Polo Lifestyles September 2022: Serena Williams' Next Chapter

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VOLUME VI / ISSUE IX / SEPTEMBER 2022

GSTAAD H U BLOT G OLD C U P

S OTO G R A N D E COPA DE ORO

JENNIFER LOPEZ' & BEN AFFLECK'S UBER-EXCLUSIVE WEDDING EXPLORING NEW WATERS

REAL ESTATE ON THE SEA IN MONACO

SKINNY & RICH

THE $1,300 A MONTH INJECTION THERAPY THAT SHEDS POUNDS AND KEEPS THEM OFF

THE WORLD'S 50 BEST RESTAURANTS

DENMARK BOASTS THE TOP SPOT

'I JUST WANT TO BE SUCCESSFUL' THE DESIRE TO

SERENA WILLIAMS THE 'GREATEST OF ALL TIME' HONES HER VISION FOR A FUTURE OFF THE COURTS

WIN

THREE CONVERSATIONS THAT HOLD THE KEY TO SUCCESSFULLY MOVING IN TOGETHER

MARKET CERTAINTY

NYC'S SURE-BET REAL ESTATE DEALS DOMINATE DISTRACTION ONCE AND FOR ALL DRINK WELL & DO GOOD WE'RE SEEING RED, RED, RED FOR FALL














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Ambassador Claude-Alix Bertrand Publisher

Joshua Jakobitz Editor-in-Chief

William Smith

Polo Photographers

Claire Barrett

Aubrey Chandler Eric Carre Eva Espresso

Copy Editor & Philanthropy Contributor

Head of Photography

Dana Romita

Luxury Real Estate Contributor

Cezar Kusik

Contributing Photographers

Michael J. Snell

Lifestyles & Luxury Automobile Contributor

Joey Velez

Wine Contributor

Wellness Contributor

Raphael K. Dapaah

Justin "Goliath" Johnson

Brand Representatives

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

Art Contributor

Michael J. Snell - The Hamptons Stanley Pierre-Etienne Caribbean Jessica Foret Wax - Santa Fe K & Co. Media - Los Angeles Justin Johnson - Atlanta Contributing Photographers Global Polo Entertainment

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Katerina Morgan Irina Kazaridi Helen Cruden

Wellness Contributor

Content Copyright © Polo Lifestyles 2021 All Rights Reserved. For information or to advertise Contact marketing@pololifestyles.com Read online at www.pololifestyles.com


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GUARDS POLO CLUB Indian Empire Shield DOMAINE DE CHANTILLY Open de France Open de France Feminine INANDA POLO CLUB Africa Polo Cup ASPEN VALLEY POLO CLUB Triple Crown of Polo-Aspen NATIONAL POLO CLUB FIP Championships

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SCOREBOARDS & COCKTAILS

GSTAAD HUBLOT GOLD CUP EXCLUSIVE PHOTOS FROM SWITZERLAND Page 28 POLO LIFESTYLES EDITORS & CONTRIBUTORS

Ambassador Claude-Alix Bertrand Publisher Polo Lifestyles @haiti_polo_captain

Eric Carré

Photographer EC Photography @ti_carre

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Josh Jakobitz

Editor-in-Chief Polo Lifestyles @joshuajakobitz

Eva Espresso Photographer

Eva Espresso Photography

@eva.espresso

Claire Barrett

Head of Photography

Claire Barrett Photography

@clairebarrettphoto

Michael J. Snell

Lifestyles & Automobiles Contributor @agnello_1

Raphael K. Dapaah Art Contributor Dapaah Gallery @dapaahgallery

Aubrey Chandler Photographer Polo Lifestyles @aubreychandler

Katerina Morgan

Polo Photographer Horse Polo Art Gallery @horsepoloartgallery

Joey Velez

Cezar Kusik

Wine Contributor Polo Lifestyles @cezartastesearth

William Smith

Dana Romita

Real Estate Contributor Douglas Elliman @danaromita

Justin Johnson

Wellness Columnist

Philanthropy Contributor

Wellness Contributor

@velezmentalhealth

@willismith_2000

@goliathcoaches

Velez Mental Performance May & Stanley Smith Charitable Trust

Goliath Coaches


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Denmark boats the world's best restaurant, page 94

We're seeing red, red, red for fall and winter, page 128

Hermes re-opens in Wuhan, earn- Georgian nuptials for ing $4.45M in one day, page 120 Jennifer and Ben, page 60

G.O.A.T.

SERENA WILLIAMS RETIRES FROM TENNIS TO FOCUS ON VENTURE CAPITAL

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HE GREATEST OF ALL TIME. THAT’S A TITLE NOT GIVEN LIGHTLY OR BROADLY. THE TERM CONJURES LEGENDS LIKE BABE RUTH, JEFF GORDON, ADOLFO CAMBIASO AND YES, SERENA WILLIAMS. INITIALLY JUDGED AND RIDICULED UNJUSTLY (WHY DID WE CARE ABOUT THE BEADS IN HER BRAIDS?), HER CRITICS HAD LESS AND LESS TO SAY EVERY TIME SHE HELD UP A GRAND SLAM TROPHY.

A household name, yet we know very little about her. Just last month, in her 40th year of life, she announced her retirement from tennis in order to focus on a life off the courts. Check out the story inside starting on page 108 to find out what the champion will do in her next chapter. Team Clinique La Prairie hoisted the trophy in Gstaad, Switzerland, over the weekend of August 20. Both Pascal Renauldon and Kathrin Gralla were there to capture one of the world’s most picturesque polo tournaments. Next month, they both head to the French Open. From Spain, Irina Kazaridi filed her gorgeous black and white images of the action in Sotogrande at Santa Maria Polo Club. What would you be willing to spend for the body you really want? In the post-Covid world, I think more and more of us are looking in the mirror wondering what exactly happened. A controversial – and expensive – injection therapy is being widely prescribed for weight loss within society circles. It appears to work – and keep the weight off, if the cost and side effects are something you think you can handle. We welcome a new contributor this month from the world of NYC luxury real estate: Dana Romita. She’s spent decades buying and selling properties in NYC, New Jersey and The Hamptons and now she’s bringing her expertise on the perennial NYC market to Polo Lifestyles. Her first contribution is in this month’s issue. Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck tied the knot (again) in Georgia and Affleck’s large estate there. The uber-exclusive event was packed with celebrities and security kept most media at bay, but we’re bringing you some of the event's first printed photos. Our philanthropic writer, William Smith, combined two of his passions this month, profiling the James Beard Foundation and Dough Wines. He hosted a tasting at his home to research the story, and it sounded like they had a lot of fun with the Dough Wines – and we all deserve some fun! Cheers! Josh Jakobitz josh@pololifestyles.com



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VOLUME VI / ISSUE IX / SEPTEMBER 2022

aspenvallypoloclub The Aspen Valley polo season is gearing up for its grand finale of the summer

fredrickalexis

A newly wed couple poses with a horse on the UNESCO heritage site of the Palais Sans Souci in Haiti

mercedesbenzusa

Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance and The Quail events bring out the creme de la creme in California page 24

assouline You just can't ever go wrong with an Assouline publication on your table or part of your decor

haiti_polo_captain Polo: Faster than hockey. Rougher than rugby. Sexier than golf.

nasa More daring images from NASA, this time of the planet Jupiter

badguild We love a bespoke china set like this one from Bad Guild

harrywinston This show-stopper will turn heads - yet another perfect creation from Harry Winston

globalpolo Bringing polo action and games in real time from around the world, in addition to interviews and podcasts


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

cnn Have you witnessed this? It's the most amazing thing to see pets show human emotion

irinakazaridi Portraits of future polo players in Sotogrande from Irina Kazaridi

velettaskincare We love a new beauty regimen and Veletta Skincare products are just what the doctor ordered

eqluxe Keeping cool by the pool and enjoying the last days of summer in the Western Hemisphere

jeffleatham Summertime weddings in Italy from the flower master Jeff Leatham

yalepolo The Yale Polo team traveled to South Korea for some friendly stick-and-ball action

ferrariusa Pebble Beach feted its 75th Concours d'Elegance in southern California in August

jenniferbehr

Jennifer Behr and Swarovski combine tastes and skills for this stunning veil

townandcountrymag The perennial tennis bracelet - the ultimate jewelry association with tennis page 25




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HUBLOT'S PICTURESQUE

GSTAAD POLO GOLD CUP

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HUBLOT'S PICTURESQUE

GSTAAD POLO GOLD CUP

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FTER TWO YEARS OF ABSENCE, THE HUBLOT POLO GOLD CUP GSTAAD MADE A MAGNIFICENT RETURN WITH A SENSATIONAL FINAL THAT DECIDED ITS WINNER ONLY IN THE LAST SECONDS. A breathtaking game that saw Clinique La Prairie win this 25th edition of the Hublot Polo Gold Cup, the highest summer tournament in Switzerland, and with it, four watches offered by the Swiss watchmaker. Clinique La Prairie won on the wire, 9 to 7.5, thanks to an imperial Raul

Laplacette who made sure his team remained calm and concentrated in the crucial final minutes when the game could still go either way. Sébastien Le Page, the captain of Clinique La Prairie, was indeed worried: “I must admit that at the end of the third chukker, I told myself that we were going to miss this final, but we woke up for the last chukker.” Playing for the first time in Gstaad, the French captain and boss of the Swiss club Polo Park Zurich, wanted to prepare well with a specific method … sobriety: “It’s the first time I play this level, I haven’t been drinking for the last three weeks so tonight it will be full-on champagne!”

Talking about the game, Le Page has an explanation of what made the odds turn in their favor: “This final could have gone either way, but I felt that Kielder Agro started to put pressure on themselves in the last chukker, I felt them more nervous and that's maybe what made the difference. The fact that they could not play with Bautista Beguerie (injured yesterday, broke his arm in the semi-final, ed.), must have disturbed them too, it must have certainly changed their strategy.” Clinique La Prairie’s strategy was clearly based on calmness, especially that of its pillar, Argentine Laplacette: “Raul? He’s the quiet force! It seems like he’s in slow motion all the time, but he’s actually

P H OTO G RA P H S BY KAT H RI N GRA LLA & PASCAL RE N AU LDO N

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always on the ball. This is the first time I’ve played with him, but it’s definitely not the last,” said the French captain. But they could also count on Lucas Labat’s experience as he already won this tournament in 2019 wearing the same colors! The small final, the one for third place, allowed the Hublot team to leave Gstaad with a victory over the solid Gstaad

Palace team. A game that was very balanced and pleasant to watch, one goal being immediately countered with another, a duel between Argentines Pedro Fernandez-Llorente in purple and Dario Musso in red, the latter missing a 40-yard penalty in the last 30 seconds that would have allowed them to battle it out in overtime. A beautiful victory for Hublot much to the delight of its

captain Henry Fielding Elser, at 16 years, the youngest player to ever be in this tournament. It was a pleasure to be back at the Hublot Polo Gold Cup Gstaad, which reunited with its public, packed at the edge of the field and captivated by the intensity of these finals. No doubt that they will come back next year, when the Saanen

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HUBLOT'S PICTURESQUE

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P H OTO G RA P H S BY KAT H RI N GRA LLA & PASCAL RE N AU LDO N

airfield will once again be the scene of highly competitive polo in the heart of the mountains from August 17 to 20 2023. MVP: Raul Laplacette Best amateur player: Luca Meier Top scorer of the tournament: Raul Laplacette (15 goals) BBP: Blanquita (ridden by Ezequiel MartinezFerrario in the 1st and 3rd chukker) by Dolfina Cuarteto (Cuartetera) and Blanquita, 8-year-old grey mare Best groom: Claudio Marquez (team Gstaad Palace)

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P H OTO G RA P H S BY KAT H RI N GRA LLA & PASCAL RE N AU LDO N

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HUBLOT'S PICTURESQUE

GSTAAD POLO GOLD CUP

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SOTOGRANDE COPA DE ORO THE SPANISH SEASON IN FULL SWING IN SOTOGRANDE

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SOTOGRANDE COPA DE ORO

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SOTOGRANDE COPA DE ORO

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P H OTO GRA P H Y BY I RI N A KA ZA RI DI

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SOTOGRANDE COPA DE ORO P H OTO GRA P H Y BY I RI N A KA ZA RI DI

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SOTOGRANDE COPA DE ORO

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JENNIFER LOPEZ

& BEN AFFLECK

GEORGIA WEDDING

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JENNIFER LOPEZ

& BEN AFFLECK

It looks like guests lived it up during Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck's recent wedding celebration. On Aug. 20, the couple exchanged vows again in second wedding ceremony held at page 62

Ben's estate in Savannah, Ga. Featuring an all-white dress code and a star-studded guest list, the lavish bash came more than a month after the "Marry Me" singer and the Tender Bar actor legally tied the knot in Las Vegas.

An eyewitness told E! News that their latest nuptials was "very romantic and classic," with "a lot of tears of joy and laughter" from family and friends who attended the festivities.

"At the end of the ceremony, they posed for family photos on the dock by the water," the onlooker said. "They had an old-fashioned car parked in front of the estate ready to take them away."


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P HOTO GRAP H Y BY JO H N RU SSO

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P HOTO GRAP H Y BY JO H N RU SSO

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P HOTO GRAP H Y BY JO H N RU SSO

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JENNIFER LOPEZ

& BEN AFFLECK

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PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY THE ACADEMY OF MOTION PICTURES

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MOVING IN?

THREE CONVERSATIONS THAT HOLD THE KEY TO SUCCESSFULLY MOVING IN TOGETHER

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OVING IN WITH A PARTNER CAN BE A BEAUTIFUL EVENT IN A PERSON’S LIFE. IN THE WORDS OF MY OWN GIRLFRIEND, “WHEN SOMEBODY FEELS LIKE HOME, YOU WANT YOUR HOME AND THE PERSON TO BE ONE AND THE SAME.” If you’ve decided to take the next step, you’re not alone. Among adults ages 18 to 44, 59% have lived with an unmarried partner at some point in their lives. While making a home together is cause for celebration, co-habitating with your partner can also be challenging and bring up anxieties. How do you know if it’s the right decision? What sorts of things should you and your partner be talking about? What should you expect? Even after my partner and I decided that we were going to move in together and plans were underway, I still had moments of panic:

Do we really know what we’re doing? Did we think about this enough? We can’t decide for you whether or not it’s the right decision, but we can offer you some tips to give you a better chance of a successful co-habitating experience.

1. Ask yourself why you want to live together Before you sign that new lease or make a bunch of extra keys, clarify why you’re doing this. Ask yourself, “Why do I think this is beneficial or necessary to my relationship?” says sex educator and pleasure mentor Kiana Lewis. It’s a question a lot of couples skip over because they get caught up in what’s practical (like saving money. Which ... fair!) or what a typical relationship trajectory looks like. Lewis says we are taught to believe that relationships move in a linear fashion – from dating to defining the relationship to moving in together to marriage. It’s not as socially acceptable to backtrack

or pause. “A lot of people assume that moving in together is necessary for a relationship to be successful.” The reality is that there are so many different directions and shapes that your relationship can take. Lewis says that folks who practice non-traditional ways of being in a relationship (e.g., non-monogamy) often have to do the work of asking themselves, ‘is this step actually good for my life?’ But, Lewis says, “those who just so happen to follow a pretty normative timeline don’t necessarily have to engage in that questioning.” Regardless of the type of relationship you’re in, it’s worth examining the traditional trajectory and thinking through what you would actually find meaningful about living with a partner.

2. Talk logistics and routines You and your partner probably have different standards and routines for how you live. Make a list of all the topics you want to cover and figure out how you’re going to navigate them. page 75


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To get started, take this survey created by Life Kit and Kiana Lewis, and share your results with your partner. Your answers will act as a guide to make sure you’re prepared to move in together. Here are a few big must-discuss topics before co-habitating:

Sleep Your excitement over sleeping next to your partner every night might make you miss the ways they can hinder your sleep. Lewis says talk about what comes naturally to you and where you think there might be tension points – bedtimes, temperatures, screens in bed. “Sleep, to me, is the most important thing that happens throughout our days,” they say. So talking about winddown routines and wake-up times can save you a fight in the future.

Chores When it comes to chores, talk about page 76

your expectations of each other and yourselves. A good practice, Lewis says, is “divvying up chores based on people’s strengths and not their weaknesses. So I don’t think everything has to be equal 50/50, or 33/33/33 if you’re living with three different people.”

Money Talking about money can be can bring out a lot of feelings, but it’s also crucial to sharing a home. The hard part isn’t just sharing how much money each person makes. “I think people should talk about the elephant in the room, which is their insecurities about money,” says Lewis. “Knowing how you feel about this thing that runs all of our lives is really important.” And if one person makes more money, it’s okay for that person to pay for more things. “There’s nothing that is inherently unhealthy about that,” she says. Just make sure it doesn’t dictate the power dynamic in the relationship.

Alone time As great as it is not to have to commute back and forth to one another’s respective abodes, having such easy access to your partner(s) poses its own challenges. Figure out a plan for getting away from each other every once in a while. Maybe spend time in different parts of your home or leave the house separately for a few hours.

Sex and intimacy “It’s inevitable that your intimacy will change living together, and I don’t think that is a good, bad or anything,” says Lewis. Broadening what you consider intimacy and sex can help you both communicate with your partner and mitigate some of the emotions that can arise when desires change. Just make sure you’re prepared for that change and you can still have honest conversations about it. Lewis suggests you have these conver-


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sations about sex at a time you have all your clothes on and are away from a bed.

3. Learn the “dance” of your fights As helpful as it is to discuss your expectations beforehand, those conversations can’t prevent all future conflicts. Moving in together can be an intense experience, which can act like a pressure cooker and accelerate some fights. Moraya Seeger DeGeare, a licensed marriage and family therapist and co-owner of BFF Therapy, says, “the goal for any of us is not to have a relationship that you don’t fight ... the goal is really to be able to fight well and effectively and to feel like you’re moving forward and there’s progress.” Dancing, says DeGeare, actually provides a useful analogy for learning to fight well. Each couple gets into fights

that probably feel pretty familiar to the couple — these fights are the same moves over and over again, even if it’s about different stuff. It’s like you’re dancing the same dance even if the song changes. In order to fight well, you need to learn the steps of your “dance” when you’re not fighting. DeGeare says to ask yourselves: When are we getting stuck? What are those repetitive patterns? Can we talk about them? When you are fighting and you›re in your feelings, take a breather, and try being vulnerable. DeGeare says to ask yourself: What am I feeling? What’s happening for me? And instead of pointing out what the other person did wrong, say things like, “I’m feeling really lonely and scared. I’m feeling very disconnected from you. I miss you.”

That’s the type of fighting that builds intimacy – when you and your partner can move out of that fighting spiral because you both understand why the other person is bothered. And finally, pause. Then measure your success Because moving in together can stir up lots of challenging conversations, especially in the beginning, it’s sometimes difficult to assess whether you’ve made the right decision early on. DeGeare says to wait six months, then ask yourself, “Do I still feel safe with this person? Can I still talk to them about anything?” If the answer is yes, then that’s success. Even if you’re annoyed that they leave floss on the bathroom sink. ;) Clare Marie Schneider/Special to Polo Lifestyles

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L I F E O V E R WAT E R

REAL ESTATE ON THE SEA IN MONACO F A C E D W I T H S O A R I N G D E M A N D , B U T C O M P L E T E LY O U T O F S PA C E , D E V E L O P E R S W I L L B U I L D O V E R WAT E R T H E R E C L A M AT I O N P R O J E C T W I L L T R A N S F O R M S I X H E C TA R E S O F S E A I N T O L A N D , W H I L E P R O V I D I N G AC C E S S T O T H E B E S T V I E W S A LO N G T H E WAT E R

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ONACO, INDEED THE ENTIRE FRENCH RIVIERA, HAS NO NEED FOR MARKETING ITS BEAUTY. ONE GOOD PICTURE DOES WHAT NO WORDS CAN: OFFER A SENSORY DISPLAY OF DEEP BLUE WATER BREAKING OVER OCHRE ROCKS AS PALM TREES NOD NEAR HARBORED SUPERYACHTS. page 80

If it’s not a picture, then it’s the famous Monte Carlo Casino that has attracted celebrities and dignitaries by the sheer gravity of its own legend. Over the span of a few decades, these appeals have radically transformed Monaco into the apogee of wealth. Yet, the glitz and glamour came at a cost. Land became increasingly scarce in this small, seaside principality that’s nearly half the size of New York’s Central Park. For each monarch in power, this

problem presented an opportunity as the building of new land became the solution. Although Prince Albert I (18481922) sprung the first land expansion in 1907, the most recent is happening now, under Prince Albert II’s watchful eye, with a completion date of 2024 on the near horizon. Mareterra—a name chosen by the prince that combines the French words for sea and land—is a six-hectare reclamation project that will turn a parcel of the sea

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into land. This state-of-the-art development will include 120 residential properties (four townhouses, 10 villas, and 106 main residences); a seaside public promenade, retail shops, restaurants; as well as a public plaza that will feature a restored artwork by Alexander Calder. This new land couldn’t be built at a more opportune time. Consider the following: According to Monte-Carlo Sotheby’s International Realty, in Monaco’s most exclusive parts, $10,000 can buy approximately one square foot of property. If anyone were to think this fact has kept

residential buyers at bay, they’d be sorely mistaken. To walk through the streets of Monaco is to look up and watch a highly choreographed dance of construction cranes. But of all the new buildings being erected in Monaco, it’s certainly Mareterra that has seized everyone’s attention. Much of this curiosity is due to the largest structure on the newly conceived land. Le Renzo, as the building is called, demands what only great architecture can: a universal sense of curiosity from the public. Shaped in the figure of a

large ship, the 376,000-square-foot building features 50 residential units and appears to be floating at sea. There is perhaps no more appropriate architect in the world to design such a project than Renzo Piano, a Pritzker Prize winner who, more than anyone in his field, has designed a litany of iconic nautical structures. “Lasting architecture always tells an engaging story,” explains the 84-year-old Piano, founder of the Renzo Piano Building Workshop. “A home, for example, is not just a roof or a shelter. Rather, it’s a dialogue between those who live there now and the moments page 81


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that shaped the land before they arrived. It’s about revealing the truth of the moment.” This sentiment certainly rings true for Monaco—a place that used to be a sleepy fishing village was in the mid-19th century , and is now home to the extremely affluent. The rapid rise of wealth and prestige in

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Monaco was met with the new tastes and demands of its citizens. But the layout and design of its apartments have not evolved in a way that’s true to the times. One quick Google search shows a monotony of units for sale in decades-old towers with small floor plans. “There has been an increasing demand

for open floor plans, outdoor space, and greater amenities,” says Guy-Thomas Levy-Soussan, managing director of SAM L’Anse du Portier, the firm responsible for the development and financing of Mareterra (Levy-Soussan works directly with Patrice Pastor, the founder of the project and one of only nine private


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shareholders.) “The prince, along with the founders of Mareterra, saw this as an opportunity to diversify the residential offerings here by attracting new buyers,” Levy-Soussan continues. “But it’s more than just that; this project will significantly improve the public space in Monaco.”

Architecture is always a response to the limits of the environment it’s meant to serve. And there’s few greater limits challenging Monaco than the public’s access to the waterfront. Mareterra easily could have been a vanity project that catered only to the whims of a select few. But the prince had other plans. “The purposes of different seaboard

extensions in Monaco have varied over time,” Prince Albert II explains. “I have personally ensured that Mareterra meets Monaco’s real estate needs, while respecting the environment in which it is built. The development is being carried out in a sustainable way, respectful of both the landscape and quality of life, to be seen as a natural extension of our

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territory.” By ceding over 90,000 square feet of prominent waterfront land back to the public (including nearly 2,000 feet of bicycling paths), Mareterra embodies the cardinal rule of architecture: It makes life better not just for those who live in, but around it, too. In fact, more than any speech or declaration Monaco’s monarchy could have given, its decision (along with the founders of Mareterra) to save the best plot of land for the public speaks volumes about their ideals for Monaco’s future. Here, as always before, architecture provides a vivid symbol of social values. The master plan of Mareterra was designed by the Paris-based architecture firm Valode & Pistre Architectes. In it, they understood the necessity for broad use within the new land. Indeed, if any master plan is to attempt universality, intention is necessary. And the intention to give so much of Mareterra to the public is paramount in the success of this project. Along with the 110,000 square feet of verdant public land designed by

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landscape architect Michel Desvigne, a pavilion featuring a restored major work by Alexander Calder will be available to everyone as well.

reef villages in which concrete mimics a coral environment. Already the group has seen marine life populating the new underwater habitats.

For so long, Monaco has been associated with its most famous competition: the Monaco Grand Prix. And while that 93-year-old race may have helped put Monaco on the map, Prince Albert II has ambitions that go far beyond the appeal of cars racing at terrifying speeds. In fact, the prince wants to turn Monaco into an eco-friendly haven (Today, the most sought-after public parking spots in Monaco are reserved for electric vehicles.) That’s why, for the prince and the founders of Mareterra, the surrounding ecology was as important as the economy. They seized the opportunity to build new land over the ocean by investing in the marine life that surrounded it. “We brought in leading experts to design homes for people,” Levy-Soussan explains. “But at the same time we brought in experts to develop reefs and homes for the surrounding marine life, too.” This meant the creation of two artificial

If architecture is to be graded on a scale that intends for buildings—no matter how ornate or private—to provide the public with a greater good, then Mareterra hits the highest mark. “Our goal was to create a private building for people to live in while at the same time, giving the public a sense of access and openness to the new land,” Piano explains. “We did this by designing a building that almost seems to separate from the ground. This means that no matter where you are in relation to the building, you can view the sea.” When asked if he would call Le Renzo beautiful, Piano shakes his head. “It’s very dangerous to talk about beauty because it may be misunderstood as something frivolous. If our design is beautiful, it’s only because it creates a sense of the infinite.”


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TECHNOLOGY

SAY GOOD-BYE TO INVASIVE TRACKING APPS THESE CONTROLS, WHICH ARE BURIED INSIDE PRODUCTS FROM A P P L E , G O O G L E , M E TA A N D O T H E R S , M A K E U S S H A R E M O R E DATA T H A N W E N E E D T O … O R P E R H A P S O U G H T T O .

T

HERE’S A CATCHY SAYING GOING AROUND WITH A VALUABLE LESSON ABOUT OUR PERSONAL TECHNOLOGY: THE DEVIL IS IN THE DEFAULTS.

The saying refers to the default settings that tech companies embed deep in the devices, apps, and websites we use. These settings typically make us share data about our activities and location. We can usually opt out of this data collection, but the companies make the menus and buttons hard to notice, likely in the hope that we don’t immediately tweak them. Apple, Google, Amazon, Meta and Microsoft generally want us to leave some default settings on, purportedly to train their algorithms and catch bugs, which then make their products easier for us to use. But unnecessary data sharing isn’t always in our best interest. Consider how several whistle-blowers confessed in 2018 that they had listened in on Apple’s Siri recordings and Amazon’s Alexa activations that inadvertently recorded couples having sex. The recent reversal of Roe v. Wade also underscored the many ways that women can be tracked through their personal tech when seeking options to terminate pregnancies. So with every tech product we use, it’s important to take time to peruse the many menus, buttons and switches to page 88

pare down the data we share. Here’s a streamlined guide to many of the default settings that I and other tech writers always change.

search, YouTube and Google Maps, are tied to Google accounts, and the control panel for tweaking data management is on the website myactivity.google.com.

Apple Phones and iPads

For all three categories — Web & App Activity, Location History and YouTube History — set auto-delete to delete activity older than three months. This way, instead of creating a permanent record of every search, Google purges entries that are more than 90 days old. In the near term, it can still make helpful recommendations based on recent searches.

With iPhones, users can open the Settings app and enter the Privacy menu to change how they share data about their app use and location. (Apple technically asks people to opt-in to some of these settings when they activate a new iPhone, but these steps can easily be missed. These tips would disable the data sharing.) Select Tracking and toggle off Allow Apps to Request to Track. This tells all apps to not share data with third parties for marketing purposes. Select Apple Advertising and toggle off Personalized Ads so that Apple can’t use information about you to serve targeted ads on its App Store, Apple News and Stocks. Select Analytics & Improvements and toggle off Share iPhone Analytics to prevent the iPhone from sending device data to Apple to improve its products. Select Location Services, tap System Services and toggle off iPhone Analytics and Routing & Traffic to prevent the device from sharing geo-data with Apple for improving Apple Maps.

Google Products Google products, including Android phones and web services like Google

A bonus tip for Android phones comes from Ryne Hager, an editor of the tech blog “Android Police”: Newer versions of Android offer people the ability to share an approximate location rather than their precise location with apps. For many apps, like weather software, sharing approximate data should be the way to go, and precise geo-data should be shared only with software that needs it to work properly, like maps apps.

Meta’s Facebook Meta’s most important settings can be reached through the privacy checkup tool inside the settings menu. These are some important tweaks to prevent snooping by employers and marketers: For “Who can see what you share,” select “Only me” for people with access to your friends list and pages you follow, and select “Friends” for who can see your birthday.


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For “How people can find you on Facebook,” choose “Only me” for people who can look you up via email or phone number. For “Your ad preferences on Facebook,” toggle off the switches for relationship status, employer, job title and education. This way, marketers can’t serve targeted ads based on this information.

Amazon’s Website and Devices Amazon offers some control over how information is shared through its website and products like Alexa and Ring cameras. There are two settings that I highly recommend turning off: Amazon last year launched Amazon Sidewalk, a program that automatically makes newer Amazon products share Internet connections with other devices

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nearby. Critics say Sidewalk could open doors for bad actors to gain access to people’s data. To disable it for an Echo speaker, open the Amazon Alexa app and tap More in the lower right-hand side of the screen. Inside the settings, tap Account Settings, choose Amazon Sidewalk and toggle Sidewalk to the off position. For a Ring camera, in the Ring app, tap the three-lined icon in the upper left and then tap Control Center. Tap Amazon Sidewalk and slide the button to the off position. On Amazon’s website, some shopping lists — like items saved on a wish list — are shared with the public by default, which can be revealing information. Visit the Your Lists page and set each shopping list to private.

Microsoft Windows Windows PCs come with a host of data-sharing settings turned on by default to help Microsoft, advertisers and websites learn more about us. The switches to toggle those settings off can be found by opening the settings menu and clicking on Privacy and security and then General. Yet the worst default setting on Windows may have nothing to do with privacy. Whenever Kimber Streams, a Wirecutter editor, tests new laptops, one of their first steps is to open the sound menu and select No Sounds to mute the many annoying chimes that play whenever something goes wrong with Windows. BRIAN X. CHEN/ SPECIAL TO POLO LIFESTYLES


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THE WORLD'S 50 BEST

RESTAURANTS T

DENMARK: CULINARY CAPITAL OF THE WORLD

HE WORLD’S 50 BEST RESTAURANTS HAS ANNOUNCED THE WINNERS OF THIS YEAR’S EVENT WITH DENMARK’S GERANIUM CROWNED AS THE TOP DINING ESTABLISHMENT ON THE PLANET. Central in Lima, Peru, the first South American restaurant to break into the list’s top three, got second place page 94

while Disfrutar in Barcelona snared third. Another two Peruvian restaurants in Lima, the capital of the country, made it to the list: Maido, a place where the Peruvian and Japanese cultural heritages of Chef Mitsuharu ‘Micha’ Tsumura collide on the plate in #11 and Mayta, which means Noble Land in the Aymara language, in # 32 and where Chef Jaime Pesaque offers refined Peruvian cuisine with its 12-course Yachay tasting

menu that attracts diners from all over the world. Don Julio in Buenos Aires, Argentina, ranked #14 while Boragó in Santiago, Chile, is #43. Since the list’s inception in 2002, the top prize has been given to 16 out of 19 restaurants in Europe. The other three times went to restaurants in the United States. “This is a victorious year for Danish gastronomy with Geranium claiming the


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title as World’s Best Restaurant and two new Danish restaurant entering the top 50 list,” the organization announced. Located on the eighth floor above Denmark’s national soccer stadium parking lot with panoramic views over the Fælledparken (the Common Gardens), the restaurant specializing in seasonal ‘Scandi” food, was second in last year’s rankings behind the iconic Noma which, after a change of the rules that now declares former winners ineligible to win again, will now move to the Best of the Best list. The current menu at Geranium, “The Summer Universe,” costs $440 per person and lasts for a minimum of three hours. They offer various wine menus as well as a non-alcohol pairing. From the start of the 2022 season, Geranium removed meat from its menu to focus

solely on vegetables and seafood. Geranium was the first Danish restaurant to receive three Michelin stars and the head chef and co-owner of the restaurant, Rasmus Kofoed, has also won gold, silver and bronze medals at the global cooking competition, the Bocuse d’Or. The restaurant first opened in 2007, closed in 2009 in order to move to its current location in 2010 in the middle of the financial crisis. “All odds were against us,” explained Chef Kofoed in a speech during the ceremony that took place in London and was hosted by American actor Stanley Tucci. The ceremony was planned to take place in Moscow but was relocated to London following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

“The menu is a reflection of me, of who I am and how I am evolving as a chef and as a human being,” Kofoed said. “I haven’t been eating meat for the last five years at home, so to no longer use meat on the new menu was a logical decision and a natural progression for Geranium.”

Denmark: culinary capital of the world Two other Danish restaurants made it to the 50 Best Restaurants ranking, confirming Copenhagen’s reputation as one of the culinary capitals of the world. Ranked at #18 is Alchemist, a two-star Michelin ‘holistic’ dining experience led by Chef Rasmus Munk with a menu that involves 50 courses or “impressions” that include light, theater, art and sound. The experience lasts between four and six hours and costs $600.

B Y PAT R I C I A M A R X / S P E C I A L T O P O L O L I F E S T Y L E S

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Alchemist is located in a former welding hall in the once-industrial Copenhagen neighborhood of Refshaleøen, also home to Noma. Jordnær, which means ‘down to earth’ is the new addition from Denmark to the World’s 50 Best list. It enters at #38 and holds two Michelin stars. The current 17-course menu costs $436. “Head here for huge langoustines, turbot and king crab, generous volumes of caviar and more – all fresh from the ocean,” said host Tucci, adding that the owner-couple, Eric Kragh Vildgaard and Tina Kragh Vildgaard, have six children and deserve an award for parenting as well. Chefs Virgilio Martínez and Pía León’s flagship restaurant, Central, is an ode to Peru in all forms. The dishes celebrate the unique landscapes, history and traditions of their homeland by using an abundance of locally sourced produce.

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The husband-and-wife team were married just four days after Central’s first appearance on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list in 2013. Nearly 10 years later, Martínez and León have enjoyed their share of success, with the opening of Mil in the Andes and Kjolle in Lima alongside an international outpost in Tokyo called Maz. León was also voted as The World’s Best Female Chef 2021. Disfrutar (to enjoy), the Spanish restaurant that ranked third, is a ‘legacy’ from the legendary El Bulli restaurant, (now another member of the Best of the Best group), because its three chefs — Oriol Castro, Eduard Xatruch and Mateu Casañas — all worked there. After that restaurant closed in 2011, they joined forces to open Compartir in Cadaqués, Catalonia, followed by Disfrutar – their most ambitious project – in 2014. Contemporary techniques, daring combinations and the drive to sur-

prise diners are among the features of Disfrutar. Dishes such as panchino (a fluffy bun) stuffed with caviar and sour cream, and multi-spherical pesto with tender pistachios and eel are designed to “please, surprise and excite.” With the renowned Eleven Madison Park now, like Noma, on the Best of the Best list, another two New York restaurant, the Korean Atomix at #33 and Le Bernardin at #44 represents the United States in the rankings. Asia, having been hit particularly hard by pandemic restrictions, made the top 20 with Den in Tokyo. Two other Japanese restaurants, Florilège and Narisawa, also are now included in the list of world’s best restaurants. Among the special awards, the “One to Watch” went to AM par Alexandre Mazziain Marseilles, which has three Michelin stars and features an Africanaccented menu.


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Olia Hercules and Alissa Timoshkina, founders of #CookforUkraine, won the ‘”Champions of Change” prize. This is the list of winners, with the new entries marked NE: 1. Geranium, Copenhagen 2. Central, Lima 3. Disfrutar, Barcelona 4. Diverxo, Madrid 5. Pujol, Mexico City 6. Asador Etxebarri, Axpe, Spain 7. A Casa do Porco, São Paulo 8. Lido 84, Gardone Riviera, Italy 9. Quintonil, Mexico City 10. Le Calandre, Rubano, Italy 11. Maido, Lima 12. Uliassi, Senegallia, Italy 13. Steirereck, Vienna 14. Don Julio, Buenos Aires 15. Reale, Castel di Sangro, Italy 16. Elkano, Getaria, Spain 17. Nobelhart & Schmutzig, Berlin 18. Alchemist, Copenhagen 19. Piazza Duomo, Alba, Italy 20. Den, Tokyo 21. Mugaritz, San Sebastian, Spain 22. Septime, Paris 23. The Jane, Antwerp, Belgium 24. The Chairman, Hong Kong 25. Frantzén, Stockholm 26. Restaurant Tim Raue, Berlin 27. Hof Van Cleve, Kruishoutem, Belgium 28. Le Clarence, Paris (NE) 29. St. Hubertus, San Cassiano, Italy 30. Florilège, Tokyo 31. Arpège, Paris 32. Mayta, Lima 33. Atomix, New York 34. Hiša Franko, Kobarid, Slovenia 35. Clove Club, London 36. Odette, Singapore 37. Fyn, Cape Town (NE) 38. Jordnaer, Copenhagen (NE) 39. Sorn, Bangkok (NE) 40. Schloss Schauenstein, Fürstenau, Switzerland 41. La Cime, Osaka, Japan 42. Quique Dacosta, Denia, Spain 43. Boragó, Santiago de Chile 44. Le Bernardin, New York 45. Narisawa, Tokyo 46. Belcanto, Lisbon 47. Oteque, Oslo (NE) 48. Leo, Bogato (NE) 49. Ikoyi, London 50. SingleThread, Healdsburg page 97


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SKINNY & RICH HEALTH

THE $1,300 A MONTH INJECTION THERAPY THAT SHEDS POUNDS AND KEEPS THEM OFF

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J

ENNIFER STRAUGHAN STRUGGLED WITH HER WEIGHT FOR DECADES. BY HER MID-FORTIES SHE HAD TRIED EVERYTHING: DIETS, JOURNALING HER FOOD INTAKE, EXERCISING CONSTANTLY.

“It controlled my life,” she says. “I would obsessively work out. I’d get up in the middle of the night if I forgot to enter something I’d eaten into my tracking app.” Worst of all, looking good was more than a vanity project. Straughan is a fitness instructor. At five-foot-three and hovering around 175 pounds, she found her clients becoming skeptical. About four years ago Straughan went for a regular checkup in her hometown of Toronto to a doctor who specialized in weight loss, and her stress all came pouring out. “For some reason, at that moment I just lost it and blurted out everything I’d struggled with

for 20 years—the addictiveness of it. And he said I was a good candidate to try Ozempic.” Now she’s down to 130 pounds. If you spend enough time at the right dinner parties or on TikTok (search #MyOzempicJourney), you’ll eventually hear about Ozempic. It’s a brand name for semaglutide, an injectable insulin-regulating drug developed by Danish pharmaceutical giant Novo Nordisk to treat diabetes. When doctors began noticing that their Ozempic patients were losing weight, the manufacturer conducted clinical trials on overweight and obese people and found that using the drug did indeed lead to significant weight loss. Alongside its insulin promoting effects, semaglutide slows down digestion, so patients feel full for longer after eating. Novo Nordisk also started marketing a higher-dose treatment of semaglutide for obesity, calling it Wegovy. But now people who are neither diabetic nor obese are turning to the low-dose formulation as a quick and simple way

to lose weight. One woman in a tony New York suburb tells of another woman who underwent “a total transformation” over a year. “It was the talk of the town. We were all marveling that she was wasting away—we meant this as a compliment, of course,” she says, not facetiously. Then the same thing happened to the wisp’s best friend. “Ultimately I heard they were both on this drug called Ozempic, and I told the story to a friend. And my friend says, ‘Of course. Everyone’s on it!’ ” “If you’re more than 20 pounds above your ideal BMI, then you can find doctors who will write you this prescription,” says Nancy Simpkins, a prominent New Jersey–based internist and government medical consultant who does not personally prescribe Ozempic for weight loss but knows several well-respected colleagues who do. “It just regulates the glucose/insulin metabolism, but you have to be able to tolerate the side effects.” She’s referring to the gastro intestinal phenomena—bloating, conpage 103


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stipation, diarrhea—that unfortunately accompany these drugs, as well as metformin and others that are oral forms of insulin regulators. Clearly, though, many patients have decided the stomach upset that comes with their weekly at-home injections is worth it. Using Ozempic purely for weight loss is called “off-label.” Once a drug has been established as safe by the FDA, doctors can technically prescribe it for any indication they like. But that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily a good idea. “We cannot and will not promote, suggest, or encourage off-label use of our medicines,” says Natalia Salomao, a senior director in Novo Nordisk’s U.S. office. In addition, off-label use isn’t covered by insurance, which means that finding a doctor willing to prescribe Ozempic to help you shed your extra pounds is only one of the hurdles. “Not everyone can do this,” Simpkins says, “because it’s close to $1,000 a month out of pocket. But people with resources increasingly want to jump right to these injectables.” “It’s the typical American way: Let’s take a drug to take care of my problem,” says Stephen C. Brewer, medical director at the famed wellness resort Canyon Ranch, outside Tucson. “A patient told me yesterday he’s on Ozempic: ‘My doctor gave it to me to lose those extra pounds.’ ” Brewer says he will consider prescribing semaglutide only as a last resort. “Trying to scrape off the last few pounds that way? I’m not in favor of that at all.” Both Brewer and Katie Rickel, a clinical psychologist and CEO of Structure House, a weight loss management clinic

and retreat in Durham, North Carolina, say that weight loss and weight management are about lifestyle—not just diet and exercise but sleep and stress management, too. “Making someone less physically hungry is not going to solve the whole problem,” Rickel says. “People misuse ADHD meds and even cocaine for weight management purposes. Sure, doing coke might help you lose a few pounds, but weight management is multi-factorial—there’s no magic bullet.” Yet gossip mills and social media are rife with newly svelte fans. “My cousin was always a little chubby,” says another woman from a prominent family. “And she tried every trendy diet and workout: F-Factor, you name it. Then recently she starts posting pictures of herself on Instagram looking incredible in these super-sexy midriff-baring outfits. And what do you know—she’s on Ozempic.” Simpkins remembers older generations of weight loss drugs like Fen-Phen, which were all the rage early in her career. “Doctors were essentially using legal speed offlabel to help patients lose weight, and some of them died of heart attacks,” she says. She’s more optimistic about this new generation of drugs, although she emphasizes the importance of expert oversight of any off-label use. “You need to see someone who knows what they’re doing and isn’t just making a business out of demanding patients wanting to be skinny.” PAUL TULLIS/SPECIAL TO POLO LIFESTYLES

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SERENA WILLIAMS

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SERENA WILLIAMS NEXT UP FOR THE TENNIS MEGA-STAR

W

HEN MEGASTAR SERENA WILLIAMS RECENTLY SAID THAT SHE PLANS TO RETIRE FROM TENNIS AFTER THE UPCOMING U.S. OPEN, SHE ADDED AN INTRIGUING TIDBIT ABOUT HER FUTURE: SHE WILL TURN HER FOCUS TO A VENTURE CAPITAL FIRM SHE QUIETLY FORMED EIGHT YEARS AGO.

The announcement earlier in August by Williams, who has won 23 Grand Slam singles titles in a career that has spanned more than a quarter century, reignited talk of just how few women and minorities inhabit the elite world of high-stakes venture capital, where often risky investments are made in startup companies in hopes that the investors will reap a significant return. While Serena Ventures, as her small firm is known, is among a tiny number of VC firms owned by Black women, that’s changing, albeit slowly, says Sydney Sykes, a partner at Lightspeed Venture Partners, a Silicon Valley-based VC firm that invests heavily in early-stage, female-led businesses. “No one is going to look at venture capital and say it’s a success at

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diversity,” Sykes says. “But I am more optimistic than I have ever been. I think there’s a conversation that’s happening now that has a tone that [we’ve] never had before.” In the venture capital business, founders need to be a bit superhuman to succeed and Williams certainly qualifies. Serena Ventures, with its motto “Play to Win,” has funneled money into promising new ventures, raising $111 million of outside financing for new investments so far this year, Williams says. The firm is focusing on health, wellness and athletics. In an essay she wrote for Vogue magazine detailing her plans, Williams — who is married to Alexis Ohanian, a tech entrepreneur and co-founder of Reddit who also started a venture capital firm a decade ago — said that 78 percent of her VC's portfolio «happens to be companies started by women and people of color, because that›s who we are.» “On the other hand, my husband is white, and it›s important to me to be inclusive of everyone,» she writes. «Serena Ventures has been an all-female business until recently, when we brought in our first guy — a diversity hire!”


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SERENA WILLIAMS BROUGHT NEW FANS TO TENNIS. ARE YOU ONE OF THEM?

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HEN YOU WATCH SERENA WILLIAMS PLAY FROM THE COMFORTABLE REMOVE OF A LIVING ROOM, SHE POPS FROM THE SCREEN. ALL THAT WILLPOWER, ATHLETICISM AND SKILL, EVEN AS SHE AGES AND FADES.

When you watch Serena Williams play live and up close, in a packed stadium during a tight match on the biggest stage — now, that is something else altogether. That’s an event, a happening, a mix of Broadway and Cannes and the Met Gala, with a whole lot of forehand winners and sometimes a soap opera mixed in.

Those performances will cease now that she is “evolving” from the game, as she announced this month, to pursue a life beyond tennis and perhaps have a second child. But her legacy goes far beyond what she did between the lines: It’s clear in the stands of every tournament that Williams’s glitz and drama beckoned to fans of all kinds, including large swaths who only pay attention to sports when she plays. To be at a Serena match — among masses of attendees, particularly brown and Black spectators making their first foray to a professional match — was to feel a sense of new possibility for a sport long steeped in whiteness. Take the U.S. Open, for instance. Since her ascension to tennis’s upper reaches

when she won there in 1999 at age 17, Flushing Meadows has been a special stage for Williams and her fans. In 2016, bidding for an Open-era record 23rd major singles title, the overall U.S. Open attendance figures showed nearly a quarter of fans there were Black, according to the United States Tennis Association. In 2017, with Williams’s career on hold as she sat out to give birth to her daughter, the number of Black fans at Flushing Meadows dropped by 10 percent. That is the Serena effect. “The magnetism of Serena attracts all kinds of new fans,” said Chris Widmaier, a U.S.T.A. spokesman. “But you can certainly see the outsize and page 113


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indelible impact that she has had on Black Americans in their relationship with tennis.” Widmaier has been working communications at the Open for 20 years. He has seen Williams play all over the world and figures he has watched her more than any other top player. “When Serena would walk on the court and you had the ability to be courtside, you would get chills,” he said. “You just knew you were in the presence of greatness. And it didn’t matter at which point in her career. That is what I always felt.” Williams’s matches always made viewers feel. And while her career — and that of her sister Venus — has drawn onlookers of all kinds, it has had special resonance for Black fans and others page 114

traditionally at the margins of the tennis scene. If that’s you, I want to hear your story. Especially if you made the pilgrimage to see Williams play in person. Even if “up close” was the nosebleed seats at the Olympic tennis stadium in Rio. Or if you made it to one of the smaller tournaments on the WTA Tour, without the Grand Slam crowds and prices. Were you there at Indian Wells in 2001, as many in the majority-white audience booed Williams during her championship win? Were you there 14 years later, when she ended her boycott of that desert event? What moments and images from Williams’s career, good and bad and utterly astonishing, stick with you? What

compelled you to see her in person? For me, when I think of Serena, of course, I also think of Venus. Watching them together was sports as beautiful alchemy. Just the right mix, even if their matches were sometimes full of nervousness and imperfection. At the U.S. Open in 2008, Serena and Venus were about to clash in a quarterfinal match on a hot, humid New York evening. Two hours before, I watched as fans gathered outside the stadium. Yes, it was still a mostly white and well-heeled crowd, but it was also Black, Latino, Asian, every hue, every class. It felt supercharged. The air surged with electric excitement and anticipation. I heard many say they would not have ventured to Flushing Meadows that


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of attitude — Williams, it seemed to me, was channeling their unbreakable spirit. I’m certainly not the only one to observe and feel that way. She spoke for herself and in doing so, spoke to us. It’s strange, but I seemed to have a knack for being in the stands when Williams was surprisingly upended. The loss to Elina Svitolina at the Rio Olympics in 2016. The time she blew a 5-1 lastset lead and succumbed to Karolina Pliskova at the 2019 Australian Open. With each loss, on the grounds of those events, you could feel energy and passion drain from fans once they realized she would no longer be around. When, in 2019, Williams worked in vain to fend off Bianca Andreescu, the talented young Canadian, I was one of the 23,000 who jammed Ashe Stadium for what may have been her last Grand Slam final. evening if not for Serena. Adding Venus to the mix sealed the deal. The sisters put on a show. There were early pockmarks of sloppy play, but in the end, the evening sizzled with excellence, and Serena affirmed her superiority, winning, 7-6, 7-6. Looking back on the arc of Serena’s career, the swings of that match are a hallmark. She has always been capable of producing clumps of errors in batches — and then turning up the winners when everything counts. That’s part of the wonder. On the grounds of the most significant events, it often felt like the competition had not really stepped into high gear until Williams put on a high-pressure spectacle.

Serena brought the buzz, whether she won or not. It began from the moment she’d leave the players’ tunnel and walk before the fans. If you were there at the 2018 French Open when she entered that red-clay center court dressed in her tight black, Wakanda-inspired bodysuit, the feel in the stands, the swooning and gasping and awe, will be in your mind for good. God, I loved that moment. It gave me goose bumps. In her boldness and bearing, Williams has always reminded me of my undaunted nieces and cousins and my late paternal grandmother, Peggy Mae Streeter, a powerful Black woman born one generation from slavery. Dressed in that bodysuit — reveling in her complete self, with that trademark “I’m gonna do my thing, no matter what” kind

Thinking about it now, I can still hear the proud and melancholy sound of Williams’s straining breath as she served to stay in the match, facing a third match point. I can feel her gasping exhale echoing across the stands. I can remember Andreescu dialing up a forehand reply, just as I can recall Williams’s lunge as that forehand spun by for a winner. Game, set, Slam, Andreescu, 6-3, 7-5. You had to be there to feel the poignancy. A collective, mournful groan underlay the standing ovation applause for a new and deserving champion. This was the ultimate tennis champion on her last legs, coming up short, fighting to the end. I’m thankful to have been there as a witness. KURT STREETER/SPECIAL TO POLO LIFESTYLES page 115


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FASHION & STYLE HERMES BREATHES NEW LIFE INTO WUHAN RED IS THE COLOR FOR FALL/WINTER THE WASHABLE FLAT YOU'LL LOVE

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WUHAN, CHINA'S

GRAND RE-OPENING OF

HERMES page 120

PHOTOS COURTESY THE IMPRESSION


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WUHAN

HERMES RETAIL THERAPY IS ALIVE AND WELL... VIP SHOPPERS DROPPED $4.45M ON OPENING DAY

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FTER A SOMEWHAT DARK CHAPTER IN ITS HISTORY, WUHAN APPEARS TO HAVE MORE OR LESS RECOVERED, AND HERMÈS STEPS IN WITH A SPARKLING NEW LOCATION FOR SOME HEALTHY RETAIL THERAPY. The luxury retailer chose a new, two-level position at Wuhan Plaza 66, which is now regarded as the city’s leading high-end shopping center, to coincide with its tenth anniversary in the area. The renowned store for the luxury brand on rue du Faubourg St.-Honoré serves as a major source of inspiration for the interior design by Paris-based architecture firm and longtime partner RDAI. The store’s exteriors, as well as the environs inside, , are emblazoned in modern ceramic tiles with an ochre color to reference the brand’s recognizable packaging. Customers will find interior flooring made of complementary ochre and brown marble , as well as sparkling pieces that honor the Yangtze River, which runs through the city. There are no less than sixteen different Hermès product categories represented on the premises with a wide range of individually manufactured rosewood furniture and accessories. The bamboo wall panels that line the stairway have openings in them, allowing light to enter the center of the ground floor and CONTENT AND PHOTOS COURTESY THE IMPRESSION

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form spinning shadows. The upstairs women’s ready-to-wear and footwear spaces have overlooks into the interior, as does the resplendent home collection area.

from deep pink to light pink and from turquoise to sand. Each product category is readily differentiated from the others while still being seamlessly related, thanks to the vivid and varied colors.

Here you may also find the company’s renowned leather items, men’s clothing, and shoes. The floor in this space is covered in carpets that vary in color

The V.I.P. area’s walls are luxuriously covered with hand-painted silk fabrics, while the jewelry section has woven wall coverings in the Japanese manner. Along

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with the launch of the new Hermès location, certain extremely rare items—such as a pink Kelly Doll bag and a Picotin Lock Micro bag with flower print—are also available at this new location.


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RED, RED, RED FOR

FALL & WINTER

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HIS SEASON THE RUNWAYS WERE TAKEN OVER BY THIS DARING AND SEDUCTIVE COLOR. THE COLOR DRAWS ALLUSIONS TO DANGER, ANIMAL MAGNETISM, CONFIDENCE, REGALITY, AND POWER. RED STANDS OUT ON ITS OWN; HOWEVER, THE APPARENT ABUNDANCE OF THE COLOR MAKES US ASK HOW THIS COLOR REFLECTS OUR SOCIETY TODAY, AS FASHION MIRRORS EVENTS IN OUR CULTURE. Many brands had their finger on the pulse of this heart-racing trend, including Carolina Herrera, whose models struttedin crimson ravishes of high rising tule and low-cut necklines. Sacai showed a variety of looks in red, presenting something for everyone, from coats to a hot take on the infamous sherpa coat. Versace heated up as they featured powerful, structured dresses with skintight red latex boots. Dolce & Gabbana played with fire; they featured daring shoulders in reflective dresses sure to make a statement.


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CONTENT & PHOTOS COURTESY THE IMPRESSION

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WASHABLE FLATS S

AN EVERYDAY, GO-TO SHOE THAT FRESHENS UP WITHOUT ANY FUSS

OME OF THE BEST FASHION ADVICE I EVER RECEIVED IS QUITE SIMPLE: ALWAYS WEAR SENSIBLE SHOES. AND AS I GET OLDER, I LIVE BY THIS TIP. LIKE MANY OF YOU, I WAS COMFORTABLY WORKING FROM HOME, WEARING COZY SOCKS OR SLIPPERS OVER THE LAST TWO YEARS. As a result, my feet got accustomed to not being constricted in heavy boots, strappy sandals, and uncomfy high heels (the worst!). But now that I’ve been back in an office part-time for the last six months, I’ve noticed that my feet have

been taking a major beating since they’re not used to being put to use as much as they once were. That was until I slipped my feet into a pair of Rothy’s Point flats. You see, I had been familiar with the sustainable brand for a few years already since famous faces like Meghan Markle had stepped out in them previously. But when I began spotting more and more women on the subway wearing the Rothy’s Point flats or the sister style called The Flat during my morning commute, I thought, if all these people plus the Duchess of Sussex are wearing them out, they must be really comfortable. So, I decided to try them on—and, wow, I can confidently say «really comfortable» is an understatement.

The flats are light-as-air, incredibly breathable and provide just the right amount of support with a snug fit, making each step you take a dreamy, ache-free pleasure. And that’s all thanks to the super-soft, flexible upper which is knitted from plastic bottles—how cool is that?—and the chicest tortoiseshell rubber soles, also crafted from natural materials. Comfort aside, the sleek silhouette and the perfectly pointy toe make the shoes versatile, too. Be it a work dress, a blouse and jeans, or even a sophisticated suit, the Point will just not disappoint no matter how you style them. Plus, they come in endless colorways and patterns. If there’s a shade or design you’re looking for, Rothy’s most likely created it already. I chose an ecru hue, but the shoes also come in other neutral colors, as well as blues, purples, reds, stripes—you name it. But the pièce de résistance: Rothy’s shoes are machine washable. Yes, when you’ve worn them out one too many times like I already have — and let’s face it, you will — or they’ve been scuffed with a bit of dirt from the sidewalk, you can just pop them into the washing machine. And after a cycle, voilà! You have yourself a pair of flats looking as good as new. In other words, the Rothy’s Point flats, which are reasonably priced at $145, are total game changers and the gift that keeps on giving. It’s not often you buy a pair of shoes that are comfortable, supportive, you can wear with most outfits, and wash again and again— and what can be better than that? SOPHIE DWECK/SPECIAL TO POLO LIFESTYLES

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MARKET

CERTAINTY IN NYC

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THE PERENNIAL MANHATTAN MARKET RECESSION? WHAT RECESSION? A LONG-TIME SURE BET, THE NYC REAL ESTATE MARKET WOULD BE HARD-PRESSED TO LET YOU DOWN DANA ROMITA

LUXURY REAL ESTATE CONTRIBUTOR @danaromita

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ECENTLY, THERE HAS BEEN CONSISTENT SPECULATION ABOUT THE MANHATTAN REAL ESTATE MARKET AS CONSUMERS PROCESS THE DAILY BARRAGE OF POLITICAL EVENTS AND ECONOMIC DATA. AMID EACH NEW EVENT AND DATA RELEASE, PEOPLE LOOK FOR GRAND CONCLUSIONS OR PREDICTIONS ABOUT THE MARKET. For example, people are looking for easy heuristics to understand what happens to the real estate market if ‘X’ happens. As an experienced realtor in NYC, perhaps I can shed some light on the current Manhattan real estate market. My experience as a real estate broker has given me the privilege of both a frontrow and backstage view of the fascinating “show” that is Manhattan real estate. Additionally, owning two homes in New Jersey and The Hamptons offers another layer to my experience. Pepper in my exposure to the private wealth management sector, this allows me an in-the-trenches look at how professional page 142

advisors are searching for the correlations of the macro- and micro-economic events to answer the question, “What does this mean for real estate and the housing markets?” Brief History of the NYC Real Estate Market Which are the real estate markets we should use as the barometers to draw our conclusions? Over the last two decades, the NYC real estate market has proven to be one of the more resilient, high-performing markets internationally. Manhattan is considered the most potent global city in the world due to factors such as financial grit, innovation, governance, and price stability.   Response to the economic downturn: To support this premise, let’s look at how the NYC market responded during the last three recessions or economic downturns of recent memory: 2001, 2008, and 2020. In a nutshell, there was a pattern of temporary decline followed by rapid recovery. In 2001, after the tragic acts of terrorism on September 11th, the real estate market froze, particularly in lower Manhattan. But once the American Federal Reserve Board, commonly known as The Fed, decreased interest rates and mortgage rates, demand surged within two months. During the recession of 2007, Manhattan was spared the more severe effects of sub-

prime defaults primarily due to NYC co-ops. Co-ops comprise roughly 75 percent of NYC residential apartments. The much-bemoaned co-op boards’ stringent financial/liquidity requirements ensured that NYC home buyers weren’t over-leveraged and at risk of default. May to July 2020, during the Covid economic downturn, was the bottom of the NYC real estate market. Then in 2021, fueled by lower interest rates, limited supply, and an influx of returning residents, NYC saw the highest sales volume in 32 years. Current Market Conditions What does the current real estate market look like, and what are its defining factors? A prolonged scarcity of inventory along with high prices and increasing mortgage rates have characterized the market. Higher interest rates pushed some potential buyers into an inventory-strapped rental market, driving inflated rents even higher. Despite buyers converting to renters, there has still been an abundance of would-be buyers bidding up and chipping away at limited inventory. Rising interest rates did not diminish the demand for housing in NYC. Many Manhattan buyers are relatively unphased by increasing interest rates, as 50 percent of residential buyers pay cash for their purchases, particularly in the luxury market ($4 million and above).


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Are We Seeing a Slowdown? Now, we are seeing an easing in mortgage rates, but curiously, rental rates continue to be driven higher - again, emphasizing my earlier point that nothing in recent economic events has been predictable or formulaic. NYC is a stand-alone real estate market.   Regarding sales, the market has slowed, following its typical summer behavior. As the days-onmarket have increased, sellers are exploring price cuts. But consumer reactions to the slowdown and modest price declines have been extreme. As one of my buyers said recently, “The market just took a major nosedive!” No, it didn’t. John Walkup of Forbes put it best when he wrote, “The market is not crashing, but simply returning to normal… the slowdown appears to be more an issue of comparison, and less of a macro-economic shift. It’s not a crash; it’s a reversion to the mean.” Any price decreases will likely remain modest and temporary- higher real estate prices in Manhattan are supported by high local incomes. Real Estate and Inflation People discuss diversifying investment portfolios with hard assets. What are some hard assets: gold and precious metals, commodities, art, wine, cars, and real estate. It makes sense to have hard assets as a part of your portfolio because they typically have an inverse relationship with the value of soft assets. The correct asset allocation choices can mitigate the risks of inflation. I believe that investing in Manhattan real estate is part of a sound long-term strategy to hedge against inflation.   Conclusion Manhattan real estate’s cycle is characterized by brief downturns during dramatic economic events, followed by quick rebounds with sustained gains. Manhattan real estate will always be in demand and remain a secure market for long-term investors (home prices in Manhattan have nearly doubled over the last decade). By the first quarter of 2023, we will see another peak in pricing. People will flock to Manhattan because it is the heart of the greatest city in the world. Buy real estate in Manhattan, invest in Manhattan – there is a limited supply on this one-of-a-kind island. Dana Romita sells real estate in Manhattan/Hamptons at Douglas Elliman dana.romita@elliman.com.

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MANSION OF THE MONTH A WINE ESTATE NAPA, CALIFORNIA

JUST LISTED $16,888,888 USD

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MANSION OF THE MONTH

NAPA VALLEY

4054 SILVERADO TRAIL

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HIS EXTREMELY RARE, FAMILY-OWNED VINEYARD ESTATE REPRESENTS THE ULTIMATE NAPA VALLEY DREAM. IMAGINE YOUR OWN PRIVATE OASIS OF LUXURY AND GRANDEUR LOCATED ON THE WORLD-RENOWNED SILVERADO TRAIL.

The property includes approximately 11 acres of ultra-premium vineyard, a Mediterranean manor home with a guest house, a Craftsman home, a vineyard manager’s break room and an original wood barn. page 150

Up the expansive driveway off Silverado Trail lie panoramic vineyard views from multiple homes. This premium Napa Valley vineyard is planted with nearly 10 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon and half an acre each of Malbec and Petit Verdot. The rocky, fertile soil at Soda Creek Vineyards is an ideal environment for producing healthy vines and high-quality fruit. The clones and rootstocks were specially selected for a robust, flavorful assortment of grapes. Dedicated to the extraordinary. The exceptional. The unique. Picturesque property surrounded by spectacular vineyard and mountain

views. Mature gardens include fruit trees, oaks and olive trees that create a luxurious, tranquil retreat. Property includes a pool, expansive outdoor living space, and pizza oven. Rare opportunity to acquire a large vineyard estate on the renowned Silverado Trail. Timeless, Mediterranean-style master-built main home has premium vineyard views. 4,224 square feet, four spacious bedrooms, 4.5 bathrooms. The primary bedroom is on main level along with a chef ’s kitchen, family room, living room with fireplace, office, wine cellar, media room and tower. Guest house: 1,000 square feet: two bed-


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PRICE $16,888,888 | BEDROOMS 10 | BATHROOMS 7 FULL AND 2 PARTIAL | INTERIOR 7,114 SQ FT. | EXTERIOR 19.24 ACRES

rooms, 1.5 bathrooms, chef ’s kitchen, living room, fireplace and back deck. Craftsman home: 1,350 square feet: three bedrooms, two bathrooms, vineyard views from every window, high ceilings, custom lighting, custom windows and doors, hardwood floors, chef ’s kitchen, back and side yard. Newly constructed in 2007.

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MANSION OF THE MONTH

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CASTILLO CARIBE CARIBBEAN LUXURY IN THE CAYMAN ISLANDS PRICE UPON REQUEST

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OW YOU CAN HAVE IT ALL: LIFESTYLE, LUXURY, LOCATION AND LIMITED TAX LIABILITY. WITHOUT DOUBT CASTILLO CARIBE IS ONE OF THE FINEST BEACH-FRONT ESTATE HOMES IN THE WORLD OFFERING EVERY LUXURY FOR MODERN DAY LIFE WITH ALL THE LIFESTYLE OPTIONS ONE WOULD EXPECT FROM THE CAYMAN ISLANDS AND THE CARIBBEAN.

Although the Cayman Islands enjoy year-round sunshine and a temperate climate, this benefit is eclipsed in most people’s eyes by the Islands’ offshore status. The Cayman Islands are well known as a financial center on the world’s stage and provide the highest quality of lifestyle available in a tax

neutral environment, making it very appealing to people of high net worth to seek residency here - a position that is actively encouraged by the local government and, as a British Overseas Territory, is a very stable option. There are a number of destinations in the world that are able to offer offshore status to a greater or lesser degree, but the Cayman Islands have no local taxes whatsoever: no property tax, no income tax, no capital gains tax and no inheritance tax. Castillo Caribe offers a rare opportunity to combine this with privacy, security, luxury and lifestyle all on a pristine white sandy beach overlooking the crystal-clear waters of the Caribbean Sea. The space afforded here is too limited to provide adequate description of all the properties features and amenities, please request a detailed package by emailing: heather.carrigan@sothebysrealty.com.

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NANTES PAYS DE LA LOIRE 44000 FRANCE

PRICE $29,967,206 USD BEDROOMS 8 / BATHROOMS 2 FULL INTERIOR 10,7639 SQ FT. / EXTERIOR 317.29 ACRES NANTES, PAYS DE LA LOIRE, 44000 FRANCE HUS STUD FARM This exceptional estate comprises not only a historic chateau but also one of France’s biggest equestrian facilities with page 158

the capacity to house approximately 400 horses. The castle has been restored and offers 1000 sq. meters of perfectly renovated living space including an indoor pool, a steam room and a gym. The spacious grounds comprise 128 hectares including private access to the River

Erdre, a 30-meter mooring, extensive equestrian training facilities including show jumping and dressage with 200 hectares extra rental. Restored outbuildings, helicopter pad and only 35 kilometers from the international airport. The sale includes 300 horses.


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In Search Drink Well of Solace and Do Good DRINK WELL AND DO GOOD

T HE JAM ES BE ARD FOUNDATIO N & DOUGH WINE S

WILLIAM SMITH @willismith_2000 COPY EDITOR & CONTRIBUTOR

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WAS BUT 15 YEARS OLD WHEN CULINARY ICONOCLAST JAMES BEARD DREW HIS LAST BREATH IN JANUARY OF 1985. I HAD NEVER HEARD OF HIM GROWING UP IN MY SHELTERED CORNER OF RURAL PENNSYLVANIA, BUT THEN AGAIN, GASTRONOMY WAS NOT EXACTLY FRONT AND CENTER IN MY HOUSEHOLD. page 162

It wasn’t until a move to Washington, D.C., for graduate school that the world of food opened to me, and with it, the luminaries that transformed culture and elevated even the simplest of foods to star status. Beard was just such an individual. As described on the website of the foundation that now bears his name, “He was a pioneer foodie, host of the first food program on the fledgling medium of television in 1946, the first to suspect that classic American culinary traditions might cohere into a national cuisine, and an early champion of local products and markets. Beard nurtured a generation of American chefs and cookbook authors who have changed the way we eat.”

When Beard passed, his long-time friend Julia Child endeavored to save Beard’s townhouse in New York City’s Greenwich Village. After all, Beard’s kitchen had been the epicenter of so much evolution in American gastronomy. In entered Peter Kump, another friend of Beard’s, who spearheaded the acquisition of the house, which eventually became The James Beard House “to provide a center for the culinary arts and to continue to foster the interest James Beard inspired in all aspects of food, its preparation presentation, and of course, enjoyment.” Around the same time, Kump also launched the James Beard Foundation (www.jamesbeard.org). Since 1990, the Foundation has carried out an annual


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awards program that foodies follow with great fervor, and it is perhaps these coveted recognitions in food, beverage, and related industries for which the Foundation has become best known. But the James Beard Foundation is up to some amazing things that may get less press but are nonetheless engaging the challenges of the present day. When COVID hit, the Foundation mobilized to offer assistance and grants to independent restaurants. To help address racial inequities, in late 2020, the Foundation launched a grants program specifically to support black and indigenous owned food and beverage businesses. As a former lobbyist myself, I also love the Foundation’s Chef Bootcamp for Policy and Change, an annual training academy of sorts. According to

the Foundation, “Since 2012, [it] has inspired and trained chefs around the country to mobilize in support of policy decisions that impact our food system. Hundreds of chef-advocates have successfully lobbied to provide nutritious school meals, protect SNAP recipients, support American fisheries, reduce food waste, and fight for safer, more regenerative food production across the United States.” Good stuff. Where the Foundation trailblazes is when it comes to supporting the next generation of great chefs… and ensuring that the future is more equitable for women. One study has found that only 25 percent of chefs are women, a gender gap that increases when looking at those who are Executive Chefs or chef/ owners. Another study found that less than seven percent of Head Chefs and restaurant owners are women.

Addressing the gender gap, the Foundation’s scholarship program has awarded nearly $9 million USD to over 2,000 recipients since its inception in 1991. In 2022, nearly 60 percent of these grants were awarded to women. In addition, the Foundation partners with Cornell University offering the ten-week Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership program that seeks to strengthen the business acumen of aspiring women business owners in the hospitality industry. Like all good philanthropy, the Foundation’s efforts are the result of a lot of hard work, leveraged partnerships, and real money that pays for everything. Enter in Dough Wines. The powerhouse behind Dough Wines is Distinguished Vineyards & Wine Partners (www.dvwinepartner.com),

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Drink Well and Do Good

who count more well-known labels such as Oregon’s Argyle and Napa’s Markham in their portfolio. The wine company’s Clayton Seeto spoke with Polo Lifestyles, sharing at length about their commitment to doing good through philanthropy, including through a unique and pioneering partnership with the James Beard Foundation. Seeto described the partnership as one of “delicious activism.” Over five years, Distinguished Vineyards & Wine Partners has a goal of donating $1 million USD to the James Beard Foundation through the sale of Dough Wines. The Dough label, launched in the early days of the pandemic, is page 164

nonetheless off a strong start: their wines were served at the Beard Foundation’s annual gala last year at the lux Pierre hotel in New York City. Dough’s winemaker, Heidi Bridenhagen, brings not just a solid scientific understanding of viticulture and winemaking to Dough, she’s also doubling down on the activism to achieve gender equity. Much like the gender disparity within the hospitality world, Bridenhagen’s working in a field where just 10% of winemakers are women, according to Seeto. The partnership with Dough also has Bridenhagen working closely with the world’s best chefs and sommeliers

associated with the Beard Foundation. It’s a collaborative process where she tests out blends of varietals with the group, takes in the feedback and discusses food pairing, and then creates the final blends that will be bottled and brought to market. The result of the partnership through Dough Wines between the Beard Foundation and Distinguished Vineyards and Wine Partners doesn’t just do great things philanthropically, it also results in the ability to drink well! As the brand’s motto goes, it gives everyone an opportunity to “rise to the occasion.” Now to the wines. I sat down with a few friends to taste a

sampling of Dough Wines and especially thrilled that my friend Kristina Hayden Bustamante, wine director at Santa Fe’s famed Compound restaurant, was able to join us. First up, we tasted the 2020 Sauvignon Blanc with grapes sourced from California’s North Coast. It was everything one could expect and want from a California Sauvignon Blanc – nothing more and nothing less. Aged in stainless, the crispness bursts from the glass with notes of citrusy lemon zest and notes of ripe melon. It also had a richness to it that made one think some oak aging had touched it though it had not. We decided it was


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a perfect wine for a warmer day on the patio and would be an excellent accompaniment to seafood or given the hint of richness, even grilled chicken. One final note, as the wine was allowed to sit in the glass, it continued to open up with wonderful complexity. The 2020 Chardonnay also impressed, again with grapes astutely sourced by Bridenhagen from the North Coast. It was like biting into a delicious, cool, and crisp red apple, a bit tart but in an entirely welcoming way. Barrel fermented with a small percent of stainless, the grape

itself is the star. For those looking for buttery and oaky, this is not your Chardonnay. But for those seeking an excellent expression of an un-fussed-with California Chardonnay, this one is perfect. At a healthy 14.5 percent alcohol, this Chardonnay would be perfectly paired with seafood, especially a flaky white fish like cod. Dough also offers two red varietals – Pinot Noir and a Cabernet Sauvignon. The Cabernet Sauvignon is a North Coast and the 2019 Pinot Noir we tasted sourced from Oregon.

The Pinot Noir was, much like the Chardonnay and the Sauvignon Blanc, a consistent and near-perfect expression of what one would expect from the labeling. Red fruits like cherry and even pomegranate bring a bright freshness to this wine, which we decided is better after being slightly chilled (yes, we popped it into the freezer for a quick chill after the slightly less-than-room temp experience had us wondering). Uncomplicated and solid, this pinot noir would be classically paired with a pork loin or grilled lamb with lots of green vegetables. Finally, no decanting is required here

and should even be avoided. While Dough’s wines are not necessarily complex, what they may lack in complexity, is rewarded with the pure enjoyment of simple, delicious, and consistent expressions of their varietals. And of course, the pure enjoyment of knowing each sip is also doing good. To find out where you can obtain Dough Wines, visit www.doughwines.com/ find-our-wines/ WILLIAM SMITH COPY EDITOR & CONTRIBUTOR POLO LIFESTYLES 2022 page 165




VOLUME VI / ISSUE IX / SEPTEMBER 2022

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

TIK-TOK WELLNESS

MANIFESTING IN THE DIGITAL ERA

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NNA PRZY IS MOST RECOGNIZABLE FOR HER TIKTOK VIDEOS THAT INVOLVE A BATHROBE, HER FRONT YARD, AND NO SHOES. They feature a barefoot, bathrobe-wearing Przy peering up at the sky and politely but firmly requesting a break from whatever higher power might be listening. In one recent video, she says, “I gotta be honest with you, I don’t really wanna do today.» In another, she says, “I don’t have the time or the energy or the patience for any shenanigans this week, so let’s just keep it cool and calm and casual, OK?” The videos vary, but each one ends with Przy striding purposefully off screen and snapping, “It’s called manifesting, look it up!” These TikToks are a near-perfect snapshot of who Przy is and what she stands for. Living in Ann Arbor, MI, the sweet-toned Midwesterner’s account aims to promote a burnout-free zone, where being kind to yourself matters a lot more than how productive you are. She tackles fear of the unknown, page 168

the myth of hustle culture, body image, and an array of other mental health topics. She tells POPSUGAR that she calls her content “mental health comedy.” And with over 450k followers between Instagram and TikTok, she›s found an audience that appreciates her realistic, lighthearted takes — and her commitment to honesty and being true to herself, no matter what.

Przy on How “Hitting a Wall” Pushed Her to Find Her Voice Przy started posting videos during the COVID-19 pandemic when she was temporarily laid off. It took that forced time away from work for her to realize how extreme her burnout was. It was the product of a “go, go, go,” attitude she’s had for years, she says. “It was like I hit a wall going 150 miles an hour,” she says. “I’ve been recovering ever since.” At the same time, the pandemic was causing major emotional upheaval. “Basically every single wound in my whole life was opened back up,” Przy remembers. Looking for an outlet, Przy found TikTok — “the first time I ever got on a social media platform” — and just started talking. “I just needed to talk to somebody, besides the one [other] person in my house,” she says.

The growth of her audience came as a surprise. “All I was really saying was exactly what was going on, and that’s all I’ve ever done.” Przy’s personal mental health journey started long before those first TikToks, though. At age 19, she says she sought inpatient treatment for anorexia, which required her to see a therapist and a psychiatrist. After growing up in a house where mental health was highly stigmatized, it felt like “this huge leap into the mental health world,” she says. Over the years, her mental health focus shifted from eating disorders (Przy says she’s in recovery now) to dealing with things like depression and burnout. “I had my entire self-value tied up in how much I did,” Przy says of her former views on work and productivity. “My value was that I am managing it all and I am keeping my job afloat and I am keeping my house afloat and keeping my marriage alive . . . That’s a huge thing, untying my self-worth from my productivity and tying it to, ‘Who am I?’ That’s it. You’re valuable just existing.” Burnout is a huge theme in Przy’s content for a reason. She wants to tell people the things she wishes she’d been told about mental health and dispel the

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

R E N E WA L · C O M M U N I T Y · S U P P O RT · E X P LO R AT I O N · E N E R G Y

days in a row. “Sometimes... you just want to push your emotions and all of your feelings to the back burner,” she says. “I’m like, ‘No, I got to really think about this and maybe write something.’”

ANNA PRZY

pervasive myths around work culture and self-value. “I want to be who I wish I had for myself,” she says.

Przy on Check-Ins, Manifesting, and “Keep It Up, Cutie, I’m Proud of You” Przy makes her videos completely off the cuff and in the moment. What she says is whatever she’s feeling — right then, right there. “I literally sit down and I’m like, ‘What’s going on right now? What are you feeling? How’s your day?’” It’s a valuable way to check in with herself and give space to her emotions. The TikToker admits, however, it can be scary when she feels down for multiple

Because of her own experiences with burnout and depression, much of Przy’s content revolves around self-compassion. One of her signature lines is “Keep it up, cutie, I’m proud of you,” which she’ll usually drop at the end of a video. “It’s something that I would want somebody to say to me,” she says. “People are like, ‘When you call me a cutie, that’s the best part of my day.’” It’s also the line people have said to her when they recognize her in public. “This is like a cool, positive thing that we’re doing together,” she says. Przy does occasionally post about body image or open up about her eating disorder, but she says she finds it difficult to talk about due to internalized stigmas. “A lot of people with eating disorders don’t get help because they don’t look like somebody with an eating disorder,” she says. “Even when I was very sick, nobody considered me underweight, so it took me a long time to get help.” On days when she feels brave, she says, “I do talk about it because it’s important to see people in every body size, dealing with the things that everybody deals with.” The “Keep it up, cutie” content creator is

committed to being 100-percent authentic in her content, though. Some days, all that energy and joy and humor is really how she’s feeling. But other days, her TikToks reflect the low energy. “I’m never going to be pushing through something to say something I don’t feel in the moment,” Przy says. She thinks that’s what people love about her content: her commitment to honesty, no matter what she’s going through. “I’m trying the hardest to just be me, and that’s tough,” Przy says, “but I don’t think people always get to see that every day — who somebody [really] is.” For her, it’s not about being perfectly upbeat and positive. Actually, it’s not about being perfect, period. Those bathrobe-wearing, yelling-into-the-void videos? She films them rain or shine, no matter how cold her feet are afterward. In fact, “it’s better when it’s snowing,” Przy says cheerfully. Stepping outside in freezing-cold weather is a “shock to the system . . . it’s always going to change your day,” she points out. “One day it was sleeting and I was like, ‘This is an opportunity. I better do it.’” It doesn’t even matter if she’s not manifesting “correctly,” as some people have told her. It’s not the point. “I’m speaking things out into the universe that I want or don’t want, and I think that’s still doing something correctly,” she says. Plus, “if you go outside and scream, no matter what, your day will improve.” page 169


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MOLD YOUR MIND T H E

P O W E R

O F

U N L O C K I N G

Y O U R

M I N D

DOMINATE YOUR DISTRACTIONS &

REFOCUS YOUR ATTENTION JOEY VELEZ

@joeyavelez88 HEALTHY LIFESTYLES CONTRIBUTOR

I

F YOU WERE TO FOCUS ON THE TITLE OF THIS COLUMN, HOW LONG UNTIL YOU STARTED TO THINK ABOUT SOMETHING ELSE? I WOULD VENTURE TO SAY NOT THAT LONG CONSIDERING THE HUMAN BRAIN PROCESSES APPROXIMATELY 65,000 THOUGHTS PER DAY, WHICH EQUATES TO ABOUT ONE THOUGHT EVERY THREE SECONDS. Try as we might, maintaining focus can be a challenging task. Whether we have nothing going on, or are experiencing elevated levels of stress, you do not always have control over the thoughts that enter your brain. Unfortunately, the consequences of losing focus can impact productivity, but can also impact your ability to enjoy life. Early in my professional career, I would get distracted when writing my columns or reading books. When writing, I page 174

would text, clean, or surf the Internet, none of which helped me write my column. When reading, sometimes I would get to the end of the page and ask myself “what did I just read?” but could tell you exactly what was going on outside or who I was texting. I would experience frustration in these moments, mainly because I felt that I was wasting time, which led to even more frustration. So, I would force myself to write or read, even though I was not as focused as I should have been, which usually led to a less than stellar product. I did not know why I was losing focus, nor how to refocus.

might happen or you ruminate on what just happened. Each scenario takes your focus away from the present moment, therefore limiting your present effectiveness. A refocus strategy to bring your focus back to the present moment, is by asking yourself questions that verify factual information in your environment. For example, asking yourself what day it is, what time it is, what room you are in, who is with you, or even the color of your shirt. These answers provide you with information that tells you where you are and what you are doing at that moment, bringing your focus back to the present and where it needs to be.

I still get distracted to this day, but now I know how to get my focus to where it needs to be. I stopped beating myself up when I lost focus, which instead of making it harder to focus, allowed me the opportunity to gain control of my focus. I noticed that I was able to brainstorm more efficiently when writing, I began to retain more information in the books that I read, all because I was able to identify when I was losing focus and began to incorporate strategies to help me refocus.

Not only does your mind wander when under stress, but there are also physiological changes that happen, such as an increased heart rate, which can then cause you to become even more distracted. A strategy that can help you regain focus and also minimize the physiological impact of stress is through deliberate breathing. The first component is to inhale using your diaphragm, which is where your stomach expands on each inhale. This process activates a nerve along your spine that triggers your body’s rest and digest response, which helps regulate your heartbeat. The second component is to count each inhale and exhale. For example, your inhale would be 1, and your exhale

HOW TO REFOCUS When you become stressed, your brain directs itself to either the past or the future. You begin to worry about what


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would be 2. The process of counting brings your focus to your breath and away from the distractions you were experiencing. A good rule of thumb is to count to 20 and then restart back at 0, or until you feel your focus is back where it needs to be. If you get distracted while counting, it is okay to restart this process. Sometimes when we are trying to accomplish a task, we start thinking about other tasks that need to be done. While both tasks may be equally important, your focus is now diverted away from your current task, impacting your overall effectiveness. A refocus strategy that can help in these moments is by writing down your distracting thoughts. For example, let’s say you are writing a busi-

ness proposal, but you begin to think about all the chores you have to do around the house over the weekend. T ake a quick pause from your business proposal, write down what you have to do over the weekend, then go back to what you were working on. This strategy allows you to clear your mind so you can regain focus on your current task, but also can be used as a reminder of what you need to do later. This not only helps increase productivity, but also helps you stay organized both physically and mentally.

FINAL THOUGHTS

to wander, you will get distracted, and sometimes your mind simply needs a mental break. It starts with being able to identify that you are distracted and that your focus is not where it needs to be. However, your next step should not be to chastise yourself over the fact that you lost focus. Instead, your next step should be to redirect your focus to where you want it to be. The key to high performance and having an elite mindset, is the ability to redirect your focus on the right things at the right time after losing your focus.

It is difficult to maintain extended periods of focus. Your mind is going

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LIFE COACHING AND EXPERT

WELLNESS EXERCISES

I JUST WANT TO BE SUCCESSFUL THE DESIRE TO WIN

JUSTIN "GOLIATH" JOHNSON

@goliathcoaches WELLNESS CONTRIBUTOR

I

WANT TO TAKE THIS OPPORTUNITY TO EXPRESS SOME REAL VULNERABILITY IN REFERENCE TO SUCCESS. I AM 38 YEARS OLD, I CURRENTLY RESIDE IN ATLANTA, GEORGIA, I AM FROM A TOWN ABOUT 60 MILES NORTH OF LOS ANGELES CALLED THE ANTELOPE VALLEY. WE DIDN’T HAVE MUCH THERE, A LOT OF HOUSES BUT NOT MUCH TO DO. We had one shopping mall, 7 high schools and 4 movie theaters growing page 178

up. It was meant to be a retirement town, but with the growing inflated housing prices in Los Angeles, droves and droves of people started to move to the Antelope Valley. Growing up in a desert, extreme summer heat and then extreme winter cold, along with a dry and desolate looking terrain will ware on you mentally. I remember being 19 and never having a clear plan of what 30 would look like because I didn’t believe I’d make it to 30. By the age of 24, I’d seen people get killed right in front of me. I had several friends coping with their trauma through drugs and alcohol and we were living in a perpetual state of survival mode. This made our ideas of success merely about aging and making it another year. Once I had my first son and moved my family out of this area, my understand-

ing of success changed. New ideas, black business owners, going into companies in Atlanta and seeing all the black men in suits changed my understanding of what success looked like. Making that move made all the change in my world and led to the man that is writing this article for you today. Without taking the chance to do something that could have led to failure, I would have never began the journey to understand success. What is success? One of the most consistent roadblocks we get into in my one-on-one sessions with my clients is defining success. It comes up with every individual because success is something completely relative. What does success mean to you and in what part of your life, specifically, are you trying to gain success? From relationship communication successes to financial success. The world of success is vast and can


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easily become overwhelming if you are not specific. Its left up to you to identify the area you are targeting along with measuring yourself in relationship to that success. Think of your life as a business, you are the owner along with the employee of the business. You have to understand macro, creating the plan to execute the business at the highest level. You also have to understand micro, doing the day-to-day tasks of execution to keep the business flourishing. The relationship between our confidence and attaining our idea of success is forever intermingled. We find so much of our identity in expressing what we have accomplished. Hello, my name is Goliath and I write articles for Polo Lifestyles Magazine. I am a Lifestyles Coach where I help people problem-solve their lives and I am a social media influencer. I say this with confidence, and it gives me a sense of identity along with a sense of personal accomplishment that helps to further my confidence. Everyone wants to be able to express what they accomplish and what proven areas they excel in. It links back greatly to our idea of our purpose. I would argue, one of the worst things a person can do to themselves is not putting time into searching and understanding their purpose. Without purpose, it is difficult to find any longstanding gratification in success. If finding out what success is for you wasn’t hard enough, the next frontier is figuring out where your idea of success comes from and if it is indicative of your ideas, or someone else’s. For the most part, we are imparted what success means to us from outside influences. Parents are huge contributors for what

success means to you. If your father always wanted to be a doctor and made every sacrifice for you to accomplish that goal, you may take on that accomplishment as your own. Even if it does not resonate with exactly who you are or what you want to do with your life. Hence the reason I talk so heavily about finding yourself and who you want to be (see Polo Lifestyles May 2022 issue, The Secret Power of Human Being, pages 166-167). It is pretty simple: you cannot intentionally find what is going to fill your cup if you don’t know what you NEED to drink. Learning what fulfills you is the process of learning and understanding your purpose as a being, then you can start to accomplish goals and attain success in said things. That does not mean you will do the same thing your entire life, it means the things you will lay your confidence on will be more than likely driven by your purpose theme. More than just narrowing down your exact purpose, which can take years, if you can figure out the theme of your purpose, you construct jobs, business, or activities that are aligned with this theme. For example, I absolutely love to serve, I like to serve my family through protection, through finance, through joy, through love, and through leadership. So, it’s not surprising that I end up Lifestyle coaching and being a health and wellness writing contributor. It is in completely in alignment with my purpose theme, so when I achieve success in these areas, it is the my highest level of personal gratification. Be your own cheerleader. Simple. Literally BE YOUR OWN CHEERLEADER. Everyone is not always going to be there to cheer you on

or to clap for you when you do something worth the salt. Success is difficult and it’s going to take everything in you to reach certain levels of this success. You know and understand how hard said goal was for you to accomplish so you need to have a healthy reward system of creating standing ovations for yourself. You should be the first one to start clapping and the last one to stop. It does not need to be in public, you don’t even have to express this cheering with your loved ones if you don’t want to. But, YOU NEED TO CLAP THOUGH. Do not let the modern conflation of narcissism make you believe that you cannot show yourself some appreciation. The closest people to you may miss the mark of showing the excitement you needed. Although it feels amazing to be recognized, it’s up to you to show yourself the love. Whatever anyone else does to celebrate you and your successes should be extra. Finally, be mindful of “you and your successes” because you still need to keep in mind that you are not the same exact thing as your successes. You are a being and through learning what you are, you attach a purpose to your being and then you do things. Celebrate the things you do, but also celebrate the being that you are. Success is important and intentional success is very rewarding. When you work hard and that hard work yields fruit, that fruit is extremely sweet. It can be some of the sweetest fruit you have ever tasted. Enjoy your fruit and spend time savoring every bite. Even if you enjoy it alone, take the time to make sure your hard worked fruit is enjoyed. Be nice to yourself, if you won’t no one else will! page 179


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