guitarist, Ottmar Liebert, brings his richly textured and sensuous musical style described as “poetic sunshine at midnight” to the Parker Playhouse. Considered one of the most successful instrumental artists of the past two decades. Experience this “million-fingered” guitar master as he performs his classical yet futurist and evocative music with his dynamic band – Luna Negra.

Experience this modern retelling of Alice in Wonderland when your favorite Wonderland characters defy gravity in this circus-infused marvel for all ages! Journey down the rabbit hole and immerse yourself in Alice's magical world when the Ziff Ballet Opera House stage is transformed into an intimate 450-seat theater space. You will feel like you are in Wonderland with Alice - from every seat!




12-8/30 2-11 Women, Art, and Social Change: The Newcomb Pottery Enterprise

Looking Glass Alice

Love Letters

Peter Pan

Amaturo Theater at The Broward Center for the Performing Arts

Au-Rene Theater The Broward Center for the Performing Arts Starring Ali MacGraw and Ryan O’Neal. Andrew Makepeace Ladd III wrote his first letter to Melissa Gardner to tell her she looked like a lost princess. They were both seven years old. For the next fifty years, through personal triumphs and despair, through wars and marriages and children and careers, they poured out the secrets of their hearts to each other. They defied a fate that schemed to keep them apart, and lived – through letters – for the one most meaningful thing, their undying love for each other.

Wolfsonian- Sixth Floor Gallery, The Wolfsonian–FIU

The largest presentation of Newcomb arts and crafts in more than twenty-five years. One of the most significant American art potteries of the twentieth century, Newcomb works are a graceful union of form and decoration inspired by the flora and fauna of the Gulf Coast of Louisiana. Each piece is one of a kind—and collectively they create a distinctive Southern art form.

Join our talented Young Professionals as they fly away to the magical world of Neverland with Peter Pan, the boy who won't grow up, in one of the world's most celebrated and enchanting musical tales of all time. Enjoy all the charm of the timeless classic with highflying action, the evil Captain Hook, a crocodile and, of course, Tinkerbell! Full of mischievous fun. www. Summer 2015

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works of american masters


Boca Ballet

Seminole Hard Rock LiveHollywood Show starts at 8PM. Legendary Rock ‘n’ Roll Band Whitesnake Bring “The Purple Tour” to Hard Rock Live.

8/1 7:30PM • 8/2 2PM Featuring Serenade, the first ballet legendary George Balanchine choreographed in America, this compelling program focuses on the Masters of American Ballet.

Adrienne Arsht Center KINKY BOOTS Dec. 8-13, 2015

Motown The Musical Feb. 2-7, 2016

The Sound of Music Dec.29-Jan. 3, 2016

The Phantom of the opera Feb. 24-March 6, 2016

Deep within a forest, at the summit of a volcano, exists an extraordinary world - a world where something else is possible. A world called Varekai. From the sky falls a solitary young man, and the story of Varekai begins. Parachuted into the shadows of a magical forest, a kaleidoscopic world populated by fantastical creatures, this young man sets off on an adventure both absurd and extraordinary. On this day at the edge of time, in this place of all possibilities, begins an inspired incantation to life rediscovered. The word Varekai means “wherever” in the Romany language of the gypsies the universal wanderers. This production pays tribute to the nomadic soul, to the spirit and art of the circus tradition, and to the infinite passion of those whose quest takes them along the path that leads to Varekai. For special offers for readers of South Florida Opulence, go to or for public pricing, go to



Ladies Night

Legends Lounge Every Thursday beginning January 2015 live entertainment and champagne specials.

Wine Down Wednesdays

Sorrisi Every Wednesday beginning January 2015 wine specials and small bites at the Sorrisi Wine Bar.


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Summer 2015

t h e a t e r By Jana Soeldner Danger An exclusive interview:

Ryan O’Neal and Ali MacGraw Back Together Onstage in 'Love Letters' They were on-screen lovers 45 years ago in a tearjerker film that became a classic. Now Ali MacGraw and Ryan O’Neal, stars of the movie Love Story, are together again. They’ll be onstage in Fort Lauderdale this summer in a live performance of A.R. Gurney’s enduring romance Love Letters. In the 1970 blockbuster movie, the two played Oliver Barrett IV, an upper-class Harvard law student, and Jenny Cavalleri, a working-class classical music student at Radcliff. The two marry despite objections of Oliver’s father, who cuts off his inheritance. They live happily until Jenny is diagnosed with a terminal illness. She eventually dies in her husband’s arms. Love Story was considered by the American Film Institute as one of the most romantic, and highest-grossing, movies of its time. Love Letters is a very different romance, telling a story of first loves, lost opportunities and second chances. Andrew Makepeace Ladd III (O’Neal) and Melissa Gardner (MacGraw) are two young people from similar backgrounds who take very different paths in life. Although they marry other people, they cannot seem to let go of each other, and they maintain a 50-year friendship through a series of letters. Following a Broadway run, Gregory Mosher’s production of Love Letters will open at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts on


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Summer 2015

July 21 and continue through July 26. “It’s really fun,” MacGraw said. “Ryan and I have history and chemistry, and we really know each other, so it really rings true.” “It felt like I was back in Love Story and hadn’t aged a day,” said O’Neal, 74. “It was magic.” “The project attracted me because it’s moving, believable, a slice of life,” MacGraw said. “The message of Love Letters is much different than Love Story. Does it feel familiar? Yes. But it’s not the same story. This is a grownup take on love. The characters we play had lives, marriages and children. The underlying message is: If only they had said what they were really feeling.” “It’s a love affair that missed the boat,” O’Neal added wryly.

Reminiscing Love Story The Hollywood icons have many happy memories of making Love Story – and some not so much. They recalled a scene in Boston dressed in light clothing on a freezing winter day. “They wrapped us in blankets,” MacGraw said. “Then they pulled them off and said, ‘sorry, we have to shoot.’ Our teeth chattered and our hands were turned blue.” Will acting onstage differ from acting in a movie? “I was onstage once, and it was the most paralyzing performance of my life,” she

admitted. “But when it clicks, it’s thrilling. You feel the audience with you, and the experience becomes bigger than just people onstage.” Could a story like Love Letters happen today in a world of emails and social media? “Letters that are written by hand have a different energy than ones written on a computer,” she said. “There’s an intimacy in them when we take time to really express ourselves. The characters wrote each other all the time; you feel their relationship in every single letter.” “Letters can also be a wonderful way for a writer to tell a story. It’s a lovely theatrical device,” O’Neal said. If Love Letters is a story of chances missed, would the actors change anything about their own lives? “I never waste my time with regrets,” MacGraw said. “Doing the play is a real adventure, and we’re so lucky,” O’Neal said. Tickets to Love Letters are available online at



GOLD By James Espey, OBE


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Summer 2015


n the uncertain world of 2015, wealthy investors are looking to spread their risk by selecting a wide range of investments from shares to property and also high-value items such as rare paintings, watches and fine wine. More recently, they are starting to discover that old vintage whisky is becoming an extremely popular asset class, showing exciting growth in a low inflationary environment.

Discerning investors have always enjoyed both the social and fiscal advantages of investing in fine wines, such as first growth Bordeaux and top burgundies like Domaine Romanee Conte. Indeed, until recently, it was an investor’s dream, and as a consumable, exempt from capital gains taxes in countries where this is applied. Three interesting negatives have slowed down, almost to a standstill, growth in fine wine in recent years. Firstly, China was a burgeoning market and gift giving of fine wine, slightly akin to bribery at times. Top clarets and burgundies were being bid for at auctions all over the world by the wealthy Chinese.

“While the concept of liquid investment is not new, Scotch is becoming a popular bet with limited editions changing hands for six figure sums. Buyers are typically businessmen from America, Europe and Asia, and the rise in value is attributed to scarcity.  Andy Simpson, a founder of Rare Whisky 101, a brokerage firm, said that blended whiskies from the 1950s could fetch more than £26,000 (circa $40,000).”  Men’s Journal on March 4th said that whisky has become a collector’s item, an investment portfolio and an extremely valuable commodity.  There is escalating international demand and decreasing supply is driving increasing serious returns.  According to information from The Platinum Whisky Investment Fund, the top whiskies have appreciated

The Chinese Premier Li Keqiang is stamping down on corruption vigorously and, as a result, the sale of fine wine has dropped dramatically. A second problem with wine is the concern with counterfeiting, and there have been a number of cases in recent years of people being convicted of passing off inferior wine as first growth claret. A third negative is that fine wine needs to be stored in climatecontrolled conditions to preserve its value and, on some occasions, the wine is corked or suffering from some other problem.  On the other hand, whisky can be kept safely in reasonable conditions, as long as it is looked after properly and in a place where the temperature is reasonably constant.

A shortage of good vintage whisky Whilst I am primarily involved with Scotch whisky, I have worked in the total industry for many years and have followed the growth of whiskies globally. Ten years ago, bourbon was stagnant in the USA, and today not only is it in short supply but more importantly, consumers are searching out the best bourbons for their private collections and investment. Prices are rising rapidly. Good vintage Japanese whiskies are becoming very popular and it is almost a cult drink today.  Old Canadian whiskies are growing in appreciation and importance.  I would suggest that readers should follow The Whisky Magazine Index, which has tracked the explosion in the auction scene that has taken off in the UK, U.S., Europe and Asia.  In Scotch whisky, The Macallan has been ranked top for five years, though it is now being challenged by the prices of Karuizawa, a Japanese brand and, of course, in the USA by Van Winkle.  Let me quote from a few recent articles – The Times (UK), Friday February 20th, 2015.

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While the concept of liquid investment is not new, Scotch is becoming a popular bet with limited editions changing hands for six figure sums.

in value from 130 percent to a staggering 230 percent in a few years.

A Caveat There has been a lot of talk recently about non-aged whiskies.

Internet and Auctions

If you wish to drink non-aged whiskies, do so, but I would guard There is clearly a growing interest in against investing in anything without a vintage, which will guarancollecting rare whisky through live tee its true history. A number of whisky brands are pushing nonor Internet auctions, but in addition, aged brands because the reality is they have run out of aged stock there are special trading platforms, and they are stretching what they have by being more flexible.  such as BottleSpot, one of the first I am also wary of over fancy packaging, a problem which I believe markets designed specifically has affected the sales of cognac.  If I am paying a lot of money for trading liquor online.  for something I value, be it an old watch or painting or a bottle of The site now exists as a Scotch, I want to know its true pedigree and feel comfortable that I have not been duped.

The Last Drop Whilst of course I may be biased, I have had the privilege of working with and creating some of the great brands in our industry, such as Johnnie Walker Blue Label, Chivas Regal 18 and The Classic Malts. Seven years ago, however, I decided to form a company The Last Drop Distillers Limited with the slogan “before there is no more.”  In a nutshell, big companies, understandably, are interested in volume and good luck to them.  On the other hand, I want The Last Drop to be the world’s most exclusive spirits company and therefore we are hunters seeking the odd barrel or two tucked away in a cellar somewhere.

mix of vendors who have listed over 100,000 bottles this past year and a half and there is also a growing interest from private sellers who are actively listing their collections.

Here Is My Advice If you are interested in the whisky phenomenon, start by buying two bottles of whatever you like, the idea being to drink one with your discerning friends and sell the other, which will more than pay for both after a few years. I predict growth of a true vintage whisky of repute of at least 25 percent per annum for the foreseeable future. If you are a serious investor, then set aside whatever you deem appropriate financially, take advice and invest in good old whisky stock of all types now.  I also believe that in the next few years old grain whiskies from different regions will grow in importance and value because of the unique balance, flavour and taste profile – I call them the gems of tomorrow.


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Summer 2015

Our first release was a 1960 whisky blend of only 1,347 bottles, all since sold. Our second release was 478 bottles of a 1950 cognac and there are 20 bottles left.  Our third release was 388 bottles of a 50-year-old whisky, voted by The Jim Murray Whisky Bible and the Whisky Advocate as the best Scotch whisky in the world in 2014 – all have been sold and essentially they have all doubled in value in a very short space of time. We have just released 592 bottles of a 1965 (48-year-old blend) that The Jim Murray Bible has voted the best Scotch whisky in the world for 2015 with yet another 96.5 score.  The good news is 180 bottles are available in the USA through our importer

What Should You Do? I am very confident that for a long time ahead investment in Scotch whisky will do extremely well. It is a fun and rewarding investment and also a hobby which essentially is part of one’s social life.  You can make money out of your investment, you can enjoy it with your friends or you can do both. What fun to be with like-minded people and have an evening enjoying the very best whiskies of all types from all over the globe.  

Brandtenders: Spirited Expertise for a Savvy Investor By Alex Villasuso

If you’re an adventurous entrepreneurial millennial like me, you’re intrigued by the booming trend in craft beers and, especially, craft spirits. After all, I may have a few more decades of saving to do before I can drive a Bugatti, but the professional 20-something that I am now can enjoy immediate luxury-lifestyle gratification through an occasional sip of fine Scotch, bourbon or a premium aged rum.


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Summer 2015

As a result of this unprecedented spike in craft-spirit popularity, budding tastemak-



he $200 billion U.S. beverage alcohol market consists of three distinct segments: beer, wine and distilled spirits. The distilled spirits segment makes up $76 billion. Over the past 15 years, distilled spirits has expanded into the fastest-growing segment of the industry, increasing market share from 28.7 percent in 2000 to 36.7 percent in 2013. This trend is forecast to continue through 2024, and is being driven by a shift in taste among younger adults who have historically been more inclined to drink beer, but are now preferring spirits.

Meet the Brandtenders Team (l-r): Guillermo Rodriguez, Ken Sutter and Clive Kabatznik.

ers want to know how to turn their home-based hobby into a business and well-seasoned investors are wondering how to capitalize on the opportunity.

Introducing Brandtenders Since 2009, more than 400 craft brands have opened in the U.S. One might wonder where all that funding came from, how they got distributors to notice them, and how they’ve built their brand. In general, the early stage funding of independent and craft spirit brands has been financed on an individual “friends and family” basis. Once a brand gains local or

regional traction, valuations climb and more sophisticated investors, including some big industry players, become investors. Until now, there has been no vehicle for early stage investors to participate in a “portfolio” approach. But that’s about to change. You see, a team of savvy spirits-industry veterans has launched Brandtenders – an emerging spirit venture capital fund designed to unite the best budding spirit brand entrepreneurs with high-net-worth investors seeking an equity share in the escalating emerging spirits market. “My partners and I were independently trying to raise money for our own spirit brands, Summer 2015

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and we realized we were running into the same people,” said Rodriguez, an industry veteran and sixth-generation member of the Bacardi family (yes, THE Bacardi family). Rodriguez spent 19 years working in the family business and is currently the founder of 4 Corners Spirits, a company dedicated to the development of premium alcoholic beverages. With a proven track record of working together to deliver superior brand volume and value growth through complementary capabilities, the founders of Brandtenders have come together to launch the industry’s first-of-its-kind emerging and craft spirits investment fund. The novel program focuses on building a portfolio of early stage investments that will enable promising new independent brands to develop and grow into significant players in the premium and ultra-premium spirit space.

Meet the Team The fund will be managed by Guillermo T. Rodriguez, Clive Kabatznik and Ken Sutter, an all-star team of industry experts with complementary capabilities in general, and commercial management, finance, accounting and private equity within federally regulated industries. “There are many reasons why there continues to be a lot of excitement in the distilled spirits industry, one of which is today’s consumers search for brands that suit not only their taste buds but also their demands for quality products that fit their lifestyle occasions. As the larger industry players struggle to deliver against this consumer experience, it has opened a new opportunity for small distillers and entrepreneurs to develop and invest in quality spirit brands, while at the same time having some fun doing it,” said Rodriguez.

the founder of Silverstar Holdings, a publicly traded company established to acquire, own and operate middle market companies. Because of the trends in the spirits market, there is a huge need to differentiate. And, by approaching from a portfolio standpoint, the fund will provide growth capital, offer industry expertise to support the brands development and, in return, gain equity. “Brandtenders takes advantage of the tremendous investment opportunity around emerging spirit brands with high margins providing strong future cash flows. Our team will provide the necessary due diligence around all spirit acquisitions, identifying both innovative founders and developing strong potential start-up brands with character,” said fund manager Ken Sutter. Ken has over 30 years of industry experience, having served in many key roles including Global Controller for Bacardi Limited and CFO for Bacardi USA, making his expertise in premium spirits acquisition models invaluable.

The Route to Market The fund has entered into a partnership with Fluid Spirit Holdings, an affiliated company that provides distilled spirit and development expertise along with sales, creative marketing and activation services to emerging spirit and wine brands. Fluid is able to provide Brandtenders with constant access to potential emerging spirit brands and portfolio investments. Fluid was founded by Todd Graham who built a legacy in the adult beverage industry as the founder of TEAM Enterprise, now the 8th largest marketing agency in the U.S. and former president of the Night Club & Bar show.

“Brandtenders takes advantage of the tremendous investment opportunity around fund raise of $30 million will proemerging spirit brands Anvideinitial investors access to 4-6 promising early What makes the Brandtenders’ fund especially stage opportunities at attractive valuawith high margins tions. Within four to six years, the fund will unique is the partners’ turnkey expertise from fermentation, aging and blending, to marproviding strong leverage Brandtenders’ vertical “route-tomarket” team of industry experts to build keting and sales, distribution and finance, all in one place. The fund has industry veterans future cash flows.” its portfolio companies into credible indus-

experienced in identifying the right brands try brands that will garner excellent second – Fund Manager Ken Sutter and entrepreneurs and backing them while and third round valuations and ultimately providing a broad range of expertise that exlook to exit either through an industry ponentially increases a brand’s ability to stand out in a crowded trade sale or public offering. For investors, the minimum fund contribumarket, offering investors in the space a much greater chance tion is $1 million. The principals of the fund will commit a minimum of $2 million of their own capital to the portfolio as an expression of of success. their commitment. “Brandtenders is an alternative asset investment vehicle offering high-net-worth individuals and family offices a unique opportunity With the craft spirits space booming, the elements are in place to participate in the booming North American craft spirits resur- for Brandtenders to revolutionize the approach to seed and gence. The fund aims to generate venture capital type returns of over early stage investments in nascent spirits brands to provide poten30 percent per annum, rivaling the results of the more successful tra- tial for unparalleled returns. For information about submitting ditional Silicon Valley-based firms,” said fund manager, Clive Kabatznik. a spirits brand proposal to Brandtenders, or request an Clive brings extensive experience leading the acquisition, growth investment prospectus, go to and sale of numerous private and public businesses and is currently or contact


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Summer 2015

Yo u r h e a l t h i s o u r p r i o r i t y .

It’s Different Here With the new Optimal Wellness Program, The Spa at Turnberry Isle Miami is pushing beyond the traditional definition of the spa. Created in partnership with two leading South Florida experts, Dr. Ellen Lebow and Dr. Michael Braun, this revolutionary program empowers guests to take charge of their own health. The takeaway? A prevention-based plan wholly suited to their unique situation and the peace of mind that comes with taking charge of their health. both day and overnight packages are available.

complimentary consultation and $100 off all prp (platelet rich plasma) treatments.

25,000 square feet of luxury spa and fitness facilities | Tricho Salon | 36 holes of golf | private beach full service marina | michael mina’s bourbon steak | cañas tennis | corsair by scott conant

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Kaizad Hansotia

The Man Behind Today’s Brigade of Gurkhas – The World’s Finest Cigars By Robin Jay


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Summer 2015

A woman is only a woman, but a good cigar is a Smoke” were the words of Nobel Prize winner and bachelor Rudyard Kipling in 1886 in his poem ‘The Betrothed,’ which answered his fiancée Maggie’s ultimatum: “You must choose between me and your cigar.” The Bombay-born English poet, known for writing tales of British soldiers in India, responded in the famous poem, “For Maggie has written a letter to give me my choice between the wee little whimpering Love and the great god Nick o’ Teen.” Need I say which prevailed? In that same era, Rudyard Kipling wasn’t alone is his passion for tightly rolled bundles of fermented dried tobacco. Kaizad Hansotia – perhaps today’s modern-day Kipling – explains why, “Some 300 years ago, in God-forsaken mosquito hell-holes like Madras, India, brave Nepalese soldiers known as Gurkhas fought feverishly for their British Queen. In those days, long before television or Poet Rudyard Kipling posing with the Internet, to keep these his beloved cigar. fearless soldiers happy and entertained and to prevent them from rioting in between military conflicts, they were supplied with plenty of tobacco and rum. Colonial soldiers began to make their own cigars from the local tobacco. Because of the British fondness for the legendary Nepalese fighters, soldiers named these cigars Gurkhas.”

The Gurkha Renaissance Fast-forward to 1989. While vacationing in Goa, India, Kaizad Hansotia happened on to a man rolling cigars – Gurkha cigars. He purchased one and lit it up. “It was a fantastically rich blend of tobacco – one I had never tasted before,”

Gurkhas are the cigar of choice for royalty, presidents, heads of state, sheiks, celebrities – and America’s finest elite special forces, including the Navy’s SEAL Team Six.

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said Hansotia, who at the time was in his family’s horology business and knew little about cigars. “When I expressed to the owner how much I enjoyed smoking the cigar, he explained that his brand was virtually dead. He agreed to sell me his entire lot, about 600 boxes, and the rights to the company for – are you ready for this? – $149.” At the time, the little-bit-tipsy Hansotia had no idea what a treasure-trove he had just landed. He gave the cigars as gifts to his duty-free watch vendors, clients, friends and family. “Then one day, an affluent client called me and asked if he could get some more of those Gurkha cigars – he didn’t care about price. Whatever it took, he wanted more.” Hansotia realized he was on to something special. “I got in touch with a friend who was a tobacco grower and I started researching cigars and tobacco and visiting factories,” he told South Florida Opulence. “I quickly noticed that there was no such thing as a super premium upscale cigar on the market. An $8 Davidoff was about as pricey as they got. I found that cigar companies might have different labels, but they all pretty much tasted the same – and they all came packaged in cheap paper or cardboard boxes. The market needed a finer alternative – it needed an investment quality, collectible cigar brand.” And so began the rebirth of Gurkha Cigars.

He achieved his dream by packaging the cigars in beautifully designed handcrafted cases made of fine materials – such as mahogany and teak woods – which some consider as collectible as the fine tobacco inside. The savvy cigar maker also added another intrinsically valuable component he gleaned from history books. “Back in the old days when warriors traveled on long ship voyages, they brought their tobacco leaves on board with them,” Hansotia explained. “They couldn’t store water in barrels (it would become musty tasting), so they drank alcohol. When their rum and sherry barrels became empty, they stored their tobacco in them because the moist wood kept the leaves hydrated. So essentially, 99 percent of cigars back then were made of alcohol-

The Rise of Small-Batch Collectible Cigars Since then, Hansotia has grown his small-batch, rare tobacco Gurkha Cigar Company into a conglomerate that produces the world’s finest and most expensive cigars in the industry.

His Majesty’s Reserve (HMR) Gurkha cigars are infused with Louis XIII Cognac and sell for up to $1,200 per cigar.


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Summer 2015

infused tobacco. I decided to follow these historic roots by infusing tobacco in a very limited edition Gurkha line called HMR (His Majesty’s Reserve), with the world’s finest cognac – Louis XIII.” Each box of 20 HMR cigars is infused with a full $2,400 bottle of Louis XIII Cognac. Each cigar is hand rolled with a 15-yearaged Connecticut maduro wrapper and a 12-year-aged Dominican Republic binder and filler. Only 100 boxes per year were produced, for three years. Production of the HMR has since ceased, making collectibility skyrocket. Each HMR cigar is wax-sealed in a glass tube and sells for up to $1,200 per stick ($25,000 per box). In 2012, a single box sold for as much as $85,000. That’s quite an accomplishment considering that a mere 15 years ago, the most expensive Davidoff cigar was just pocket change. Another Gurkha success story is the Black Dragon. Cloaked in a dark and hearty 5-year-aged Connecticut Broadleaf maduro wrapper, the Black Dragon reigns from Honduras and is a combination of a longleaf tobacco from the Dominican Republic bound with a binder from Cameroon. When released in its stunning humidor-quality box, it brought at launch as much as $125,000. In 2012, that same box sold for $685,000. Connoisseurs who prefer a rum-infused leaf may opt for the Gurkha Private Select. The medium-bodied Nicaraguan-leaf cigar burns with notes of nuts, toffee and cocoa, and is further enhanced by the infusion of Ron Abuelo Rum.

In 2015, Gurkha offers 35 distinct cigar labels. Hansotia and his team travel the world to hand select the finest tobaccos with the best flavor profiles. “People often ask why we don’t grow our own tobacco. The answer, to me, is obvious,” he said. “If a certain region has a year with a bad tobacco crop, the cigar brand that owns it is stuck with it. At Gurkha, we have the liberty to scout the best of the best tobacco each and every year. The world is our oyster. Less than 1 percent of the top 1 percent of tobacco meets the rigorously impeccable standards of a Gurkha.”

For Those Who Seek the Best of the Best Cigar collectors and connoisseurs can certainly tell the difference. It’s a luxury they’re willing to pay for handsomely. Gurkhas are the cigar of choice for royalty, presidents, heads of state, sheiks, celebrities – and America’s finest elite special forces, including the Navy’s SEAL Team Six. Hansotia equips SEALs with a specially designed Gurkha Special Ops case that securely holds their Gurkha cigars and a special issue K. Hansotia SEAL Team knife. After each successful SEAL Team mission – including the historic assassination of Osama bin Laden, the heroic warriors light up their celebratory Gurkha cigars and snap a photo with a Gurkha-logo banner to commemorate the victory. As Hansotia envisioned, Gurkha Cigars has become the world’s No. 1 collectible, investment quality cigar. It’s been said in cigar circles that millionaires may smoke Davidoff…but billionaires – and those who seek to be – smoke Gurkhas. Well done, Mr. Hansotia. Rudyard Kipling would approve. To find a cigar room that carries Gurkha Cigars or for more information about the elite brand, go to www.

The flagship Gurkha is the Grand Reserve, also a cognac-infused stick. It’s wrapped in a silky smooth 5-year-aged Connecticut leaf and a 3-year-aged filler and binder. Packaged in a glass tube with a gold-wax seal, each Grand Reserve cigar can bring $500 at retail.

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dining guide

Fort Lauderdale - Miami Beach - Miami M  odern Garden at Seaspice

Bagatelle 2000 Collins Avenue Miami Beach 305.704.3900 “From the moment we entered Bagatelle – with the comic book art mixed with chandeliers, white linens, fresh flowers Beet & Goat Cheese Salad and groove music – I knew we were in for a special experience,” said Michael Jay, husband of editor Robin Jay. Jay and son Ryan, a third-year culinary student at Johnson & Wales University, ordered the chef’s tasting menu. “We started with Yellowfin Tuna Tartar with avocado salad and lime soy vinaigrette, and the Ceviche de la Mer – the freshness and blend of herbs was spot on. The Gnocchi Yellowfin Tuna Tartar Truffles a la Parisienne – a very difficult dish to make homemade – was to-die-for. Executive Chef Matthieu Godard, who has worked all over the world and with celebrity Chef Daniel Boulud, is a genius in the kitchen,” said Ryan.

422 NW North River Drive Miami 305-440-4200 “This hot stone and crudo lounge is a spectacular addition to Seaspice in Miami,” Tuna at Modern Garden at Seaspice said Robin Jay, Editor in Chief of South Florida Opulence. The Modern Garden offers intimate dining on the Miami River in a sultry, renovated post-industrial warehouse. With an extraordinary natural wood art installation with hanging glass globes and an outdoor porch-like setting, Modern Garden offers an intriguing interactive hot-stone cook-at-your-table menu with innovative and fresh cuisine. “The fresh purple watercress salad with green goddess was a delicious start to our alfresco riverside dinner,” said Karen Bivins, Director of Samuel Lynne Galleries in Dallas. Michael Bivins, the Gallery’s CEO added, “Cooking on the sizzling hot stone right at our table made the experience so memorable. The Diver Sea Scallops with smoked potato puree and hazelnut butter was my favorite dish of the evening.”

“Do try the rack of lamb with chickpea hummus, sweet pepper piperade, tzatziki and harissa. The savory baked chicken with caramelized cipolini and button mushrooms was outstanding. Without doubt, this was the BEST meal I've had in Miami — ever!” Michael said.

Hot Rock Wagyu Beef

Lamb Horiatiki

“The Uni Canape Squid Ink Chips with citrus crème, lemon zest and smoked trout roe looked like the chef was serving us a plate of fine art,” said Michael Jay. “It was as uniquely delicious as it was beautiful.” Add Modern Garden to your summer plans for sure!

SEA  LEVEL RESTAURANT & OCEAN BAR at fort Lauderdale Marriott HaRbor Beach Resort & Spa  3030 Holiday Drive, Fort Lauderdale (954) 765-3041 “This seaside gem was a relaxing and delicious dining experience,” said Cara Kingan for South Florida Opulence. “I loved that flavorful freshness of the locally sourced vegetables.” Executive Chef Jason Connelly served a five-course farm-to-table inspired menu paired with locally brewed Funky Buddha beers. The housemade burrata with Palm Beach heirloom tomatoes was served with garden chive pesto and Sebastian Inlet Clams grilled ciabatta bread, paired perfectly with a Floridian Hefeweizen libation. The Sebastian Inlet Clams with Benton’s bacon and Paradise Farms kale was served with On Top Housemade Burrata, Heirloom Blonde Ale. It was followed by miso marinated cobia with pork fried rice, celery root puree and citrus foam Tomato & Floridian Hefeweizen – with a gutsy Hop Gun IPA. Next was a perfectly cooked New York strip steak with duck-fat potatoes with black-garlic butter, grilled broccoli rabe and Teena’s Pride cherry tomatoes. It was paired with Doc Brown Ale.

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Chef Geoffrey Zakarian Reimagines New York’s Iconic Palm Court

By Robin Jay

“Nothing unimportant ever happens at The Plaza” has served as common mantra practically since October 1, 1907, when Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt paid $2.50 and signed the guest registry as the hotel’s very first patron. Now, 107 years later, the iconic New York City landmark is still making headlines – this time by reimagining the venue’s iconic past. You see, celebrity Chef Geoffrey Zakarian has taken the helm at the venue’s Palm Court and – with his 30 years of culinary experience and reputation for old-world elegance – restored it to its full grandeur. “I have lived in New York City for 34 years,” Zakarian told South Florida Opulence. “So I really was determined to make The Palm Court have a historical tie into the city, yet be broadened in scope and menu offerings to partake in the modernity that has since taken hold in the hospitality industry, most specifically in hotel food and beverage areas.” Zakarian’s passion for The Plaza may have first sparked back in the day when he and


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Visitors want to

his wife would bring their children to Palm Court for the famous Eloise Tea. (After all, what parent could resist seeing his children light up when momentarily following in the footsteps of the young fictional movie lass who lived in The Plaza Hotel?)

hear the stories of the famous

“We had visited several times, both with and without my children, but The Palm Court is more than just an amusement ride or attraction; it needs to be always a meeting place for everyone. What better place than to take children to experience something larger than life than the corner of 59th and 5th Avenue?” he said.

presidents, dignitaries and celebrities – like F. Scott Fitzgerald

What “Zakarian” touches might guests now enjoy at The Palm Court? “There is now a beautiful bar with artisanal cocktails smack dab in the middle of the lobby, a sort of center of the universe approach,” Zakarian said. “I just love the small New York centric sandwiches on the tea service, as well as the spectacular cocktail list that my friend Brian Van Flandern created. We always look to introduce very New York City centric items and more seasonal items as much as possible.”

The “Spirit” of Palm Court Zakarian’s mixologist and right-hand-man, Van Flandern agrees. “Knowing the history of both the venue and the cocktails previously served provides a transcendent expeBrian Van Flandern rience for our guests,” he said. “Visitors want to hear the stories of the famous presidents, dignitaries and celebrities – like F. Scott Fitzgerald – who have graced the halls of this iconic New York City landmark. It brings great joy to our guests to be able to order cocktails in the same manner as the luminaries that have hung their hat at The Plaza Hotel since the turn of the century. It also adds a tactile dimension to a timeless experience. “Imagine enjoying a Red Rum Swizzle in a custom designed Plaza Tiki glass. The cocktail was served for over 30 years at Trader Vic’s, which resided in the basement of The Plaza from the ’60s to the ’90s where countless celebrities went to see and be seen. A

– who have graced the halls of this great many of the cocktails served in The Palm Court have rich histories. The opulent setting combined with the right libation makes one feel regal and relaxed.”

iconic New York City landmark.

And just what was Fitzgerald’s favorite cocktail? “One can imagine sitting in the same room as F. Scott Fitzgerald sipping on a Gatsby Mint Julep while he was writing The Great Gatsby, a cocktail which the character Gatsby himself drinks while visiting The Plaza Hotel,” added Van Flandern. “It is well documented that Fitzgerald himself was a notorious tippler. He was never for want of a drink while living at The Plaza, which is curious since his stay overlapped with Prohibition when the country was supposed to be dry! It is not generally known what his favorite drink of choice was, although we can surmise that Champagne, Canadian Whiskey and Cuban Rum ruled during that time frame.” For guests, there are plenty of other fascinating scenarios that can be gleaned about famous Plaza guests and their favorite libations throughout history. “It is not uncommon to find our guests sitting in The Palm Court flipping through my latest book Celebrity Cocktails while sipping on a Hemingway Daiquiri or an Orson Welles

Gatsby Mint Julep Summer 2015

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Negroni,” Van Flandern said. “This beautiful coffee-table book is a tribute to 100 years of Hollywood royalty and the cocktails that they either made famous or were famous for drinking. And the very first cocktail tells about Leonardo DiCaprio at The Plaza Hotel. “From the beginning, I worked with Chef Zakarian to create a menu that would bring New Yorkers back to the hotel bar. I put great thought into selecting the glassware

Zakarian, known for his fashion sense, design sagacity and artistry, goes above and beyond to create a newly enhanced dining experience at The Palm Court. How does one raise the bar when the bar appears already to be on its highest rung? I asked Zakarian how preparing for New York guests at The Palm Court compared to preparing for his Miami guests back when he opened Tudor House or Blue Door. “I never think of foodies in one city as more or less involved or knowledgeable,” Zakarian noted. “Rather, I wanted to take the history and dignity of the old Palm Court and freshen it up. Remember, plenty of

people have never been, so whatever they encounter will be new anyway! And there was so much there that was beautiful and relevant even today. Thierry Despont is a real design genius in knowing how far to push the envelope but always retaining the human feel of a space as grand as The Palm Court.” For both first timers to The Palm Court and seasoned patrons planning to see Zakarian’s personal touches for the first time, the Chef offers some sage advice: “Sit and have tea. Don’t leave. Then have a cocktail at 5:00 PM sharp!”

“I never think of foodies in one city as more or less involved or knowledgeable,” Zakarian noted. “Rather, I wanted to take the history and dignity of the old Palm Court and freshen it up. Remember, plenty of people have never been, so whatever they encounter will be new anyway!

Orson Welles Negroni and garnishes for The Palm Court cocktails. It greatly enhances a wonderful cocktail experience if the glass just feels right in your hand. Finally, I wanted to address the one component most often overlooked… phenomenal customer service. As my background was from a Michelin Three Star restaurant, I wanted to impart that attention to detail onto the guest experience. Great music, sublime atmosphere, tasty cocktails and fantastic service define the cocktail program at The Palm Court. Until our next cocktail together… Bottoms up!”

And Now, Back to the Meal Getting back to the food side of the menu, one might ponder how an Iron Chef like


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The Palm Court’s brioche French toast

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Poetry Poured & Plated Superb Wine, Steak and Chop Pairings Advised by Master Sommelier Virginia Philip and Expert Dry-Aged Butcher Walter Apfelbaum BY Clifton Thuma and robin jay

Wine is bottled poetry,” said legendary poet Robert Louis Stevenson. If he were here today, he’d likely agree that the only thing more epicuringly eloquent than fine wine is fine wine paired with a fine dry-aged steak or chop. And nothing could be finer than wine, steak and chop pairings chosen by Master Sommelier Virginia Philip and Expert Dry-Aged Butcher Walter Apfelbaum at NYY Steak at Seminole Casino Coconut Creek.

Meet Mr. Apfelbaum When you enter the lobby of NYY Steak, you see on display the masterful butcher shop where you might be greeted by Walter himself. He sees it as his mission to tell guests about the quality and flavor of the steaks he delivers onto their plates. South Florida Opulence spoke with Walter recently and heard a man not only very well-heeled in his craft, but also wildly passionate about it. He is the son of a butcher who learned the craft in the family’s butcher shop, so wielding a knife to carve the finest cuts of meat has been a lifelong experience. As a young man, he took a job at one of Hilton’s largest operations followed by a stint in Europe, learning the ‘old-fashioned way.’ And he schooled at New York’s acclaimed Culinary Institute of America. All this has made him an accomplished restaurateur and expert butcher. His talent makes him want his customers to know why his meats are so superior. “I want you to love the meats and that means you need to know about them.” Buying from a small Chicago supplier, Apfelbaum oversees the dry-aging of selected cuts. This process reduces the meat’s moisture and softens the muscle fibers, concentrating and enhancing the flavor. “There’s nothing more succulent,” he said.

Master Sommelier Virginia Philip Virginia Philip doesn’t have a shop at the restaurant—she has a staff. All the waiters have been trained by her to know the wine list she has thoughtfully created. As a Master Sommelier—the 11th woman in the world to achieve that distinction and one of only 26 today—she has matched the beautiful cuts on the menu with wines of commensurate quality. She chooses wines with tannins and complexity that pair best with the premium aged meats. For an unforgettable culinary experience, visit NYY Steak and select one of these duo-master pairings:

Pairing 1: Walter: The Cowboy Ribeye is the fattiest and richest tasting steak we have; it reminds me of a fine aged blue cheese.

Walter Apfelbaum

Virginia: Pair the Cowboy Ribeye with Faust by Quintessa Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, 2010. The beautiful ruby color reveals bright black cherry, cola and warm spice aromas mingled with white chocolate, delicate floral layers and a crème brulee vanilla note from sweet oak.


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Pairing 2: Walter: Our Boneless New York Strip steaks are much leaner than the ribeye, but very dense and delicate at the same time, with hints of nuts and butter. It’s just a very smooth and soft steak. Our bone-in NY Strip is a bit richer in the nut and butter flavor due to it still being on the bone. The bone gives the steak an extra nudge of flavor that is just beautiful. Virginia: Pair the New York Strip with Casalvento Janus, Tuscany, Italy, 2008. The wine displays hints of violet, red currant and eucalyptus. It’s full-body with silky and round tannins.

Pairing 3: Walter: The Porterhouse has the same meat as the bone-in NY Strip, but with an added bonus of a filet on the other side. This, in my own opinion, is the best way to eat the filet because it’s prime, dry-aged, on-the-bone and still has the chain and fat on it – so it is the true way to taste the beautiful nuttiness and rich aged flavor of filet. Virginia: Pair the Porterhouse with D’Arenberg“Dead Arm” Shiraz, McLaren Vale, Australia, 2007. “Dead Arm” refers to a vine fungus Eutypa Lata that randomly affects vineyards all over the world. Often vines affected are severely pruned or replanted. One, or half an‘arm,’of the vine slowly becomes reduced to dead wood. That side may be lifeless and brittle, but the grapes on the other side, while low yielding, display amazing intensity for this wine.

Pairing 4: Walter: Our Lamb Chop is American lamb, so it is big and beautiful with hints of corn and acorn from the animal’s feed. After I age it, this cut mellows out and has an almost sweet beef taste and is buttery smooth. (Note that being a domestic animal, it will NOT be gamey or earthy like Australian and New Zealand lamb.) Virginia: Pair the Lamb Chop with Chateau DucruBeaucaillou, 2nd Growth Grand Cru Classe, St. Julien, Bordeaux, 1996. It owes its name to the ‘beautiful large pebbles and stones’ that characterize its terrain, which offers exceptional wine-making conditions that translate into the finesse of this wine.

Pairing 5: Walter: Our Veal Chop is Grade A milk-fed veal. It’s the best veal because the animal was fed with mother’s milk that was sweetened with rich corn and grains. The meat has the soft flavor and textures of all those beautiful things. Virginia: Pair the Veal Chop with Montecillo Gran Reserva Rioja, Spain, 2006. This rioja has aromas of ripe fruit and flowers with hints of leather, incense, tea leaves and smoke.

Pairing 6: Walter: Our Kurobuta Pork Chop is not your grandma’s pork. This animal is a corn-and-acorn-mash-fed animal that is so sweet and soft that you want to eat it closer to medium so you can taste the beautiful mash. Virginia: Pair the Pork Chop with Patz & Hall Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast, 2012. It displays lush red fruit, with spice and sassafras notes and aromas of cherry, raspberry and plum mingled with cedar, tobacco, smoked meat, fine herbs and forest floor. These are just a sampling of pairings from Walter and Virginia at NYY Steak, located at 5550 NW 40th St., Coconut Creek. To schedule a reservation, call 954-935-6699. Virginia Philip, the 11th female Master Sommelier in the world

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Summer Kitchen Th e

Performing Art in the Landscape


By Mary and Hugh Williamson


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itchen design has been evolving since man first placed rocks around the fire to avoid sparks on loincloths. In the last 50 years, interior kitchens have gone from being utility spaces located adjacent to the laundry room to what can be delightful, luxurious entertainment spaces. So, too, can outdoor cooking areas be transformed to well-appointed and beautiful additions to the landscape. Summer Kitchen possibilities have progressed from a simple grill and perhaps a small fridge to dazzling and beautifully equipped stages for what can be theatrical and entertaining culinary performances! Whether they are acted out by you, your staff or your caterer, guests can be charmed by the presentation of seemingly effortless culinary delights, with the added glamor of flickering fire, and well-designed and dramatically lighted stage sets.

A Little History The Southern Summer Kitchen developed from antiquity, such as from the cooking spaces of ancient Greece, the Middle Ages and strides made during the Renaissance. For example, the Colonial kitchen outbuilding was separated from the main house to avoid added heat in the summer, as well as to mitigate cooking odors. That concept still applies in the south. The Colonial outbuilding was also often the repository of serving implements, and sometimes weapons. Located near a well, it served as a cannery and staff quarters. While early stoves utilized wood or coal, today we have the luxury of gas lines. Of course, some outdoor grilling aficionados insist on charcoal! And running water has replaced wells – a must for the perfect summer kitchen!

A Little Modern Drama Our South Florida climate offers the opportunity to entertain in the great outdoors for most of the year. Carefully planned menus can allow for early preparation of every course, affording your ability to finish

the presentation with a flourish on your grill; a spectator sport entertainment. Bringing the idea of the interior kitchen island to the summer kitchen gives you added flexibility, whether it is used for prep space, a bar or a buffet station. Counter or bar stools for your island give your guests VIP seating for your grand performance. There are many other items to consider for your summer kitchen, and they are not just about hardscape: a refrigerator, sink, perhaps an oven or warming oven, grill, burners, work surfaces, cutting board, lighting, storage for glassware, dishware and utensils, seasonings, wine and bar accoutrements. Tablescape elements should also be considered. Also contemplate a sound system, and maybe a weather-proof screen for festive sporting event gatherings. You may have an opportunity for a covered space, and would then want to include an extraction hood. An herb garden folded into the plan provides garnishes for your presentation, and sculpture and fountains contribute to the ambience, as well. Available outdoor lounge seating and dining furnishings have come a long way, and examples range from simple to opulent. The Summer Kitchen should look beautiful whether in use or not, just like a pool setting. Avoid the predictable and utilitarian, and focus on an interesting mix of garden, kitchen and home theatre components. It can be accomplished on a balcony easily… It is simply a matter of scale. You won’t need as much storage for balcony iterations, as an interior kitchen is likely to be close by. For any application, large or small, your design professional will incorporate kitchen planning guidelines that ensure a convenient and efficient installation that fits your South Florida lifestyle. Photo Credit: Darren James Interiors

South Florida Margarita Glazed Ribs While planning to engage in Performing Art in the Landscape, there are shortcuts to reduce the effort and maximize the result – like with the following easy and delicious recipe: 1 cup chili sauce 6 shots Tequila (We recommend Familia Camarena Tequila) 4 shots Rose’s Lime Juice 3 bottled jalapeño slices, or more to taste Whiz in blender (Makes enough for 40 ribs…augment amounts as necessary!) Prepare the sauce mixture in advance, brushing onto pre-cooked ribs* as they sizzle just for a finale on the grill. Provide additional sauce as a table condiment. Serve with cubed prepoached** vegetables, such as, eggplant, onions and peppers, threaded onto skewers that have been soaked in water, and brushed only with a good olive oil. Grill the skewers alongside the ribs. The result is a crowd-pleasing spectacle, with relaxed hosts enjoying the evening! *Pre-cook the ribs in a water bath, at 300 degrees for four hours. Cut ribs apart. When ready to “wow” your guests, brush with sauce and grill until accompanied vegetable skewers show those beautiful grill marks. **Pre-poach the vegetables in a small amount of water in the microwave for three minutes. Let cool, and cut into bite-sized pieces. Thread onto skewers. When ready to grill, brush with olive oil. An Even Easier Approach Many of our favorite eateries will, with a little planning and notice, produce a prepared feast, suited for a flamboyantly orchestrated flambé finish, lending itself to splendid plating and a theatric occasion. But there is a great satisfaction in planning, preparing, and serving a brilliant production in your landscape.

Summer 2015

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Inside the enchanted walls of interior designer Perla Lichi

By John D. Adams

“For in truth great love is born of great knowledge of the thing loved.” —Leonardo da Vinci 58

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This grand entryway in a palette of rich gold and aquamarine features an expanse of polished marble with silver-leafed columns soaring to two levels. Location: Abu Dhabi, UAE. Photographer: Naim Chidiac


Master interior designer Perla Lichi was bestowed with a gift for magical thinking. Before we even began our interview, she inquired: “When is your birthday?” I tell her. “Aww, you’re a Virgo. I’m an Aries.” What does that mean? “That means I see the big picture and I need you Virgos to take care of the small details.” She laughs. It’s a joyful sound resplendent with wind chimes and music. And immediately I’m hooked. Lichi’s life is filled with this joy and music. And her enchanted interiors expertly combine both her verve and each client’s unique personalities and needs.

Destiny takes a hand Lichi strongly believes in destiny. And it’s no wonder. As a young student, this artsy yet driven girl always knew she would join the

ranks of artists and designers. But for a time, she thought her life would follow a slightly different path. “When I was in high school I originally wanted to be a fashion designer,” she remarks. “I took all of the art classes, as I was always very artistic. Then during my senior year one of my teachers suggested that I enter a competition for the Ft. Lauderdale Art Institute.” To her own surprise, however, as she read the contest’s category descriptions for Photography, Advertising, Fashion Design, and Interior Design, she found herself drawn to something unexpected. “As I was reading the criteria, the Interior Design category suddenly really spoke to me. Frankly, I thought it was the most interesting and would be easy. I already knew how to do drafting, I already knew how Summer 2015

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to make a floor plan and how to hand-sketch perspective, I knew colors and fabrics, so I thought, ‘Well, that’s an easy A.’” For the Interior Design competition, the students were tasked with designing any room they desired. Perhaps because of her study of fashion design, Lichi felt completely unrestrained and let her imagination soar. “I did a really cool bedroom that included a wall with a big circle that opened up into the bathroom. The circle followed to a large Roman tub with columns, which you could see from the bedroom. I used all these shades of purples and pinks that were hot fashion colors at the time, but they weren’t being used for interior design… I just went for it. I even designed a shag carpet. I took yarn from my mom’s closets and made little pom-poms showing what colors I would use for the fabrics. I designed waves using four or five different colors going through the carpet. It was just something funky and completely new and different.” Lichi got her ‘A.’ Yet even with that success, Lichi spent her summer intent on selecting a school to pursue fashion. If her ease in the Interior Design class hadn’t been enough of a sign to change direction, a phone call from the Institute finally solidified her true calling. Her design had been selected from scores of candidates across the country. “I had won the nationwide

A hand-carved, hand-detailed dining table with four wings coming off a center circle seats 24 comfortably, and everyone is able to converse. Location: Nairobi, Kenya. Photographer: Craig Denis


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competition and was offered a fully paid scholarship to their Interior Design department. My parents were ecstatic and I finally realized this was my true calling. I didn’t choose Interior Design. It really chose me. And here I am 30-plus years later.”

Harmony in History The mid-1980s was a fertile time for the Interior Design industry. And Lichi was, as always, in the right place at the right time. The Florida residential building market was booming and after a year with a design firm to gain experience, Lichi struck out on her own. She began designing showcase houses for builders, taking their cues but always maintaining her unique visions for each space. “I always stood out from other designers. Sometimes it was good, sometimes maybe over the top for some people. But I just kept doing my own thing and what felt right to me and that’s what has always allowed me to define my designs.” While trends come and go, Lichi has always considered herself a unique designer. “I began designing with a more contemporary aesthetic,” she said. “But my biggest dream was to design palaces. As I began traveling the world, I would see 300-400 years of history in the palaces of Versailles or The Hermitage. I was exposed to classic design, opulent details. And the more I saw of the timeless classic design, the more detail and richness

This living room shows Perla’s unabashed and masterful use of bold colors. Location: Sharjah, UAE. Photographer: Naim Chidiac

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became incorporated into my own design aesthetic. So I just kind of manifested my dream into reality. That was the goal… always in the back of my mind… and it happened.” While the building boom crashed during the Great Recession, Lichi’s work had taken off in international markets. So once again, magically in the right place at the right time, Lichi thrived. She was able to build upon her turnkey interior design services, opening permanent offices in Dubai, while many designers in the United States were scrambling to find work.

The Perla Lichi touch There is always something fascinating and surprising in a Perla Lichi room. It’s all about the proper use of the space, the details. “I utilize all of the space in a room. I detail every wall. I like to create one feature wall that is more important than the rest, but then balance that with the other walls so that you feel like the room is hugging you. I do a lot of tricks with mirrors where people may not initially realize a mirror is there because I’m reflecting a window with a view and they may think it’s a window. ”I like to do accents on floors here and there, and I’m really into area rugs. You can customize any size, any shape, any color and tie them to your fabrics. Area rugs not only warm a space and make you feel good, they pull everything together. “And I take my ceilings very seriously. They are truly the icing on the cake. They are what hold a room together.”

The Look of Love Any artist can affirm that ephemeral states of passion or love can manifest into the physical. And every corner of Lichi’s designs are expertly infused with love, care, and imagination. But having a “signature style” is nothing without the ability to transcend that style and allow the owners’ voices to also be heard. And as with everything else, Lichi has a unique take on that process. “Remember when I asked when your birthday was? It is so important to understand people’s personalities; and for me astrology and numerology help to inform what general direction to go in. It’s a tool. I believe that’s one of the secrets of my success. To really understand the person I’m designing for, then putting my own artist’s conception in mind with the person who is going to live in the space. Everybody deserves to be the king or queen of their own palace,” she enthuses. “You can make your own home your palace if it is put together properly and contains those personal touches that reflect who you are. That’s what a good designer should be able to help you achieve. “To me, interior design is my art and my way of expression. You have to understand the person you are designing for, put yourself in their shoes, then use your knowledge and ability to create for them. I care about every little corner, every touch. I put my soul into it.” Visit Perla Lichi on the Web at


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Intricate plaster designs were highlighted with silver leaf to reflect light and make these ceilings appear higher than they actually are. Location: Nairobi, Kenya. Photographer: Craig Denis.

Summer 2015

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DISCOVER The New Art Class of

Natural Treasures

An exclusive interview with Dr. Robert Lavinsky, scientist and proprietor of The Arkenstone Gallery of Fine Minerals in Dallas, who has pioneered the transformation of breathtaking multimillion-year-old minerals as an Art Class.

By Robin Jay & KYLA COKER, Graduate gemologist & Geologist

Since walking away from the science research lab, molecular biologist and mineral expert Dr. Rob Lavinsky has singlehandedly reinvented and impacted the mineral collecting world as it emerges from a hobby to an Art Class. Not only has his work been recognized by the scientific community, his business has brought the beauty of nature’s art— precious minerals—into the hands of people who have never before had the opportunity to experience it except by seeing in the world’s major museums. Dr. Lavinsky’s personality is vibrant, genuine, and passionate, with the sort of confident intensity that comes alongside natural brilliance. As a child, he was a booksmart “science nerd.” He still is. But he’s incredibly business-savvy, too; he learned how to trade minerals at the age of 12.

The Art of Mining Minerals

The world’s finest aquamarine from Marambaia, Brazil, weighs 7-kilos and is valued at $5 million. 64

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A modern Indiana Jones type, he has a host of adventures to his name, each one recounting travels across the globe in search of the finest minerals. He also has some of the best runners on the ground to be his eyes and ears in remote countries and mines all over the world, including Madagascar, Brazil, India, Australia, Pakistan, Russia, China, Canada, and Italy. They provide him with up-to-the-minute details

Tanzanite, aquamarine, emerald, ruby, sapphire, tourmaline, garnet, and quartz—all relatively familiar gemstone names. But, rarely are they seen in their pure natural form exactly as they came out of the earth except in major museums, such as the Smithsonian or Dallas’s Perot Museum, both of which have many of his specimens on loan or exhibit.

This 350-million-year-old fossil Ammonite shell from Calgary has been partially replaced by precious opal. It is valued at $300,000 for its pristine condition and aesthetics. Summer 2015

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on the best new finds. With just one photo, he might exchange millions of dollars for minerals and crystals that just emerged from a remote mine. Once, he dropped everything and hopped a plane to Australia to compete with the Melbourne Casino for the right to purchase the largest gold nugget in private hands and came away with it after a handshake and a drink. These minerals and crystals that Dr. Lavinsky trades are kept in their natural form and are more valuable and rare without being cut into gemstones. Tanzanite, aquamarine, emerald, ruby, sapphire, tourmaline, garnet, and quartz—all relatively familiar gemstone names. But, rarely are they seen in their pure natural form exactly as they came out of the earth except in major museums, such as the Smithsonian or Dallas’s Perot Museum, both of which have many of his specimens on loan or exhibit. Rob established the first high-level online presence for the mineral collecting world in the mid 1990s, catapulting his business into the first truly worldwide dealership in the trade. His website helped drive the growth of the trade in fine minerals as it educated people around the world. This eventually led to the creation of a large art gallery display of crystals (10,000 sq. feet) in Dallas (shown bottom right page) and a smaller gallery in Shanghai, China (top right). Today, as with any collectible art, people collect minerals for many focuses, including their favorite countries of origin (as does Rob with his China collection), historical locations, chemistry and science, size or simply color.

But his first job was simply to help the local mineral dealer in his hometown of Columbus, Ohio, while in junior high school. By the age of 14, he was setting up swap tables at local min-

This world-class crystalline gold from Eagle Nest, California, is 9 inches and recently sold for over $500,000 and will be donated to a museum. 66

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Dr. Rob Lavinsky with the tallest gold nugget called 'Thunderbolt’.

eral shows where they allowed unofficial dealers to trade in marked “monopoly money” and spend the earnings with the real show dealers. He simultaneously built his mineral collection as he built his business acumen, never imagining that one day it would be his full-time occupation, livelihood, and passion. He went on to study at Rice University before completing his doctoral studies in molecular biology and cancer research at the University of California at San Diego—always buying and selling minerals on the side (publishing his thesis in Nature). Over time, the minerals took off as much or more than lab work, so he turned in his petri dishes to enjoy dealing in the beautiful crystals every day. Rob began his personal collection of Chinese minerals nearly 20 years ago even before the market realized how underappreciated Chinese mineral specimens were at the time; and now has the world’s largest quality Chinese mineral collection. He also published his book “Crystalline Treasures: The Mineral Heritage of China,”

in 2013 and the Chinese government has since asked him to help educate them on minerals through this book and talks given in China. They republished his book in Chinese and have distributed it to communities in rural China and through the Ministry of Land and Resources. With their new understanding of minerals and the economic value they can bring to miners, their mission is to educate and empower rural mining communities to more sustainably harvest minerals for longer-term gain. In fact, mineral mining exemplifies the term “fair trade” as you might normally think of it for agriculture. Dr. Lavinsky has educated miners around the world in order for them to be able to look for pieces that have value and preserve them for collectors so that all parties benefit. One mineral in specific, stibnite (see page 68), is mined as the primary ore of antimony. When it is crushed, it would be worth a few dollars per kilo. Instead of crushing it, the mineral as a specimen can be worth up to hundreds of thousands of dollars. The tragedy is that most minerals over human history have been found and crushed to make products ranging from steel flux to eyeliner, iPhones, and gemstones. “I have to get miners to deal on a more local and personal level and to appreciate what they are mining, collect it more carefully, and then sell it to me. I have to actually educate miners in developing countries to value their minerals in order to preserve them from going to the crusher or being cut into gems for human baubles,” says Dr. Lavinsky. Part of the challenge is that the crystals are fragile and hard to find and must be extracted more slowly for the specimen trade than would occur with the bulk and brutal mining activity that characterizes most economic mining. But, in part through Dr. Lavinsky’s efforts, these rural miners have learned the value of their unique natural resources, and how to carefully extract their true value over time. As a result, he has empowered and changed communities around the world as most mining for specimens today occurs in remote or developing nations where mining is not as heavily mechanized. Minerals have an inherent magnetic quality, drawing one into their raw, natural beauty while creating a connection to the earth. These crystals are nature’s true art form, revealing a brand-new world of awe, wonder and appreciation—and investment. Fine minerals are an asset class that is only increasing in value as proven by the growth of the market and the success of recent auctions by Heritage Auctions in Dallas. The investment lies in the rarity and the beauty of these natural treasures that makes them each unique works of art.

The Arkenstone Gallery of Fine Minerals in Shanghai. But, aside from these museums, few people are exposed to the opportunity to enjoy or even collect these minerals. Dr. Lavinsky wants to change this.

mineral treasures accEssible to the public Art and history museums, such as the Smithsonian Institution, offer us all a place to share in a sense of wonder at the accumulated treasures of the ages. Whatever museum you are in, you are looking at the labors of love of countless people who saved and preserved art and cultural goods over uncounted years. When we walk in the door, from the moment we enter we are aware that somebody (ourselves or others with more means, perhaps) can “buy this stuff.” And yet, despite this shared sense of awe and wonder at the history and the value, how few people actually get this sense of realization when they walk into a natural history or science museum? After all, where can you see anything OLDER and presumably more rare than in a natural history museum with fossils dated to hundreds of millions of years ago? Some of them are truly beautiful, as natural works of art preserved forever in stone. But mineral specimens and gems were also formed in the depths of the earth that long ago, and yet almost nobody gazes on them with the same awe and wonder as they look at fossils or manmade art except, interestingly, children too young to be told otherwise. Did you know that the Smithsonian was actually founded by the gift of the natural history collections, including MINERALS, from James Smithson of the British Empire? He was disillusioned with his home country at the time and their museum situation, and decided to bequeath his life’s treasure hunting to the new country of the USA. The core of his donations was his minerals and fossils. Thus, the Smithsonian itself

A small handful of museums have extensive mineral collections, including the Smithsonian Institution, Perot Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas, American Natural History Museum in New York City, and Houston Museum of Natural Science. With the lack of extensive funding, these museums directly rely on private collectors to donate their pieces for display and work actively with the collecting community, as in other art fields. The Arkenstone Gallery of Fine Minerals in Dallas. Summer 2015

South Florida OPULENCE


to own something significant, especially at the current price points, compared to almost any other field of art one might collect which offers the collector the same visceral thrills of handling a 3-dimensional, unique object. However, first people must see and be inspired by the beauty. Investment comes next. Welcome to my world!”

Mineral Explorers Launches on PBS-TV In 2013, he was recognized for his efforts to educate and expand the appreciation of minerals, his contributions to museums through philanthropic donations, and his sourcing of mineral specimens for scientific projects when the newly discovered mineral species Lavinskyite (from South Africa) was named in his honor. He also helped produce and stars in cameo in the recently released PBS television series “Mineral Explorers”, which has been picked up for a second season by PBS this year.

This modern-day pioneer has created an intricate spiderweb of connections across the globe — from mine to market —and has no intention of stopping as this asset class continues its rapid growth. Rob’s business, The Arkenstone, has recently held its first exhibition in Florida in Palm Beach (media hosted by South Florida Opulence), and will be a participant in the December Palm Beach Arts Show. “There is admittedly a huge inertia barrier to entering a new field as young as ours, and without trends of documented prices in the auction market. At the same time, though, that makes it MORE of a challenge and a hunt, and offers the thrill of acquiring “sleepers” and values on pieces you could not get on comparable items in the real Art World out there. I have staked my own life and livelihood on that certainty. Our Van Goghs cost a fraction of what other fields of Art can value their treasures at, and we have the added bonus of having new Van Goghs we can chase after that come out of the ground each year. To me, our field offers the chance


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Stay tuned for quarterly articles about Dr. Lavinsky’s adventures and the exquisite and exciting business of minerals.

Top left: Stibnite, Hunan Province, China Bottom left: This Tanzanite from Merelani Hills in Tanzania is now in the Midland Museum (Texas). Below: Crocoite, Red Lead Mine, Australia, is now in the collection of Dr. Steve Smale, world-renowned mathematician and mineral collector.


was born of a mineral collector’s love for nature and desire to share it. The mineral Smithsonite was later named in his honor.


The Rainbow of Africa Gem & Mineral Collection Photography by Mark Mauthner


top: 65.72 CT. middle: 16.88 CT. bottom: 8.09 CT. Merelani Hills, Arusha Region, Tanzania

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South Florida OPULENCE

Summer 2015

A mere hour and a half from Jakarta, Indonesia, Bali is a lush, green, wellmanicured island with one side situated in the Java Sea and the other in the Indian Ocean. The ocean is bath warm and the surf calm, but the sand is a little rough so wear shoes. I lost my beach flip-flops, only one surfaced.

Heaven on Earth: Bali By Alena Klenot

Summer 2015

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Built for the gods, the animals, the flowers and absolutely everything that lives around them, the temples are new and old, full of history. I visited one of the Bali Royal Family houses in Kuta. The Royal family, generous and respected, invite the local villagers to work in the houses and on the grounds. The workers are constantly renovating the palace in exchange for food, their children’s schooling or instruction in music, dance and local arts. The Royal family and their village work in unison as one big happy family. The Royal palace is adjacent to the village temples, which are full of old and young residents, communing and praying. Men and women must wear a long saraf to cover their legs and head. The tourists are dressed by village volunteers before entering the palace grounds. There is magic in old Bali, a world of spirits. The island is 90 percent Hindu with temples everywhere. The Balinese build them for the spirits, the gods, the animals, the flowers and absolutely everything that lives around them. The temples are new and old, full of history. The construction never stops.


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Summer 2015

What to see in Bali Too many people think that Bali offers just blue water and beautiful beaches. In fact, the island is replete with stunning landscapes, including volcanic mountains, forever-green rice terraces, and breathtakingly high waterfalls, especially in the areas of Kroya, Kembar and Kucuk. You can hike every day and never see it all, but take a guide just to be safe! Be certain not to miss the Bali elephant safaris and the picturesque rice fields. Try the local food and visit the Bali markets with their lively streets where local vendors specialize in the needs of the simple rural lifestyle. Sheaves of dried tobacco, spices

and livestock fill the senses. I love these scenes. While they lack western hygiene (dirt is everywhere, refrigeration is absent and the buzz of flies is a background hum), the smell of the market is heavenly rich and putrid at the same time.

Lifestyle and fashion I arrived at a new resort, built one year ago, with all the modern luxuries. They have their own Nikki beach beside the blue ocean. Bali has great malls, but vendors have no air conditioning in their shops. All are open, just like at the old Royal palaces. I got lucky in my search and found some great local Bali fashion designers and artists. The Collection in Nusa Dua Island is a great shop with fashionable and unique items, including handbags and shoes made of recycled rice bags and high-fashion T-shirts adorned with intricate bead work.

Bali is a magic island, you must come and see. You will find almost everything you desire! Summer 2015

South Florida OPULENCE



rince Charming has come to Tuscany and awakened the Sleeping Beauty with a kiss...and a big investment. It had appeared that the abandoned town of Castelfalfi would sleep forever. It was first settled by the Etruscans over 2,500 years ago and reached its peak prosperity in the 13th century when its castle and most of the current village was built. A tobacco factory brought success in the early 20th century but by 1970 it had closed and only five residents remained. The town fell under a spell. Occasionally moviemakers like Mel Gibson or Roberto Benigni would recognize the crumbling beauty and film there. Squatters wandered in. Each decade another plan to restore the town fizzled like a rejected suitor vying for the princess’s hand. “If it remains as it is, then the village is dead,” resident Andrea Mechancci told the German newspaper Die Welt. But in 2007 a Knight in Shining Armor, the giant German tourism company TUI AG, purchased the entire

The Reawakening of

Castelfalfi BY Carol Antman


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walled village and the extensive vineyards with ambitious plans to resuscitate them. Stefan Neuhaus, the CEO of Toscana Resort Castelfalfi, said, “Castelfalfi is coming back to life, regaining its original features and revealing unexpected potentialities. A jewel like Castelfalfi can regain its sparkle.” The tremendously ambitious plan has taken years, vision and capital. It now is beginning to fill a niche that TUI AG identified as lacking in the region. “Tuscany is a dream destination. Many holidaymakers want to go there, but have not been able to find exactly what they want,” said Karl Born, a German professor of tourism and former member of TUI’s governing board. In particular they identified golf and spa facilities as missing. But not anymore. Castelfalfi’s new golf courses have opened to rave reviews. The scenic Golf Club Castelfalfi Course has 27-holes and over 9,400 meters of hillside and greens nestled between olive groves. The 18-hole Mountain Course features steep gradients and water hazards making it one of Italy’s most challenging layouts. The newest 9-hole Lake Course, driving ranges, putting greens and a short pitch area surround the spacious clubhouse. Golfers often call the courses the most scenic they’ve ever played. Another fairy tale that inspired the project was the novel “Under the Tuscan Sun.” All over the world armchair renovators fantasized about claiming a perfect farmhouse in the Italian countryside that they’d gleefully restore into their own piece of rustic paradise. But the practicalities of finding and rebuilding a dilapidated house, often one that’s hundreds of years old, were very frustrating and difficult. Toscana Resort Castelfalfi solved this situation by offering vacation properties and working closely with owners to renovate them. The result is an array of lodging choices that vacationers can buy or rent. The large Casale La Valle, for example, offers four independent apartments in one building so

families can have the space and privacy they need with a private swimming pool and garden for their use. The quiet sophistication of L’Orchidea offers a smaller option with luxury furnishings. The former factory that dried tobacco for Tuscan cigars has been brought back to life as a 31-room boutique hotel, the first of two planned. For those still intent on reliving author Elizabeth Gilbert’s dream, opportunities remain to purchase real estate and design their own rustic paradise without hassle. The Medieval Borgo has been restored and divided into 48 apartments, and plans call for the various Casali, typical Tuscan country villas, to be restructured according to the wishes of future buyers. A 5-star hotel with 120 rooms, a spa and wellness center, heliport, tennis courts and more shops are slated to open in the near future. Once completed, the vacation hamlet will have a capacity of 3,200 guests. The location of Castelfalfi is ideal. Florence, Siena, Lucca and Pisa are within an hour drive. Nearby, the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage sites of San Gimignano, known as the “Medieval Manhattan” for its 14 ancient towers, and Volterra, known for its alabaster art, are an easy day trip. Authentic special events like the Palio di Siena horse races, the Gran Fondo della Vernaccia cycling race, Giornate degli Autori, Venice Days or the medieval pageant Ferie Delle Messi are colorful experiences to plan a vacation around. Other compelling activities are at the resort’s doorstep. The estate itself has 75 miles of walking paths and nearby there is an extended network of hiking and mountain biking paths including the famous strade bianche (unpaved roads) that crisscross the region’s hilly terrain. You can channel your inner cowboy while galloping through woods, villages and Chianti vineyards with guides from the nearby Il Gelsomino Ranch. There are four swimming pools including a 30-meter-long lap pool surrounded by snack bar, gym and sauna. Castelfalfi guests can also benefit from collaborations with nearby locations that offer beaches and a marina. Continued on next page

“Castelfalfi is coming back to life, regaining its original features and revealing unexpected potentialities. A jewel like Castelfalfi can regain its sparkle.”

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South Florida OPULENCE


Continued from previous page

Toscana Resort Castelfalfi is a gourmand’s dream. The fragrance of herbs greets visitors as they drive into the property. The farm to table experience is as obvious as the fields of thyme, oregano, basil, rosemary and marjoram waiting to be handpicked and the panorama from the restaurant’s window: 57 acres of vineyards and over 10,000 olive trees. The resort employs a gamekeeper and agricultural director who enjoy showing guests the traditional farming operations that produce the three proprietary wine labels and extra-virgin olive oil produced and sold on-site. Lorenzo Lani, the resort’s enologist says, “My work…will focus on producing original, long-lived wines and, if it is not too presumptuous, on creating wines that cannot be produced elsewhere.” Giovanni Gallerini, the gamekeeper, even takes guests truffle hunting in season. The menu features the bounty of surrounding farms, fields and forests such as the indigenous Chianina breed of beef cattle and wild game. Every dish, including pasta, is handmade at the resort with fresh ingredients. La Rocca di Castelfalfi is the resort’s main restaurant. It’s located in the heart of Castelfalfi, a restored Castle built in the Middle Ages. From its terrace, diners can look across the countryside and

across history. “I am of the opinion that you have to understand what you eat and flavors must be immediate,” says Chef Michele Rinaldi. “Fortunately Italy’s climate allows us to have raw materials of excellent quality: artichokes, asparagus, mushrooms… fresh fruits of the season, meat and fish make the tastes unique.” He delights in creating simple but tasty cuisine and in the challenge of cooking with wild game. In 2011, his skill earned him a Michelin star at the age of 27. The Castle is also animated by a cooking school that offers various courses from classic dishes to homemade pasta, baking and more. An educational program brings culinary students from around Europe to train at the Castle and introduce them to the many sustainability initiatives which include the extensive use of renewable energy resources and reconditioned rainwater which is collected on-site. “The challenge here is to give this land its true identity back by providing the modern comforts our visitors need without compromising the balance of nature and history of this place,” says Stefan Neuhaus. Their vision and commitment has reawakened Castelfalfi and seems destined to ensure that the town and its visitors live happily ever after.

Toscana Resort Castelfalfi is a gourmand’s dream. The fragrance of herbs greets visitors as they drive into the property. The farm to table experience is as obvious as the fields of thyme, oregano, basil, rosemary and marjoram waiting to be handpicked and the panorama from the restaurant’s window: 57 acres of vineyards and over 10,000 olive trees.


South Florida OPULENCE

Summer 2015

Magical History Tour The Revolutionary Hermione Voyage 2015


By Todd R. Sciore

oll up, that’s an invitation, roll up for the history tour. Friends of Hermione-Lafayette in America (FOHLA) are calling all history buffs, Francophiles and general sailing enthusiasts to partake in the festivities

surrounding L’Hermione’s heralded return to American shores. In Greek mythology, Hermione was the daughter of King Menelaus of Sparta and Helen of Troy.


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Summer 2015

She was renown for her beauty, and this trait is also found in the regal lines of her most famous namesake ship, the 18th century French frigate that played a historic role in America’s fight for independence from England. While not the original ship, it is a painstakingly reconstructed replica that has been nearly two decades in the making. South Florida Opulence recently had a chance to speak with Miles Young, President of FOHLA about this ceremonious event.

Relaunch of the L’Hermione Replica Ship The genesis behind this ambitious project stemmed from the location of the original wreck being discovered on the ocean floor in the late ’80s off the coast of France. “It was too fragmented…but there was enough of it to really get a sense of it…and it raised the idea in people’s minds in Rochefort that one could build an exact replica of the original ship in the same place where the original ship was made,” said Young. This multimillion dollar endeavor was undertaken with methodical attention to every detail using the same building techniques available in 1779. As a testament to the fastidious workmanship, trees were meticulously selected to form the hull, every eyelet for the sails was hand sewn and the cannons were fabricated in the original foundry. Miles proudly noted that outside of an engine “for Coast Guard reasons” that “it’s probably the most authentic 18th century ship that’s ever been reconstructed,” then quickly added with a laugh that “…the one point where authenticity has been compromised is the latrines. We took the view that this is the one area where even the most ardent reenactor would want some modifications!”

“it’s probably the most authentic 18th century ship that’s ever been reconstructed.” – Miles Young her way up the East Coast with an itinerary calling for stops at a number of historically significant ports including both Yorktown, VA and Mount Vernon in early June. Followed by Alexandria, VA, Annapolis, Baltimore; Philadelphia, Camden, NJ, New York, Greenport, NY; Newport, RI and Boston. Other July stops include Castine, ME; Lunenburg, Nova Scotia and St. Pierre et Miqueton. She is expected to arrive at Brest, France on August 10 and back to Rochefort on August 25. “For all sorts of technical reasons, we’re doing it in reverse order…Yorktown clearly is where the endgame was.” The journey will include a variety of public pier-side events, exhibits and educational activities highlighting Franco-American relations during the Revolutionary War. “We will have reenactors in every port,” Young said. The stop in Philadelphia coincides with a spectacular Tall Ships event. “She will be the pride of honor leading the tall ships in, and the tall ships should be with her up to Newport” to offer onlookers a grand spectacle from land, sea and air. The spirit of Lafayette’s slogan Cur Non (“Why Not?”) lives on in this project. “I think it’s captured the imagination because of the sheer audacity of it,” said Young. The same could also be said about a ragtag bunch of colonists standing up to the British Crown over taxation.

Washington and Lafayette at Mount Vernon, 1784 by Rossiter and Mignot, 1859

The Historic Tale So why all the fuss? The Hermione’s passenger log includes one of the most revered men of his time by French and American historians alike – the young Marquis de Lafayette (1757-1834) who boarded her and came to the aid of General George Washington’s army. Soon to become fast friends, Washington gave him the rank of Major General. While some scholars feel Benjamin Franklin did the heavy lifting, Lafayette is credited with persuading France to come to the aid of the insurgent colonists. The relationship between France, then a major power broker, and the fledgling United States, played a pivotal yet often overlooked role in America’s fight for independence. Ironically, it was this same movement that inspired the subsequent French revolution. This year, on April 18, with departure from Rochefort, France, the Hermione embarked on her 27-day transatlantic crossing for a long-awaited U.S. return voyage during the summer of 2015, winding Summer 2015

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The Secret of Oleander and Good Skin By Robin Jay & Robert A. Newman, Ph.D.

Not long ago, I received a bottle of Nerium Age-Defying Night Cream shortly after it had been in gift bags at the Academy Awards. I was intrigued by Nerium's key ingredient, an extract from the oleander plant shown in blind studies to dramatically reduce the appearance of wrinkles, discoloration, and improve texture and firmness. I was impressed with the results after using the product. And I found study reports showed 93 percent of participants experienced statistically significant improvement in the appearance of wrinkles. 97 percent showed improvements in radiance, and 72 percent showed improvements in discoloration. Nerium owns its own patented oleander fields. But what I was curious about was the plant's safety. If a plant is potentially poisonous when ingested, is it safe for topical use? Nerium Biotechnology’s Chief Science Officer spoke in detail with me about it. “Major factors contributing to natural aging of skin tissues include oxidation, inflammation and reduced capacity for ‘self-renewal’ of skin cells and supporting structural proteins, such as collagen and elastin. Our skin is exposed daily to an insult of free radicals, whether from pollution, excessive exposure to chemical irritants or ultraviolet rays of the sun,” said Dr. Newman. “As we age, the natural defense systems in skin tissue that help protect us from these insults are reduced. Aging of skin tissue also involves inflammation that is not adequately controlled, as well as an age-dependent decline in the ability of skin tissue to replenish itself with healthy epidermal cells.”


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Summer 2015

How Nerium works “Nerium’s age-defying products act to reduce oxidative injury to the skin. The product works as a potent antioxidant fighting free radicals and improving skin’s defense system. The increase in natural defense mechanisms results in an enhanced expression of superoxide dismutase (fighting free radicals) and the skin’s number one defense molecule… glutathione.” “Our research has shown strong evidence and support for cell protection and renewal. These findings validate the product’s ability to help reduce the appearance of aging.” “The safety of Nerium’s products should also be stressed. The phytochemicals (plant derived molecules) within aloe and oleander are well known, and their beneficial

roles in helping protect and restore skin tissues have been well documented. The content of the plant molecule oleandrin is extremely low in Nerium products, there is no toxicity associated with the topical use of this unique molecule. Continued assessment of consumer feedback also attests to the safety and efficacy of Nerium products.” Below are before-and-after photos of real people who used Nerium. To learn more, go to To purchase Nerium, go to

Robert A. Newman, Ph.D.

Professor Emeritus, University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center Chief Science Officer: Nerium Biotechnology, Inc.

Firming BEFORE






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2. The Bulgari Le Gemme Collection Celebrating “The Essence of the Jeweler,” $310 100 ml at Bulgari stores and

3. Chantecaille Rose De Mai Face Oil Infused with high concentrations of the rare Rose de Mai. Ask for Elle Glass, esthetician at Frederic Fekkai Salon in Palm Beach. $185.

4. Big O Key Ring Bangle Signature leather clasp allows for quick removal at the valet. Available in 17 colors. $55 at


5. CREED Royal Service – Autographed by Olivier CREED Presented in a sculptural handblown 6.8 ounce glass decanter with a numbered leather collar and signed by Mr. Creed. $1,750.00. Available at

6. Tria Laser 4X The first FDA-cleared hair removal laser for at-home use just got better, producing laserdiode results in half the time on legs, arms, upper lip and other areas. $449 at Sephora,, Bloomingdale’s, Barneys, ULTA and QVC.


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7. 4.


OSCAR! Oscar Lopez, winner of the Project Runway spinoff “Under The Gunn,” takes couture to a new level at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach. By April Erhard


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Summer 2015

Apple green organdy layered gown with fuchsia belt

Summer 2015

South Florida OPULENCE



ashion met art this season in a seamless display making it difficult to distinguish the art from the fashion at an extraordinary photo shoot at Mar-A-Lago in Palm Beach. Oscar Garcia-Lopez, winner of the Project Runway spinoff “Under The Gunn,” takes couture to a new level with the release of his new collection. Oscar started his career in South Florida creating lavish gowns for society ladies.

The young designer’s outstanding construction skills and unique style pushed him to the top on Tim Gunn’s latest TV fashion competition, however, Oscar is no stranger to challenges. It was only nine years ago that the talented designer was able to reach the United States after two earlier attempts to flee his homeland of Cuba. “For many years, I had the urge to escape Castro’s regime that had taken over my country, but there were always complications” he said. “Finally in 2000, I was able to leave Cuba via Mexico as part of a musical performing group. I lived there for four years and in 2004 I crossed the border into the United States, looking to reunite myself with family and embark on the path to realize my dream.” Once in Miami, Oscar set out to make his dream a reality... one dress at a time.

The Launch of a Fashionista It seems like his destiny had already been crafted from the early age of 10, when he began to experiment with sewing and making patterns on his own. This self-taught little boy created his first dress when he was 12 years old, using his mother’s curtains. Oscar was very lighthearted when telling the story of his beginnings, letting us know


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Summer 2015

Vermillion red ball gown with decorative stitched panels

how mad his mom was when he “stole” her curtains to make his very first dress. As a result, he became the protege of the seamstresses in his town. “I was always taking this apart to see the construction and how it was made,” said Oscar.

Hitting the Limelight Oscar’s time on “Under the Gunn” showed his positivity and creativeness to the world, but now South Floridians have a chance to wear these impeccably constructed and innovated pieces. The new line was released recently at Neiman Marcus Bal Harbour. The new collection features many gorgeous gowns for the modern woman who enjoys taking risks. The red gown is made in one of Oscar’s favorite shades of red, vermillion. “It has a very architectural peplum with metallic stitching on the top [with a] funky detail creating geometric lines. The dress is a modern approach to elegance with matching stitching on the hat,” said Oscar, who loves hats and made several to match his latest collection.

A Look at Oscar’s Latest Collection The ivory cocktail dress, with black pleated organza panels on the front and back, is belted at the waist to create a sunburst effect. “The fabric is soft and extremely comfortable to wear,” explains Oscar. Oscar’s career has skyrocketed following his win on “Under the Gunn.” He is currently in talks with “Dancing with the Stars” and is considering another fashion TV show.

Off white cocktail dress with black pleated panels front & back

Credits: Model: REGINA SIL–Next Miami agency Photography/styling/art direction: Natasha Kertes Jewelry designer: Shiroiy D. Cama Hair stylist: Fabian Cisneros Makeup artist: Taryll Atkins Photographers assistant: Victoria Quintero Technical assistance/video: Dina Levinson Photoshoot coordinator/director: Rick Pedraza.

Summer 2015

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Shutter Chasse By Linda Marx

Late modern dance pioneer Ruth St. Denis once said, “I see dance being used as communication between body and soul, to express what is too deep to find for words.” Boca Raton photographer Silvia Pangaro couldn’t agree more.

“I can’t dance like the ballerinas, but when I photograph them, I feel like I’m performing with them,” said Pangaro, who is a fine-art and portrait photographer based in Boca Raton. As a young girl growing up in her native Buenos Aires, Argentina, Pangaro took dance lessons for a year and liked everything about it. She was enamored with the costumes, the flow of the fabric and the grace of the moves. But she was a timid child, and the timing wasn’t right.

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“I was only 6 or 7 years old and too shy to pursue dance at that time,” said Pangaro, now 34. “I liked dancing but didn’t really discover it again until I moved to the U.S.” In 2002, after earning a Bachelor of Administration in Argentina, Pangaro relocated to Florida. Since she liked photography as much as dance, attending a fine arts seminar seemed like a natural progression. “I always loved the art of photography, but I had no equipment,” she said. That changed in 2009 on her 29th birthday when she got a Nikon D5000 (digital) camera. She took fine-art photography classes at the Boca Raton Museum of Art and the Delray Beach Center for the Arts. Pangaro developed a fascination for the work of Joe McNally, the noted Time, Life, Sports Illustrated and National Geographic photographer. He, too, had an interest in photographing world-class dancers, and Pangaro grew totally smitten with his photographs. “I loved his passion for dancers, his mastery of flash photography.” In her pictorial journey, Pangaro found that by adding filtered light and contrast, texture and transparencies, she could create a new vision with colors, shades of gray and sepias, shadows and light in an effort to make the ordinary extraordinary. She studied posing techniques, composition and skin retouching from many instructors until she created her own style of photography, utilizing unique and creative settings. And then Pangaro received her first dream assignment as the photographer for the Boca Ballet Theatre. Pangaro shot former BBT ballerina Ashley Hammond for a 2012 article in South Florida Opulence. (Ashley recently graduated from the University of Arizona, where she attended on a ballet scholarship.) 88

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“I wish I had discovered this passion for photographing ballerinas earlier in life,” she said. “I sense their emotion and capture it through imagery.” –Silvia Pangaro

“I quickly fell in love with photographing dancers,” she said. “It is amazing what they do. Their training is unique, they work so hard.”

dancers, like Russian born Daniil Simkin and Maria Kochetkova, Japanese star Misa Kuranaga and Florida native Daniel Ullbricht.

For this issue of South Florida Opulence, Pangaro arranged this romantic, fairy-tale shoot with a pair of teenaged ballerinas, Sasha Lazarus and Carla Foster, who also dance with BBT. Pangaro arranged the makeup, flowers, decor and costume ensembles of tutus from Itty Bitty Chic Boutique, and black-on-white tops from a variety of resources at Saks Fifth Ave.

Dancers: Sasha Lazarus, Carla Foster (girl with umbrella), From Boca Ballet Theatre Tutus: Itty Bitty Chic Boutique Hair Style: Key of Beauty Salon (Kiwi Remy) Makeup Artist: Alessandra Chayn Decoration Assistant: Mabel Grunter Tops: Saks 5th Avenue Photography: Silvia Pangaro —

Pangaro dreams of shooting with the New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Miami City Ballet and to photograph prominent professional

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Top Luxury Spas for By ROBIN JAY

EAU SPA at Eau Palm Beach


he five-star oasis where you can Pause, Play and Perfect

When it comes to luxury spas, Eau Spa has guests saying Ohhhhhh Yeah! Recently, Forbes Travel Guide awarded this oasis of relaxation with a coveted five-star rating – a prestigious honor bestowed on fewer than 50 luxury spas in the United States. I had the pleasure of visiting this magnificent, newly renovated spa in Manalapan. Without a doubt, it was the most innovative, whimsical and relaxing spa treatment I’ve ever experienced. More than just a facial – it was a fanciful journey. The resort’s Creative Director, Ayelet Rahav, and the Director of Eau Spa, Catherine Warren, have truly outdone themselves!

My experience started with a spoonful of honey – harvested by a local beekeeper. I was handed a tea-light candle, advised to make a wish and set it afloat in the spa’s wishing well fountain – it was like sending all my cares out to sea. Next, I was led to what looked like a room with candy-filled apothecary jars. But this was no confectionary store – it was a Scrub & Polish bar, where I selected my own sea salts and natural scrubs for the post-facial rain shower.


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The Self Centered Garden has dipping pools, suspended swinging chairs, music and cocktails for spa guests.

Time to Pause My Eau Naturale Facial was 90 minutes of sheer ‘me-time’ bliss. To help me ‘pause’ and relax, the aesthetician scented the room with lavender and mint, turned the light to a soft blue, and played soft “chill-out” music. Somewhere along the line, I drifted off to sleep.

time to play Then, shifting to ‘play’ mode, the room scents changed to citrus and eucalyptus, the light changed to red, the music picked up tempo. I was handed my little bags of salts and scrubs and sent off to visit the rain shower – complete with a signature yellow rubber ducky to keep me company.

time to perfect Switching to ‘perfect’ mode, scents of ginger and vanilla wafted in the air, the lights turned gold, and the music changed to a whimsy mix. On my face, the aesthetician used advanced crystal-free microdermabrasion to ‘smooth my contours,’ micro-current to ‘lift and sculpt’ my cheeks, and a calming LED light to help ‘even my skin tone.’ The organic anti-aging facial involved some of nature's most powerful allies: omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, beta glucans, ellagic acid and concentrated antioxidants. I felt like new. But that wasn’t the end of my Eau Spa adventure at this 42,000 square-foot oasis. I was led outside to the Self Centered Garden with airy cabanas, dipping pools, suspended swinging chairs, music, refreshing cocktails and, yes, giant-size yellow rubber duckies floating throughout. It’s an experience I will never forget and one that I can hardly wait to do again. Eau Spa is located within Eau Palm Beach at 100 S. Ocean Blvd. in Manalapan. For reservations, go to or call (561) 540-4960. Continued on next page

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Spa At Ritz-Carlton coconut grove A sanctuary of beauty and wellness, the boutique Spa at the Ritz-Carlton Coconut Grove is renowned for its personalized service on an intimate scale. A comprehensive selection of massage techniques, body treatments, modern facial care and precision nail services is enhanced by tranquil surroundings and the famous superior service for which the Ritz-Carlton is known. A popular massage for men is Shankara’s Abyhanga Massage. It’s designed to make one float to a rhythmic motion of smooth, gentle and rolling massage techniques to enhance your consciousness, nourish the body and refresh the mind. On behalf of South Florida Opulence, Richard Kingan traveled to Coconut Grove to try this unique treatment. “Being 6’7” tall, I find many spas aren’t equipped for me, but I felt right at home at the Spa at the Ritz-Carlton Coconut Grove,” Kingan said. “It was a little slice of heaven.” To get a female’s point of view, we sent Shannon Wechsel to experience the Signature Carita Lagoon Hydration Facial, which immerses you in Polynesian lagoon water, a rich source of essential minerals. Carita’s signature Renovateur is applied to remove impurities. “I’ve never experienced anything so relaxing,” Wechsel said. “It was like drifting off on a magic carpet ride.” The Spa at the Ritz-Carlton Coconut Grove is located at 3300 SW 27th Ave., Coconut Grove. For reservations, call 305-644-4680 or visit


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Spa At Ritz-Carlton KEY BISCAYNE One of the top resort spas in Miami, this tropical oasis, a 20,000-square-foot spa welcomes guests to an arrival experience with a mosaic waterfall, modern gold fixtures and contemporary art displays. Wet areas, including the Jacuzzi, sauna and steam room, incorporate a contrast of natural tones of custom mosaic murals, greeting sunlight in relaxation area. Enhancing the relaxation experience and boasting the lush tropical surrounding, the spa menu caters to men, women and expectant mothers, with treatments such as the Signature Tropical Paradise Hydrating Wrap, Piña Colada Body Polisher and Island Escape package. Fresh signature nails services allow guests to create a unique and personalized experience from a menu of scents, ingredients and vegan nail polish.

editor's choice Personally, my favorite treatment at the Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne is the HSR

Lifting Facial (80 minutes, $265). The soothing anti-aging products plump up my skin and leave me feeling 10 years younger. Locals may enjoy spa facility access with a spa treatment or fitness center when participating in a class. For those looking for a relaxing getaway, ask to book the resort’s Spa-Cation package.

what gentlemen prefer

Michael Jay, try the Gentlemen’s Retreat. “It’s the very best men’s facial, gentlemen’s manicure and signature massage that a guy could ask for,” he said. The Ritz-Carlton Spa Key Biscayne is located at 455 Grand Bay Drive, Key Biscayne. To book an appointment or for more information, call 305-365-4197.

Or, if you’re like local Florida resident

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The Five-star Spa At Mandarin Oriental, Miami Tucked away on Brickell Key in downtown Miami, the consistently fabulous five-star Spa at Mandarin Oriental, Miami recently launched Inspiring Rituals, a selection of spa and wellness programs designed by the Spa’s expert team of therapists to improve mind, body and spirit. Each monthly ritual focuses on a different inspiring theme and includes two hours of spa treatments, an inspirational fortune cookie, spa gift and at home spa tips. “Our therapy team is always seeking opportunities to better serve and educate our spa guests with personalized experiences,” said Osa Mallo, Spa Director. The rituals are available through December and are priced from $335 to $380. In the summer, spa guests can enjoy a Spiritual ritual available in June offering the twohour Kundalini Journey using a variety of advanced massage techniques with aromatherapy, color, gemstone and sound therapy. South Florida Opulence sent Ryan Michael to give it a try. “It was a wonderful experience of relaxing stretches that left me speechless,” he said. “Hands down, it was the most relaxing massage I’ve ever received.” But some things are tried and true – like the Opulence Rejuvenescence Facial. For South Florida Opulence contributing writer, Cara Jay, this is the treatment of choice no matter what time of the year. “Once you’ve experienced the antiaging products developed at the clinic of Dr. Ivo Pitanguy in Brazil, which are used


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in this amazing facial, you’ll never want to use anything else on your skin. I always request aesthetician Osa Mallo because she makes every visit a splendor.” This luxurious facial features intensive treatment with the Clarisonic Opal, as well as scalp, hand and foot massage. Results of this 120-minute facial are as effective as they are relaxing. $400. The Spa at Mandarin Oriental, Miami is open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. For reservations or more details, call 305-913-8332, email momia-spa@mohg. com or visit

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Mrs. Palm Beach An exclusive interview with philanthropist, author and socialite Hilary Geary Ross

By Ava Roosevelt

photo BY: harry benson


ilary Geary Ross, a dear friend of many years, is a columnist for Quest magazine and an author of a recently published book Palm Beach People with world-renowned photojournalist Harry Benson. More than anyone, she personifies the allure of a town that has attracted the super wealthy, elite, imposters and famed fortune hunters for more than 100 years.

Ava Roosevelt: I understand your grandparents introduced you to Palm Beach. What is your fondest memory? Hilary Geary Ross: I came to visit my grandparents as a tiny tot and my earliest memory was of devouring a fresh orange on a stick at the Bath and Tennis Club, which is still served at the poolside. My grandparents were both writers and big readers. They gave me a book each month from Doubleday, which I think is a great present for any child.

The days of Palm Beach all began back in 1878, when the Spanish brig Providencia was hauling a cargo of 20,000 coconuts bound from Havana to Barcelona. It ran aground on what was then known as Lake Worth. Local residents claimed the coconuts as salvage, and within a decade, the area was filled with palm trees – leading to the island’s new name, Palm Beach.

Ava: What has changed in Palm Beach since then? Hilary: Palm Beach has always been a glittering resort, but I think it has improved with age, like a fine wine. There are many more cultural institutions, like The Kravis Center, The Four Arts, The Norton Museum of Art, The Palm Beach Cultural Council and, of course, The Preservation Foundation of Palm Beach. There are also more golf courses, beautiful tennis courts and terrific restaurants. I only wish there was still a movie theatre on this island.

Each year, during cold winter months up north, this breathtaking city, etched in our memory, inspires thousands to flock here craving R&R Palm-Beach style. Extremely high real estate prices and hotels full of visitors prove it. I sat down with Hilary to chat about the allure of living in Palm Beach. 96

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Ava: What do you enjoy most about living in Palm Beach? Hilary: I love the wonderful climate and the fascinating people who live here. A perfect day starts out with breakfast outside on

“I came to visit my grandparents as a tiny tot and my earliest memory was of devouring a fresh orange on a stick at the Bath and Tennis Club, which is still served at the poolside.” my loggia, followed by a 5-mile walk with my sister, a golf lesson, lunch at home, then tennis with my husband and off to dinner at a pal’s house.

Life at Windsong Often seen impeccably attired and always on the arm of her financier husband, billionaire Wilbur Ross, the couple says they have always loved Palm Beach, so it was a ‘natural’ for them to choose this heavenly spot to live. Wilbur and Hilary’s house in Palm Beach is a 1939 Georgian Revival manor named Windsong. It is a masterpiece by high-society architect John L. Volk. Tucked away in the estate section of the island, it overlooks the Intracoastal Waterway. In 2004, their main house won the Ballinger award with architect Thomas Kirchoff and designer Bunny Williams. Then, in 2010, the newly built guest home earned the couple, Kirchhoff and designer Mario Buatta, the coveted 2010 Elizabeth L. and John H. Schuler Award from the Preservation Foundation of Palm Beach. Hilary: Windsong faces south with hypnotic views of the Intracoastal Waterway. The traditional floor plan, with its high ceilings and large windows, has an ease, grace and flow perfect for entertaining with a center hall connecting the dining room and living

room and library. There are wonderful details, such as seashell moldings that we mimicked in the guesthouse. When we bought the house, the loggia was enclosed, so we opened it up to return it to its ‘former self’ as it was originally designed. Wilbur and I were ‘over the moon’ with happiness when we heard about the Schuler award for the guesthouse that we built with our ‘dream team.’ It truly was a joy to work with a trio of geniuses! Thanks to Mario Buatta’s talented hand, it is remarkably comfortable, yet glamorous. Plus, it was finished on time!

The Philanthropist Hilary supports local causes, small and large, with gusto, charm and disarming ease. From the opening of a designer’s boutique on Worth Avenue, to sitting on the board of the iconic Preservation Foundation, she divides her time and charitable efforts between Palm Beach and New York. In the Big Apple, she sits on the boards of The Boys’ Club of New York and Central Park Conservancy. As a fellow board member of the Palm Beach Preservation Foundation, both Hilary and I deeply care about preserving the architectural beauty of a town we both love and call home.

What’s Not to Love? It’s impossible not to love a town where the only serious crime is gossip. The aweinspiring architecture and pristine climate only two and a half hours away from New York by air are irresistible to many including 29 billionaires who own properties in Palm Beach. Forbes identified industrialist David Koch as the Palm Beacher with the highest net worth, estimated at $40 billion. Being rich doesn’t hurt, but vast wealth is not a primary prerequisite to call Palm Beach home. Ava: Tell us please about the concept of your book, Palm Beach People, in which you collaborated with photojournalist Harry Benson. (Harry was interviewed in the Spring 2015 issue of South Florida Opulence.) In a town where ‘belonging’ is paramount, how did you manage to choose among your friends who would be invited and who would not to appear in your book?

Hilary: We tried to have a balance of people – artists, actors, philanthropists – all from different backgrounds and professions to paint an accurate portrait of the fabric of Palm Beach. We could easily do two more volumes, as there are so many great people we missed. Writing about what she knows, Hilary provided an intimate insight to a town she loves. Well in keeping with her philanthropic nature, she generously donated the proceeds from the book to the Preservation Foundation. Living up to the title of Mrs. Palm Beach is a tall order, and could intimidate most, but I can stake my life on it, it won’t stop Hilary from being herself.

Palm Beach People is available at

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men’s grooming 1.

1. Norvell’s Self-Tanning  Maintenance System Prices vary. Available at specialty beauty salons, spas, and tanning salons.

2. Caffeinated Shaving Cream and After Shave Caffeine is an effective vasoconstrictor and antioxidant that helps reduce redness and keeps your skin looking and feeling healthy. $15.99/set at

3. CREED Green Irish Tweed Perfume A legend like the stars who wear it, CREED Green Irish Tweed has an invigorating freshness and pure masculinity. $350 4 oz. Available at Saks Fifth Avenue or



Future Master Perfumer Erwin Creed Visits the U.S. for the First Time Since 2012 By Robin Jay Connoisseurs of handblended fragrances of the Paris-based House of CREED recently welcomed 7th generation and future Master Perfumer Erwin Creed at Saks Fifth Avenue in Boca Raton. It was the third time in the last Erwin Creed decade that I’ve interviewed the handsome young Frenchman, now 34, and it feels likes I’ve watched him grow from a boy fervent on Formula One racecar driving to a young man now passionate about taking


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the family business baton when so betrothed by his legendary Master Perfumer father, Olivier Creed. The six-foot-something Erwin entered the room wearing a linen shirt, designer jeans, Italian-maker shoes and the classic CREED scent Green Irish Tweed, which Olivier created for Cary Grant back in the day (just so happens, it’s also my husband’s very favorite CREED fragrance). When Erwin was 21, his father arranged for him to intern at other famous fragrance houses in Europe to further prepare him for life as a Master Perfumer. Today, he is the face of CREED, traveling the world as the family ambassador, while Olivier remains the company’s artistic nose.

“My father – himself an artist whose canvas is the perfumery room where he painstakingly macerates the finest ingredients from around the globe – continues to use the same oldworld perfume-making methods as did my great-great grandfathers since 1761.” I asked him the secret behind sustaining generations of this high-integrity, but costly labor-intensive House of CREED. He answered without hesitation, “When you make something truly beautiful, you simply don’t need marketing.”


McLAREN Racing Legend Bruce McLaren’s Vision Alive and Well in the 570S Supercar Debut By Joshua Stone

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With 562 horsepower on tap and a 0-60 time of 3.2 seconds, this car’s performance is anything but entry level.

In 1952, 14-year-old Bruce McLaren entered a hillclimb race with a racecar his father restored in his native New Zealand. After many years of Grand Prix racing, McLaren developed his own Formula 1 car for the 1966 season – and the world of racing would never be the same. He was praised for his engineering, analysis, and management skills, and was a pioneer in racecar aerodynamics. Though Bruce passed away in a crash in 1970, McLaren Racing continued to flourish and win in his honor, picking up eight constructors’ championships, 12 drivers’ championships and more than 152 fastest-lap records. While many remember the iconic McLaren F1, of which only 64 road cars were produced between 1993 and 1998, the modern McLaren era started with the Mp4-12c in 2009. This supercar combined absolute cutting-edge race technology in a road car. The 12C evolved into the 650S in 2014, with more aggres-


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sive styling, revised aerodynamics, and more evolved systems, making it a force to be reckoned with. With the recent new McLaren 570S debut at the New York Auto Show, South Florida Opulence sat down with Tony Joseph, Director of McLaren North America, and Rob Rizzo, East Coast Regional Sales Manager, to find out more about this new supercar and where it fits in the already impressive McLaren lineup. Rob: “The great thing about the 650S is that it had a wide range of usability from comfort to track type settings, and with the 570S, we have made it more livable as well. We’ve redesigned the carbon monocell, changing the shape of the door sills and the way the doors open to make entry and exit easier. We’ve created more interior space and more visibility, more storage inside the cabin, as well as in the boot, eliminating all of the obstacles that would have made the 650 a less than ideal daily driver even though it could have acted

as one. You take a lot of that DNA that we have in the 650 and the P1 and make it more usable, more friendly, and you broaden the appeal and make it more enjoyable on a daily basis. That was the main design ethos of the car: to eliminate any of those obstacles.” Entry level and daily driver often mean compromise and making things softer, but this is not the case with the 570S. With 562 horsepower on tap and a 0-60 time of 3.2 seconds, this car’s performance is anything but entry level. Tony: “It’s not a watered-down version of a 650, it’s actually a redesigned interpretation of our technology. With this car and its competitive set, it will, in all cases, outdo the competition. The performance figures are on par with the competition’s next step up, yet it isn’t in that segment.” One of the most amazing things about the 570S is that it avoids a gas-guzzler tax and has the lowest CO2 emissions in the segment.

The fact that it weighs in at 2,895lbs through the clever use of lightweight materials helps achieve these lofty efficiency targets. Just because it’s entry level does not mean customers can’t spec their cars to their exact desire. Rob: “With McLaren Special Operations, you can have MSO defined options. These have become popular over the years and we’ve made them standardized for MSO and easier to order, certain carbon bits, etcetera, but you can get as specific as you want, you can say I want this stitching, I want this fabric, I want this color sample. It can be as bespoke as you like.” With its new 570S, McLaren has brought supercar performance to a more attainable level than ever before. Just by the specs and the sheer presence of the car in person, it is clear McLaren has created a winner. I’m looking forward to driving this one.

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Tom Holland N o n - S e ns i b l e A r t O F

An exclusory interview with one of California’s most important living abstract artists By Robin Jay


Holland contemplated college in 1954, his father, a businessman, told him, “Son, do something sensible.” So, the obedient young Holland set out for Willamette University in Salem, Oregon, intending to study industrial design or architecture. Tom Holland

uthor Samuel Butler once wrote, “Sensible people get the greater part of their own dying done during their own lifetime.” It’s a philosophy that could very well explain why painter Tom Holland has done so much dynamic living – and why he’s considered to be one of the most important living artists in California.

What, you say? Sometimes what most people consider to be “sensible” isn’t so practical if, that is, you want to make a significant mark on history – particularly in the art world. When 18-year-old San Mateo native Tom


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On a whim, he signed up for a watercolor painting class. “It was an epiphany,” Holland told South Florida Opulence. “I started painting all the time. I couldn’t stop.” With Oregon’s picturesque landscape, the budding artist would go to the coast or the countryside and “paint, paint, paint.” Would his father have called that sensible? Perhaps not. But Tom was following his passion. Interestingly, another bit of “non-sensible” behavior proved the next catalyst in Holland’s future career. “I got into trouble for drinking beer with some friends at the Capitol in Salem – and drinking alcohol was strictly against the rules at my faith-based college. My buddies were expelled, but I got a second

chance because I hadn’t been in trouble before,” Holland explained. “Mark Hatfield was the Dean of Men at Willamette University, and he was running for Secretary of State. He asked me to be his driver during his campaign speech tour. I agreed. We’d go from Salem down to Portland. I’d drop him off at a venue and then drive his car to the coast or the countryside and create my watercolor paintings. I’d pick him up after his speech, have dinner with his family and go back to school. It was an amazing opportunity and he was a remarkable man. Hatfield won the election and, incidentally, was Holland’s first paying customer.

The seascape painting hung on the wall in Hatfield’s Secretary of State office as a symbol of their friendship.

Defining Sensibility Soon after, 19-year-old Holland transferred to an art school in Los Angeles – but still, to study something “sensible” like design. Holland’s uncle in New York, intrigued by his nephew’s interest in the arts, sent him a plane ticket to visit the Big Apple. He told him to bring along a stack of his watercolor paintings and arranged for him to meet one of his friends – none other than Monroe Wheeler, then curator of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA.) “Mr. Wheeler looked through my paintings and said, ‘Tom, who is your favorite watercolorist?’ I said it was painter John Marin. Wheeler responded, ‘I know John

Marin well.’ Then he said, ‘Your watercolors are interesting, but they say to me, ‘I’m good…and nothing else.’ That was a profound moment for me. What Wheeler meant was that an artist’s work must be more than good – it has to be something new. Today, I still live by those words.”

The Moment of Truth During that visit, Holland walked up the stairs of MoMA. A painting at the top of the flight stopped him in his tracks. “It was ‘The Sleeping Gypsy’ by Henri Rousseau in 1897,” Holland recalled. “Rousseau was a good friend of Pablo Picasso and other notable artists, but he was considered

an ‘outsider painter’ because he was uneducated. Rousseau’s painting set me on a whole different direction because I, too, felt like an outsider. It dawned on me that I didn’t have to imitate what was already successful; I could – and should – create my own style.” The determined artist went on to University of California, Berkeley, as an art major, where he met his wife Judy and studied with David Park – one of the three figurative main painters of the Bay area at Summer 2015

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the time. He earned a spot as Park’s studio assistant. “I learned so much from him – he was very wise,” Holland said. “Once when I was nominated for a student award, I didn’t win and was very disappointed. David said to me, ‘Tom, if there is one thing you don’t want to be, it’s a golden boy for people who have already established their careers.’ That spoke volumes to me.” In his senior year of college, Holland grew tired of school. He applied for and won a Fullbright Grant to paint in Santiago, Chile. A year later, he and Judy returned to Berkeley and had the first of three sons. To make ends meet, Holland worked five jobs: teaching children’s art classes at Richmond Art Center; gardening for residents in Berkeley; illustrating for the Paleontology Department at Cal Berkeley; teaching night classes at the San Francisco Art Institute; and creating his own art.

Raising His Own Bar At his studio, Holland found himself bored by flat surfaces. “I wanted more of an irritant to deal with – like three dimensionality that had parts jutting out.” He fashioned canvases over wood frames in the shape of animals, waterfalls and automobiles, and then painted over them with oils. “I had my first successful show in a gallery by Stanford University. They were strange pieces, but I loved them. Many well-known artists and art critics attended the exhibit opening. They had their backs to the paintings and I overheard one of them saying, ‘these paintings of Holland’s are so bad that they’re almost good!’ “Some young artists might have been offended, but to me, it was a compliment. I sold 38 paintings that night, made $5,000, bought a parcel to build a house, and splurged on a used sports car – a white 1957 Jaguar with red leather interior,” Holland said. About that time, Holland was offered to teach at UCLA – making as much money as a professor as he did at his five current jobs combined. He accepted. But, yet again, the artist yearned for another innovative medium. He thought about paper but found it too easily destructible. Instead, Holland found a factory in Santa Monica that made


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Red Head 60" width x 83" height

“Most art critics can’t figure out how to categorize me – as a New York artist, a California artist or a European artist. And I like it that way just fine.” – Tom Holland

fiberglass panels for greenhouses and bought a few to serve as canvases. “The only paint that would stick to it was epoxy, a resin industrial paint. I’ve been using it ever since.”

This was the start of Holland’s most popular – and most non-sensible – genre. The novel artist rivets together pieces of the fiberglass – and also aluminum – to erect both wall-

mounted and freestanding masterpieces. His studio is a former truck company garage, with 11-foot ceilings and six garage doors so that he can easily remove finished pieces if he chooses to make an oversized 3-D piece he insists on calling a 'painting' rather than a 'sculpture' because it is still all about the paint and shapes. “The constructions themselves are interesting – but I need color – I have to get them dirty with vibrant paint – lots of it,” Holland said. “I’ve never worked with an assistant because I wouldn’t know what to ask an assistant to do – I don’t know myself what I’m going to do until I do it. I don’t make sketches or models first – I just get in there and start cutting and riveting and building to my heart’s content.” Does the ‘follow-your-gut’ artist accept commissions? “Yes, but if you want a red sculpture to match your red couch, that’s not what I do.” If it sounds like a mad scientist in his lab, so be it. The global art world has taken notice. Holland’s painted 3-D conglomerations are in the collections of some of the most prestigious art museums in the world – such as the Guggenheim Museum, MoMA, Whitney Museum of American Art, Art Institute of Chicago, St. Louis Museum of Art, Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, Denver Museum, San Francisco Art Institute, Los Angeles County Museum and dozens more. What does Holland’s wife make of her artsy husband? “Judy has a political science degree and is not an artist – thank goodness – that’s probably why we’ve been happily married for 57 years!” Holland said with a grin. Tom and Judy have three very successful sons – an oceanographer, a professional hospitality consultant and entrepreneur in the California Wine Country – and, yes – much to their chagrin – an artist. Proving that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, when Holland learned of his son’s aspirations, he didn’t at first find it sensible, “You want to be a WHAT?!!” he responded. The couple now has five grandchildren (who love to paint with Grandpa). They enjoy flyfishing and spending time on a parcel of rough

Rascal 52" width 74" height

scrubland they own. “I constructed the shacks on the property myself, including a stone bathroom. I cover them with manzanita bushes so that nosey Google Earth types can’t see them if they fly over,” Holland said with a snicker.

A Humble man Ask Tom Holland what he thinks about being named ‘California’s most important artist,’ and the salt-of-the-earth man shies away from comment. But, make no mistake, Tom Holland is one-of-a-kind. The owner of a prestigious New York gallery once traveled to see him when his children were young. They offered him enough money to live handsomely in New York City and send their

children to private schools and top colleges. All Holland had to do was drop affiliation with his other galleries and move to New York to be among a top group of elite artists. He politely declined. “I didn’t see myself fitting in,” he said. “Most art critics can’t figure out how to categorize me – as a New York artist, a California artist or a European artist. And I like it that way just fine.” Be sure to visit the exhibit “TOM HOLLAND: NOW.... and a little bit of history” that runs through June 29, 2015 at Samuel Lynne Galleries in Dallas. This editor has seen it first hand – and it’s truly an amazing must-see! For details, go to

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The Artist As An

Entrepreneur By Rafael Cruz, Regional Director, SBDC Fort Lauderdale


hen you hear the name Michelangelo, what do you think of? The magnificent sculpture of David, the glorious Sistine Chapel or one of Michelangelo’s many architectural triumphs? What most people do not think of is what kind of businessperson he was.

An article in The Guardian sheds some light on his wealth “Michelangelo, the Renaissance artist and sculptor renowned for his stinginess, was much richer than his rivals and may have been one of the wealthiest artists in history, according to a new book by an American academic. During a long career, Michelangelo accumulated a fortune which would be worth more than $44 million today. The estimate has been calculated by Rab Hatfield, a professor of art history at the University of Syracuse in Florence.” The old masters like Michelangelo had to have formidable negotiation skills because they did business with wealthy princes and powerbrokers like the Pope. They also hired and managed laborers to execute their artistic vision and managed budgets and inventories of supplies. These things sound a lot like business skills and nothing like artistic skills. Yet, in the past, it was taken for granted that any successful artist had to have an understanding of these things. Somewhere along the line, we lost sight of how important these skill sets are to artists, and artists have suffered financially ever since.

A Business Solution for South Florida Artists To address this critical gap in skill sets for artists in our community, our very own award-winning Broward County Cultural Division has hosted the Artist as an Entrepreneur Institute (AEI) program at ArtServe, on Sunrise Boulevard, for almost a decade now. Considered a rare program of its kind, AEI teaches all types of artists how to make profits on their art and/or creative ventures. The program welcomes artists of all disciplines like dancers, musicians, painters, graphic designers and more. Artists residing in any county are invited to attend. The Artist as an Entrepreneur Institute (AEI) was founded in 2003 by the Community Partnership for Arts and Culture (CPAC) Cleveland, Ohio, and the Council of Smaller Enterprises (COSE). Both were interested in helping artists to build viable small businesses in the community. Every participant in this exceptional program spends four intense Saturdays during the month of June absorbing effective strategies that many artists know they need to get their careers to the next level but few have had the focused opportunity to learn until now. Business planning, branding, pricing, operational accounting,

paying taxes, and protecting your rights are just a sampling of the key areas covered in the AEI course.

Artists enrolled in the Institute come to a key decision point during the process; they must realize that they enjoy their art as a serious hobby or they are awakened to a more practical and broader way of thinking about art, as a business. Since its inception in 2007, the AEI program has had a steady enrollment. To date, 506 students have successfully graduated this intense program. The AEI program features in-depth business modules presented by experts in their field who have a love and passion for art. Year after year, the program continues to draw artists of all types as they seek to gain a better understanding of the disciplines and principles involved in developing a successful business in art.

Success Stories Graduates of AEI continue to make strides in effectively creating fresh and profitable artistic endeavors. Virginia Fifield, Jaclyn Laflamme and Lee Anna Yater are graduates of the very first AEI and together founded the “Doing Business As” art exhibit. Today, “Doing Business As” is an annual event where up to nearly 60 AEI graduates have participated. The planning and execution of this exhibit gives artists an opportunity to practice the skills they learned during the AEI program. As a complement to the AEI program, Regional Director Rafael Cruz of the SBDC Fort Lauderdale (Small Business Development Center) launched the Creative Entrepreneur Development Program (CED), a one-on-one at no-cost consulting service available to all arts/creative economy-related businesses. The CED program is led by George Gadson, a certified business consultant who was formerly a banker and presently an accomplished, nationally recognized artist. The SBDC is the state of Florida’s designated principal provider of small business assistance and has helped hundreds of thousands of businesses throughout Florida during its 40 years of operation. The SBDC is the go-to resource for those in the know. Many lovers of art and culture realize that the Broward County arts community is going through its own Renaissance. The county’s Artist as an Entrepreneur Institute and the SBDC’s Creative Entrepreneur Development Program make sure that our artists have the business skills they need to successfully realize their creative visions. With SBDC, ArtServe, Inc., the Cultural Division, and CPAC’s assistance, an entrepreneurial road map is being created for Broward County’s creative sector. If you want to know more about the Artist as an Entrepreneur Institute or the SBDC’s Creative Entrepreneur Development Program, please contact the links below: The 2015 AEI program link: See: The Starting Gate; Miami Herald: The SBDC Website :

Summer 2015

South Florida OPULENCE


Abstract Expressionist ATTILA JK


By Dale King and Julia Hebert

cclaimed Hungarian painter/ sculptor Attila JK nearly died at childbirth in 1963, and came close to losing his life on two later occasions. His father was captured by invading communist troops following World War II and spent nearly five years in a stark military detention center. Still, Attila’s father “retained his cheerful nature and good heart until the end of his days.” His son shares those qualities – which he incorporates into his artwork today.

Broad-shouldered, with an amiable face and soft, curly gray hair, Attila used those potentially tragic incidents to enhance his artistic creativity. “My near-death experiences as a 7-year-old child and as a young adult guided me toward meditation,” he said during an interview at Ildiko Contemporary Fine Art Gallery in Palm Beach, Florida, where his creations are on display in a white, stucco building operated by Ildiko Varga.

Finding Inspiration “My experiences during meditation and the messages I receive guide me toward abstract expressionism. I depict as a series of freeze-frames the visual world that I experience during meditation, a series of continuously pulsating, moving, vibrating, feeling and loving ‘unknown’ emotional and spiritual states. “I use colors as a kind of emotional energy state,” Attila said. “The ones I tend to use are blood red, sky colors, yellow orange,

as well as gold and silver, to which I add a poison green, which symbolizes the power of nature.” Early in life, the now-famous artist oriented himself toward architecture before opting for fine art in the middle 1990s. At the same time, Ildiko was settling into Palm Beach, where she opened a gallery that featured high-end Hungarian Varga crystal. Today, the couple has become part of the community’s fabric, embraced he says by Kennedys, Trumps and other philanthropists. Newspaper heiress Lois Pope and Hungarian Prime Minister Peter Medgyessy are major collectors of the artist’s work. The couple now lives near the ocean south of Palm Beach, and Attila’s studio is


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south of that, in Delray Beach, standing a few hundred feet from the Atlantic Ocean. He said the magnificent blue hues – from the sky to the water – fire his imagination.

Attila’s Technique In his paintings, Attila utilizes oils on canvas to surround imbedded images at the center with brilliant pigments. Gallery visitors can discover ballet dancers, their nude Prima Donna, a shark, the Garden of Eden and dreamscapes of concepts such as creation and evolution. Gábor Pataki, an art historian, sees the influences of many iconic artists in Attila’s works. His trained gaze tracks techniques from Jackson Pollock, Clyfford Still, Oscar Dominguez, Willem de Kooning and Zao-Wou-Ki, among others.

“My inspiration comes from deep within my soul.” – Attila JK

Prometheus, Oil on Canvas, 58 wide" x 84" height Ocean, Oil on Canvas, 84"wide x 58" height

Though Attila did not create paintings or sculptures until he was an adult, he felt an artistic tug throughout his youth. “When I was a child, I spent every summer vacation at a village in the countryside. I learned to love animals and nature itself with the fervor of a small child. I would see how animals were born. I remember how deeply touched I was when, just a moment after the birth of a little calf, she looked at me. I was fascinated by the vivid colors of the field after rain.” Admittedly a “protected” child, Attila was born in the midst of a pounding hailstorm on a warm summer night. He said his father was violently agitated by refusing to accept the doctors’ prognosis that “my mother’s [critical health condition] would mean that she,

I, or both would die.” The decision was right, and both survived. “My father later admitted that he was never so afraid.” Art writer Csaba Kozak paints an exacting word picture of Attila’s creative process. “He runs and drips the paint, arranging from it irregular formations [looking like] the signals of a seismograph or the pulsation of the beat. His gestures come from the depth of the heart.” The artist takes it a step further, adding, “My inspiration comes from deep within my soul.” Shark, Oil on Canvas, 58" wide x 84" height

Summer 2015

South Florida OPULENCE



“Miami has the excitement and energy of Dubai,” said Nitin Motwani, a developer of the upcoming Paramount Miami Worldcenter, an unprecedented sophisticated residential development, set to tower above retail giants Macy's and Bloomingdale's in the heart of downtown Miami's Miami Worldcenter. But this is no typical ultra-luxury highrise – it’s one that will offer plenty of surprises, like a private soccer field; a jam room fully equipped with drums, guitar, piano and recording studio; and a sleek four-story rooftop deck designed to look like an Italian yacht. “With all of these attractions in one central hub, Miamians can live well and walk everywhere, like in Paris.” Together with Art Falcone and Paramount Miami Worldcenter condominium developer Daniel Kodsi, the three partners are creating a city within a city – a veritable urban oasis in downtown Miami with the ambience of a chic beachfront resort. When completed, it will be the second largest project of its kind in the U.S., occupying 10 blocks on about 30 acres, which is expected to attract $2 billion in new investment 110

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Summer 2015

within the downtown area, including a pedestrian mall on Seventh St. and the 1,800-room Marriott Marquis World Convention Center Hotel.

Incorporating Aspects From Top Metro Cities

“Downtown Miami has been a mass of old warehouses since 1930,” says Kodsi, an experienced developer who has created 25 projects around Florida, including Paramount Bay in Miami and Paramount Fort Lauderdale Beach. Falcone, Motwani and Kodsi have known each other for years, so it made sense for them to work together on development projects like this one. Kodsi was impressed the men were working with the Forbes Co. and Taubman Properties, the shopping center specialists who are

To prepare for the creation of Paramount Miami Worldcenter – and its dynamic mixed-use residential, retail and commercial components being constructed on the site of old warehouses downtown – its principals spent two years traveling to fascinating international cities. They sought out metropolitan areas that combine the old with the new like Paris, Berlin, Tokyo, Singapore and Dubai. Utilizing what they learned, Motwani believes Paramount Miami Worldcenter will revolutionize the face of Miami. The development will offer an unmatched destination to live, work and play in the heart of the city’s Paramount Miami Worldcenter developers Daniel Kodsi, urban area. Art Falcone and Nitin Motwani

assembling retailers for the 765,000-square-

dents have such a concentrated volume of

foot Mall at Miami Worldcenter.

public transportation options, landmark

Kodsi could see the future of building residences combined with retail, which will include the finest high-end stores, galleries,

cultural and entertainment venues and lifestyle amenities directly within a few blocks of their doorsteps,” says Kodsi.

restaurants and night clubs. The partners

PARAMOUNT has secured deposits from

realized quickly they have the fire power to

buyers in 20 different countries – 85 percent

create a master plan community.

from South America, Europe and the

A Closer Look

Middle and Far East – and will be a superior

Located directly across from Biscayne Bay, the project is near entertainment and cultural destinations. Residents can walk or take a car service to American Airlines Arena for Miami Heat basketball games and concerts; or to the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, Perez Art Museum Miami (PAMM), Frost Museum of Science, Wynwood Arts District, Bicentennial Park and Bayfront Park.

luxury residence. The stunning edifice will rise 706 feet with 60 stories and have about 500 units with private elevators, 10-foot high ceilings, the latest technology and balconies that can be converted to outdoor living rooms. Buyers pick from one, two or three bedroom-with-den units, or penthouses. Prices range from about $700,000 to $5 million per residence, with an amenity package like no other. There are well-landscaped gardens, infinity pools, and let’s not

This plum central location is what makes

forget the soccer field. An outdoor two-acre

Paramount Miami Worldcenter stand out

sports complex on the 9th floor will also

as the new hub of urban Miami, which will

have tennis courts, a jogging course and



yoga deck. Other showstoppers on the six-

residents. “Nowhere in the world will resi-

acre amenity deck include the spa’s outdoor




bath gardens, pool pods, beachlike seating, a dozen Balinese style, two-story villas surrounded by pools, and a variety of unusual water features. Inside will delight with a fitness center, boxing studio and jam room fully equipped with drums, guitar, piano and recording studio.

EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED “With every turn, there is something new,” says Kodsi. “PARAMOUNT residents don’t even need to go outside to dine, as they are just an elevator ride away from restaurants.” Across the street will be urban courtyards and green parks with lots of open space so no one feels crowded while walking, biking, sightseeing, or playing with their pets. “We are excited about Paramount Miami Worldcenter because it will have a resort atmosphere yet be located downtown with so much to do,” says Kodsi. “When residents look up and see buildings all around, they can revel in a modern, urban, 24-hour city.”

Summer 2015

South Florida OPULENCE


A good cup of joe

Sky’s The Limit


“South Florida condo associations are demanding the highest standards and supreme service in their management companies," said Mark Blackburn, Principal of CSI Management Services. “The Fisher Island, South of Fifth, Miami Beach and Key Biscayne condo communities are like no other – they each offer a lifestyle that is visionary in concept and exceptional in reality. Our being selected to consult with and/or manage these prestigious assignments is a testament to our continued growth in the luxury condo market as leaders in delivering a level of quality service that is second-to-none. Join me for a brief tour here in South Florida Opulence as we take you on tour of our latest luxury property management assignments.”


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Summer 2015


PALAZZO DEL SOL, Fisher Island There are those who can live anywhere in the world. Some of them will be fortunate enough to live here, on Fisher Island. This self-contained residential community — accessible only by private yacht and ferry — is one of the wealthiest ZIP codes in America, offering an unmatched combination of luxury, privacy, security, exclusivity and glamour. Its 216 acres of exquisitely designed and maintained green-spaces offer an oasis-like respite with world-class dining, golf, tennis, marinas, spa and market. Palazzo Del Sol is a six-star, 10-story residential condominium located where Biscayne Bay meets the Atlantic Ocean. Here, a 4.5-acre waterfront site, a piece of paradise has been reserved exclusively for residents at Palazzo Del Sol. The building, designed by Kobi Karp, consists of 47 residences with private elevators, immense outdoor terraces, Boffi kitchens and baths, 10-foot ceilings and penthouses with 15-foot ceilings. Classic and modern morph into an entirely new tropical island experience. Inspired by indoor/outdoor connectivity, Palazzo Del Sol’s architects and designers have created a welcome experience like no other. Upon entering the South Lobby, residents will be greeted by a concierge, whose expertise extends to services both on and off the island. Should you desire a cappuccino from the Aperitivo Bar, you can linger in the North Lounge, where white-glove butler services are provided daily. Each breathtaking residential unit offers the most advanced and stylish appointments, finishes and appliances. Boffi Xila Collection kitchens include Gaggenau appliances, Sub-Zero refrigeration and wine coolers, and Blum self-closing hardware. Palazzo Del Sol is owned by PDS Development LLC and headed by Heinrich von Hanau, who has more than 30 years of experience managing over $2 billion in real estate development projects around the world. PDS has selected CSI Management Services to orchestrate the ultimate in hospitality and operational residential management. “With Palazzo Del Sol, we’re taking Fisher Island to another level and redefining what it means to live opulently. We are proud to call CSI Management a partner in making our vision for 6-star service and incomparable luxury living a reality for residents who desire the very best,” said Heinrich von Hanau, Developer of Palazzo Del Sol. The Palazzo Del Sol Sales Pavilion is located at One Fisher Island Drive, Fisher Island, FL. Call 305-535-6071, visit or email (L-R) Mark Blackburn, Principal of CSI Management Services, and Heinrich von Hanau, Developer of Palazzo Del Sol on Fisher Island, peruse the state-of-theart touch-screen sales center of the luxurious condominium property. Photo Courtesy of Nick Garcia.

Summer 2015

South Florida OPULENCE



321 Ocean, SOFI

You are the artist of your dreams, 101 Key Biscayne is the canvas. Located in the heart of Key Biscayne, 101 will be home for a fortunate few, offering the perfect blend of simplicity and sophistication with modern designs, where the main focus is you. With only 11 exclusive residences, this truly is a community within a community.

321 Ocean is an exclusive collection of 21 luxury residences in the heart of Miami Beach’s most desirable neighborhood, South of Fifth. Each home is a unique creation in an intimate and breathtaking setting, each with a private elevator lobby, Atlantic and city views, a floor-through layout and East-West balconies.

Amenities Galore

Luxurious features include floor-to-ceiling glass, 10' deep oceanfront terraces, sleek open kitchens with Sub-Zero appliances, including a wine cooler and built-in espresso system. Bathrooms have European-imported marble combined with contemporary fixtures and an David Arditi oversize rain shower. Upscale amenities include an infinity-edge heated pool with direct beach access. The Garden at 321 is an exquisitely landscaped urban oasis. Fit 321 is an elite fitness center overlooking Ocean Drive, and the Ocean Library features a unique collection of art, architecture and culinary books. Residents have access to 24-hour concierge, valet parking, beach service with security attendants, and an on-point professional management company, CSI Management Services, for seamless white-glove operations.

Sea, Sand, Sun, Serenity: Define your lifestyle where you live

Residents can indulge in this oasis in the sky in units ranging in size from 1,848-1,949 sq. ft., with 2, 3 bedroom, or 3 bedroom plus den floor plans. Luxury kitchens include Miele dishwashers, Sub-Zero appliances, 10’6” ceilings, decorator concierge for finishes, and large exterior terraces. Each home includes two assigned parking spaces. Homeowners will love the beautiful rooftop Club Sunset Deck, where they can spend evenings dining alfresco. Other amenities include a 25-meter lap pool, BBQ facility and full exercise facility. “The design of the condominiums at 101 is as pristine and serene as the Village of Key Biscayne itself. Take it from this family man, there’s no better place on Key Biscayne to call home,” said Blackburn, CSI Management Services. “We chose to work with CSI Management Services at 101 Residences because they exemplify the first-rate management services our clients have come to expect,” said Eric Soulavy, who resides on Key Biscayne with his family and serves as President of R.E.A.C., a family-owned company with multiple properEric Soulavy ties on Key Biscayne. “They tailor their services to fulfill the individual needs of each new owner. Nowhere else on Key Biscayne will you find this personalized service. We look forward to having them represent 101 Residences.” Visit the sales center at 240 Crandon Blvd., Suite 250, Key Biscayne. Or, call 786.323.7819 and log on to


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Summer 2015

Urban sophistication with exquisite beachfront views

"We chose to work with CSI Management Services because of its established reputation as the leading full-service management company for luxury residential buildings in South Florida,” explains David Arditi, Founding Principal of Aria Development Group. “321 Ocean has attracted buyers who expect the very best for their home. We assembled a team of the highest caliber to design and bring the project to life, and we wanted to guarantee the continued theme of excellence with outstanding management.” For more information, call AGM Aria Development at 305-536-1490 or visit

FAENA district, Miami Beach


A home is not a place for seclusion, it is a center for inspired living

Your sophisticated home

Faena Versailles, Classic and Contemporary, are two exceptional new residential towers that are an integral part of the overall vision of Faena District Miami Beach. Faena Versailles Classic is comprised of 22 custom residences and Faena Versailles Contemporary features 41 custom residences. Juxtaposing historic and glamorous Art Deco Miami with a modern architectural vision for Miami Beach as a global destination, the complementary aesthetics create an unparalleled enclave. The company reached a significant sales milestone, selling out all 47 Residences at Faena House prior to the building’ s construction top off. “Faena Miami Beach will be the new paradigm of the Miami lifestyle, one where design, refined hospitality and culture converge,” said Alan Faena, founder of Faena Group.

The highly anticipated Parque Towers at St. Tropez will serve as the official gateway into the city of Sunny Isles Beach. This reserved group of elite residences for global connoisseurs of the high-rise life consists of typical units, Tower Suites, Penthouse and 2-story Lanai Residences ranging in size from 2,500-9,000 sq. ft. and priced from $750,000-$5.8 million.

Located in the former historic Versailles Hotel, at 35th Street and Collins Avenue, Faena Versailles Classic will present a modern interpretation of the Art Deco gem. The grand lobby, flanked by four historic columns, terrazzo Alan Faena flooring and custom chandeliers, overlooks an outdoor garden and ocean views. Faena Versailles Contemporary is located adjacent to Faena Versailles Classic, marrying the historical and contemporary. Each residence will boast an expansive private balcony, custom terrazzo and hardwood flooring, and custom kitchens and bathrooms.

“The six-star service standard at Parque Towers will be second-tonone,” said Yosi Gil.

Visit for further details.

The discerning residents who will populate Parque Towers will be united by a common characteristic: a passion for unique and carefully considered homes that are set apart by highly evolved design and a level of elevated quality construction sited within one of the world’s highest median income metropolitan areas.

Parque Towers has redefined the pool experience with five separate swimming pools, sun beds and a chic poolside bistro. Other bespoke Developer Yosi Gil amenities include a Parque Towers Kids Club; large party room; wine bar and cigar club; private theatre; executive office suites and business center; private guest suites; a private beach club; valet and concierge services. In addition, St. Tropez Towne Center will feature a variety of boutiques, stores, bistros, cafés and a fine dining restaurant – all amidst a spectacular setting of landscaped pathways and European-style cobblestone piazzas, allowing residents to enjoy a day or evening on the town without ever having to leave the property. For more information on Parque Towers at St. Tropez, please call 305-692-8500 or visit

Summer 2015

South Florida OPULENCE



South Florida OPULENCE

Summer 2015

75 Years.

proudly insuring the needs of condos and their residents

At Brown & Brown, we know that we must be as agile as the cheetah in order to thrive in the competitive insurance environment. Our unique culture has enabled us to quickly chase down new opportunities, adapt our products and services to best meet market demands, and satisfy our customers.

AUTO • AircrAfT • bOnds • cOndOminiUm • cOllecTibles • flOOd • heAlTh benefiTs • hOmeOwners • liAbiliTy • mArine * persOnAl • prOperTy • UmbrellA • wOrkers’ cOmp

Fort Lauderdale Division 1201 W. Cypress Creek Road, #130 • Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309 Phone: 954.776.2222 • Toll Free: 800.648.9303 • Fax: 954.771.9192

Serving South Florida clients’ needs since 1939

Made In China. Co n n e c t i n g C h i n ese R ea l E state B u y ers to M i am i By Jill Patterson

Are the Chinese ready to invade Miami with their billions?  Hard to say, but proactive brokerages like Opulence International Realty (OIR) are launching ahead making alliances with Asia to funnel some of the action their way.  The investment savvy Chinese have long been established in other parts of the United States, but as Miami grows in status and size, it may be their next neighborhood of choice. Miami’s real estate prices are far below San Francisco or New York’s. Add Miami’s brand-heavy culture, which Chinese so enjoy, along with our multiculturalism, and one might ask, why wouldn’t the Chinese be able to find their place here like everyone else?

Paving the way for chinese buyers There are a few stumbling blocks, but interested parties, such as the Downtown Development Authority (DDA), are hard at work to overcome obstacles and open business relations.  A recent DDA report states, “The Chinese currency is the only participating external economy that has achieved an increase in buying power as a result of an increase in the Yuan vs. the US Dollar.  It is possible that the Chinese investor could replace a portion of the South American investor market.”  The No. 1 issue is there is no direct flight from China to MIA. Swire Properties, responsible for Brickell City Centre, is owned by the company that owns Cathay


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Summer 2015

Pacific Airlines, one of the most active carriers in the Far East, so there are certainly aligning interests. Another factor is Miami is billed as the gateway to Latin America for the world, but China is heavily invested in South America already and there are plenty of direct flights from China to SA, leaving Miami out of the mix. Luring the Chinese to buy here may take some time, but both America and the Chinese are keen to speed up the process.  The Chinese traditionally like to buy where there is a foothold or small “Chinatown.”  With no Chinese consulate, Miami has an Asian population of roughly 1.7 percent, of which 29 percent are Chinese.  In December 2014, a commercial site at South Miami Avenue and 14th Street was purchased by Chinese investment group American Da Tang for $74M.  Da Tang, a concierge service for Chinese elite looking to come to the U.S., has said the project will be aimed at Chinese end users with amenities that cater to them.  This could be the foothold the Chinese need to gain a comfort level in the Miami market.  Developments like Paramount Miami Worldcenter have also been targeting China aggressively.  The Wall Street Journal reported Paramount partner, Art Falcone, is hoping to re-create his success with his Reunion residential project in Orlando, which sold to one-third Chinese buyers who put down $30M in deposits over the past year. The National Association of Realtors reported China’s

a special, highly customized, valueadded service none of her competitors can match.

Florida is already the 4th most popular state in the U.S. for Chinese home buyers . (source:

overall share of international buyers of U.S. properties rose to 16% in 2014 from 12% in 2013.  

The Increase in Chinese Buying Power In the coming weeks, OIR will be revealing their “boots on the ground” strategy regarding China in more detail.  Aware of the potential of this massive new market, Broker James Hoffman and Director of Development Solutions Jack Paget have been creating alliances in China’s major cities. OIR offers the kind of concierge service that wealthy Chinese expect. In addition, Sylvia Lu, one of its newest agents, is fluent in Mandarin and a Feng Shui “Master,” something of key importance in the acquisition of property for the Chinese.

Introducing Sales Agent and Feng Shui Master, Sylvia Lu Sylvia Lu brings a unique talent to the OIR team and to her clients. Fluent in

Mandarin, she practices the ancient art of Feng Shui passed down to her by her mother, Feng Shui Master, Dr. Macy Lu, a highly educated doctor of Chinese Medicine. Sylvia, from a child, learned the elements of Feng Shui, a multidisciplinary study encompassing astrology, geography, landscaping, architecture and urban planning. With an impressive education in interior design, which includes a degree from London’s prestigious Chelsea College of Art and Design, Sylvia mixes her design background with a sixth sense for the harmonious flow of a living space. She has advised in private homes and businesses worldwide. Some of her more notable projects have included the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Washington, D.C., as well as an appearance on the Discovery Channel and guest lecturer at the Library of Congress. As a seasoned real estate agent with more than 10 years of experience, she brings extensive Feng Shui wisdom to her clients, offering

Feng Shui literally translates as “wind and water.” It is an ancient Chinese art of placement based on the principles of yin and yang and the five elements. The philosophy examines the relationship between humans and their environment. Based on the laws of nature, Feng Shui provides a way of understanding why certain things occur. After in-depth analysis of her client’s Feng Shui chart, “I see the compatibility of my client’s energy to the space, so it is very customized.  For the home, it is about promoting overall harmony, good health, positive relationships and for the business, I help them grow and prosper.” From Nike to Citibank, from Donald Trump to Ritz-Carlton, some of the biggest names in business use the art of Feng Shui to bring about positive results.

Sylvia Lu can be reached for Feng Shui consultations, as well as general real estate services.  Her email is or you may reach her directly at 305-333-2057.

Summer 2015

South Florida OPULENCE


R eal E s t a t e

All Eyes on the T By Jill Patterson

hey say every great city has a great river. While it may not be as majestic as the Seine or as stately as the Thames, the Miami River has a unique history as long and vibrant as that of our city. After all, the River is our birthplace. And with all the hoopla about Miami evolving into an international city, it seems about time we turned our focus to the River and gave it the attention it deserves. 

The Miami River originated from the Everglades and ran unimpeded to the mouth of Biscayne Bay, fed by underwater springs and tributaries. The natives made it their home more than 2,000 years ago, as evidenced by the stone circles found on the south shores and, more recently, north banks.  Imagine the pristine beauty and wildlife Ponce de Leon encountered when he visited the area and noted the Tequesta settlements in 1513. While the River was the site of the Brickell trading post, the advent of the railroad changed it forever and made it a working river. To this day, it is heavily used as an alternative port to PortMiami for smaller vessels from the Caribbean and handles $4 billion in cargo a year, according to the Miami Herald. Charting a course down the River crosssects a wide variety of Miami life and is a bit like taking a journey through time. The upper river is rough and industrial, with boatyards and old marinas that remind us that the River has been a smuggler’s paradise for decades, from Prohibition to the 120

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Summer 2015

Rendering of "Miami Riverwalk," designed by Kobi Karp cocaine days. At the middle river, you will find Spring Garden, a lovely green oasis of historic homes marooned by industry on all sides. Farther downstream, pass under the Flagler and 5th Street bridges, the banks rise up hundreds of feet as the River meanders through a canyon of the latest residential condo boom. Battered cargo ships and tugboats make way for glistening mega yachts parked near the River’s mouth, home to some of Miami’s most exclusive restaurants, such as Zuma and Il Gabbiano.

Kobi Perspective While the last building cycle brought many buildings near to the River’s shores, the scope of new developments planned right now looks as if it will change the River’s character forever. The map on the next page outlines some of the approved, massive new projects. For instance, 444 Brickell, renamed One Brickell, across from the

Viceroy/Icon will be developed by The Related Group, with three buildings, one of them 80 stories. Just upstream on the same side will be Miami Riverwalk developed by the Chetrit Group and Ari Pearl, designed by Kobi Karp. Karp sees the River as the “hearty, historical spine or backbone” of Miami and instead of turning his back to it, as many projects have done, he plans to feature the River as the highlight of the project, making it its “front yard.” The neighboring Jose Marti Park will be renovated and the city streets will be opened out to invite people to come and enjoy the open spaces down to the water. At a recent hearing at the Urban Design Review Board, Pearl said, “The Riverwalk and Park will be to Miami what the High Line and Battery Park are to New York. We are creating something special, which will be amongst the most important

Miami River public spaces in the city.” The project plans to have four buildings, 60 stories each, a combination of residential, hotel, office and commercial. Finally, much farther up toward the “Health District,” will be River Landing, developed by Andrew Hellinger, which will feature 426,000 sf of retail, 475 apartments and 1,500 linear feet of riverfront park. In fact, the Miami River Commission mandates that any new development must put forth 50 feet from the River’s edge for the public riverwalk, but many projects are giving more space, such as FAR Properties, developing the River Point park parcels on the north side, which will be designating 65-78 feet of public space in front of the River. That project calls for twin 60-story towers, a mix of condos, commercial and lodging. In exchange for developers building beyond height restrictions, many are giving back improvements, such as extending the south portion of the public riverwalk or adding

“off” lanes to 95 to ease up traffic. A total of 9,448 residential units and 530 hotel rooms are either previously approved or undergoing permitting.

will be dotting the shores, including Sushi Samba and British sensation Duck and Waffle.

Other notable new projects along the River are Sea Vault, a mega-yacht marina for 14 lucky ships. The marina will have slips up to 230 feet long with a three-story ancillary support building at the end of each slip with separate crew and captains quarters. Miami preservationist and hotelier Avra Jain has recently purchased the Historic Miami River Inn just south of the Flagler Bridge. Ms. Jain has been largely responsible for the successful restoration of the MiMo hotel district along Biscayne Boulevard. It is rumored she has hired acclaimed designer Stephane Dipoux (Nikki Beach, Pearl, Buddha Bar) for the project. Inspired by the roaring success of Seaspice (formerly Seasalt & Pepper), a number of new restaurants

It appears the River is the next big thing and, thankfully, the Miami River Commission is doing great work reviewing projects and funneling funds and energy in the right directions. At this point, all of the River has been cleaned and dredged, with the exception of Wagner Creek, which will begin a $20 million cleanup this year. Because most of the real estate along the River is privately owned, the River has long been hidden from public view. As these waterfront parcels change hands, it makes a unique opportunity for development to allow access and enjoyment of our historic treasure and feature our River front and center. And as the city grows, it seems we are coming full circle back to where we started.

Miami River Commission

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DEVELOPMENT ON THE MIAMI RIVER NEW CONSTRUCTION 1. One Brickell: 1200 units, five-star hotel 2. KAR Project: title not released - 402 units 3. Edge: 130 units 4. Miami Riverwalk: 1,678 units, 330-room hotel 5. Miami River Yacht Club 6. Miami River Inn: restoration 7. Duck and Waffle: restaurant 8. Flagler on the River: 250 units for lease 9. Sushi Samba: restaurant 10. River Landing: 444 units, 475,000 sq ft retail 11. Sea Vault: 16-unit mega-yacht marina

LANDMARKS / EXISTING 13. Viceroy / Icon Brickell 14. Zuma @ EPIC Hotel 15. il Gabbiano @ One Miami 16. Jose Marti Park 17. Garcia’s Seafood 18. Casablanca Seafood 19. Seaspice: formerly Seasalt & Pepper 20. Spring Garden Point Park 21. Terrazas Miami: 324 units

20 19 18


98 7 6

15 16

5 4


2 1 3


Summer 2015

Jill Patterson is a Sales Associate at Opulence International Realty. 305.203.9985 or visit

South Florida OPULENCE



Hearts and Minds

The future of cardiovascular surgery is being performed today at Baptist Health’s Miami Cardiac & Vascular Institute By John D. Adams


magine for a moment that the days of invasive cardiovascular surgeries, like opening a patient’s chest and putting them on a heart/lung machine, might soon come to an end. Could you conceive of a heart valve surgery where you wouldn’t need stitches to attach the valve? “If you had told me 20 years ago that type of procedure would have been posNiberto L. Moreno, M.D. sible, I never would have believed it,” says Dr. Niberto Moreno, medical director of cardiac surgery at Baptist Health’s Miami Cardiac & Vascular Institute. Well, the future is NOW.

The procedure follows the same basic principle as an angioplasty, where the surgeons go through a small incision in the groin to reach the heart. This eliminates the necessity of a heart/lung machine so that patients recover more quickly with no inflammatory response. “The heart/lung machine has been the friend of the heart surgeon for many years,” remarks Dr. Moreno. “But if we don’t have to use it, that is certainly the ideal course for the future.” Before the use of this procedure, higher risk, older patients simply could not be considered for this type of surgery. “We are performing these procedures on patients with an average age in their mid80s. The wonderful thing about medicine in the United States, and I hope it stays this way, is that we don’t restrict healthcare to someone on the basis of their age. There are folks in their 90s who are just as deserving of the benefits to surgery as a younger patient is.”

A team approach Beyond the “nuts and bolts” of cardiac medicine, the Institute has also worked to develop a unique team approach to patient care. “Perhaps our most important innovation is the team concept to cardiovascular medicine,” emphasizes Dr. Moreno. “Especially in valve surgery, the patient used to first see their primary care doctor, then they would go to a cardiologist. The cardiologist sees the patient, makes the diagnosis, and then sends the patient to the surgeon. Then the surgeon decides if he would operate on the patient or not.”

Tomorrow’s innovations today It wasn’t long ago that cardiac patients in their 80s or 90s would not be considered viable candidates for many medical procedures. But at the Miami Cardiac & Vascular Institute, patients in that age range now have opportunities for greater health and longevity thanks to a number of innovative procedures and a unique team approach to heart surgery. “We have been able to acquire all of the latest technology that is available,” begins Dr. Moreno. “We have sutureless valves and stentless valves, which are used for different types of disease of the heart valves. We still do our beating heart work, and we do the normal, conventional heart surgeries. And all of this is dedicated to the proposition of getting patients quickly back to their daily lives with much less risk for the patient.” To that end, the Institute is currently involved in more than 100 clinical trials. “From a cardiac surgery perspective, we were a trial facility for the sutureless surgical valve, a new valve device that eliminates clots,” says Dr. Moreno. Another benefit is the lack of invasiveness.


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Summer 2015

At the Institute, patients are presented with a team comprised of surgeons, interventional radiologists, cardiologists, interventional cardiologists, and the advanced nursing staff. The team, as a whole, sit down and discuss patients in an open forum to determine the best forms of treatment for each particular patient. “At the end of the day, we come to a consensus for the best possible therapy we can give to that patient. That’s really the most important thing we have done in the last few years.” Between this dynamic team approach and the advent of newer, less invasive procedures, the landscape of cardiovascular medicine is evolving. Dr. Moreno agrees. “Ten years from now, who knows how we will do heart surgery? We are reaching toward the latest technology and innovation to help a greater population of people. Ultimately, younger patients will benefit too. We are in a great place to help develop, then institute, these new procedures. I’m very proud of what we are accomplishing for our patients.” To learn more about Baptist Health’s Miami Cardiac & Vascular Institute, visit them online at


Adi fully recognizes Miami’s international appeal and focuses his business on helping clients from across the world find properties in our vibrant city.

- James C. Hoffman, President and Broker Opulence International Realty

Adi Zilberberg is a force to be reckoned with. Raised in Tel Aviv, Israel and fluent in English and Hebrew, Adi is an avid art collector with a natural eye for luxury and an innate ability for bringing the right parties together to close a sale. A strong work ethic, excellent communication skills and dedication to his clients has helped Adi close millions in deals, including selling commercial properties in Broward County to Blackstone and other hedge fund firms based in New York. As a previous resident of Fisher Island, Adi has extensive knowledge and experience with the community and its luxury real estate market. He also specializes in luxury residential sales throughout Miami Beach and the Venetian Islands.

jetsetter t he

With LLB and MBA degrees from prestigious Manchester University, Adi has a unique worldview that assists him with interacting with his wealth of foreign clients.Combined with the skills learned during his service in the army - respect, integrity, honor, and selfless service - Adi created an alliance with Zilberberg International Realty, his family’s real estate company overseas, which affords him the opportunity to connect with affluent investors in Europe and the Middle East. He also regularly travels to New York City to bridge the gap between Manhattan and Miami’s luxury real estate markets, working with NYC clients interested in Miami properties and vice versa.

With Adi on your side, the world of Miami luxury real estate is your oyster.

adi zilberberg Luxury Real Estate Specialist Realtor-Associate, MBA, LLB

917.455.0865 I © 2015 Opulence International Realty. Equal Housing Opportunity.

2060 North Bayshore Drive, Miami Florida 33137

Legacy of the

International Red Cross Ball

W 124

By Jana Soeldner Danger

hen wealthy guests attired in designer gowns and elegantly cut tuxes swirled across the dance floor at Mar-A-Lago in Palm Beach during the International Red Cross Ball, it was worlds away from when pioneer nurse Clara Barton stanched the blood of wounded soldiers on the front lines of the American Civil War. But both are chapters in an organization that has been supporting military personnel and providing disaster relief since the 1880s.

South Florida OPULENCE

Summer 2015

The ball itself, one of the regional chapter’s most important fundraisers, has a long history. It began in 1957, the creation of Marjorie Merriweather Post. At 27, the young socialite inherited the Postum Cereal Company, which became General Foods, thanks largely to Post’s personal business savvy. She was well-known for her expensive tastes and lavish homes, including the 115room Mar-A-Lago, where she hosted Palm Beach’s first Red Cross Ball. Post was known for her generous charitable donations, so staging an elegant affair at her home was very much in character. “She wanted to bring New York-style philanthropy and excitement to Palm Beach,” said Red Cross regional chief of development Amy Mauser.

An International Event

people in need through all kinds of tragedies, whether it’s earthquakes or war or terrorism. People say Palm Beach is the gala capital of the world, and it probably is. This is a night that captures the imagination and attention of everyone.”

Beginnings How did the American Red Cross get its start? It began with the efforts of an unconventional woman who saw a need and did something about it. Clara Barton’s love affair with healing began when she was 10 and nursed her brother David back to health after he suffered severe injuries falling from a horse. Eventually, his doctors gave up, but she persisted and her efforts paid off. He made a complete recovery. As an adult, Barton learned from her father about the Civil War effort, and in 1862 got

Today, the ball is a full-blown international event, sparkling with celebrities, dignitaries, politicians and philanthropists from all over the world who arrive in planes and limousines for a magical night of elegance and glamour. Celebrities attending this 58th anniversary event included actress Shirley MacLaine, singer Wayne Newton, who performed at dinner, and actor William Shatner. “Over the 58 years, the ball has raised $100 million that’s gone toward the mission of the Red Cross,” Mauser said. This year’s ball carried the theme Around the World in 80 Days. “It was fitting that Shirley MacLaine was a guest, as she had a part in the movie,” said event chairman Patrick Park. The evening dripped glamour. At the entrance, flaming torches lit up a colorful collection of international flags. The cocktail reception offered fine wines and luscious hors d’oeuvres from 20 countries, as well as music by the Palm Beach Symphony. Guests entered Mar-A-Lago’s breathtaking Grand Ballroom for dinner and dancing. Putting together an event of such magnitude requires skill, savvy, and perseverance. Park was in charge of making sure all the moving parts, fabulous decorations, outstanding cuisine, and memorable entertainment, worked together. “We had 700 guests and a staff of over 150 people. It was amazing!” he said. The experience of serving as chairman may be challenging, but it’s also satisfying. “I enjoy charity work and bringing people together,” Park said. “The Red Cross helps so many


traveling in Geneva. She returned to the U.S. and founded an American chapter. For years she served as president of the American branch, which met for the first time at her apartment in Washington, D.C.

Modern Efforts Today, the Red Cross responds to disasters worldwide and locally. “In Palm Beach, we’re putting a lot of time into a fire safety campaign,” Mauser said, adding that the chapter responds to a fire in a single family home every 20 hours. Although South Florida has been lucky to avoid hurricanes for several years, shelters must remain ready. The Red Cross also acts as a liaison between military service personnel and their families, both when they are deployed and when they come home. More than 90 percent of Red Cross work is done by volunteers, Mauser said. “Whether it’s someone like Mr. Park chairing our ball or people who wake up in the middle of the night to go out to a fire, we couldn’t do it without them.”


work on the front lines. After nursing soldiers in close proximity to several battles, she earned the nickname, “Angel of the Battlefield.” In one instance, a bullet tore through her sleeve, and although it did not strike her body, it killed the soldier she was tending. Barton never married, probably realizing the restrictions marriage put on women of the time. After the war, Barton was introduced to the Red Cross while Summer 2015

South Florida OPULENCE


My Life with


By Bill Dugan and his wife Luciana

lodging and anything else the music groups needed. Along with Fleetwood Mac, he also worked with the Doobie Bros, the Pointer Sisters, and many other groups. They came to trust that Bill would handle everything without a glitch. 


My memory of events from the past is still quite good. But if you were to ask me what I ate for breakfast this morning or what day this is or if there was traffic on the road getting here, I could not tell you. Tomorrow, if someone asks me what I did today, I would have no recollection. But if someone gives me a prompt, chances are I might vaguely recall what I did. But I will tell you that when I am someplace or with other people, I am totally present, completely in the moment at hand.

Luciana: I saw the first signs of Bill’s memEditor’s note: At the Rita Hayworth Luncheon to benefit the Alzheimer’s Association in Palm Beach, alongside his wife Luciana, Bill Dugan touched hearts by telling his personal story about living life with Alzheimer’s disease.

Bill: About 7 years ago, I was first diagnosed with Mild Cognitive Impairment, but within 2 years, my diagnosis became ‘Early Onset Alzheimer’s Disease.’ Before my diagnosis, I had an exciting career in sales. One of the most enjoyable aspects of my work was giving presentations to large groups of contractors, architects and builders. After preparing a presentation, I rarely needed to look at my notes. Today, I stand in front of you reading from this paper because not only would I be unable to remember any content, but I would most likely begin talking to you about my days in the Navy, or the time I spent touring with the music group, Fleetwood Mac. Luciana: Back in the late 1970s, Bill worked for the Ryder Corporation in entertainment services. He was in the logistics division where he did staging, setup, transportation,

ory impairment about 10 years ago…they were simple things that you might ignore or chalk off to ‘having too much going on.’  For example, one morning before we both left for work, I told him of some dinner plans we had with friends, let’s say at 7 p.m., and to please get home in time to change. I called to remind him several times. When 6:55 p.m. rolled around and he still wasn’t home, I called him.  He was in the gym and completely forgot about any dinner plans.  He began losing things, his wallet, his cell phone, his glasses, his keys.   Another more startling warning sign was when he came home and announced that someone had stolen his car. He was at the cemetery to pay respects to a friend who had passed away years ago and he parked his car on the top of the hill and walked down to the gravesite. When he returned for his car, it was gone. We reported the stolen car to the police. Days later his car was found in the parking lot of City Hall. The police said there were no signs of forced entry.  I wondered if Bill had gone to City Hall to find out where his friend’s gravesite was and “forgot” he had parked there and walked to the cemetery

instead of driving. When we talked about the incident, that’s actually what had happened.


Recently my wife Luciana reminded me that we had just been to the movies to see “The Theory of Everything”. I had no memory of going to the movie, much less what the movie was about. But I do know that whenever we go to a movie, I am completely absorbed by the story. Some of the most difficult situations are when I feel totally embarrassed that I have asked the same question many times during a conversation or have told someone I would do something that never got done.

Luciana: As Bill’s wife and caregiver, I feel it is critical to get an accurate diagnosis as early as possible. As difficult as it may be to face the reality of this disease, once the diagnosis is determined there are so many important and helpful things to learn that will make the journey easier to navigate – not only for the  caregiver, but for the person with the diagnosis. Connecting with others who are traveling this same path has been invaluable to me... I don’t feel so alone on this mysterious path.        Bill: There are many things in my life that I can no longer do, like holding down a job, driving, paying my own bills, or cooking a hamburger on the grill. But rather than focus on the losses, frustrations and disappointments, with the help of my wife, my family, and other caring people, I have learned to focus on the many things I am still able to do. While I did not have a choice in developing Alzheimer’s, I still have a choice in how I deal with what is happening. When I wake up in the morning, I can choose to dwell on my limitations or approach the day as an adventure. I am still able to enjoy the activities that make me feel alive. My passion for music and exercising in the gym continue to give me joy and energy. I can continue to enjoy time I spend with my three grandchildren. Today, I can still remember their names but I know there is a possibility that one day this may change. So I want to thank all of you who support the Alzheimer’s Association. My hope is that my grandchildren and yours will be free from the worry that one day they may forget their grandchildren’s names. Summer 2015

South Florida OPULENCE



Princess Yasmin Honors Her Mother

Rita Hayworth Through Alzheimer’s Association Luncheon By Robin Jay

Rita Hayworth Collection Simulated Jade Crystal Spiral Goldtone Drop Earrings, $39.95

Rita Hayworth and Yasmin

Ronald Reagan once said, “Rita Hayworth was one of our Country’s most beloved her later years, she became known for her struggle with Alzheimer’s disease. Her courage and candor, and that of her family, were a great public service in bringing worldwide attention to a disease which we all hope will soon be cured.”


South Florida OPULENCE

Summer 2015

Rita Hayworth Clear Crystal Shield Drop Earrings, $39.95

Rita Hayworth Collection Simulated Ruby & Crystal 2-Tone ‘Buckle’ Ring, $39.95 Princess Yasmin Aga Khan

Rita Hayworth Filigree Statement Necklace, $49.95

Princess Yasmin Aga Khan & Carleton Varney Hosted 150 at the Rita Hayworth Luncheon to Benefit the Alzheimer’s Association at The Colony Hotel


t the recent Rita Hayworth Luncheon in Palm Beach, co-hosted by Princess Yasmin Aga Khan, the daughter of legendary movie star and dancer Rita Hayworth who passed away from Alzheimer’s disease, and internationally renowned designer Carleton Varney, guests raised $55,000 to support the Alzheimer’s Association.

“With the help of Princess Yasmin Aga Khan, the international community no longer seems to view this disease with the stigma that it once did,” said Varney.

“My mother was the first public face of Alzheimer’s disease,” said Princess Yasmin. “So many people, so many caregivers, give up with this disease. It’s so important not to give up.” Guests at the luncheon at The Colony Hotel found an aqua box next to their salad plates. Inside was a replica pair of Rita Hayworth’s Clear Crystal Shield Drop Earrings. It was part of a collection of the starlet’s personal jewelry that has been re-created and made available for purchase on A portion of the proceeds of the collection support research at the Alzheimer’s Association. South Florida Opulence is pleased to show you a preview of the collection here, and we encourage you to purchase your favorite pieces to help support the noble cause. Summer 2015

South Florida OPULENCE


Still Alice By Lisa Genova


South Florida OPULENCE

I wrote Still Alice because I am a granddaughter and a neuroscientist.

Summer 2015


Why I Wrote


ooking back, my 85-year-old widowed grandmother had been showing signs of dementia for years. But she was a smart and independent woman who never complained, and she navigated around her symptoms with great skill for some time. And her nine children, their spouses, and her grandchildren were all content to look the other way or to pass off her cognitive mistakes to normal aging. Then we got the phone call. She’d walked to the bowling alley at 4 a.m., insisting it was middle of the day, looking for her bowling team. It was quite literally the wake-up call that forced my family to look directly at her and what was going on.

With nothing we could actually do to alter the course of her disease, like spectators we all watched Alzheimer’s systematically disassemble the woman that was my grandmother. I watched her study her own face in the mirror, not comprehending the old woman’s face she saw. I watched her fuss over plastic baby dolls as if they were real babies. I watched her check the numbers outside her front door, 148, her street address, over and over in the space of minutes, trying to assure herself that she was in her own home. She forgot her name, where she lived, to remember to go to the bathroom when she needed to, who her children were, who I was. As a granddaughter, I was heartbroken. But as a neuroscientist, I was fascinated and wanted to understand more about this disease. I read everything I could find in the scientific literature about the molecular causes of Alzheimer’s, and I read many books written by clinicians and caregivers about how to care for someone with dementia. I learned a great deal. But I couldn’t find a satisfying answer to the question that kept coming up for me as I watched my grandmother.

What does it FEEL like to have Alzheimer’s? This curious question, unanswerable by my Nana, was the seed for Still Alice.

I wanted to write an inspirational story that, although fictional, would be a truthful depiction of life with Alzheimer’s from the very first hints of having it, from those very first “What’s the word?” and “What did I come in here for?” to the more haunting and confused “If I can’t remember who I am, am I still me?” And I wanted to tell a different kind of Alzheimer’s story. Alice is only 50 when she is diagnosed. Most of us think of elderly people like my grandmother when we imagine Alzheimer’s, but in fact about 10 percent of people with Alzheimer’s are under the age of 65 when symptoms first surface. I also wanted to tell this story from Alice’s point of view. In doing so, I sit the reader right up against her Alzheimer’s. It should feel uncomfortably close at times. The reader should feel her confusions and frustrations and terror right along with her. And the reader should also feel her courage, her humor, her victories, and her love. This choice does force us to lose what’s going on inside the thoughts of Alice’s husband and the other characters, but we get an insider’s perspective into the mind of someone slipping further and further into dementia. Most people without Alzheimer’s never get to sit in that seat. I did a lot of research to create Still Alice. I knew I’d never be able to capture everyone’s experience with Alzheimer’s, but I knew I could capture the essence of it if I did my homework. On the clinical side, I interviewed neurologists, general practice physicians, research scientists, a genetic counselor, and a social worker. And on the patient side, through the Dementia Advocacy and Support Network International, I came to know about two dozen people living with young onset dementia. They were my litmus test. They are the true experts who bravely revealed to me what it feels like to have Alzheimer’s. For readers who have or know someone with Alzheimer’s, I think Still Alice offers reassurance, comfort, dignity, and hope. For readers with no personal connection to Alzheimer’s, I think Still Alice is a moving story that works because it’s about so much more than Alzheimer’s. It’s about identity, about living a life that matters, about family and what a crisis does to relationships. Through Alice’s story, I hope readers will gain a greater appreciation and sensitivity for what people with Alzheimer’s and their families struggle through. I hope they will come to understand the importance and value of an early diagnosis, the current medications, and support groups. And I hope they will finish the book knowing that we are all more than what we say, what we do, and what we remember.

Julianne Moore stars in Still Alice. Summer 2015

South Florida OPULENCE


Louis Coblitz (1814-1863), William Shakespeare, 1847, oil on canvas

A Rarity Most Beloved The Latest Discovery Of A Shakespeare First Folio By Todd R. Sciore


“To be or not to be”

hat was the question running through Professor Eric Rasmussen’s mind after being contacted in late 2014 regarding a possible Shakespeare first folio in Saint-Omer France. “I get 15 to 20 of these claims a year and I’m always deeply suspicious that people have got a facsimile,” said Rasmussen in a conversation with South


South Florida OPULENCE

Summer 2015

Florida Opulence. “I’d heard that this was a public library in a small town in Northern France; I didn’t realize they had a Gutenberg Bible, so it’s no surprise they turned out to have an authentic Shakespeare first folio – it’s just surprising it went unnoticed for so long. It sounds almost like a fictional narrative: They had this copy in the library, nobody paid much attention to it and lo and behold it turns out to be a $6 million

Shakespeare historian Eric Rasmussen

Authentic Shakespeare first folio found in Saint-Omer, France

book!” The Department of English Chair at the University of Nevada, Rasmussen is a widely recognized authority on all things Shakespeare and is the go-to guy for authenticating first folios. He and co-editor Anthony James West have literally written the book on them entitled The Shakespeare First Folios, A Descriptive Catalog.

“First folios were printed on handmade, watermarked, rag bond paper when paper makers put their hallmark into the paper with their initials on it. It’s such a distinctive thing.” When asked if there was one common identifying watermark, Rasmussen said the handmade paper process resulted in limited production quantities, and his study of all of the known existing copies revealed several examples with noticeable patterns. “We found 19 different papers, but usually within the same play [in each book] they will be printed on the same paper.”

“I am as poor as Job, my Lord, but not so patient” Published in 1623, seven years after Shakespeare’s death, the first folio is considered to be the most reliable adaptation of his works and one of the literary world’s holy grails. For bibliophiles or scholars looking to add an original first folio to their private library, aside from a King Solomon sized bankroll, patience is also key to the hunt as Rasmussen notes, “It looks like just about every six years one comes to light.” Should the folio hit the auction block, rest assured the bidding will be spirited as obtaining a copy is like finding the proverbial golden needle in a haystack.

How to ID an Authentic First Folio Professor Rasmussen offered some details on what to look for in a true first folio edition, as in this case, a rose by any other name would not smell the same. As can be expected, the first folio is also one of the literary world’s most copied works – for both honorable and illicit motives alike. “When photography was first invented, the first books they reproduced by photo-lithography were exact facsimiles of the Shakespeare first folio, and they didn’t put any identifying marks on them…there’s nothing to say ‘this is a photographic reprint.’ ” Rasmussen acknowledges this is part of the reason why he gets a number of calls per year from both collectors and libraries about certifying possible original editions. “These books were printed in the mid-nineteenth century, so now they’re moving on 200 years old. They’ve got this old book that looks exactly like a Shakespeare first folio, so it’s understandable,” Rasmussen said.

“What win I, if I gain the thing I seek?” With only 233 copies known to exist, if you are fortunate enough to obtain an original copy, the best advice is to leave it as close to its original state as possible. Any restoration should be undertaken only by a highly qualified expert to stabilize it from further deterioration. “The worst thing is when collectors have them re-bound and they think they’re making them look like these incredible treasures,” Rasmussen said. “When you re-bind a book, binders trim it and square up pages and when you trim it, there could be marginal annotations and you’re lopping off half of the word!” These seemingly innocuous scribblings are like gold to scholars as they may offer insight into Shakespeare’s life and work. Rasmussen has handled more copies than anyone on the planet but is far from being jaded by the experience. Like an 1804 U.S. silver dollar or an authentic Inverted Jenny postage stamp, one never tires of seeing true rarities. “I’ve seen 230 of these things. I think it must be like a doctor who delivers babies – you’ve seen a lot of them but each one is still a miracle, still beautiful.”

While the Internet is a valuable research tool, the digital realm cannot replace the expert hands-on examination required to make the proper determination. “It takes a nanosecond to tell nineteenth century wood pulp paper,” Rasmussen pointed out.

Summer 2015

South Florida OPULENCE


condo law

By Michael S. Bender, Esq., Kaye Bender Rembaum, P.L.



ecent changes to Florida Statutes include provisions in the Fire Safety Code requiring condominiums to undertake installation and/or changes to certain fire/safety related devices within the condominiums. Due to the significant expense typically required to retrofit a condominium in the manner contemplated in the Fire Safety Code, and in recognition of the significant burden this would place on unit owners, changes to the Condominium Act (Chapter 718 of Florida Statutes) allows an association to vote to “opt-out” (upon the approval of a majority of the entire membership) of the requirement to retrofit the fire sprinkler system that services the common elements, association property and units. The vote may be undertaken at a duly-noticed membership meeting, or via the written consent process in lieu of having a membership meeting. If a membership meeting is held, the Statute requires 14-day advance written notice be sent to the entire membership via mail or hand-delivery. The vote to forgo the retrofit is considered effective once a Certificate is recorded in the Public Records of the County where the condominium is located, attesting to the vote. If the vote is undertaken, the association must send written notice to the entire membership of such decision within 30 days of the vote (an Affidavit of Mailing must be executed and kept in the Official Records of the association demonstrating this notice of the results of the vote was delivered to the membership). If the

retrofit “opt-out” vote is held, the Statute requires the association to report the results to the Division of Florida Condominiums, Michael Bender Timeshares, and Mobile Homes (“Division”). If an association does not obtain the required majority approval to forgo the retrofitting (or chooses not to vote), the association must submit a building permit application with the applicable local governmental authorities by December 31, 2016 regarding the intent to comply. The completion of the retrofit is not required until December 31, 2019. Consultation with a licensed contractor and local building/fire department officials is recommended regarding the specific requirements. If an association obtains a valid vote to forgo retrofitting, the membership has the ability to vote to rescind the earlier “opt-out” vote, and to proceed with the retrofit if a Special Meeting of the Membership is called by a petition of 10 percent of the membership, and a majority of the membership again votes affirmatively, this time in favor of rescinding the prior decision. This Special Meeting/Vote may only be called once every 3 years. As the deadline for qualifying for the opting out is approaching, boards of directors and association members should be discussing the options available and planning accordingly. To assist with ensuring that all proper procedures are followed should you elect to proceed with the “opt-out”, it is recommended that the board consult with association counsel.

What is it about your community’s risk management program that keeps you up at night? • Does the D&O policy we purchased fully protect the board? • Will our Disaster Preparedness/ Recovery Plan be effective when we need it? • Is our Insurance Program in compliance with our bylaws? • With all these recent natural disasters, how do we effectively budget for next year?

We have the answers.

• If we have a claim will it be adjusted and paid correctly?

S e r v i n g S o u t h F l o r i d a F o r 9 0 y e a r S • 8 0 0 - 6 3 8 - 8 6 6 4 • w w w. S l at o n r i S k S e r v i c e S . c o m

Summer 2015

South Florida OPULENCE



By Scott Buser

Perfect Storm


ith the 2015 tropical cyclone season upon us, South Florida finds itself in a cloudy property insurance marketplace. The lack of a major hurricane landfall in the past decade has caused an influx in competition and property insurance rates to fall lower than they have been since the turn of the century. Citizens Property Insurance Company, which was formed in the ’90s and intended to be the market of last resort, has undertaken a “depopulation” program to reduce the amount of customers and exposure in their book of business. Takeout companies like Weston Insurance, Heritage Property & Casualty, and Southern Oak are acquiring or “taking out” chunks of Citizens customers which is both strengthening Citizen’s financial exposure and creating much needed competition in the South Florida property insurance marketplace. As of February 2015, Citizens has reduced their exposure by nearly a third, bringing their total policy count to 595,671, down from a high of 1.5 million policies in 2012. Given the willingness of viable carriers to take on additional property risk in South Florida, it is essential that insurance purchasers perform their due diligence and investigate these insurance companies in depth on items such as their overall financial health, their ability and willingness to pay claims, and their long-term stability in the market. Choosing a company that has endured the last wave of storms to hit Florida over a decade ago will provide a certain level of confidence for a consumer over a company that is emerging on the scene with limited financial backing, claims

payment history, and eyes on buying policies in the short run to turn a quick profit with hopes of the storm season staying quiet. In addition to hiring a competent independent agent to advise you, a good source of investigating insurance companies is using A.M. Best Company, This is a global rating agency that provides a rating for insurance companies based on a company’s financial strength, the creditworthiness of risk-bearing entities, and their investment vehicles. An A.M. Best rating of A should be a minimum requirement for insurance customers. Most lending institutions that hold mortgages or loans will also refer to A.M. Best and require their customers maintain an A-rated insurance company. Scott Buser is a Senior Vice President at Brown & Brown Insurance and has been an Insurance Agent in South Florida for over 14 years specializing in Condominium Insurance. Brown & Brown is one of the world’s 10 largest insurance intermediaries and is publically traded on the NYSE under BRO.


Our experts understand the needs of community associations. We can FinanCe your essential projects, including: • Building Repairs • Improvement Projects We offer state-of-the-art LoCk Box and Cash ManageMent services, as well as a full array of other depository services.

©2011 A Division of Banco Popular North America. Member FDIC.

Contact our South Florida Relationship Manager: Rebecca R. Prieto, V.P. 786-953-1221

75 Years.

proudly insuring the needs of condos and their residents

At Brown & Brown, we know that we must be as agile as the cheetah in order to thrive in the competitive insurance environment. Our unique culture has enabled us to quickly chase down new opportunities, adapt our products and services to best meet market demands, and satisfy our customers.

AUTO • AircrAfT • bOnds • cOndOminiUm • cOllecTibles • flOOd • heAlTh benefiTs • hOmeOwners • liAbiliTy • mArine * persOnAl • prOperTy • UmbrellA • wOrkers’ cOmp

Fort Lauderdale Division 1201 W. Cypress Creek Road, #130 • Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309 Phone: 954.776.2222 • Toll Free: 800.648.9303 • Fax: 954.771.9192

Serving South Florida clients’ needs since 1939


condo living

Boards and Managers:

Are you financially preparing for your Association’s midlife (could be concrete restoration) crisis? By Andrew Rand, controller & Director of Association Accounting at CSI Management Services Proper financial forecasting with the intent of funding infrastructure maintenance can be a tremendous benefit to the Association and its membership. Preplanning can help by lessening the amounts of the highly dreaded special assessments and related loan expense. Living in South Florida with our extremely nice weather is wonderful, but if you live on the water, like many of the unit owners who read Opulence, the salt in the air and water already started destroying your building components even as your building was being built. OK, so maybe Associations don’t actually have a midlife crisis per se but, is your Association turning 40 soon? How about in the next 5 to 7 or even 10 years? If so, it may be time to start thinking about how the Association will fund the expenses related to requirements that will be necessary to comply with the inspection for a 40-year Recertification Inspection. If the building is more than 40 years old and located in Miami Dade or Broward counties, the county or city will require an inspection for the building to become certified that the structural integrity and electrical safety is up to date. After the 40-year initial certification, the Association will have to recertify every 10 years thereafter. The inspections must be done by or under the supervision of a qualified architect or engineer. The idea is to develop a plan for your aging building, so that its 40-year-old midlife

(could be concrete restoration) crisis can be smoothed out over the years by not creating a major financial burden, all at once, to the membership. According to Charles Smith, Director of Operations for CSI Management Services, LLC, “Preplanning; what you are trying to do is set up a schedule of projects. What that means is that you are setting aside dollars to try to do a project or two every year. So that way, you don’t get a large assessment come the 40-year. Basically what you are trying to accomplish is to have a qualified engineer come on-site around 30 to 35 years of age of the building to evaluate, to preplan and find a funding source so that the residents aren’t hurt by a large scale special assessment when the 40-year recertification becomes due. The keywords here are concrete restoration. This is usually, about 85 percent of the time, the most expensive building component to repair. With that, the sooner the concrete restoration projects are initiated or implemented, the better. This is because the more waiting only adds to the cost of the repair.” For industry-related education events sponsored by the Community Associations Institute SE Florida Chapter, please scan the QR code at right for our Calendar of Events or visit our website at

Extensive Industry Experience, With a Personal Touch





South Florida OPULENCE

FORT MYERS Summer 2015







Taking your building to another level.

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All of our services are backed by our 5 year labor and materials warranty. That’s quality you can count on.

For more information: 2411 S.W. 58th Terrace, West Park, FL 33023 Phone: 954-985-5353 • Fax: 954-985-5356 Summer 2015

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South Florida OPULENCE



Left, Ildiko Varga and artist Attila JK at The Arkenstone Natural Treasures showing at the Ildiko Gallery

Pat Riley and Heat player Shane Battier at the South Beach Battioke Event benefiting the "Take Charge Foundation"

Robert Lavinsky, Founder & Owner of The Arkenstone

Miami Heat Coach Erik Spoelstra and Nikki Sapp


South Florida OPULENCE

Summer 2015

Carlos Rosso, Jorge Perez and Juan Carlos Botero at The Related Group Botero private book signing

Allison Goldberg, Sandra Goldberg and Sonia Figueroa at The Related Group Botero private book signing

Frost Museum 13th Annual Galaxy Gala philanthropic chairs Dan & Trish Bell alongside Phillip and Patricia Frost


“To be successful, attitude and ability are equally

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PAWS President Ingrid Poulin, Event Chair Susan Smith and WPLG Local 10’s Jacey Birch

Donald & Melania Trump at the 58th International Red Cross Ball

William and Elizabeth Shatner at the 58th International Red Cross Ball

Editor-in-Chief, Robin Jay, Wayne Newton & Michael Jay at the 58th International Red Cross Ball

Shirley MacLaine and Patty Myura, vice chairman of the Ball at the 58th International Red Cross Ball

Ale Anizio, Haislan Portela and Rosana Calambichis at CSI’s Anchor Bay Club party

CSI’s Dan Brooke and Anchor Bay board president Eliseo Zacarias at the Anchor Bay Club party

CSI Management Team at Anchor Bay Club

Eric Fordin, Gil Dezer, Matt Allen and Sebastian Tettamanti at Armani/Casa Residences Party


South Florida OPULENCE

Summer 2015

Sebastian Tettamanti & Massimo Melchiorre at the Armani/Casa Residences Party

State-of-the-art Building Services and Superior WorkForce Management

CSI International, Inc. provides custodial, mechanical and corporate support services to commercial Class A properties — educational, manufacturing and industrial — in the eastern half of the United States. At CSI, everything we do stems from one simple premise… We make life easier for our clients and ensure this by providing the finest in: • Janitorial services • Operating engineers services • Green cleaning options • Building mechanics services • Mechanical services • Corporate services

Fort Lauderdale Corporate Headquarters 6700 North Andrews Avenue, Suite 400 • Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309 • 954.308.4300


Nitin Motwani, Art Falcone and Dan Kodsi Paramount Miami Worldcenter VIP Launch Party

Singer Songwriter Barry Manilow and Adrienne Arsht at the Arsht Center Gala, Miami

(l-r) Painters Tom Holland, Lea Fisher, and JD Miller; with Judy Holland, Michael and Robin Jay, and Michael and Karen Bivins at the Tom Holland exhibit party at Samuel Lynne Galleries in Dallas. Photo credit Heidi Somes

Bru Kodsi and Peggy Fucci at the Paramount Miami Worldcenter VIP Launch Party

Dan Aykroyd and Opulence editor Robin Jay at Stache 1930s Drinking Den in Fort Lauderdale where Dan was autographing bottles of his vodka, Crystal Head, and singing with a Chicago-style Blues Band.

Robin Oglesbee-Venghaus (The Embrace) at the Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts

Ben and Cheryl Jacobi at 1 Hotel & Homes South Beach at the Alexander McQueen Luncheon


South Florida OPULENCE

Summer 2015

Danny Santiago- 1 Hotel & Homes South Beach, at the Alexander McQueen Luncheon

Arsht Center Gala, Miami co- chairs Robert Barlick, David Martin, Carlos Rosso

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South Florida Opulence Summer 2015  

High luxury lifestyle living magazine

South Florida Opulence Summer 2015  

High luxury lifestyle living magazine