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summer 2012


Da Vinci Code Tours

Murano at Portofino Miami Beach, Florida

The aragon Boca raton, Florida

Continuum North st. Tower Tropez Miamisunny Beach,isles, Florida Florida

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Yacht: Harbour Island Photo: Jim Raycroft

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Capturing the CSI condominium luxury lifestyle

on the cover


summer 2012


Titanic’s 100-Year Anniversary While scientific research continues, a handful of fortunate travelers can now explore the ship’s final resting place. Discover astonishing news recently unveiled.


Da Vinci coDe Tours

MOnster of the sea 58 InPUMA’s a true test of sailing prowess, in Leg 6 of the Volvo Ocean Race from Itajai, Brazil, into Miami, PUMA’s Mar Mostro “Monster of the Sea” charged to the front of fleet for an exhilarating first-place finish.

Photo Courtesy Colin HeaNEy


MIAMI SWIM Miami’s annual Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim showcases stunning Summer collections for 2013.


Secrets to the best Dan Brown inspired international tours Fans of the fictional series have been captivated by the very real locales and religions presented in the books; and because of the popularity of both the series and related films, Brown-inspired tours have emerged around the world.

8 South Florida Photo Courtesy Colin OPULENCE Heaney

Summer 2012

Summer 2012

South Florida OPULENCE



Capturing the CSI condominium luxury lifestyle

features 24

steve martorano: deliciously Breaking all the rules of philly-style italian dining A refreshingly unpredictable “sit-down” with restaurateur Steve Martorano.


Yuengling: America’s oldest brewery An exclusive interview with owner Dick Yuengling.


Nostalgic Notes About english tea The most quintessential of English customs is afternoon tea. Read about the best tea rooms in Miami, New York and Chicago.


Her Majesty’s diamond jubilee In 2012, the Queen became only the second UK monarch to mark 60 years on the throne. Check events throughout 2012.


Haute horology The art of selecting a luxury timepiece.


horacio pagani Leonardo da Vinci of the Automotive World.


Off-roading at the biltmore At the Land Rover Experience Driving School, participants learn to master off-road driving.


The holy Grail of Golf – Pine Valley These exquisite but extremely private fairways have been anointed with visits from royalty, presidents, celebrities and the best golfers for nearly 100 years.


cigars, politics & american elections The intriguing historic connection between cigar advertising and American elections.


european castle vacations A royal experience abroad.


South Florida OPULENCE

Summer 2012


island paradise The history of Key Biscayne.


the St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort: South Florida socialites are enchanted by the elegance unveiled recently at the St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort.


historic Gentlemen’S Clubs Nostalgic legacy of upscale clubs in Miami, New York and Chicago.


Summer splash Miami’s annual Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim showcases stunning Summer collections for 2013.


The CRAZY Art of Shoes Artists use a myriad of materials to create their artistic vision, but innovator Kobi Levi’s artistic medium of choice is, well, shoes.


Boca do Lobo – Exclusive Design A furniture design brand that combines old world techniques with futurist and twisted re-interpretation.


a legend in his time Edward Villela’s last hurrah at the Miami City Ballet.


summer travel destination: Check out The iconic new york plaza hotel Now 100 years old, the historic Plaza is the world’s most celebrated hotel.


Westbeth Artists’ Community New York’s robust art-and-culture scene has all sorts of little secrets. One of them is the eclectic Westbeth Artists’ Community.


Exposing the secret service scandal Exclusive interview with Washington correspondent who broke the Secret Service scandal story in Colombia.


Capturing the CSI condominium luxury lifestyle

departments Gadgets


Flying Hovercraft The craft glides over land and water and soars in the air. Electric One-Person Car A three-wheeled, single passenger electric vehicle. Fold Flat Grill Stainless steel grill that folds flat for unmatched portability.



Dining Guide


Sumptuous Reviews of South Florida’s Hottest Restaurants


Champagne Wishes & Caviar Dreams Marky’s gourmet market owns the only sturgeon caviar AquaFarms in the United States.


Summer Spa Services Sure to Refresh and Rejuvenate Profiles of exquisite spa services at the St. Regis Resort, Mandarin Oriental, The Breakers, Ritz-Carlton South Beach, and Westin Beach Resort.

Condo Law 120,132 Property Taxes and Foreclosures A detailed insight on property taxes and their effect on association assessment foreclosures. Preventing Fraud in Your Condominium Community Helpful legal tips on how to spot signs of fraud in your community.

Cost-Savings of High-tech Window Films Resident Profile: Francisco Mehech Benefits of Joining the Community Association Institute of South Florida Dealing with Condo Politics Making the Most of Your Association Funds

Business Leaders 53,71 New Jet International, Leader in Business Aviation

Investment 124 A Simple Way to Transfer Wealth

Expert Advice for International Real Estate Investors

Philanthropy 140 87

Women’s Accessories 92

Horizon Publishing Presents a $10,000 Scholarship The publishing scholarship was presented at the New York Women in Communications Matrix Awards – with a celebrity panel of journalists. Turning Tragedy into Saving Lives A Safe Haven for Newborns has saved the lives of more than 170 babies in South Florida.


South Florida OPULENCE

Summer 2012


Condo Living 122,126,131,134,136

Sommelier Notes Discover the difference between Sauternes vs. Armagnac.

Men’s Accessories

Spa Guide

Summer 2012

South Florida OPULENCE



Editor’s Letter

Paying It Forward


t was a movie that truly touched America. Pay It Forward, the 2000 blockbuster starring Kevin Spacey, Helen Hunt and Haley Joel Osment, taught the value of performing altruistic tasks unto others, with no reciprocal expectation other than asking each person to pass on a good deed to help someone else. What a simple, but sensational, life lesson – one well worth repeating. Good deeds often go unnoticed in today’s whirlwind society, so I’d like to take a moment to share a few inspirational stories. Let’s start with Jayne and Geoff Hammond, publishers of this magazine. Both are accomplished business leaders who believe in “giving back.” In April, they formed the Hammond Family Scholarship, a $10,000 gift awarded at the New York Women In Communications Matrix Awards to a young college student aspiring to build a career in publishing. Presented amid a dais of top journalists – like Barbara Walters, Ann Curry, Katie Couric, Leslie Stahl and Meredith Vieira – the Hammond Family Scholarship symbolizes the Hammond’s belief that reinvesting in the leaders of tomorrow is vital. (See page 140.) Then there’s Nick Silverio. Selflessly committed to helping children, Silverio is the founder of A Safe Haven for Newborns, the non-profit organization in Miami dedicated to saving infants from being abandoned. Silverio’s passion has inspired others to “pay it forward” in South Florida and across the country – including Henry Delgado, General Manager of Smith and Wollensky-South Beach. Delgado generously supports this lifesaving program and, in gratitude, the 170th Safe Haven baby was recently named after him. (See page 140.) Finally, I’d like to tell you about the special man who gave me the idea for this column: Dave Kayson. An award-winning English teacher devoted to providing quality education, he spent his free time doing acts of kindness – like repairing cars at church to help families in need, and arranging for families in third-world countries to receive livestock and gardening tools for a sustainable better life. Dave is my dad. He lost his life unexpectedly this year. And although I miss him dearly, it’s comforting knowing his legacy of paying it forward lives on via those he helped. Mission accomplished, Dad! Do you know someone who has made this world a better place? Send your “pay it forward” story to for us to share and inspire. Robin Jay Editor in Chief


South Florida OPULENCE

Summer 2012

HORIZON PUBLISHING PUBLISHER Geoff Hammond Jayne Hammond David Hammond Mark Blackburn EDITOR IN CHIEF Robin P UJay B L I S I N


CREATIVE ART DIRECTOR Adriana Naylor 954-331-3912 PR AND MARKETING MANAGER Chantal Forster 954-331-3390 business development Marlen Bedoya Annette Figueredo CONTRIBUTING WRITERS John D. Adams Kristen Mager Michael Bender, Esq. Steve G. Mason Donna Berger, Esq. Brad W. McMorris Hope Gainer Andrew Rand Justin Hall Brooke Schuchts Tony Hyman Nick Silverio Stephen Joseph Keeler Alex Starace Jono King Joshua Stone Frank Kuin Cynthia Terpstra Linda Levi Nicole Tufts Gary Lichthardt PHOTOGRAPHERS Gio Alma Frank Kuin Douglas Lance Sam B. Photography, Inc. PROOFREADER Susie Shaw EVENT MAKEUP ARTIST Tiane Fernandez (305) 781-1947 South Florida Opulence Magazine is published quarterly by Horizon Publishing LLC. Copyright © 2012. All rights reserved. Horizon Publishing LLC, 6700 North Andrews Avenue, Suite 400, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309 – Vol. 2, No. 3, Summer 2012 (ISSN # 2157-5274) Subscription Rates: $40 per year, $10 per issue. For subscription inquiries or change of address, contact the subscription department, (954) 308-4300 Ext. 4312, Fax: (954) 331-6028. Horizon Publishing, LLC, its affiliates and contributing writers have exercised due care in compiling the information contained herein, but with the possibility of human or mechanical error, cannot assume liability for the accuracy of this data. This publication may not be reproduced or transmitted in part or in full in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording and any information storage and retrieval system without first obtaining permission from the publisher.

Kettal Miami Showroom: 147 Miracle Mile. Coral Gables, Florida. T. (1) 786 552 90 22.




Clever Canon Camera Lens  Coffee Mug

NmG Globally Cool  Electric One-Man Car

Java-loving photographers will get a kick out of this cool coffee mug disguised as a camera lens. $14.00.

It’s as cool on the eyes as it is on your wallet. This one-man electric car goes 1,000 miles on just $20 of electricity. For colors, styles and dealers, go to or call 866-693-7778, ext. 3306. $30,000.

The iPhone & iPad Charging Speaker Dock This is the speaker dock that charges an iPhone and iPad simultaneously. Two dedicated 30-pin dock connectors hold each device upright, providing a convenient charging platform that requires as little space as a box of tissues. The dock plays music from either device through the unit’s dual integrated stereo speakers, allowing you to watch videos or listen to a music collection while the iPad and iPhone charge. Hammacher Schlemmer. $129.95.

The Flying Hovercraft This is the hovercraft that glides over land and water, yet also soars in the air up to 70 mph with the aid of integrated wings. A 130-hp twin-cylinder, liquid-cooled gasoline engine – turbocharged and fuel-injected – drives its 60” wood/carbon composite thrust propeller while a 1,100-rpm 34” lift fan inflates its durable vinyl-coated nylon skirt for hovering above the ground. Operating in fresh- or saltwater, its wings and horizontal elevator enable pilots to simply hop over water- or land-based obstacles up to 20’-high unsurmountable to a typical hovercraft. Requires registration as a boat. Special conditions and guarantee limitations apply. Please call 1-800-227-3528 for details. 19’ L x 7’8” W x 6’6”. (1,100 lbs.) Hammacher Schlemmer. $190,000. 16

South Florida OPULENCE

Summer 2012

The Fold Flat Grill 

This is the grill that folds flat for unmatched portability. Less than 1” thick when folded, it unfolds to 17 ¾” L x 13” W x 13” H, ideal for convenient charcoal or hardwood grilling at picnics, beaches, or homes. Made from durable 304 stainless steel, the grill provides a 17½” x 13” W cooking area. Hammacher Schlemmer. $79.95.

Historic & Charming

Coconut Grove Estate 1899 S. Bayshore Drive, Miami FL 33133

Summer 2012

South Florida OPULENCE



Out and About August




Rod Stewart & Stevie Nicks “Heart & Soul Tour” BankAtlantic Center, Sunrise

Boca Ballet Theatre’s Coppélia FAU’s University Theatre

Boca Ballet Theatre presents Coppélia, classical ballet’s greatest comedy. Coppélia is a farcical story about a boy, a girl, another girl who’s not really a girl but a doll, and an eccentric doll-maker who attempts to bring his beautiful doll Coppélia to life.  $35 for adults and $25 for children (17 years and under) and seniors (65 years and over). August 3 at 7 p.m., August 4 at 8 p.m., and August 5 at 2 p.m.  FAU’s University Theatre, 
777 Glades Road,
Boca Raton, Florida 33431

Contact: 561-995-0709 or visit

Get ready for a 3+ hour show featuring individual heart-pumping sets loaded with all of their biggest hits – opening with Stevie’s and closing with Rod’s - with a few rousing duets in the middle. The tour has received critically acclaimed reviews from reviewers. US Weekly called the concert “magical” and that “sparked non-stop cheers from the sold-out masses.” The Boston Globe wrote, “Stewart & Nicks make a classic combination” delivering sold-out audiences a “hits-packed night of crystal visions and reasons to believe.” 800-745-3000,


9 – 14 Adrienne Arsht Center, Miami

The worldwide party musical ROCK OF AGES features a mix of 28 rockin’ ’80s tunes. This is an arena-rock love story told through the mind-blowing, face-melting hits of Journey, Night Ranger, Styx, Reo Speedwagon, Pat Benetar, Twisted Sister, Poison, Asia, Whitesnake and many more.


South Florida OPULENCE

Summer 2012


Donkey Show Running through August 12 Adrienne Arsht Center, Miami In the spirit of Studio 54, that epic shrine to disco, the celebrated smash hit The Donkey Show now takes Miami by storm as the city’s dreamiest pop-up club! It’s a crazy fun house of disco mirror balls and feathered divas, of roller skaters and hustle queens, enchanted by Shakespearean magic.


Out and About



MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET Broward Center, Fort Lauderdale An award-winning Broadway musical inspired by the true story of the famed recording session that brought together rock ‘n’ roll icons Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins for the first and only time.






Adrienne Arsht Center, Miami

“BBC MURDERS” consists of four Agatha Christie classics, Three Blind Mice, Yellow Iris, Butter in a Lordly Dish and Personal Call. The manuscripts were lost for over 50 years due to the London Blitz & postwar reconstruction.


STOMP is explosive, provocative, sophisticated, sexy, utterly unique and appeals to audiences of all ages. The eight-member troupe fills the stage with magnificent rhythms.



Broward Center, Fort Lauderdale SISTER ACT tells the story of Deloris Van Cartier, a wannabe diva whose life takes a surprising turn when she witnesses a crime and the cops hide her in the last place anyone would think to look – a convent!

30–2/17 WICKED

Broward Center, Fort Lauderdale Long before that girl from Kansas arrives in Munchkinland, two girls meet in the land of Oz. One - born with emerald green skin - is smart, fiery and misunderstood. The other is beautiful, ambitious and very popular. How these two grow to become the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good makes for “the most complete - and completely satisfying - new musical in a long time.”

T h e at r e ANNOUNCES 2012-2013 SEASON Boca Ballet Theatre is pleased to announce its 2012-2013 season.   Led by Co-Artistic Directors Dan Guin and Jane Tyree, Boca Ballet Theatre’s 22nd season will include two classical ballets and a mixed repertory concert.  The season officially kicks off November 4 with BBT’s 21st Annual A Princely Affair, the company’s fundraiser luncheon that features excerpts from this year’s performances.  Season Tickets are $75 each.   To purchase tickets for any of the events or performances, please call 561-995-0709 or visit 

Boca Ballet Theatre’s 21st Annual A Princely Affair Sunday, November 4, 2012 at 12 PM Boca Raton Resort & Club A Princely Affair kicks off Boca Ballet Theatre’s 2012-2013 season.  This signature fundraising luncheon includes excerpts from this season’s productions and features special guest artists.  The Countess de Hoernle will be an Honored Guest and Boca Ballet Theatre students from the Countess de Hoernle Center for Dance will perform in celebration of her 100th birthday.  The event begins with raffle prizes, silent auctions and a grand-prize raffle for a fabulous 7-night cruise for two sponsored by Boca Raton Travel & Cruises and Royal Caribbean International.   Tickets for A Princely Affair are $85 per adult, $45 for children 13 and under. 

Boca Ballet Theatre’s The Nutcracker Presented by Marleen & Harold* Forkas Friday, November 23, 2012 at 7 PM Saturday, November 24, 2012 at 2 PM and 8 PM Sunday, November 25, 2012 at 2 PM Olympic Heights Performing Arts Center Choreographed by Co-Artistic Director Dan Guin, Boca Ballet Theatre’s superlative staging of The Nutcracker includes magnificent sets and exquisite costumes. This holiday classic sparkles as Clara’s dream unfolds.  The Gingerbread Ball will follow both matinee performances of The Nutcracker.   Let your little ones meet Clara, Sugar Plum Fairy, and other magical characters at the post matinee children’s party. Tickets for The Nutcracker are $35, $25 and $15 for Ritz-Carlton South Beach, adults, and $30, $20 and $10 for children (17 years and under) and DiLido Ball” BeachareClub seniors (65 years and over).  Tickets for the “Gingerbread $6 each and are sold separately.   *In loving memory

Summer 2012

South Florida OPULENCE



Dining Guide Lighthouse Point

Ernie’s Italian Chophouse

3150 N. Federal Highway Lighthouse Point (954) 781-0910

Owner Ernie Patti and Executive Chef Gary Wood created Ernie’s Italian Chophouse as an Italian, New American Steakhouse. Guests rave about the homemade mozzarella – and the meatballs are so mouthwatering that, every night, patrons eat them until there’s not a single one left in-house. Don’t miss the heaping bowls of homemade pasta served at Sunday Gravy Dinner. The irresistible gravy is a meat sauce made with San Marzano tomatoes and ricotta. Other showstoppers at Ernie’s include the chicken scarpariello, the pappardelle Bolognese, black (squid ink) fettuccini, the lollipop center-cut porkchop (served with baked apple and sweet potato mash) – and, the pièce de résistance – the sterling silver aged beef tenderloin. Grouper Special

Dessert at Ernie’s is a must! The frozen limoncello flute and strawberries Romanoff (made tableside) will tantalize your sweet tooth for certain!

Fort Lauderdale

Shula’s On The Beach

Fort Lauderdale 321 N. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd. (A1A) Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304 954-355-4000 By 1996, Don Shula had successfully created and executed two restaurant brands – Shula’s Steak House and Shula’s Steak 2. Although he thought he had met the needs of the market by creating these two brands, he realized that there was a demand for an upscale restaurant that offered more seafood dishes in a tropical setting. How could we live in Florida and not have a restaurant on the ocean! Shula’s On The Beach offers the same great steaks and excellent seafood that our Steak House fans are accustomed to. One of our popular dishes, Steak Mary Anne, consists of two sliced filets covered with Mary Anne’s favorite sauce and seasoning. Just like at our steak houses, we use Shula Burger Premium Black Angus Beef®, the best beef money can buy. The restaurant is decorated with memories of Don Shula’s accomplishments. Shula’s On The Beach offers outdoor seating with a great ocean view. We invite you to dine at our Shula’s On The Beach location and experience for yourself the perfect meal at the perfect setting.


4441 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach Sorrento Tower at Fontainebleau 877.326.7412 Critically praised as “truly phenomenal” Italian food, Scarpetta reflects the deft touch of Chef Scott Conant, who creates an inspired menu of soulful regional fare. Sublime flavors reflect the quality of locally sourced ingredients. Nina Compton was recently promoted to Chef de Cuisine and brings a fresh touch to the daily menu. Nina Compton, Chef de Cuisine

Lamb Alglonotti

Indulge in dishes of creamy truffled polenta with wild mushrooms or braised short ribs of beef to entice your appetite. Then revel in the simple, but rich flavor of the Chef’s signature entrée of spaghetti with tomato and basil. Pair with a glass of wine from the outstanding wine selection. End with seductive Chocolate Zeppole. The ambience and atmosphere are enhanced by Scarpetta’s wraparound veranda with floor-to-ceiling glass windows, offering breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean and Fontainebleau’s poolscape. “If you want to experience an exquisite three-hour culinary tour of true Italian cuisine, Scarpetta’s chef tasting menu and wine pairings is a must – the presentation is as stunning to the eyes as the food is to the palate – absolutely decadent!” said Robin Jay, Editor of South Florida Opulence.


South Florida OPULENCE

Summer 2012


Dining Guide Key Biscayne Miami


455 Grand Bay Dr. Key Biscayne, Florida 33149 USA Phone: +1 (305) 365-4500

A Review by Brooke Deanna Schuchts, Miami’s teen foodie Hola! Mi llamo Brooke! I interviewed the very talented Chef Parlange of the Ritz-Carlton on Key Biscayne. The Mexican born Chef Parlange is the head chef at the Ritz-Carlton, Cantina Beach Restaurant.  The food was great, very unique and flavorful.  The setting was beautiful and peace- Brooke Deanna Schuchts with ful.  I could smell the salt from the Andres Parlange ocean at the restaurant while enjoying the beautiful view. I tried the mini crab crispy tacos, flautas, carnitas de cerdo, guacamole and the chocolate mousse.  I cannot decide on my favorite, they were all fantastic!  The crab tacos were “wow.”  They were creamy and I could definitely taste the freshness of the real crabmeat stuffed into a crispy corn tortilla and avocado salsa. The flautas – Flautas achiote rubbed chicken in crispy tortilla had great spice.  The guacamole was chunky and creamy at the same time.  It was the best guacamole I ever had.  The carnitas de cerdo are slow braised pork ribs. They were so tender they fell off the bone.  The chocolate mousse has chocolate mousse on the top and bottom of the glass cup and cake in the middle!  The chocolate on top  was gooey and delicious.  It was a great way to end an also great meal! 

VIDA _ Black

Toscana Divino

900 South Miami Avenue Miami, FL 33130 (305) 371-2767

Toscana Divino, the Italian eatery that’s opened to much acclaim, is a divine outpost of Tuscany’s finest culture, food and fashion. Unlike any other restaurant, the inspired destination comes with fine dining, a weekly Aperitivo, and rare Italian fashions, art and home products. Creating a modern tribute to Tuscany, the restaurant embodies the region’s ambience. Executive Chef Julian Baker Stefano Cavinato and Tommaso Morelato are the two entrepreneurs who launched Toscana Divino to showcase the best Tuscany has to offer from food to fashion, art to tourism. South Florida Opulence was pleased to meet Executive Chef Julian Baker and (in for a special appearance from Florence) Executive Chef Marco Stabile. “The dishes were brilliantly authentic – richly seasoned to perfection. The unique recipes were unlike any Americanized Italian cuisine I’ve ever tasted,” said Robin Jay, Editor of SFO. These are some of my favorites: Pici Senesi Ribollita, a Tuscan vegetable soup inspired by the version Stabile’s mother served during a visit Gnocchi di patate, potato gnocchi, porcini mushroom and tomato Risotto ai funghi “Tre diversi tipi” profumato con nepitella, organic carnaroli rice, mushrooms in three ways, flavored with nepitella, finished with mascarpone and truffle

VIDA Sunday Brunch Fontainebleau 4441 Collins Ave., Miami Beach • 305-538-2000 A fabulous Sunday brunch isn’t only for special occasions. And to make sure every Sunday is an opportunity for a memorable meal, Vida, the Fontainebleau Miami Beach’s American brasserie, offers a weekly Sunday Brunch designed to satisfy everyone’s culinary cravings. Diners will relish the decadence of the brunch buffet, which includes carving stations, omelet station, charcuterie presentation, ceviche bar, sumptuous breakfast selections and mouthwatering desserts. Served from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., brunch is priced at $59 per person, half off for children ages 4-12 and free for children under 4. Vida is located off the Chateau’s main lobby. For Sunday brunch reservations, please call: (305) 538-2000.

The Vida Sunday brunch offers an impressive selection of savory and sweet dishes.

Summer 2012

South Florida OPULENCE


Sauternes and Armagnac Vs. Cognac By Justin Hall, Sommelier


guest at Bourbon Steak recently asked me whether or not I prefer cognacs to Sauternes and armagnac. It was definitely a question that gave me pause as I find that cognacs and Sauternes are completely different from each other, except that a lot of people prefer to drink both after dinner to accompany a dessert.

Justin Hall

Sauternes is a sweet and absurdly incredible wine – with the Chateau d’Yquem being the undisputed most rare and finest. If making wine in general is a complicated process – making Sauternes is certifiable. Sauternes can age 20 to 40 years easy. The oldest I have tasted is 1853. It was very, very fresh. At Bourbon Steak, we serve several Sauternes including Chateau d’Yquem. We even feature Château Climens ($22) and Suduiraut ($32) by the glass. On the other hand, cognac and armagnac are both made from grapes and undergo a similar distillation process. While it is not far from cognac geographically, armagnac is quite different in style. Armagnac is made from a different grape for the most part (Folle Blanche) and is typically aged in a coarse, black oak. It is also distilled in various ways, whereas cognac is more restricted in exactly how it is produced. Personally, I favor a good armagnac like a Darroze, Larressingle and Château Laubade, which can be found at Bourbon Steak. The flavors are much more interesting, spicy and smooth. Armagnacs are normally a little paler in color than a cognac, but more authentic. All in all, we sell more Sauternes and armagnac than cognac because they are more palatable, plus often more affordable. BOURBON STEAK is located in the legendary Turnberry Isle Miami resort at 19999 West Country Club Drive in Aventura. This award-winning Michael Mina restaurant is the four-time recipient of Wine Spectator’s “Best of Award of Excellence” and is celebrating the popular Miami Spice Restaurant Month promotion with a $35 three-course menu through September 30, 2012. BOURBON STEAK is open daily for dinner and valet parking is complimentary. For reservations, call (786) 279-6600 or visit

About Justin Hall

During Justin Hall’s celebrated career, the 34-year-old wine director of Bourbon Steak has had the opportunity to dine with Robert Mondavi; work in the kitchen alongside some of the most notable chefs in the world including Thomas Keller, Ferran Adrià and Susur Lee; in addition to contributing tasting notes for two of Charlie Trotter’s cookbooks. When not working, Justin enjoys traveling to some of the world’s premier wineries in discovery of the finest selections to bring to the dinner table, and is studying for his master sommelier exam this summer.

d’Yquem Sauternes


Chateau d’Yquem

South Florida OPULENCE

Summer 2012

Darroze Armagnac

The finest dining experience in South Florida. (And that’s not just our opinion.)

Open Table recently named our wine list #1 in Miami. We’ve also been honored with Wine Spectator’s “Best of Award of Excellence”. Of course, we’re not surprised. When you serve what Esquire Magazine called the best steak in America, it’s only proper to pair it with a menu of exquisite wines. Discover Michael Mina’s BOURBON STEAK. Only at Turnberry Isle Miami. • Reservations 786-279-6600 Complimentary valet parking with dinner.


South Florida OPULENCE

Summer 2012

Breaking All The Rules A refreshingly unpredictable “sit-down” with restaurateur Steve Martorano By John D. Adams

“Yo, Johnny, how you doin’?” Restaurateur Steve Martorano growls in his nearly clichéd South Philly accent. He’s calling from the Las Vegas location of his third restaurant, Martorano’s, at the Rio Hotel. Researching Martorano’s rise to the top of the food chain, you immediately notice that he’s a mountain of a man: powerfully built, deeply tanned, and sporting a shaved head. I can’t help but feel a little intimidated; like I’m having a “Goodfellas”-reminiscent sit-down with the Godfather. Yet during our conversation, I begin to understand the man’s appeal. Martorano is a study in contradictions: tough but good-natured; street-smart yet savvy; and honest to a fault. We spoke about family and food and how those two elements have intertwined, making him one of the most successful Italian-American restaurateurs in the country. So sit back, have a glass of wine (preferably from Martorano’s own label) and enjoy the ride. SFO: Steve, you broke every rule in the restaurant business. How did you become a successful chef? SM: (laughs) I’m not a chef. I’m a cook. I’m in the kitchen, working the line, seven nights a week, spinning music, showing movies and cooking. Here’s a guy from South Philly, a street guy who wanted to work for my Uncle who was a major player on the streets of Philly. But before you know it, people started dying, people started going to jail… you finally have to decide there must be a better life. I had no education, but I loved music, spun music at clubs in the late ‘70s, early ‘80s. But the only thing I ever really enjoyed was food. A little bit of luck, a little bit of talent, and the skill comes in when

Linguini and clams Summer 2012

South Florida OPULENCE


Martorano’s signature meatball dish you have a passion for something. You go with it. I don’t know if what I’m doing is right or wrong, I just follow it. I run the restaurants the way I think is the right way, it may not even be the right way according to certain restaurateurs, but it works for me. SFO: How did you start your first restaurant, Café Martorano, in Ft. Lauderdale? SM: I always tell people to follow your dreams, but the truth is I never had one. My dream was to go to work and pay bills. That’s all I knew. So here I open this place on Oakland Park Blvd. in Ft. Lauderdale where nobody knows me… I had an open kitchen, which nobody had 20 years ago. I played R&B music from Philly. There were a lot of East Coast people in Ft. Lauderdale, so they start coming in and hearing good music and the food was comfort food, it wasn’t over the top, it’s straightforward Italian-American neighborhood comfort food. People felt at home. They got beans, tripe, pigs’ feet, pig skin and beef braziole, my now-famous meatballs… and before you know, 20 years have passed and we now have three locations: our ‘mother ship,’ my baby in Ft. Lauderdale; our location in the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, FL; and Martorano’s at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Vegas. SFO: What did you mean by not knowing ‘the right way’ to run a restaurant? SM: To me, the customer is not always right. Someone says: It’s too hot, too cold, the music’s too loud…you can’t please everybody. I tell people this is my house, you’re paying me to do what I do. If I paid $500 dollars to see Sinatra and he didn’t sing my favorite song, what am I gonna do? Stand up and yell, ‘Yo, Frank, sing ‘Summer Wind!’ I don’t think so. You come in to one of my restaurants and hopefully you like it. SFO: Did you grow up around a lot of cooking? SM: My grandmother was always at the stove. But everybody cooked. Both grandmothers, my grandfather cooked a lot, my aunts cooked. I still use the old iron skillet that my grandmother used. We still fry meatballs in that. SFO: You can almost feel the history in that skillet… SM: I’m trying to keep that tradition. Food can be a strong connection to family, but the sad part is that connection is dying. We cook comfort, peasant food. Our most popular is the simple stuff: greens, beans, potatoes, eggs, tripe, eggplant, those are the things that people come in for. The young kids today don’t know how to carry on the Sunday tradition of eating at grandma’s house. I’m trying to keep that around. 26

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Fried eggplant and mozzarella sandwich SFO: I understand that you give back to the community. SM: We’ve teamed up with the Urban League of Broward County to help kids with issues and are headed to jail. Our ‘Yo Cuz!’ brand is giving money back to them and I’m giving these kids a better story… show them that there is a better life than being out there hustling on the streets. I did that, and I know there is a better way. SFO: What’s next for Steve Martorano? SM: We’re a brand that is getting larger every year. We have our very successful ‘Yo Cuz!’ jewelry line; my cookbook, ‘Yo Cuz! My Life, My Food, My Way’; our pasta sauces; our own wines; we’re working on an urban wear clothing line, a television show, and a movie script. SFO: What about a vacation? SM: You know, cuz, when I die I’ll take a permanent one. To learn more about Steve Martorano and his restaurants, visit:

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MARKY’S UNVEILS U.S. CASPIAN STURGEON CAVIAR AQUAFARMS By Hope Gainer Leave it to Marky’s, a leading gourmet food importer/ exporter and distributor founded in 1983 in Miami to transform the caviar industry and protect the endangered species of Beluga sturgeon. Marky’s Caviar has done this by creating Sturgeon AquaFarms, the first and only in the U.S. to breed a domestic stock of Caspian Beluga sturgeon. “Farming Beluga sturgeon in the U.S. is the best way to protect the species and continue providing customers with the highest quality and authentic flavor of Russian caviar that they crave,” said Mark Zaslavsky, President of Marky’s Caviar. Sturgeon is highly valued for its caviar (unfertilized eggs), a kilogram of which can be sold for up to $2,000 in the Western markets. Aquaculture plays an important role in relieving the pressure on the world population of sturgeon, supplementing the wild catch with farmed caviar. Marky’s started the AquaFarms’ successful breeding of Beluga sturgeon by bringing in stock in 2003 from the Caspian Sea to Florida on a specially designed flight to Farm 0001, as designated by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species. It was the

first, last and only farm in the U.S. to be registered for import of the endangered Caspian Beluga sturgeon. The farm is sustained by a natural aquifer owing to its location. Beluga sturgeon is currently listed as a threatened species under the U.S. Endangered Species Act, and importation into the United States has been banned since 2005. Thus, Sturgeon AquaFarms remains the only hope to achieve nationally available Beluga caviar, which in turn will aid the repopulation of the species. The larvae produced in Florida will be sent to Russian fisheries located around the Caspian Sea and Sea of Azov, which will be reintroducing the species into the wild starting this year. The first and second breeding have been successful with the Beluga growing exponentially in a time due to the warm conditions of Florida and the controlled pristine conditions of the farm, which uses a local aquifer to supply water to the tanks. Sturgeon AquaFarms aims to work closely with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Services as any export of live Beluga is subject to their approval. To find out more, visit or

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Sturgeon fish grown at Marky’s AquaFarms.

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13 Fisher Island Drive • Fisher Island, Florida 33109

David G. Yuengling, a 21-year-old immigrant from Aldingen, Germany, traveled to America with his heart set on brewing beer. Pottsville’s alluring population growth and pure spring water made it the perfect place to set up shop. The rest is history.

Forging the American Dream Fast-forward 183 years to present day, and you’ll find the tradition of Yuengling beer still going strong. South Florida Opulence interviewed Dick Yuengling, the greatgreat grandson of David, and the current owner of the family business.

Dick Yuengling, Jr.

An exclusive interview with owner Dick Yuengling By Gary Lichthardt

This is a nostalgic story about American family, success, and beer; but not necessarily in that order. Looking back in time, 1829 to be exact, the story begins in Pottsville, Pennsylvania – a town tucked away in the Appalachian Mountains where coal mining was booming.


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“When I was a 20-yearold kid at the brewery, I can remember we went through a lot of struggles. In Eastern and Central Pennsylvania, there had been a brewery or two in about every community because of the coal boom,” Yuengling continued. “When economic times got bad, breweries Dick Yuengling started going out of busiJunior & Senior (1985) ness. [The nation went from about 4,000 beer companies to fewer than 200.] We were afraid we would too … production was down, the plant was old and we were not highly automated,” Yuengling said. At one point, the Yuenglings had considered selling, but when they found out the buyer was going to tear down the plant for scrap, the sale was cancelled. “I’m proud that despite the struggles, our family business lasted long enough to become the oldest brewery in America. It’s important to me to keep Yuengling a family-owned business. To me, it’s out of respect for the previous generations of my family who came here in the 1800s and made the brewery successful.”

From one generation to the next David G. Yuengling passed away in 1877, so his son Frederick took over the brewery. When he became ill in 1893, Frank Yuengling was called home from college at Princeton to run the company. “He had no choice

Taurus (proudly adorned with Yuengling bumper stickers), wearing blue jeans with his shirtsleeves rolled up, eager to help out in the factory. “I don’t use a computer, I don’t have email and I don’t sit behind a desk in a suit and tie,” laughed 69-year-old Yuengling. “I know people may think that’s weird, but it’s how I grew up. I started on the packaging line as a kid; it’s who I am. I always want to make improvements in the brewing process, but I can’t do that sitting behind a desk.”

German beginnings

(c) 1873 Brewery Workers with David G. Yuengling (front row holding cane)

Yuengling Ice Cream Truck

because his father had taken out a bank loan to expand the business – and his mom had co-signed the loan. The business had to continue so that the debt could be paid,” said Yuengling.

Alzheimer’s. Yuengling said every generation added to the brewery, further endearing the business into the family’s legacy. Yuengling’s steadfast success is due, in part, to the down-to-earth nature and beer-

During prohibition, when the brewery couldn’t make beer, the business intuitively shifted to dairy. “Frank Yuengling had an ice cream factory right across the street.”

brewing passion that have been instilled in

In 1963, Yuengling’s father took over the brewery. He started thinking about ways to automate the process. Dick took the reins in 1985 when his father developed

fancy car and passing the day away by

five generations of Yuengling owners. If you visit the Pottsville-based brewery, you won’t find Dick Yuengling pulling up in a pushing a pencil on a boardroom table. Rather, the stalwart salt-and-pepper-haired President drives to work in his modest Ford

With all the documented heritage of the Yuengling Brewery, one question puzzled the family for generations: Why did young David G. Yuengling leave Germany to come to the United States in 1829, and how did he learn to brew beer? Dick was determined to solve the age-old family mystery. “A group of us went to Germany in 2004 for the 60th anniversary of D-day. We went to Aldigen, the town where David Yuengling was from, to see what we could find out,” said Yuengling reminiscing. “We went through the town archives and discovered that David’s father started a brewery there in 1816 – and the building is still standing today. “We learned that David was the youngest of nine boys, and back then, it was German tradition to leave the family business to the oldest son. So David knew he didn’t have a chance to inherit his father’s brewery. In 1828, he left Germany and landed in Philadelphia, eventually making his way to Pottsville. The community was growing quickly – Pottsville was sort of like the Austin, Texas, of the time, except instead of boom-

Summer 2012

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Founder David G. Yuengling (1806-1877) ing in oil fields, Pottsville was booming in coal mines. In fact, it was in cool underground caves similar to coal mines where my great-great grandfather first stored the beer before there was electricity. Beer is a food and needs to be kept at 55 degrees so it doesn’t spoil.” Yuengling, whose name translated from German means “young man,” came to this young country to brew beer but never could have imagined what the Yuengling name would mean to future generations of family and customers. How proud he would be of his great-great grandson, Dick, who 27 years ago, took over the brewery when it produced 137 barrels and grew it to a 2.5 million barrel production today.

What makes Yuengling beer so popular? (c) 2003 Brewhouse SS Kettle

“Unlike larger brewing companies in the United States (Yuengling is 1/45 the size of Anheuser-Busch), we don’t water down our beer to appeal to the masses, and we never will.” — Dick Yuengling, Jr.


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“It’s really about the quality of water we have,” said Yuengling. “Beer is 97 percent water, so if you have bad water, you’re going to have bad beer. My great-great grandfather founded the brewery here not only because the town was booming from coal mining, but also because of the great water. We’ve never had to treat the water – it’s that pure.”

Yuengling is best known for its lager, light lager and the original “Black and Tan” (a combination of the premium and darkbrewed porter). Dark-roasted malt and pure spring water make for his greattasting beer.

Cool underground caves similar to coal mines where beer was first stored before there was electricity.

“Unlike larger brewing companies in the United States (Yuengling is 1/45 the size of Anheuser-Busch), we don’t water down our beer to appeal to the masses, and we never will.” Now the largest American-family-owned brewing company in the U.S., Yuengling distributes its beer to 14 states, including Florida. Yuengling purchased the former Stroh Brewery in Tampa in 1999.

A family affair

First appeared in a Yuengling 1907 calendar. Was originally created by a local artist – still used today.

People often ask if Yuengling is on the stock market. The answer is no. The company has remained owner-operated ever since David Yuengling began producing beer under the name of Eagle Brewing back in 1829. The name changed to Yuengling in 1876, but to this day, the eagle emblem remains on all Yuengling products. The company has been sold from one generation to the next, not handed-down. Dick Yuengling has four daughters, two who are being groomed and coached to take over company operations when Dick retires. They, too, will purchase the company from their father and set the course ahead for the next generation. If you are on a pilgrimage to the brewery, or just happen to travel through the Pottsville area, stop in to tour the Yuengling Brewing Company, and enjoy a cold Yuengling beer while you learn about the history of this wonderful American success story.

Most recent artwork featuring all items found within America’s oldest brewery.

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South Florida OPULENCE


Nostalgic Notes About

By Linda Levi


ccording to novelist Henry James, “There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.” Celebrants of this great tradition the world over would no doubt agree.

The most quintessential of English customs, tea-drinking was first popularized in Britain during the 1660s by then King Charles II and his wife Infanta Catherine de Braganza of Portugal. It is said that when Catherine arrived in England to marry Charles, she brought with her a casket of tea. She even invited friends into her bedroom chamber to share tea with her, according to Jane Pettigrew, author of “A Social History of Tea.” In fact, Catherine became known as England’s first tea-drinking queen. But afternoon tea, per se, did not become popular until much later. In those days, it was actually coffeehouses, also known as penny universities in reference to the conversations they bred and the penny admittance fees, that were popular. But they were only open to men. Tea gardens, however, were for ladies and gentlemen to enjoy together, and they helped make tea-drinking more fashionable. But we really must credit Anna, the Duchess of Bedford, for the invention of afternoon tea in 1840. She complained of hunger, or a “sinking feeling,” between lunch and the fashionably late 8 p.m. dinner hour of the day. She therefore was the first to request a tray of tea, bread, butter and small cakes be brought to her room in the late afternoon. She would often invite friends to join her. By the 1880s, society and upper-class women throughout England routinely enjoyed the tradition of afternoon tea while wearing their finest garments and partaking in the most luxurious drawing rooms. Interestingly, afternoon tea is sometimes called low tea because it was usually served in sitting rooms with low tables placed near sofas and chairs. That tradition continues today at some of America’s finest and most iconic locations.


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Where to Enjoy the Tradition of English Tea – Stateside and Abroad By Alex Starace

When thoughts turn to tea, thoughts inevitably turn to England. But it wasn’t always this way: Though tea consumption has been popular in England since the 1660s, it wasn’t until the 1840s that the tradition developed into what we now think of as English afternoon tea.

Tea at the Biltmore in Coral Gables

Since then, the taking of a traditional English tea has become worldrenowned, as have the dishes commonly served with the tea, such as cucumber sandwiches, creamed salmon sandwiches, scones with jam, fresh fruit, and small fruit tarts. Because it originated with the upper classes, it is still seen as an elegant affair, even though by the mid 1800s Englanders of all stripes took afternoon tea. Even today, many fine hotels throughout England serve traditional English tea, and the English countryside is dotted with teahouses that serve the midafternoon meal. If you live stateside, it’s possible to enjoy this now-elegant tradition in some of America’s finest hotels. And if you’ll be traveling across the pond, high tea doesn’t get any more authentic than in jolly ole London, England.

Tea at the Biltmore in Coral Gables The Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables, Florida – deemed a National Historic Landmark in 1996 – opened in 1926. At the time, it was the tallest building in Florida. On weekdays, from 3-6 p.m., guests can enjoy a refined afternoon tea in the grand lobby adjacent to the old-world Biltmore Bar. Food service is accompanied by a classical guitarist and includes themed pastries during the holiday season.

tea Lobby at the Drake Hotel in Chicago In the heart of Chicago, the legendary Drake Hotel (on page 36) has a daily tea service in their dedicated Tea Lobby from 1-5 p.m., which includes a lavish fountain-side assortment of finger sandwiches, pastries, scones, and sweets with lemon curd. Dining is accompanied

South Florida Opulence magazine takes you on a tour of some of the

by a live harpist. The hotel itself has been frequented by such English

best tea services in the nation – and the world!

luminaries as Winston Churchill, Prince Charles and Princess Diana.

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The Drake Hotel in Chicago

Palm Court at the Plaza Hotel

High Tea at The Plaza Hotel in New York The Plaza Hotel in New York, known for its ornate architecture, also serves an afternoon tea in its famous Palm Court, which was featured prominently in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. In fact, the highend hotel has managed to become a staple in popular culture: It has been featured in movies ranging from Hitchcock’s North by Northwest, all the way through to the children’s comedy, Home Alone 2. And, as

Afternoon tea at Claridge’s

• A choice of almost 40 teas from all over the world • A delicious array of finger sandwiches • A selection of sweet pastries  • Freshly baked raisin and apple scones with Marco Polo jelly and Cornish clotted cream  Claridge’s is located at Brook Street, Mayfair, London W1K 4HR.

depicted when it appears in pop culture classics, the hotel is the height

For reservations, call +44 (0)20 7629 8860.

of sophistication. A visit for tea (from 2-5 p.m.) is now particularly worth-

The Berkeley: Prêt-à-Portea, The Royal Collection

while, since the Palm Court has recently undergone a $6.5 million dollar

The Berkeley’s iconic London Fashion Afternoon Tea features crowns, hats

renovation, including a re-creation of its original 1,800 square-foot

and fascinators to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee. The luxury London hotel

stained-glass ceiling.

located in fashionable Knightsbridge is paying homage to the Diamond

Tea Across the Pond in London The experience of afternoon tea doesn’t get any more authentic than in its city of origin – London, England. If you plan to visit our British neighbors, be sure to try two of the best tea services on Earth: Claridge’s: English tradition at its finest – the best afternoon tea

Jubilee in true majestic style. Prêt-à-Portea is designed to add a creative twist to the classic elements of the traditional English afternoon tea with cakes and pastries resembling the latest catwalk designs for the style conscious. Biscuits, fancies and choux buns have been transformed to resemble the most memorable hats worn by the Royal Family. To make a reservation for Prêt-à-Portea, call +44 (0)20 7235 6000.

in London Claridge’s is delighted to hold the award for London’s finest venue for afternoon tea for the second time when it received ‘The Tea Guild’s Top London Afternoon Tea 2011’ award, the highest accolade in the tea world. Luxurious, elegant – and perfect every day. The award-winning afternoon tea is a mouthwatering and utterly English meal of pastries and savouries, light, crusty scones and rich clotted cream.

Pastries from the Berkeley Hotel in Knightsbridge, London 36

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Her Majesty’s


Diamond Jubilee

he Queen’s Diamond Jubilee marks 60 years since Elizabeth II initiated her accession in 1952. Royal Jubilees celebrate significant periods in monarchs’ reigns and national life. In 2012, the Queen became only the second UK monarch to mark 60 years on the throne. Celebrations were previously held for Her Majesty’s Silver Jubilee in 1977 and Golden Jubilee in 2002. Celebrations will occur throughout 2012, including the Queen’s visit to the Epsom Derby, followed by a Big Jubilee Lunch and the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant of boats. On June 4, a concert was held at Buckingham Palace and a network of beacons were lit throughout the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth. A Service of Thanksgiving was held at St. Paul’s.

History of Royal Accession and Coronation After her marriage to Prince Philip in 1947, Princess Elizabeth paid formal visits with The Duke of Edinburgh to France and Greece, and in autumn 1951 they toured Canada. Princess Elizabeth also visited Malta four times while Prince Philip was stationed there on naval duties, and enjoyed the life of a naval wife and young mother. This way of life was not to last long, as her father’s health was deteriorating.


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Summer 2012

In 1952, King George VI’s illness forced him to abandon his proposed visit to Australia and New Zealand. The Princess, accompanied by Prince Philip, took his place. 

 On February 6,1952, Princess Elizabeth received the news of her father’s death and her own accession to the throne, while staying in a remote part of Kenya. The tour had to be abandoned, and the young Princess flew back to Britain as Queen. She was greeted by Prime Minister Winston Churchill and other officials at the airport. The Coronation took place in Westminster Abbey on June 2, 1953. It was a solemn ceremony conducted by Dr. Geoffrey Fisher, Archbishop of Canterbury. Crowds of people viewed the procession all along the route, despite heavy rain. The ceremony was also broadcast on radio around the world and, at the Queen’s request, on television for the first time. 
Television brought home to hundreds of thousands of people around the Commonwealth the splendor and significance of the Coronation in a way never before possible. The Coronation was followed by drives through every part of London, a review of the fleet at Spithead, and visits to Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.

Rendering Courtesy of Joseph Bennett The Royal Barge by Tower Bridge

In 2012, The Queen became only the second UK monarch to mark 60 years on the throne.

photo Courtesy of roger cannon The British Royal Guard

Alan Lamb, head of historic carving at City & Guilds of London Art School, molding the prow sculpture for the Royal Barge. Summer 2012

South Florida OPULENCE


Buckingham Palace

Dundee’s Art Gallery

Windsor castle

portrait gallery

Palace of Holyroodhouse

Diamond Jubilee Events You Can Attend

Queen Victoria’s Small Diamond Crown, 1870

Diamonds: A Jubilee Celebration, Buckingham Palace, London August 1 – 30 September 2012 Discover the Royals’ binding relationship with the most precious stone known to man. During the annual opening of Buckingham Palace, a special exhibition will be held to explore the poignant role diamonds have played in the Royal household over the last 200 years.

The Queen: Sixty Photographs for Sixty Years, the Drawings Gallery, Windsor Castle Open until January 2013 See the 66th monarch depicted through six decades in Windsor Castle’s Drawings Gallery. Queen Elizabeth II is one of the most photographed figures in the world and now, thanks to the Diamond Jubilee, you’ll be able to browse sixty photographs of the Queen. The Queen at the State Opening of Parliament in the Palace of Westminster, London, 15 November 2006, Photograph: © Ian Jones

The Queen: Art and Image, National Portrait Gallery, London Open until October 21, 2012 The National Portrait Gallery is celebrating the Jubilee with an exhibition that Queen Elizabeth II by Dorothy brings together 60 of the most poignant Wilding (Hand-colored by images of Elizabeth II, some of which Beatrice Johnson), 1952 © have never been seen by the public. William Hustler and Georgina Expect to see pop art from Andy Warhol, Hustler/ National Portrait pastel and oil works from Annigoni, and Gallery, London 40

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Chris Levine’s contemporary 3-D portraits hanging from the walls. Treasures from The Queen’s Palaces: The Queen’s Gallery, Palace Holyroodhouse Open until October 21, 2012 Treasures from The Queen’s Palaces reflects the tastes of monarchs and other members of the Royal family who have shaped one of the world’s great art collections. Highlights include paintings by Rembrandt, Canaletto and Nash, drawings by Leonardo, Michelangelo, Raphael and Holbein, Rembrandt van Rijn, and Imperial Easter Eggs by Agatha Bas, 1641 Fabergé. Most of the works will be shown in Scotland for the first time.

Ten Drawings by Leonardo da Vinci: A Diamond Jubilee Celebration Through August 2012 To mark the Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty The Queen, ten of Leonardo da Vinci’s finest drawings in the Royal Collection will tour to five venues across the UK from the Ulster Museum in Belfast. They have been selected to reflect Leonardo’s use of Leonardo da Vinci, The Head of Leda, c.1505-6 different media and the extraordinary range of his activities – painting and sculpture, engineering, botany, mapmaking, hydraulics and anatomy.


Where can you pile on the charm?



Gone to London to Visit the Queen ’ Ello mate. If you’re planning to visit England for the Diamond Jubilee to commemorate the 60th Anniversary of the reign of Queen Elizabeth II, you’ll enjoy a royal experience at one of these fine London hotels: The Claridge’s – Royal Elegance and Historic Charm Since first opening its doors, Claridge’s has been the destination for fashionable London. Bought in 1854 by Mr. and Mrs. William Claridge, the hotel received the ultimate accolade in 1860 when Queen Victoria visited Claridge’s to see her friend Empress Eugenie of France. Claridge’s has even been called the annex to Buckingham Palace. Popular with kings, presidents, prime ministers and financiers, Claridge’s also attracted most of the golden names of Hollywood, including Yul Brynner, Audrey Hepburn, Cary Grant and Bing Crosby. The Claridge’s is located at 49 Brook St  City of Westminster, W1K 4HR, United Kingdom. +44 (0)20 7629 8860

The Connaught – One of the World’s Most Distinguished Addresses The beloved Connaught Hotel reopened in 2008 after an historic eight-month restoration. The legendary Mayfair hotel has been embellished with a multimillion dollar restoration, which included a magnificent redesign of the guest rooms, suites and interiors. The restoration brought together some of the world’s finest designers and craftsmen. One of the world’s most distinguished addresses, The Connaught’s restoration further established the hotel as one of the world’s most coveted and luxurious destinations. Maybourne Hotel Group appointed the most talented designers to bring the Mayfair gem into the 21st century, while preserving the authentic elegance and distinct personality so beloved of its guests, and the results continue to be truly remarkable.

The Berkeley Hotel – a Century of Sophisticated Hospitality With a history of sublime service in the heart of Knightsbridge, the Berkeley London Luxury Hotel has delighted guests with its 5-star welcoming atmosphere and sense of style for more than 100 years. Ideally located for the ultimate London experience, the Berkeley is just moments away from prime Knightsbridge spots. With award-winning service and and cuisine, as well as flawless business facilities, it’s no surprise our guests call the Berkeley their preferred London destination. And with special treats for families, even our youngest guests find everything they could ask for at the Berkeley. The Berkeley Hotel is located at Wilton Place,
London. SW1X 7RL. +44 (0)20 7235 6000 42

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Summer 2012

Fisher Island Club, on legendary Fisher Island, is a true private island oasis where exclusive access to its historic cottages, pristine beaches, P.B. Dye golf course, Spa Internazionale, 18-court tennis center, deep water marinas & dining venues are reserved for a select few. Located just a 7-minute ferry ride from Miami Beach, this island enclave offers its residents, members, and hotel guests the ultimate in privacy & security. For information about membership, please contact the Membership Office. Call 305.535.6076 or visit

TITANIC: Eternal Ship of Dreams While scientific research continues, a handful of fortunate travelers can now explore the ship’s final resting place. By John D. Adams One hundred years after her catastrophic maiden voyage, RMS Titanic continues to enthrall and fascinate historians, scientists and the general population. Since the discovery of Titanic’s wreckage in the North Atlantic on September 1, 1985, experts have slowly been piecing together a timeline of events and accounts that caused the grand ship’s demise. And just when one theory seems conclusive,




made. On this centennial of her sinking, one respected Titanic researcher has presented new data on how the ship sank. And for the first time, discerning travelers have the opportunity to submerge 13,000 feet below the icy waters


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to observe the hulking shell of Titanic for themselves.

ignited yet another resurgence of global interest.

The Fascination with Titanic

On April 14, 2012, Richard Woytowich, a professor in the Computer Engineering Technology Department at New York City College of Technology, presented his paper: “The Breakup of Titanic – A Re-Examination of Survivor Accounts,” at the First International Marine Forensics Symposium. His research strongly suggests that Titanic broke apart from the bottom, as opposed to the long-accepted “top-down” breakup (as depicted in Cameron’s movie). Why is this reexamination important? “The legacy of the survivors is, in a sense, on the line. If our reconstruction is substantially correct,

Like the lunar tides, interest in Titanic and her collision surge and ebb through the years. In 1985, the first wave of renewed interest occurred when Professor Robert Ballard discovered the ship’s final resting place in the North Atlantic. Nineteen years later, James Cameron’s blockbuster film, Titanic, launched a renewed awareness of the ship and her history. And at 12:13 p.m. on May 31, 2011, exactly 100 years after Titanic rolled down her slipway, a single flare was fired over Belfast’s docklands in commemoration. That centennial flare has

then the survivors’ testimony (with a few exceptions) turns out to have been quite accurate,” states Woytowich. “On the other hand, if a ‘top down’ breakup goes into the history books, the survivors will be forever remembered as people who let the stress of the situation blind them to what was happening before their eyes … It’s been 100 years since the sinking; it’s time to set the record straight.”

Dive to Titanic For the first time, it is now possible to explore the Titanic wreckage yourself. Bluefish Concierge Services, a once-guarded source of destination experiences for the super-wealthy, offers submersible dives in the North Atlantic to view Titanic. Each expedition offers diving participants the extremely rare opportunity to journey to her final resting place. Participants will spend a pre-departure night in St. John’s to attend the introductory expedition dinner prior to boarding Bluefish’s expedition vessel for the 350-nautical-mile voyage. Your arrival will be marked by a short ceremony to commemorate the loss of the ship, and then dive operations commence. During the dive series, participants will enjoy specialist lectures; observe the MIR

Commemorating the 100 Year Anniversary, U.S. Coast Guard members lay 1.5 million dried rose petals over the RMS Titanic’s resting site on April 14, 2012. “At 2:20 a.m. all was quiet, as it would have been 100 years ago when it went deathly quiet... when the screaming stopped,” British Titanic historian Philip Littlejohn told Reuters. His grandfather, Alexander Littlejohn, was a 1st class steward in charge of Lifeboat 13. submersible program in action; and enjoy

anchors, larger than the submersible; the

international-class cuisine.

bridge; and the famous grand staircase are all

The journey to the wreck of Titanic

nestled among rivers of rust as the ocean

is by MIR I or II submersibles. Constructed of nickel steel, they are designed to withstand the enormous pressures of the

slowly consumes the grand old lady. You’ll see the ship’s massive boilers; the propellers; and the Marconi Room, from which the

ocean depths. The MIRs accommodate

world’s first SOS was broadcast. Your dive

one pilot and two passengers. Following

will complete after 11 to 12 hours, but your

a final briefing, the submersible will

memories will last forever. It is a destination

descend at a rate of 100 feet per minute.

trip like no other and truly worthy of the

A seven-inch-thick acrylic view port is your

moniker “once-in-a-lifetime.”

window to the undersea world. Beyond

Cost for divers: $59,680, includes one dive to

800 feet, all traces of sunlight will be gone.

Titanic. Cost for non-diver participants:

Illuminated by the powerful lights of the

$10,000, shared occupancy on land and on

submersible, the viewing port will be filled

the vessel. For details, visit www.thebluefish.

with images of RMS Titanic: her huge


Titanic Trivia Originally, Titanic’s design only included three funnels (smokestacks). The aft-most funnel was added to make Titanic appear even more impressive. It only functioned as an air vent. Prior to sailing, more than 250,000 pounds of food were loaded on-board.

The RMS Titanic sank in the North Atlantic Ocean on April 15, 1912, after colliding with an iceberg during her maiden voyage from Southampton, UK, to New York City, US. 1,514 perished in one of the deadliest peacetime maritime disasters in history.

Two dogs were among the Titanic survivors. There were no cats on-board Titanic. Interestingly, cats were often brought on ships as a form of good luck. They also controlled rodents. Titanic was almost as long as the Empire State building is tall. Summer 2012

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Priceless Titanic Artifacts Hit the Auction Block


By Frank Kuin

ith great care, fragile objects from the ill-fated cruise liner RMS Titanic have been placed on a table at the Midtown Manhattan office of Guernsey’s Auctioneers and Brokers. A rusted light fixture. A pristine shaving bowl from London. A baker’s hat bearing the name ‘Hine’. A coffee cup with the logo of Titanic’s operator, White Star Line.

surface, in cold and darkness, for many decades until they were

It is difficult to imagine the arduous voyage these items have made to become part of a collection of about 5,500 artifacts from the doomed cruise liner that has been offered up for auction this year to coincide with the centenary of the disaster. All objects that have ever been salvaged from the wreck site are sold as one lot by the owner, Premier Exhibitions of Atlanta – the parent company of the exclusive steward of the ship, Florida-founded RMS Titanic Inc.

A unique feature of the auction is that it’s subject to court-

The objects for sale went down with the Titanic after it collided with an iceberg in the North Atlantic Ocean on its maiden voyage from Southampton to New York, 100 years ago this spring. They rested on the ocean floor, about 12,500 feet beneath the

expressed interest in taking over the collection, which has been

recovered by deep-sea divers after the wreck was found in 1985. Painstaking efforts then went into their conservation. “The artifacts began being recovered in the first dive done for that purpose in 1987 and then on continuing dives through 2004,” said Arlan Ettinger, Guernsey’s president. “It’s unprecedented that something like this be sold. It’s goosebumps-inducing when you think about it. This is not like a regular auction.”

imposed conditions. The buyer must agree to keep the artifacts together; none of the items is sold individually. The new owner must also commit to the maintenance of the collection, and should continue to make parts of it available for public viewing. Premier has organized several exhibitions which have been seen by 25 million people – including one currently open in Orlando. About a dozen parties from various parts of the world have appraised at $189 million, said Ettinger. They range from private groups to museums and cities, he said. At the time of writing, no final sale had been announced.

Top Row (left to right): Titanic Auction Items On Display, Baker’s Hat, Titanic Cup Bottom Row (left to right): Light Fixture, Gloves, Titanic Shaving Bowl

Photography Courtesy of Frank Kuin 46

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images Courtesy of the U.S. Library of Congress and the titanic museum

Meet Passengers from Titanic By the Titanic Museum

Curators at the Titanic Museum in Branson, Missouri, have compiled biographies of several passengers aboard the ill-fated maiden voyage.

DOROTHY GIBSON In the first movie ever made about Titanic, Dorothy Gibson played herself. Before taking the trip to Europe with her mother in 1912, she enjoyed success as a silent-screen actress. Dorothy led a steamy romantic life and was involved with a married man named Jules Brulatour. He convinced Gibson to cut her vacation short and return to New York as a first-class passenger on Titanic. When Titanic struck the iceberg, Dorothy remembered hearing “a long-drawn sickening crunch.” She and her mother entered a lifeboat. Dorothy eventually married Jules Brulatour, but the

marriage was short-lived. She died in her apartment at the Hotel Ritz in Paris. Dorothy was 56.

CAPTAIN EDWARD JOHN ‘E.J.’ SMITH Being the Captain of the RMS Titanic was to be the crowning glory of a long and distinguished career. Edward J. Smith was 62 and had been at sea for nearly 50 years. He had become popular with his crew and with passengers, and many wealthy people would only sail on a ship under his command. As Captain of Titanic, he would receive a substantial salary, as well as Continued on next page a “no-collision” bonus. Summer 2012

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s Titanic launched from Southampton, England, Captain Smith narrowly averted a collision with a smaller boat and some saw the incident as a bad omen.

Captain Smith normally dined alone, but on the night of April 14, 1912, he was the guest of honor at a dinner hosted by wealthy Philadelphians George and Eleanor Widener. He excused himself from the dinner early, possibly because Titanic had received warnings of ice in the vicinity. He retired to his cabin and was later awakened by the collision with the iceberg. He quickly made his way to the bridge, but his actions during the chaos of the sinking remain largely a mystery. What he expected as his crowning glory instead became the end of his career.

JOHN JACOB ASTOR IV Probably the most recognizable name on Titanic was that of John Jacob Astor IV, head of the Astor family founded by his fur-trading ancestor. He was the wealthiest man aboard the maiden voyage of RMS Titanic. In New York City in 1897, he built the Astoria Hotel beside the Waldorf Hotel built by his cousin. The new complex became known as the Waldorf-Astoria. Mr. Astor’s marriage to Ava Willing ended in divorce. The social elite of New York began to notice the attention he was paying to a teenage girl named Madeleine Force. Although separated by almost 30 years, their engagement was announced in 1911, and their wedding was the subject of widespread gossip. The newlyweds traveled in Egypt. When the couple discovered that Madeleine was pregnant, the trip was cut short, and plans were made to return to the United States aboard Titanic. When the ship struck the iceberg, John saw to it that Madeleine safely entered a lifeboat and inquired if he could join her due to her “delicate condition.” He was informed he could not. He was last seen smoking a cigarette and peering over the deck.The wealthiest man aboard Titanic may have been crushed by one of four enormous funnels when they fell. His body was later recovered and returned to New York for burial.

MARGARET ‘MOLLY’ TOBIN BROWN Margaret Tobin Brown is best remembered as being “unsinkable.” Married to “Leadville Johnny” Brown, she endured the rigors of a mining camp until her husband made his fortune in silver and gold, which allowed her to lead a social life in Denver. Margaret became friends with the cream of New York Society, including the Astors and was with them in Egypt in early 1912. Her first grandchild 48

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became ill, so she made plans to return to America on the maiden voyage of Titanic. Mrs. Brown traveled as a first- class passenger, and on the night of the sinking, entered the lifeboat that would make her famous. Quartermaster Hichens was assigned to Lifeboat No. 6, which held more than two dozen women, among them was Mrs. Margaret ‘Molly’ Tobin Brown. The unlikely pairing of wealthy society women, a feisty Irish-American woman and Hichens, a cantankerous man from Cornwall, would soon become legend. Hichens taunted the wealthy women to a breaking point. Molly threatened to throw him overboard and then organized the women in the rowing of the lifeboat. Her heroism brought her an enduring, legendary status. After Titanic, Molly lived alternately in Denver and New York. As the years passed, she became eccentric and was estranged from her children. In October 1932, she died in her room in New York’s Barbizon Hotel after suffering a stroke. The name “Molly” Brown came to be in 1962 by Hollywood with the movie “The Unsinkable Molly Brown” starring Debbie Reynolds.

EVA MIRIAM HART Eva Hart was a pretty child with long curly locks when she boarded Titanic with her parents in 1912. Her family was immigrating from England to Canada. Although just 7 years old at the time of the disaster, she retained vivid memories of Titanic that she shared throughout her lifetime. When Titanic struck the iceberg, Eva’s father went to investigate and she remembered his ghostly pallor when he returned to the cabin. The family went on deck where Eva and her mother were allowed to enter a lifeboat while her father remained on board and perished. She always remembered his telling her to “be a good girl and hold Mommy’s hand.” Eva was never able to rid herself of memories of the screams of people drowning. She and her mother returned to England where Miss Hart enjoyed some early success as a singer and later had a career with an engineering company. She later became a Justice of the Peace. In her later years, she was a popular presence at Titanic gatherings. Never married, she died on Valentine’s Day of 1996 at the age of 91.


Horology The Art of Selecting a Luxury Timepiece by jono king The first portable timepiece was created in the early 1500s by Peter Henlein in Germany. Since then, innovations in design and technology have made quality handmade wristwatches as much about making a personal statement as it is about precision time keeping. For some people, a luxury timepiece is a status symbol often made of precious metals and sometimes adorned with diamonds and jewels. “For centuries, watches have been viewed as fine works of art and perceived as much more than a simple timepiece,” says Scott King of King Jewelers. “Whether simple or elegant, the precision, engineering and production of a luxury watch puts it in a category all its own and is definitely a prized possession. “

Choosing an heirloom Since luxury watches are always considered special, one can never go wrong when buying a watch for themselves or as a gift. In fact, high-quality luxury timepieces are often handed down from one generation to another. Given that different watches fit different occasions and personalities, it’s often a good idea to have an assortment of fine watches from highly credible watchmakers, such as the authorized luxury brands King Jewelers has in their salon. Those who have a passion for watches surely appreciate the skill and craftsmanship applied to each timepiece. “King’s prides itself in offering the largest selection of unique, 50

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Chopard Imperiale

limited edition and even one-of-a-kind collectible timepieces from the world’s finest and most sought after brands,” said Jono King. “When selecting a watch, I always attempt to ascertain our client’s purpose for their purchase, whether they are looking for a new formal or sport watch, the newest collector’s item, or simply filling a void in their collection. Through my carefully chosen questions, detail-oriented nature and extensive horological knowledge, I maintain a perfect track record assisting our clients with their gifts,” says Jono King.

Traits of a fine timepiece There are many factors to consider before selecting





watches are usually created around older

mechanical technology that has existed for centuries. These types of movements last for decades and require the human touch. Usually, the more mechanical and highly complicated a watch is, the greater the value. Examples of complications include; Chronographs, MonoPusher Chronographs, Retropantte’s, GMTs, World Times, Annual Calendars, Perpetual Calendar, Minute Repeaters, Grande Soneires, and the greatest complication of them all – the Tourbillion. Jono King’s advice, “Before selecting your desired timepiece, it’s important to consider its primary function. Is it going to be used as an everyday watch? If so, one must consider their hobbies. If you play golf, tennis or any sport, you may want to opt for one with shock resistance layered within the

Chopard Imperiale Tourbillion

movement. If it’s a dress watch, you should consider the thickness of the watch, will it fit under your dress shirts? No matter the reason, King Jewelers will help guide you in the right direction and certainly supports the inventory for options. Through its solidified partnerships with the finest Swiss luxury watch brands, King Jewelers ensures its offerings of the most unique, exclusive and in-demand watches making your buying decision fulfilling.”

Experts in horology It’s important to shop for a luxury watch with an expert well-versed in the intricate language of horology. Nearly 30 horologists are available at King Jewelers to maintain an extraordinary level of expertise through vendor-led seminars, in-store training sessions and the diligent reading of horological publications. They are an authorized dealer for the most elite names in haute horology, including Harry Winston, Breguet, Chanel, DeWitt, Breitling, Chopard, IWC, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Roger Dubuis, Jaquet Droz, MontBlanc, BRM, Franc Vila and many more. The King family is personally involved in the selection of each piece, for they recognize the interests and tastes of their longstanding clientele.

Jono King shares, “IWC and Breguet were two of our most popular brands this year; their reliable precision, exceptional quality, tremendous value and vast range of highly sought after pieces have proven their success among our collectors.” Jono also notes an increase of sales within the women’s complicated watch category, adding, “Our sophisticated clientele has gained tremendous respect for the craftsmanship involved in watchmaking. Women no longer want the convenience of merely setting their watch and forgetting about it. Now, they enjoy the technical features offered by their coveted wrist jewelry, such as the day of the week, date and month, all available on one dial.” Throughout the course of the year, King Jewelers hosts a number of special events, including private collector dinners, charitable engagements and their annual affairs, during which customers have the opportunity to preview new timepieces from the Basel and Geneva shows. The King Jewelers family has built a strong reputation across South Florida for their knowledge, resolve for complete customer care and their passion for fine timepieces. By adhering to this proved formula, they are sure to enjoy another successful century. Jono King shares, “Our website caters to the complete luxury lifestyle, while maintaining a strong focus on education. We highlight our exclusive watch brands, as well as limited and complicated timepieces, plus our substantial Prive’ Collection by King Jewelers and a corporate gift program.” guides people through the first-class King’s experience. The site allows the web consumer to purchase leading branded products with confidence from an authorized dealer, as well as appreciate the special service and customer satisfaction from King Jewelers.

DeWitt Ladies Golden Afternoon

To consult with an expert in horology, visit King Jewelers at 18265 Biscayne Blvd., Aventura, FL 33160, call (305) 935-4900 or visit Summer 2012

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Tips To Know


Automatic vs. Quartz. A true luxury watch will usually be an automatic watch – one that runs by physical movement not by a battery (quartz watches have batteries).


Caliber vs. Standard Automatic. A caliber automatic watch provides more precise time than does a standard automatic watch. On average, a standard watch will be off by 12 minutes after one month.

3) 4)

Dial size. Be sure to put the watch on your wrist and see if you can read the time clearly.

Thickness and weight. Make sure the watch is compatible with your typical daily wardrobe. If you wear cuffbuttoned business shirts, you’ll want a watch thin enough to slide underneath.


 lassic vs. sports materials. A classic timeless luxury watch C is likely crafted in precious metals such as Gold or Platinum. Whereas, Titanium, DLC, PVD, Steel, or bands made of canvas or leather, are considered sport.

6) 7)

Investment. It’s best to select a classic design (not trendy) limited by edition or made from a precious metal.

Choose an authorized, reputable dealer. A reputable dealer stands behind the product and your watch will appraise at the value you pay.

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It’s no wonder King Jewelers has been crowned South Florida’s premier jeweler. Celebrating its 100th year anniversary, King Jewelers has established a paramount reputation across South Florida for their knowledge, integrity, customer care and their passion for exclusive timepieces, magnificent diamond gemstones, the finest designer and one-of-a-kind jewelry. Founded in 1912, King Jewelers is proud to celebrate its five generations in the watch and jewelry industry. Each generation continues to travel the globe, selectively providing the finest from the luxury jewelry and watch world to the people of South Florida and Nashville, Tennessee. Scott and Maxine King continue their family’s legacy of integrity established years ago by European immigrant Louis King. Today, they proudly work alongside their sons, David and Jono King, overseeing their two highly touted stores. King Jewelers’ Aventura location boasts an impressive 8,000 square feet, featuring European style shop-inshop “designer” boutiques. A large center island divides the store between the high-end ladies’ jewelry and the “Authorized Dealer” of exclusive Swiss watch brands and men’s jewelry, yet the fully stocked premium bar tends to be the focal point on Saturday afternoons. This location continues to be the destination across South Florida for people in search of the finest in luxury, including musicians, prominent actors and leading athletes.

Breguet Marine Royal


Harry Winston Opus 12

Summer 2012


Business Leader Profile

NEW JET INTERNATIONAL, Leader in Business Aviation


leader in business aviation for almost two decades, New Jet International is the exclusive sales representative for Bombardier Business Aircraft’s Learjet, Challenger and Global products in Italy, Monaco, Switzerland,* Spain, Portugal, as well as Sikorsky’s commercial helicopter line in Italy and Monaco.

Established in 1995, New Jet International has increased its experience and notoriety over time to become a known and trusted brand in the aviation market today, successfully active in the sale of new and pre-owned aircraft. The company, based in the Principality of Monaco, in Milan, and recently in Madrid, has sold more than 165 aircraft since its inception, exceeding $2.5 billion. Its founder, Valerio Zamboni, began his career as a pilot in 1978, flying a Falcon 10 and 20 for VIP Air, a Milan-based charter operator. Over the years, his passion for aviation led him to the even more exciting world of aircraft sales, first as a working partner in a US company, and afterward with the opening of his own company in Europe: New Jet International.

BOMBARDIER EXCLUSIVE REPRESENTATIVE New Jet International began as the official representative for Bombardier’s Learjet line. Following a successful company launch marked by strong sales, the company was shortly after granted representation of Canadair, today known as the Challenger jets. Bombardier then added the Global aircraft family to its lineup, allowing New Jet to expand their offer from ultra light to ultra long range aircraft. With the evolution of customers’ transportation needs, New Jet decided to diversify its portfolio by entering the helicopter market. In fall of 2007, the company became the exclusive representative for US manufacturer Sikorsky commercial helicopter line in Italy and Monaco.

PRE-OWNED AIRCRAFT Pre-owned aircraft sales have always been a major part of the company’s success since its inception, which generate at least half of New Jet’s business volume. With its team of experienced and young, dynamic leaders of the future, New Jet acquired, in addition to its deep know-how, a strong experience in the pre-owned aviation market, providing the ultimate services in security and personalized assistance in every phase of the aircraft sales process. In addition to its strong knowledge of the European market and its regulations, New Jet is also extremely competent to handle sales in the US

Global 5000 in flight

through the professional support of two consultants based in California and in Florida. One of New Jet’s goals is to deliver the highest level of service in order to satisfy even the most demanding clientele. Its international customer-base is made from major industries to private individuals who operate in different and various fields, like fashion, chemical industries, charter operators, etc. For more information, contact us at: Tel. +377 9770 1020 – E-mail: New Jet International – “Monte Carlo Sun” 74, Bd. d’Italie – 98000 Monaco * French and Italian speaking cantons

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Leonardo da Vinci of the Automotive World By Robin Jay


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“We wanted to give shape to the wind, an energy, subtle, elegant, yet strong and persistent. In seven years, we have carried out our latest sculpture. At Pagani, Huayra is our wind,” said Argentinian supercar creator Horacio Pagani. “The inspiration for the Pagani Huayra comes from the moment when a plane is accelerating down the runway about to take off – it’s the rush.”


Pagani may very well be the best-kept secret among supercars. Named after the ancient Andean god of wind, the Pagani Huayra is so rare that only a lucky few will ever see one in person. Why? With a price tag of $1.4 million and more than 4,000 parts assembled by hand, only 20 are built annually in San Cesario sul Panaro, a small municipality within Modena, Italy. “Horacio Pagani is the da Vinci of car builders – a rare genius whose mastery of the balance between poise and power, looks and aerodynamics, modernity and classical design have created arguably the purest driving machine on the planet, right under the noses of Ferrari and Lamborghini in Italy’s supercar valley,” said Jeremy Clarkson, host of the BBC’s Top Gear television show. Rumor has it that a Pagani Huayra may be making its maiden voyage to Florida – at Prestige Imports in Miami.

Art in London and the Art Centre in Pasadena. In 1981, Pagani’s career skyrocketed when he moved to Italy. The automotive artisan led his team to design, engineer and create an advanced composite frame for Lamborghini’s Countach and Diablo supercars. Later, Pagani molded and manufactured engine components for Ferrari.

The Pagani Legacy With an iron-clad repertoire, Pagani set out to architect a superior supercar of his very own. In 1999, he unveiled his ultra-exotic Pagani Zonda C12 at the Geneva Motor Show (see the red model pictured with Horacio Pagani at left). It stunned even the most astute connoisseurs. And just when the automotive world thought Pagani had reached his pinnacle, he wowed them yet again. Last year, the automata prodigy introduced his second supercar – the Pagani Huayra – the very first production car ever to be

Who is Horacio Pagani? As a young boy in Casilda, Argentina, Horacio Pagani developed an utter passion for automobiles, creating his first model car designs from balsa wood. The budding aficionado was at first unsure which he loved more – the science of automotive engineering or the creative artisanship of headturning design. He found his answer at age 13 in, of all places, an American magazine – Reader’s Digest. Pagani was smitten by an article about Leonardo da Vinci – the Italian Renaissance genius who was both a master artist, painter and sculptor, and a legendary inventor. Pagani set out to achieve his ultimate dream – to become the Leonardo da Vinci of the automotive world.

A Supercar Prodigy The brilliant Pagani studied both engineering and industrial design in Argentina, and then earned dual scholarships for the Royal College of Summer 2012

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sculpted with a carbon fiber and titanium composite, and the first automobile in the world to be completely aerodynamic, reaching up to 225 miles per hour. “The Huayra is built with what are most likely the highest standards in the industry,” said Clarkson. “Every part of this car is produced to utter perfection. Perhaps the most beautiful piece of technology on the Huayra is the active aerodynamics system: The car’s computer system monitors its behavior, and aerodynamic surfaces on all four corners of the car adjust accordingly. This is not just a supercar; it is the supercar that Ferrari and Lamborghini dream about at night.”

Stay tuned supercar collectors. Luxuriously appointed interior


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Monster of the Sea

PUMA IN THE VOLVO OCEAN RACE In a true test of sailing prowess, on May 9, in Leg 6 of the Volvo Ocean Race from Itajai, Brazil, into Miami, PUMA’s Mar Mostro “Monster of the Sea” charged to the front of fleet for an exhilarating first-place finish. “Hello Miami! This is unbelievable,” said skipper Ken Read, from Newport, Rhode Island, upon crossing the finish line. “It’s great to be back in the U.S. And, we’ve actually been to Miami before on this boat, so this marks our complete circumnavigation of the globe. “This was about a stressful a leg as it can get,” Read continued. “The guys on CAMPER sailed really well and it was touch-and-go for a lot of the time. But, I couldn’t be more proud of our team – just an incredibly good job.” As the U.S. entry in this year’s race, PUMA made an exciting entrance into Miami with three Americans onboard – Read, trimmer Rome Kirby (Newport, R.I.) and media crew member Amory Ross (Newport, R.I.). The Miami arrival marked a complete lap around the planet for PUMA’s Mar Mostro as the crew made a training run from their home port of Newport to Miami in May 2011. “It’s fantastic - I’m psyched to be home,” said Kirby. “The leg was nice sailing for a lot of it, but also a bit frustrating. We had some pretty light air sailing that was tough. But, coming into the U.S. in first place – you can’t beat it.”

A closer look at the Volvo Ocean Race PUMA Ocean Racing is sailing around the world as part of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-2012, stopping in 10 ports over nine months. This year’s race got underway last November as the racing crew departed from Alicante, Spain, to begin the 39,000 nautical mile journey. The Volvo Ocean Race is an exceptional test of sailing skill and human endeavor widely known as the ‘Everest of Sailing.’ During the race, PUMA is competing against five other teams as they sail through the world’s most treacherous seas from Alicante to Cape Town, South Africa; Abu Dhabi, UAE; Sanya, China; Auckland, New Zealand; around Cape Horn to Itajaí, Brazil; to Miami, Florida, USA; Lisbon, Portugal; Lorient, France; finishing in Galway, Ireland, in July 2012.


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The PUMA Ocean Racing team is under the leadership of skipper Ken Read, who was at the helm for PUMA’s second-place finish during the 2008-09 race.

Mar Mostro PUMA’s Mar Mostro, the “Monster of the Sea,” splashed into the waters of Newport, Rhode Island, USA, in May 2011. Designed by Juan Yacht Design of Valencia, Spain, and constructed at New England Boatworks, Inc., in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, USA, the third generation Volvo Open 70 monohull was uniquely created to sail around the world and face extreme conditions. The crew spent months training on the new yacht, splitting time between Newport, Rhode Island, and Lanzarote in the Canary Islands. The PUMA team got off to a good start in Leg 1 from Alicante to Cape Town. But, on Nov. 21, the mast broke onboard PUMA’s Mar Mostro in the middle of the southern Atlantic Ocean, about 2,150 nautical miles from Cape Town. Fortunately, all crew were unhurt. The team was forced to retire from the leg, and make their way to the closest land for rescue – the island of Tristan da Cunha. The unexpected journey to Cape Town lasted 31 days, and the adventure included a search for fuel, six days on Tristan (known as the most remote inhabited island on earth) and a rare open sea transfer to a giant container ship. Through the tireless efforts of a determined team, PUMA’s Mar Mostro was ready to race again – just three days

Photos Courtesy of Ian roman photography

after arrival in Cape Town, and in time to depart on Leg 2.

Back on Top Despite the temporary setback, the PUMA sailing crew is pumped to have taken the lead in the Volvo Ocean Race in Miami. “This is now three legs of my Volvo career where I haven’t shaved, and all three legs we’ve won,” said Ken Read with a grin. To watch exciting video podcasts of PUMA in action, go to www.

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The Thrill of Off-Roading D o you own a car made for the outdoors, yet find the idea of off-roading through challenging terrains in lush green forests a bit intimidating? Thanks to the Land Rover Experience Driving School, you can learn the full capabilities of your vehicle, and also be immersed in the placid wonders of nature.

At a recent Driving School event at the grand Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina, journalists were invited to experience the unparalleled luxury of the stylish 2012 Range Rover and Land Rover LR4 as they are put through a set of steep ascents, descents and side tilts. Meandering alongside and crossing the trails provided a close-up look at some of the most beautiful wilderness in the country. The experience, asserted by many to be one of the greatest in their lives, included both moments of thrill but also of leisure and

relaxation. A delicious brunch was served in a tent with the beautiful backdrop of the Blue Ridge Mountains surrounding the 8,000 acre Biltmore Estate.

The instructors were informative and helpful. For example, an instructor told us that we needed to let the car do more of the work because we were unknowingly creating resistance through steering. All Land Rover and Range Rover models have a “Terrain Response” feature that optimizes the vehicle setup for virtually all on-road or off-road driving situations. The cars have installed Hill Descent Control with Gradient Release Control (GRC) that when engaged and where a sharp descent is detected, the HDC system automatically engages to achieve maximum grip. Varied brake and acceleration pressure release the vehicle down the gradient, all without effort on the driver’s part.

At the Land Rover Experience Driving School on the grounds of the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina, drivers learn how to execute the full capabilities of their vehicle, while simultaneously being immersed in the placid wonders of nature.


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at the Biltmore Estate The Land Rover also helps when ascending with “Hill Start Assist,” which retains the driver-generated brake pressure long enough for the foot to move from brake pedal to throttle without the car rolling backward. When driving through various terrains, it was visible that the adaptable cars were designed for highperformance dynamics on- and off-road. Land Rover Experience Driving Schools focus on environmentally sound and responsible four-wheel driving. With each school, there is a new amazing off-road terrain for students and instructors to experience the fullest extent behind the wheel. Driving schools across the country and Canada include New England’s Equinox resort in Vermont, where you can drive over rock and

boulder covered terrain; the Fairmont Le Château Montebello in Canada, which offers snow and ice driving lessons; Quail Lodge in California, where you learn how to drive over logs; and, of course, the Biltmore in North Carolina’s beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. Now you really don’t have to go to Africa to experience the great outdoors from behind the seat of a car. For more information, go to and search Driving Schools.

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t’s a rich tradition that’s virtually inaccessible. Those very words describe the mystique of the revered Pine Valley Golf Course in New Jersey – one of the most exclusive venues in the world, crowned for decades the best golf course on earth. A first-class experience, with a new challenge at every turn, the exquisite fairways have been anointed with visits from royalty, presidents, celebrities and the best golfers of each and every generation for nearly 100 years.

The Intriguing Allure Pine Valley’s intentional efforts at remaining out of the limelight only add to its allure in the minds of golfers and nongolfers alike. No major golf tournaments have ever been held there, and the public is allowed onto the course just one day a year, the final round of the Club’s Crump Cup, a wonderful amateur tournament named after its founder George Crump. You can’t get on to play a round unless invited by a member; women can only play on Sundays; the Club’s membership list is strictly confidential; golfers cannot apply for membership -- they must be asked by a non-published board of directors; and membership fees are among the best kept secrets in the world. If you have to ask, you probably can’t afford it. The focus of the Club is golf, true to its creator’s intent. No pool, no country club atmosphere, and a rustic yet comfortable clubhouse and accommodations remind you that Pine Valley is all about one thing only – a tremendous experience in playing a round of golf. Views of each hole, comments about how to play them, and the difficulty of the course (a staggering slope of 155!) abound on the Internet and are well worth a look by any golfer or golf aficionado. But the real story of Pine Valley lies behind the scenes, with its storied past contributing to the first-class operation of today.

Meet George Crump George Crump was a successful Philadelphia businessman at the turn of the 20th century. The city and its surrounding counties, including those of New Jersey across the Delaware River, were thriving centers of manufacturing, transportation, medicine and the arts. The time from the end of the Civil War to World War I saw unprecedented wealth creation for the great number of area citizens, and those who could managed to devote their time to creating a plethora of golf courses in the area. The oldest, Philadelphia Cricket Club, was founded before the Civil War, and grew so much after the War that it opened up a second course on the east side of the Schuylkill River. Dubbed “The East Course,” the members there broke away from Philly Cricket to create their club, the famous Merion Golf Club. George Crump In spite of these rich golf traditions, the story is that a journalist wrote that the Philadelphia golfing community would not produce top-flight professionals due to what he perceived to be a lack of truly challenging courses. Crump, a serious and good golfer in his own right, with several other Philadelphia businessmen took umbrage, and set out to build a course to rival – if not exceed – any other in the world. Crump sold his holdings in the hotel business, and bought land in the Pine Continued on page 64


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The focus of the Pine Valley Club is golf, true to its creator’s intent. No pool, no country club atmosphere, and a rustic yet comfortable clubhouse and accommodations remind you that Pine Valley is all about one thing only – a tremendous experience in playing a round of golf.

THE holy grail

of golf

Pine VaLLey by Stephen Joseph Keeler

Summer 2012

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Pine Valley Continued from page 62 Barrens of New Jersey, nearly 200 acres at first of sand, pines trees

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and swamp. Crump brought in some of the best golf designers of the time to help him, but he laid out much of the course, set the key principles of its layout and ran the construction teams that drained the swamps and moved the earth.

The ultimate golf experience Creating that first-class experience, from that day to this, requires a world-class operation that hums, from a dedicated golf pro staff, grounds crew and hospitality staff that work round the clock. All staff is expected to contribute in creating the experience; caddies stay so long that they end up with specializations, some in wind, some on fairways, and some just on the greens. Senior staff is recruited to manage and execute on Crump’s vision, and the rigorous selection process pays off year after year. Not many winters ago, for example, a series of vicious ice storms and freezing rain left sheets of ice on the greens; while some clubs lost their greens, Pine Valley’s head groundskeeper day after day poked holes through the ice on every green, ensuring that the grass still had valuable oxygen to survive the deep cold.

Pine Valley: Golf Course has its own municipality! So dedicated was Pine Valley to preserving the intent of its founder that it formed itself into its own borough in the 1920s. Several members and senior management live in the borough, creating a community centered on golf and the Club. (Their children may attend a grammar school just outside the back gate; one day, some young

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students playing basketball in the school playground were thrilled to see a visiting Michael Jordan come out of the back gate to shoot a few between rounds of golf.) Players originally could take a train on the Philadelphia-Camden to Atlantic City line; now, while some do helicopter in, most drive down a backwoods road, cross those tracks to enter the borough and Club, and – with the warm greeting by staff in the quaint guardhouse – enter a golfer’s paradise. More really cannot be said, as words do not do it justice; if you’re a golfer who has been there, you are already nodding your head in agreement. If you’re a golfer who hasn’t, you must not die before you do. And if you aren’t a golfer, you may now want to take up the game.

Preferred Parking Solutions Laurie Gregan 561-339-3438 Paul Stockall 305-510-0503 e-mail 64

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Step into The

DaVinci Code

Secrets to some of the best Dan Brown inspired international tours By john D. adams Photo courtesy of john D. Adams Summer 2012

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Vatican City

n Dan Brown’s best-selling thrillers “The Da Vinci Code,” “Angels & Demons,” and “The Lost Symbol,” his protagonist, Professor Robert Langdon scours the globe in search of clues to Illuminati mysteries. Fans of the fictional series have been captivated by the very real locales and religions presented in the books; and because of the popularity of both the series and related films, Browninspired tours have emerged around the world. Here we offer up a few suggestions:

The Da Vinci Code Considering the number of “Da Vinci Code” tours offered around the world, you should start with those officially sanctioned. Surprisingly, the Louvre in Paris and the Vatican in Vatican City offer your safest bets. Paris. The Louvre’s “The Da Vinci Code, Between Fiction and Fact” is a selfguided tour that allows visitors to walk in the footsteps of the heroes in the novel, exploring places, works and themes at the heart of the story. The film adaptation was filmed in part of the museum’s galleries and this “trail” created by the Louvre provides an amusing tour of the museum. The trail begins at the Hall Napoleon, located under the Pyramid; continuing through the The Salon Carre; The Mona Lisa; The Death of the Virgin; and many other locations, concluding at the salles rouges and the inverted Pyramid.

Photo CouRtesy of tungtopgun /


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Rome. Beneath an expansive concrete ceiling, thousands of ancient parchments and cracked leather volumes fill the stacks of the Vatican’s “secret library.” Due to mounting interest and not a small amount of controversy, the Vatican has created a six-month exhibit at Rome’s Capitoline Museum that will display documents usually locked away in the Vatican Secret Archives. This institution has long been a source of intrigue, providing Dan Brown the opportunity to speculate on its holdings.

Angels & Demons In 1600 Rome, one of the most influential secret societies in history was born – The Illuminati. Gian Lorenzo Bernini and Galileo Galilei, the twin heads of the society, peppered the Eternal City with clues and enigmas which, once solved, would lead Illuminati to a hidden lair… Fans of Brown’s Vatican-set adventure can follow in Langdon’s footsteps on this Official Angels and Demons Tour. You’ll visit St. Peter’s Square; St. Maria del Popolo Church; Piazza Navona; and many other spectacular sites. Group and private tours are available. For the even more adventurous, consider the Rome by night walking tour: “The Dark Heart of Rome.” Visit for additional details.

The Lost Symbol Codes and symbols abound in our Mason-influenced capital city. Brown’s most recent thriller brings Professor Langdon to Washington, DC. While not offering an official guided tour, there’s no better way to uncover these mysterious landmarks than by contacting the Washington, DC Visitor and Convention Bureau. With their assistance, you can explore the secret side of the nation’s capital – visit The George Washington Masonic National Memorial, the House of the Temple, the U.S. Botanical Gardens and more to learn about Freemasons; the city’s design; and the hidden symbols and signs that proliferate the city. Visit: Or call 1-800-635-MEET to get more information.

At right is one of the angels from the Bridge of Angels designed by Gianlorenzo Bernini. This angel is describing one of the stations of the cross (aka, Passion of Christ). This is the “Casting of the Lots.” The angel is holding Christ’s robes that the Roman guards had gambled away. To add to the symbolism, Bernini incorporates dice within the robes for ease in reading the artwork to deduce which station of the cross it represents. (A&D connection: Langdon crosses this bridge to get to Castel Sant Angelo)

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Cigars, Politics


American elections By Tony Hyman, National Cigar History Museum

A century ago, elections were grand public affairs — band concerts, parades, handbills, posters, banners, saloon arguments, a ham from the ward heeler, and cigars. Always cigars. From the smoke-ďŹ lled rooms of Tammany Hall to the muddy, unpaved streets of rural America, cigars were part of every political confrontation.


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ince the 1860s, elections have been special times for cigar makers, wholesalers, and retailers alike, all of whom quickly learned there was money to be made by covering boxes with labels picturing

candidates and issues and offering them for sale wherever opinions ran hot. Saloons, pool halls, barber shops and men’s clubs were favorite spots – for both politics and cigars. The earliest living American politician known to have appeared on a cigar label was Henry Clay, who visited Cuba in 1850 and was honored with a long-lived cigar brand, possibly before he left the island. Plagiarizing ideas was

A bloated Uncle Sam after taking over Cuba, Puerto Rico and The Philippines, all in need of “civilizing” according to Republicans.

common among Cubans, one of whom who reasoned if one famous American orator’s name and picture could sell Tony Hyman

cigars, tres grandes politicos might sell even more.

During the 1830s, ’40s, and ’50s, the Cubans experimented widely with shapes and sizes of labels to decorate the millions of boxes of cigars they were shipping worldwide. The lithographic design and the absence of a beard on Lincoln (shown on right) tends to place this cigar box before Lincoln became President, or very early in his term. Was it originally ordered by a Lincoln supporter to help raise recognition or drum up votes? We’ll never know.

1868 Ulysses S. Grant  vs.  Horatio Seymour Heavy smoking wildly popular Civil War hero Ulysses S. Grant helped bring cigars into the mainstream.  Grant became the only presidential candidate whose campaign song touted his love of cigars when “A-Smoking His Cigar” was introduced: “The people know just what they want. Less talk and no more war. For President, Ulysses Grant a-smoking his cigar.”  

1892 Free Trade  vs.  Protectionism A large “McKinley Stinker” poster (shown below) criticizes the McKinley tariff act of 1891 which sent the price of Cuban cigars and Cuban tobacco skyrocketing, thus driving down the quality of domestic cigars

This may be the first Lincoln label, but certainly not the last. Lincoln has appeared on more cigar labels than any other person, more than 1,000 different.

dependent on the latter for blending. The tariff was but one of the reasons the Republicans lost the election of 1892. Recovery from the hard times of the early ‘90s and the decisive victory in the Spanish-American War (in which his VP candidate played a noisy role) helped McKinley score a decisive victory.

1912 Woodrow Wilson vs.  Teddy Roosevelt  vs. William Howard Taft Popular Speaker of the House “Champ” Clark competed against Wilson for the Democratic nomination, narrowly losing on the 46th ballot. Wilson won the nomination and the election, becoming only the second Democrat to live in the White A large “McKinley Stinker” poster criticizes the McKinley tariff act of 1891 which sent the price of Cuban cigars and Cuban tobacco skyrocketing.

This Binghamton, NY, brand was created at least two years before Grant ran for the Presidency.

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House between 1856 and 1932. Roosevelt, unable to secure Republican party support, founded the Bull Moose Party and became the last 3rd Party candidate to come in second in a Presidential vote.

CIGARS IN THE WHITE HOUSE Researchers have claimed as many as 20 U.S. Presidents smoked an occasional cigar, but only a few were cigar connoisseurs. Though he was a heavy smoker, it would be difficult to count the short-time-in-office Zack Taylor since the cigars of 1849 would have been less than This box was created in 1912 to support exemplary, but presumably he smoked the Teddy Roosevelt in the election. best available. Wealthy Chester Arthur, who took over for the assassinated Garfield in 1881, was a party animal whose lifestyle was excessive, crammed with quality food, drink and cigars. Turn-of-the-century William McKinley’s passion for cigars was exceeded only by Grant’s, but unlike the latter made a point of rarely being seen smoking in public. Fussy about the condition of his cigars, prohibition-era Warren Harding brought his personal humidor with him to the White House. John Kennedy was one of the best known cigar smoking chief executives. Contrary to popular myth that Cuban cigars were his standard, John Kennedy smoked Philippine cigars shipped from the islands in wooden boxes carved with his initials. Brother Robert did the same. Their despised rival, Dick Nixon, a sometimes smoker of cigars, became the last President to routinely offer cigars to White House guests after dinner.

John Kennedy was one of the best known cigar smoking chief executives.

We have to wonder whether that gracious custom will be revived anytime soon. President Obama is a cigarette smoker, but hides the fact, never smoking in public. But, someday cigars will re-enter the home of our nation’s leader. Although a woman will undoubtedly take over the country eventually, the reality of American political life is that, with a few exceptions, most Presidents are smart, wealthy and male, qualities shared by the majority of cigar devotees.

This trade card depicts Blaine and his VP candidate John Logan, who says, “We’ve got the nomination, but to get elected we must keep the boys supplied with CAPADURAS,” then one of the nation’s biggest selling cigars. It’s an early reference by a major maker to use cigars as bribes.

PEOPLES CHOICE proved to be a prophetic name with Cleveland sweeping the election.


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Expert Advice for International Real Estate Investors By Nicole Tufts


cultural melting pot, Miami has become the ideal location for international buyers who are looking to purchase property abroad.

The Florida Association of Realtors reported in a recent survey that about 75 percent of their business comes from international clientele. It makes sense that property in South Florida is a good investment because of its subtropical weather, beautiful scenery, and the multicultural lifestyle. Nevertheless, international buyers can face many challenges during the acquisition of a new property in the states. The Miami Herald reported in January that international buyers are confronted with issues regarding taxes, immigration, and loans when buying real estate in the United States. To address and manage these potential complications and ease the process for international buyers, Monica Venegas created the Venegas International Group, a real estate company specializing in the sale of high-end luxury property to foreign buyers. “After the mortgage debacle, U.S lenders can be reluctant to loan to foreign buyers, and may limit lending to 50 percent or less of the property’s value,” said Venegas. “So it’s important that international buyers consult an experienced international real estate professional who cannot only locate a property of their dreams, but also guide them in the purchasing process.”

highly desirable areas like South of Fifth, the Art District, Brickell, Sunny Isles, Bal Harbour and Key Biscayne among others. Her company operates like a private bank and provides direct counseling to all clients, creating a personal relationship, and helping clients to “diversify and enrich their portfolios.” The Venegas International Group ensures a smart investment by providing advice, measurable returns, and expert risk assessment, as well as supplying property management services that include dealing with and billing tenants, property inspection, cleaning, and turnkey maintenance of the property. Venegas works to ensure foreign buyers who purchase property in South Florida receive a viable transaction and an ideal investment. In development sales, presently Venegas International Group is exclusively representing the sales and marketing of Chateau Beach Residences in Sunny Isles. The latest ultra luxury Ocean Front Development is being developed by “Chateau Group.”  Now taking reservations!

Other issues international buyers often need help navigating include the possibility of increased interest rates compared to Americans, and the process of transferring funds into the United States. Reports indicate that more than 80 percent of international real estate transactions are cash deals, which can raise delicate issues such as tax issues related to a client’s native country. All the more reason why dealing with an international real estate expert with an excellent track record in helping customers, such as Venegas, is crucial.

Monica Venegas, Principal 888 Biscayne Blvd. Suite #111 Miami, Florida 33132 786.567.4122 (www.venegasinternational

After 18 years of experience in the international market representing and dealing with developer sales, Venegas went on her own and has expanded her company to serve customers in Europe, South America, and Asia. Venegas’ creativity and ambition have opened the doors for international buyers to seek property in South Florida in

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888 Biscayne Boulevard Suite 111, Miami, Florida, 33132 EXCLUSIVE SALES & MARKETING BY

T. +1.786.567.4122 / 1.888.925.3094 F. +1.786.567.4133



or centuries, castles have served as remnants of history. They have long been admired for their magnificent architecture, spectacular estates and connection to bygone eras. If you have ever dreamed of living in a castle, consider renting one for your next vacation.

“Being able to rent your own private castle likely conjures up childhood fantasies for many travelers,” said Jon Gray, Vice President of HomeAway, an online marketplace for luxury vacation rentals. “For women, it’s the allure of experiencing the fairy tale; for men, perhaps it’s the historic significance of why castles were built in the first place – for protection! Castle rentals are extremely unique in their offerings – from amenities like a wine cellar to having an authentic moat! Castle vacation rentals give travelers the opportunity to fulfill a dream and at the same time have a more unique, authentic vacation experience.”

E u r op e a n

Castle Vacations A Royal Experience

By Cynthia Terpstra

Château Marouatte Nestled in the Dordogne region of Périgord Vert, one of the most ancient and exquisite areas of France, Château Marouatte is a 14th century fortified castle replete with history, fairy-tale charm and modern comforts. Château Marouatte offers breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding countryside and provides a stunning venue for vacations and special events. C. Fully restored, every room of Château Marouatte is uniquely styled with antiques and original features. The castle sleeps 23 guests; 12 bedrooms are split into five different areas, each on a separate level or within a tower. The Chapel Wing 74

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Château Marouatte


evening of regional wine and cheese tasting; and a truffle hunt. Special events include private wedding celebrations, chef-hosted banquets and murder mystery evenings. To learn more about Château Marouatte’s rich history, accommodations and amenities, visit

Le Château de La Bourlie

Le Château de La Bourlie

Situated in the heart of the Périgord, atop a hillside surrounded by extraordinary gardens, rolling meadows and woodlands, Le Château de La Bourlie ensures serenity and privacy. This enchanting 14th century castle, with its sand-colored stones typical of the Périgord Noir, radiates warmth and charm. Climbing roses cover the walls of La Bourlie and lemon trees line the courtyard. La Bourlie consists of the Fournial and the Chapelain and sleeps up to nine people. Rooms are comfortably furnished with family antiques and include original features, such as beamed and vaulted ceilings, open fireplaces and terracotta tiled floors. Visit

Roch Castle

Roch Castle

Built by Norman Knight Adam de Rupe as a frontier defense fortress between 1195-1210, Roch Castle has been restored and transformed into a luxury retreat. Roch Castle is located in Pembrokeshire Wales and is set high upon a rock, providing panoramic views over the Irish Sea, Welsh mountains and the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park. The castle includes six en suite bedrooms that sleep 12 guests, a main hall accented by a dramatic volcanic stone rockface, a rooftop sunroom, reception room, a dining room, a tower top gym and stone vaulted study. The castle’s extensive gardens and chapel make it the ideal wedding venue. Visit

Lisheen Castle

Lisheen Castle includes the dining hall, kitchen, den, a master suite on the first floor and a spiral staircase that leads to five additional bedrooms. The Cloche Tower houses the Salle d’Honeur, Games Room and two bedrooms. These two bedrooms – Queen Mother I and Queen Mother II – were created from one large space above the Salle d’Honeur for a visit by the Queen Mother (mother of Queen Elizabeth II), who requested two identical, en suite bedrooms for her and her Lady-in-Waiting. The magnificent 240-acre estate includes a swimming pool, tennis court and beautiful walks. Guests can enjoy breakfast with locally baked French breads and pastries; a sumptuous meal created by a local chef; an

If the idea of traveling to Ireland and visiting its many splendid historical sites appeals to you, consider a vacation at Lisheen Castle. Located centrally in the County of Tipperary, Lisheen Castle is a 19th century battlemented Tudor-style structure, with side turrets, and a central machicolated turret enclosing the main doorway. Lisheen Castle combines the grandeur of earlier times with modern comfort and opulent living. Accommodations for up to 16 guests include nine bedrooms, eight of which are en suite. Noteworthy features include beautiful ash-carved stairs, a charming old-style kitchen, library and dining room. Visit If you would like to learn more about the many castles available for private rental, visit or

Summer 2012

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Island Paradise Celebrating the History of Key Biscayne By Cynthia Terpstra Six miles off the Miami coast, separated by the crystal blue waters of Biscayne Bay, is Key Biscayne, the southernmost barrier island of the continental U.S. Prized for its tropical landscapes, beautiful beaches, and spectacular coral reefs, Key Biscayne has attracted travelers for centuries and is now considered an idyllic location for both homeowners and tourists. The island’s rich history has also played a fascinating role in the evolution of South Florida. Joan Gill Blank, longtime Key Biscayne resident, historian, and author, recently discussed the island’s history and shared her private collection of artifacts and memorabilia during “Key Biscayne: Island of Shifting Sands,” an exhibition at the Museum of History Miami.

Early Settlers The Tequesta Indians were Key Biscayne’s earliest settlers. Seven-miles long by two-miles wide, this island paradise provided an ample diet of wildlife, tropical fruit, and seafood. Cypress and palms were used to build a string of fishing and whaling villages, and canoes carved from native hardwoods enabled the Tequesta Indians to fish the island’s shallows and offshore reefs.


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Image from the Davis Family collection


n 1513, Juan Ponce de León “discovered” the island while searching for the elusive “Fountain of Youth.” He claimed the island for King Ferdinand II of Spain and named it Santa Maria. It was during this era that gold, silver, and other treasures carried by Spanish galleons were lost in shipwrecks caused by the perilous coral reefs off Key Biscayne. Florida was traded by Spain to England then back again in the 1700s. In 1790, petitions for Royal Spanish land grants were entertained and the first one issued for South Florida was for Key Biscayne. Spain bequeathed Key Biscayne to the Fornell family, who came to the island from Mallorca, Spain, at the turn of the century. In 1821, Florida became a territory of the U.S. and Mary Ann Davis (shown left) and her husband purchased the land from the Fornell family. Davis sold property for the Cape Florida Lighthouse in 1824 to the U.S. government.

The Cape Florida Lighthouse Built in 1825, the Cape Florida Lighthouse on the southeast tip of Key Biscayne is the oldest historical structure in South Florida and is listed on the National Register of

Historical Places. The original 65-foot tower was destroyed during the Second Seminole War. It was 1845 before the new tower was completed and, in 1855, it was raised to 95 feet. In 1861, the lighthouse became a casualty of war once again when Confederate sympathizers smashed its lamp to thwart Union soldiers who controlled the surrounding water.

The lighthouse was taken out of active service in 1878 but was relit 100 years later and is now open to the public. According to Blank, the view from the lighthouse, with its panoramic view over the ocean, down through the Keys, across Biscayne Bay and up the peninsula, was “the best in town before there was a town.”

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Romantic Paradise Waters Smith Davis, son of Mary Ann Davis, returned to Key Biscayne from 1890 – 1913 and built the first waterfront home on Cape Florida. Described as “commodious” by Blank, the house was co-designed by Davis with Commodore Ralph Munroe, an early pioneer of Coconut Grove. The location was chosen as an island retreat with the closest neighbors across Biscayne Bay in Coconut Grove. By 1908, New York businessman William J. Matheson had purchased the northern two thirds of the island and proceeded to build a coconut plantation, the largest in the U.S. He also brought in flowering and fruiting hardwoods, making the island a more inviting habitat for butterflies and birds. It was at this time that Key Biscayne became known as a romantic paradise thanks to the lush flora and fauna. For many years, the “elite of the winter colony” William J. Matheson – Vanderbilt, Mellon, Carnegie – opened the Miami season at Matheson’s plantation house (Mashta House) overlooking Biscayne Bay.

Mashta House was designed to create the illusion that it was floating on water, giving a magical and lasting impression for visitors including the Mellons, the Vanderbilts, Carnegies, and Fields who tied up their yachts on Matheson’s seawalls and docks to celebrate the opening of the Miami social season. Today, Key Biscayne is home to private residences and luxury resorts. Its beaches are consistently rated among the world’s best, and the island is recognized as one of the nation’s best areas for snorkeling, scuba diving, sailing, and windsurfing. Key Biscayne also hosts the Sony Ericsson Open, held each year at the Crandon Park Tennis Center, and is home to Crandon Golf Course, named one of Florida’s top 10 golf courses. To learn more about Key Biscayne’s intriguing history, read Key Biscayne: A History of Miami’s Tropical Island and the Cape Florida Lighthouse by Joan Gill Blank (Pineapple Press, 1996).

Key Biscayne Historic Trivia The infamous pirate Black Caesar marauded ships off these waters and was said to have “a madness for jewels and a passion for luxury.” Famed explorer Ponce de León was so captivated by the island’s beauty he stopped here on his search for the Fountain of Youth and christened it “Santa Maria.” Coconut has always been an important part of the Key Biscayne landscape. In fact, the island was once the largest coconut plantation in the United States at the turn of the 20th century. Tequesta Indian settlers on Key Biscayne named the island “Favorite Path of the Rising Moon” because of the remarkable vistas during a full moon. The Key Biscayne Cape Florida Lighthouse is one of the oldest in the country and is the only lighthouse in the U.S. to ever have suffered an Indian attack.


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Black Caesar – shown here sparring with Jose “Gasparilla” Gaspar – was an African pirate in the 18th century who raided ships in the Florida Keys for a decade. He served as chief lieutenant of Captain Blackbeard’s ship Queen Anne’s Revenge.


Let us suggest the perfect chaise lounge to ponder your next cocktail.


Let us help you rejuvenate with a heavenly head-to-toe beauty glow.



Let us introduce you to our tropical oasis minutes away from Downtown Miami.

Let us give you endless reasons to stay longer.

Experience Key Biscayne with the uncompromising service only we can offer. For reservations, or information on how to host an event, please call The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami at 305-365-4500, visit or call your professional travel agent. For information regarding our exclusive VIP Card Program, please contact 305-365-4208.

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St. Regis Grandeur Arrives in Bal Harbour


outh Florida socialites are enchanted by the elegance unveiled recently at the St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort – the most anticipated hotel grand opening of 2012 according to Forbes. Guests here enjoy the same rich heritage as first branded by the inaugural St. Regis New York during the glamorous Gilded Age. No one would disagree that the St. Regis is synonymous with extraordinary class, yet even the most in-the-know hospitality aficionados will find the story of St. Regis’ rich legacy most intriguing … including its little-known link to the Titanic.

Bringing the legacy to life The story of St. Regis begins at the forefront of New York’s Gilded Age, where an elite group of supremely wealthy families rose to form the country’s first aristocracy. Among them were such illustrious names as Carnegie, Vanderbilt and Rockefeller. The leaders of this new social class were the Astors, with matriarch Caroline Astor at the helm of high society. Visionary and tenacious, “The” Mrs. Astor created the first true expression of New York society by hand-selecting those with whom she associated – known as the “400.” This new experience of exclusivity made even the wealthiest and most renowned eager to become a member of her inner circle.

A new era of grandeur It was at this time that Lady Astor’s son, Colonel John Jacob Astor IV, began developing a new style of luxury focused on tangible advancements in the comforts afforded the wealthy. These innovations were debuted inside Astor’s classic Beaux Arts landmark, The St. Regis New York, when it opened in 1904 on 55th Street and Fifth Avenue.

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Before his untimely demise aboard the Titanic (see page 44 for the 100th anniversary of Titanic), Astor – the wealthiest man on the ill-fated ship – was able to fulfill his vision of creating a hotel where gentlemen and their families could feel as comfortable as they would as guests in a private home. This was in no small part due to the acumen of Lady Astor, who helped cultivate a sense of luxury and refinement in all aspects of the hotel’s operation. Fresh flowers were brought in daily, an Englishstyle butler and afternoon tea services were implemented and exclusive social gatherings, such as a midnight supper, created an air of grandeur inside the St. Regis that enthralled its guests. St. Regis ushered in a new era of lavish parties, balls and suppers – occasions previously confined to the private homes of the elite – and thus became the next social hub for years to come. Throughout its history, St. Regis has invariably attracted the most glamorous, creative and intriguing personalities of each era. Colonel Serge Obelensky, the Russian Prince who grew up to marry Alice Astor, was associated with St. Regis for many years. Marlene Dietrich lived at St. Regis, as did Salvador Dali and his wife, Gala. In more than a century since its inception, St. Regis has experienced remarkable growth, expanding its portfolio with hotels and resorts in such coveted locations as Singapore, London, San Francisco, Rome, Bali – and now Bal Harbour. St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort is located at 9703 Collins Avenue. For reservations, call 305-993-3300.

Portrait of Mrs. Caroline Astor by Carolus-Duran, which was placed prominently in Astor’s home. She would stand in front of it when receiving guests for receptions. 82

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St. Regis Bar Mural by Santiago Rubino The St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort features a total of 243 elegantly appointed guest accommodations, which all include spacious glass-enclosed balconies with floor-to-ceiling panoramic views of the ocean and white sand beach. A Peerless Haven in Bal Harbour With its oceanfront elegance, quiet unwavering taste, anticipatory service and seductive amenities, St. Regis is an exclusive enclave located directly across from the celebrated Bal Harbour Shops.  As a pampered guest, you’ll wake in the morning as the gentle breeze of the Atlantic invites you to start the day. Indulge in spa services at Remède or simply stroll the beach as the ocean caresses the sand. Enjoy gastro-pleasing delights by Jean-Georges at J&G Grill. In the evening, enjoy cocktails poolside or an in-room dinner party, seamlessly executed by your St. Regis Butler. You may also consider ownership at the St. Regis Bal Harbour Residences. Experience a lifestyle like no other on Florida’s Gold Coast. Awaken & Indulge package, rates from $549 per night, includes: • $100 credit to the exceptional Remède Spa •D  aily breakfast for two at the resort’s restaurant, Atlantico E xperience Oceanfront Luxury with Fourth Night Free package from $499 per night includes (must be booked 7 days in advance): • Complimentary fourth night • $100 resort credit • Poolside Royal Cabana

EXCLUSIVE SUMMER OFFERINGS AT THE NEW ST. REGIS BAL HARBOUR RESORT Through October 1, 2012, a luxurious 650 square-foot Deluxe Ocean View guestroom with large private balcony and infinity ocean views is available from $349 per night for Florida residents. Or indulge in one of these special summer packages based on availability:

Love Your Family package, priced from $499 per night, includes (must be booked 4 days in advance): • $50 resort credit • Poolside Royal Cabana • Either one SPG Kids Pass, which gives children 12 and under the opportunity to eat and drink on an allinclusive basis when accompanied by his/her parent (excluding in-room dining and minibar) • OR one Kids Club Pass for children ages 4-12 to participate in art adventures, sports, team building, swimming, outdoor adventures and more. For reservations, call 855-993-0700.

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Historic Private

across the country

By Alex Starace


South Florida OPULENCE

Summer 2012

Painting by Jeff Williams In 2007, Jeff was invited to participate in the prestigious Societe Nationale des BeauxArts Show at the Carrousel Du Louvre in Paris. He was commissioned as the Official Artist for the 2009 Kentucky Derby. Jeff’s paintings hang in private and commercial collections worldwide. He is represented by many fine galleries across the United States.

id you know that the first gentlemen’s club was a chocolate shop? In 1693, an Italian man named Francesco Bianco opened a store called Mrs. White’s Chocolate Shop in the West End of London. At the time, hot chocolate was a rare delicacy, and only the elite could afford to consume it. Moreover, the shop was near St. James Palace, where Royal business was handled. As a result, the chocolate shop functioned like a club where aristocrats could debate political and social matters before going to the palace to conduct their official duties. Before long, the shop changed its business model and became chartered as a club, known as White’s. Many other establishments followed suit and, in the ensuing century, the phenomena of clubs became more common. During the 1700s, most clubs served primarily as gambling houses since gambling was illegal, with the lone exception being when it took place inside a members-only club. It wasn’t until the 19th century that gentlemen’s clubs became what we think of them as today: social hubs where men could fraternize, discuss business and eat without the perceived encumbrance of their wives and children. During the 1800s, as more British men became eligible to vote through a series of reforms, more men also became eligible for club membership, which had always been reserved for the enfranchised. Due to these egalitarian social changes, by the 1880s club life was elemental to British social life – all men of standing were members in at least one club. In fact, many young men would take a room in a club and live there full-time for months, or even years, until they had the money to rent an apartment of their own.

‘21’ Club at 21 West 52nd Street in New York City. Image courtesy of LeRoy Neiman.

In the United States, most major cities also had

broad swath of society, meaning that there were

ful, and fewer men felt the need to spend the bulk of their social life in their club. As a result, interest and membership dropped. In response, clubs opened their membership to women, and marketed themselves as a haven for refined dining, intellectual talks and high-end sports clubs, rather than as an all-inclusive social sphere. It is in this manner that the club lives on today.

enough clubs that most interested men could

21 Club – New York City

find membership in at least one. This system

In the United States, one such club is the 21 Club in New York City, which got its name from its address at 21 West 52nd Street, and which began

clubs during this period. These clubs, as with their counterparts in England, made much effort to be exclusive. The fewer members a club took, and the more well-heeled those members were, the more prestigious the club. However, despite some clubs’ exclusivity, clubs were popular with a

worked well until the 1960s, when the notion of a men’s-only club became increasingly distaste-

‘21’ Secret Wine Cellar History

On a warm summer evening in June 1932, during the height of America’s Prohibition Era, 10 federal agents knock on the door of the most famous speakeasy in New York, ‘21’. Jimmy, the  doorman, squints through the peephole and, seeing the officers, activates a secret alarm that alerts  the management that a raid is imminent. Seconds later, federal officers burst in and ransack the building looking for liquor. After hours of searching the premises, law enforcement agents admit defeat and leave  without finding the two thousand cases of contraband hidden downstairs. Years later, the great mystery as to why the agents never found the liquor was revealed – ’21’s secret Wine Cellar, perhaps the most elaborately disguised vault in New York City.

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as a speakeasy. During the prohibition era, the 21 Club had a secret wine cellar that was only accessible from the building next door, making it impossible to discover during raids. Once prohibition was over, the 21 Club became the go-to location for celebrities and politicians to store their wine. The impressive list of patrons include JFK, Joan Crawford, Ernest Hemingway, Al Jolson, Judy Garland and Richard Nixon.

the New York Public Library, one of the early Madison Square Gardens, and the Boston Public Library. The Algonquin accepts membership applications from anyone over 21 with ties to Boston and includes among its members former Boston University president John Silber, and the former head of the Boston Public Library, Bernie Margolis.

university club – chicago

Miami’s most famous gentlemen’s club, The Surf Club, retains a bit of a different flavor, since it is mere steps from the ocean, and therefore also serves as a luxury ocean-side resort. Founded in 1930, its most famous guests include General Douglas MacArthur, Elizabeth Taylor, Senator Bob Dole, and singer Julio Iglesias. Well-known singer Tony Bennett has performed for club events and the club regularly hosts charity balls. For members interested in staying the night, The Surf Club offers luxury rooms with full amenities.

Another famous United States club is the University Club in Chicago, which is located in the heart of the Loop, next to Millennium Park and the recently re-done Art Institute. It was opened in 1887 by alumni from Harvard, Princeton and Yale who wanted an intellectual salon in which college graduates could discuss artistic, political and social matters. The club, which has been visited by Winston Churchill, holds a substantial collection of art, which includes works by luminaries such as Ed Paschke, Roger Brown and Gladys Nilsson.

ALgonquin club – boston In Boston, the Algonquin Club remains preeminent. The clubhouse, which is located in Back Bay, was designed and built in 1888 by the renowned Beaux-Arts architectural firm McKim, Mead & White, which also built 11 branches of

The Surf Club is Miami’s most famous gentlemen’s club. 86

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The Surf Club – Miami

So, while the gentlemen’s club has evolved over the course of five centuries, today it remains part of a robust culture, both in the United States and The University Club in Chicago at the corner England – and it can now be enjoyed by both of Michigan Avenue and Monroe Street is an men and women. architectural landmark.

The Algonquin Club of Boston maintains the same commitment to member hospitality as when first conceived 125 years ago.


men’s Accessories The Art of Shaving Full Size Kit Sandalwood 

The 4 Elements of The Perfect Shave® combine The Art of Shaving’s aromatherapy-based products, handcrafted accessories and expert shaving technique to provide optimal shaving results while helping against ingrown hairs, razor burn, and nicks and cuts. The Full Size Kit offers 2 oz. Pre-Shave Oil, 5 oz. Shaving Cream, 3.4 oz. After-Shave Balm, and a Pure Badger Ivory Shaving Brush. Saks Dadeland $100.00

Salvatore Ferragamo Gem Logo Cufflinks 

A dazzling accessory to complete your professional shirting, made from gold-finished brass and featuring Ferragamo’s logo across the clean horizontal band. Brass. Made in Italy. Logo on front and back. Bloomingdale’s $195.00

Dolce & Gabbana Fragrance  The One Gentlemen After Shave Balm Fragrance Family: A sublime oriental fougere that speaks of understated allure and innate confidence. Nieman Marcus $39.00

Creed Spice and Wood 

An homage to the romance of Antony and Cleopatra is the second in the Royal Exclusives collection-within-thecollection. 8.4 ounces, $575.00

Jack Spade Coal Tote Bag

Dolce & Gabbana  Grommet Aviators

This aviator style exudes effortless cool, crafted in lightweight metal with grommet detail. Available in gold frames with brown lenses. Metal. 100% UV Protection. Made in Italy. Saks Dadeland $290.00

This durable, downtown tote is perfect for everyday use with its modern color block design and reinforced material. Canvas/ waxed cotton. Hand wash. Imported. Shoulder strap and handles. 1 interior zip pocket with name tag. Logo in front top corner. 19” W x 12” H x 6” D. 6.5” short drop, 54” long drop. Saks Dadeland $195.00

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We are attention grabbing. bal harbour

coral gables


fort lauderdale

boca raton

palm beach

Designed by suboo Madagascar Printed Mini Kaftan

SPLASH summer

Miami’s annual Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim showcases stunning Summer collections for 2013.

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Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim 2012 Number of Designers Reaches All-Time High in Miami With an overwhelming number of designers presenting at the world’s largest swim industry event, more collections and a second group show were added to the jam-packed swimwear fashion lineup this summer in Miami. Highly regarded as the go-to event for swimwear designers to debut their latest collections, and for buyers to plan their upcoming assortments, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim showcased more than 30 international designers. Here are some of the striking swimwear ensembles you’ll soon find in South Florida boutiques…

Designed by suboo Quilla Qua Maxi Skirt


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designed by Australia-based designer Colin Heaney at

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Women’s Accessories Miu Miu Sandals

Prada Baroque Sunglasses Baroque scroll arms with silvertone logo at temples. 100% UVA/UVB protection. Made in Italy. $290 at Neiman Marcus.

Gold Starfish leather sandal with Swarovski crystal embellishments. Bloomingdale’s $750.00. Designer Shoe Salon.

Fendi Striped Bag & Sandals Multi-stripe pequin cotton and brown leather bag tote with black top handles, $1,770.00. Designer Handbags. White, red and navy B. Fab leather ankle-strap sandal, Bloomingdale’s $540.00. Designer Shoe Salon.


For women, master perfumer Olivier CREED takes us to Ceylon, a blossom of an island off India where the earth’s most diverse flowers grow. In a 1.7-oz. limited edition CREED leather atomizer at Neiman Marcus, $270.

jane iredale In Touch Cream Blush $27,


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Summer 2012

Famed New York Luxury Fragrance Maker Appears in Miami Little New York is often used to describe Miami because of the strong connection between residents and businesses in these vibrant metropolitan sister cities. No wonder why fragrance fans flocked to Saks Dadeland recently to meet the famed luxury fragrance maker Laurice Rahme of Bond No. 9 New York. You’ve seen the iconic hour-glass shaped Bond No. 9 bottles with designs depicting quintessential New York. Rahme is the perfume collection’s legendary creator, artist and founder. Rahme holds the license to I (heart) NY, which the state of NY gave her to create the Bond fragrance line that carries that name. South Florida Opulence met up with Rahme to chat about her latest release Central Park West – the biggest gardenia fragrance in the world. SFO: Laurice, what inspired you to launch the Bond No. 9 fragrance and brand it with New York? Laurice Rahme: The symbolic meaning of NYC and 911 is what influenced me. New York City brings many different emotions to many people – like Love and Inspiration. We are the official fragrance line of NY. Our best attributes are combining classic notes with a NY twist. At Bond, we bottle a piece of the city so the client can take a souvenir with them and always have fond memories of New York. SFO: What led you to create one called Central Park West?  Rahme: The biggest park in New York is Central Park West, which is why it is the biggest gardenia in the world. The connection between the gardenia notes with ylang ylang and jasmine (the strongest flower) amplify the scent. This is a fragrance that has a lot of diffusion and is long lasting due to the musk and moss.  Central Park West is available at Saks Fifth Avenue. $250 100ml; $180 50ml.

Summer 2012

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South Florida Our tropical paradise offers an enchanting selection of spa oases to renew a youthful beauty, energy and inner spirit. Try one of these superb resort-based spas.

“ Pure Bliss and Refinement” of Remède Spa at The St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort Heated floors, plushy robes and cashmere throws aim to fully spoil the guests at Remède Spa, an elegant oasis of pure bliss and refinement. The Bal Harbour 24-Karat Designer Facial is one of the many lush experiences offered at this contemporary, custom-furnished extension of the famed St. Regis resort. For this signature facial, a copper-enriched peel smooths away rough cells, preparing skin for a bejeweled gold oil serum to renew the complexion and enrich the spirit. The spa’s newest treatment, the Bal Harbour Brilliance Massage, provides an energetic release of blocked pathways using crystals, coral gemstones and sacred Tibetan chakra balancing techniques. Bal Harbour 24-Karat Designer Facial $275, Bal Harbour Brilliance Massage $225. Located at 9703 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33154. 305.993.3600. Open daily from 9 a.m.-8 p.m.

“ Hot & Cool Summer” at The Ritz-Carlton, South Beach The Ultimate Summer Escape starting at $99 at the The Ritz-Carlton Spa in South Beach has been extended through September 2012. The “Beauty and Beach” day package offers one 50-minute massage or facial, and access to the Ritz-Carlton’s plush beach chairs or bed for 2, serving as the chic, oceanside sanctuary for guests. This specially reduced package feels like the lap of luxury, a deal that’s available all summer long. “Beauty and Beach” Day Package $99, Sobe Tropical Massage (50 minutes) $119. Located at One Lincoln Road, Miami Beach FL 33131. 786.276.4090. Open Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sunday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.


South Florida OPULENCE

Summer 2012


South Florida

“ Moonlight Massage” at the Spa at the Breakers, Palm Beach Champagne, chocolate and moonlight therapies overlooking the ocean’s soft breaking waves provide savvy travelers one of the most tranquil spa experiences possible. This 90-minute treatment is only offered on the evenings of the full moon beginning at sunset on the Oceanfront Sanctuary, a secluded outdoor spa deck carefully prepared for your own happiness, or to be shared with a significant other. Enjoy being pampered on these select dates: August 1, 2, 31; September 1, 29, 30; October 29, 30; November 28, 29; December 28, 29. The Spa at The Breakers offers an entire host of marine-inspired treatments to complement its prized oceanfront location, situated adjacent to the Mediterranean-style Beach Club, which boasts a half-mile stretch of private beach. Moonlight Massage $315, Couples Moonlight Massage $630. Located at The Spa at The Breakers, One South County Road, Palm Beach, FL 33480. 561.653.6656. Open daily from 8 a.m.-8 p.m.

“Beauty by Mandarin Oriental,” Miami The Spa at Mandarin Oriental, the only Five-Star Spa in Florida to be awarded the Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Award, launches a new Beauty Suite this year, reserved exclusively for the spa’s most results-driven treatments. Guests can enjoy a series of anti-aging facials using high-tech equipment like the CACI Ultra machine and Oxygen machine, which conveniently give the impression of a mini facelift. Prefer to do the trick with natural makeup?

“Exclusive Rollerssage” at Heavenly Spa at Westin Beach Resort & Spa, Fort Lauderdale This unique massage, exclusive to Heavenly Spa, gives a new spin on hot stone treatments. Heated crystalline spheres, selected for their energy enhancing qualities, are rolled over the body, melting away tension and relaxing tight muscles, while restoring balance to one’s energy source. 50 minutes $130, 80 minutes $180. Located at 321 North Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd., Fort Lauderdale. 954.245.3040. Open Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Friday and Saturday 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sunday 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

The new 2012 Beauty Suite affords Mandarin spa-goers the exclusivity of a tucked-away professional makeup area that uses a mineral makeup line by La Bella Donna. The Spa at Mandarin Oriental supplies the effervescence to shine from head to toe. CACI Intensive Lift $260, Hydrating Oxygen Facial $250, Opulent Rejuvenescence Facial $400. Located at 500 Brickell Key Drive, Miami, FL 33131. 305.913.8332. Open daily from 8:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m.

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South Florida OPULENCE

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Touché – Luxury Swimwear Touché Collection is created for the classic, elegant and trendy woman. With high quality fabrics and innovative design, two lines represent the brand: Touché Lingerie and Touché Balnéaire. Fashion and glamour are the fundamentals in the development of each Touché product. This season, color is drenched in each of our fabrics to create a world of magic and fantasy in the garments. Classy and trendy defines Touché Balnéaire’s Collection. Shiny fabrics with ethnic and animal prints, bandeau tops and long dresses are part of the extensive range of options proposed for this season.

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Alemania Angola Aruba Bahamas Bolivia Canadá Colombia Costa Rica Curacao Chile Ecuador España Estados Unidos Grecia Guatemala Islas Mauritius y Seyshelles Italia Japón Líbano México Panamá Perú Portugal República Dominicana Rusia Venezuela



Canvas, glass, walls. Artists use a myriad of materials on which to create their artistic vision, but innovator Kobi Levi’s artistic medium of choice is – well – shoes. And his exhibition gallery is feet. After graduating from the Bezalel Academy of Art & Design in Jerusalem about a decade ago, young Levi traveled the fashion cities of the world as a footwear designer in both large factories and small boutiques. Today, Levi has set up shop in his own studio in Tel Aviv, transferring the essence of daily objects into the shape of shoes.

the cheerleader

South Florida Opulence magazine sat down with Levi to discuss what inspires this creative modernday cobbler. “I started to design shoes when I was in high school, making them only from cardboard then,” said Levi. “Later I learned how to make them professionally and followed this vocation to make it into a living. My inspiration comes from daily objects and moments. I love to watch animals and birds in movement and capture the essence of their shapes. Their shapes and colors are so interesting and beautiful, and so I think anyone who




South Florida OPULENCE

olive oil

Summer 2012

chewing gum

By Robin Jay


likes beauty enjoys watching them. As shoes are my ‘design language,’ I take inspiration from these lovely creatures and dedicate my designs to them.”

Shoe-sational Inspiration Levi says what triggers him to create a new piece is when an idea, a concept or an image comes to mind. By combining the image into the shape of footwear, he creates a new hybrid and the concept comes to life. “The piece is a wearable sculpture,” said Levi. “It is ‘alive’ with or without the foot. Most of the inspirations are out of the ‘shoe-world, ‘ and give the footwear an extreme transformation. The result is usually humorous with a unique point of view about footwear.”

All of Levi’s pieces are handmade in his studio

Kobi’s near-instant worldwide fame developed virally through word-of-mouth on social and online media. Levi started a blog in 2010 to show his friends his designs without having to send them each a large email. The blog soon took on a life of its own. The Internet sensation crossed paths with Lady Gaga, who wore Levi’s double boot design in her “Born This Way” video. Today, his work is also on display in museums around the world. Limited editions from Kobi Levi’s creations are available for custom order from his studio in Tel Aviv. For details, go to

“Every time I create a new design, it becomes my favorite, that is until it is replaced by the next one,” said Levi with a smirk. “Right now, my focus is on the new Ocean Series, which has the first men’s styles from my Footwear Art creations. I’m excited to see if people will love them and want to wear them.”

Fashion fame in a flash So just how does this shoe designer fabricate the unusual fanciful shoes? “For the animal designs, I use whatever material is needed to get the perfect design. Usually I use leathers in different colors and finishes. I’m working on new bird designs on stiletto heels. Another design which is under way is my own take on a cheerleader!” said Levi.

blonde ambition




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Boca do Lobo | Exclusive Design is a furniture design brand that amazingly combines the old techniques and art of woodworking and gives them a futurist and twisted re-interpretation.

(See details of this Limited Edition Piece on page 104)


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oca do Lobo’s innate desire to create exclusive emotional furniture, as art, is perfectly illustrated in their Limited Edition collection Large Emotion. Pedro Sousa,

BL’s Designer, possesses an undeniable talent for designing pieces which stir emotion in their admirers. Through reflection on his environment and on his life’s path, Pedro Sousa materializes his

Versailles Sofa - Boca do Lobo’s New Limited Edition piece takes us to the 17th century where

designs and infuses them with emo-

grandeur and pageantry reigned in the French Court. Created from a long process of inspiration and dedication, this art object re-creates the “Versailles Spirit.” Abandoning the restrictions and rigidity imposed during the Middle Ages, it opens the way to freedom and the need for bringing extravagant  creations to life.. Enjoy exuberant moments with this sofa.

tion. “When I first encountered BL, I was amazed by the emotions which its pieces awakened in me; they were feelings rarely evoked by furniture –

Diamond Sideboard - Designed to be the

fascination, inspiration, desire and

faceted crown jewel to play on Boca do Lobo’s reputation as furniture jewelers and justify the title, this opulent object of desire features two highly sculptured doors leading to a gold leaf interior with shelving and two drawers. Inspired by Gothic furniture of the Romantic period with its ability to harness the power of the imagination to envision and escape, and its strong style with presence and strength. The exterior of this fanciful piece is covered in silver leaf finished with a luxurious shade of translucent amethyst high gloss varnish. The whimsical lion’s head feet are intricately hand carved from mahogany and completed with a gold leaf.

euphoria. My initial reaction to the LE collection was a strong sense of desire. Today this feeling rises in me each time I see an LE work of art and it is my mission to share the emotional seduction of the BL World with all of our admirers,” says Janet Morais, Brand Director. LE-Limited Edition/Large Emotion was begun to bring status and singularity to each of Pedro Sousa’s designs while adding value to the BL brand. Twelve pieces with distinct and exclusive personalities complete LE. The resulting sensational collection of furniture jewelry passes on uniqueness and exclusivity. It never ceases to surprise, and surely never goes unnoticed. Each fusion of art and design is presented in a limited series of 20 and is handcrafted with the finest materials by a single artisan using production methods developed to preserve traditional techniques and deliver the highest quality.

Heritage Sideboard - After a huge success with Heritage Cabinet and its honor to the hand-painted tiles of Portuguese history, Boca do Lobo, Limited Edition now presents a Heritage Sideboard. This Heritage Sideboard version presents you with a different number of layers where each one tells you a different story. You will have a Heritage going through different times and centuries together in a final panel.
In the different layers, you will find different tile paintings inspired in different periods of Portuguese history taken from different historic buildings like convents or old colleges.
Inside this sideboard you will find a gold leaf interior that will make you remember the historical buildings, which normally presented interiors with a lot of ornaments and gold. 

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South Florida OPULENCE


Pixel Cabinet - is an effort to honor the union between design and craftsmanship. The 1088 triangles that complete this piece, with a diversity of finishes never before seen combined – silver leaf, gold leaf, lacquering, and 10 different types of wood leaf – carry the dedication and art of those who built it. Inside this piece we reinterpret a material and technique left in time – aged mirror and “capitoné.” The polished brass base gives Pixel a unique personality, a strong and at the same time sophisticated character. 

Oporto Cabinet - Intricately designed, this cutting-edge piece was inspired by the city of Porto and the rhythmic undulating of its black slate rooftops and building facades. Through reflection factors such as decontextualization, irony, drama and extravagance were added and Oporto came to life. The cabinet is sheathed in individual scales which are finished in a silver leaf with a high gloss varnish. Its doors feature openings which are spanned with a metal mesh. The interior functions with three glass shelves and is finished in a silver leaf covered with a translucent lapis paint with a high gloss varnish.

Forest Cabinet - This exotic piece was inspired by nature and its forms and functions. With the intention to reinterpret the outdoors and bring it inside, the structure of this unique piece is made of wood which is then layered with stainless steel and an overlay of a stylized black lacquer branch fretwork. The base is carved from mahogany and the interior is compartmentalized with angling shelves covered in gold leaf finished with a translucent orange high gloss varnish.


South Florida OPULENCE

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Summer 2012

South Florida OPULENCE



By Hope Gainer At 76 years young, Edward Villela, Founder and Artistic Director of Miami City Ballet, is still a force to be reckoned with. He will oversee his final ballet season here before returning to his New York City roots where he was a Balanchine superstar! Villela’s rapid rise to ballet stardom was a surprise to everyone. He grew up as a street kid from Bayside, Queens, wearing ballet tights under his baseball uniform. He never chose ballet. It chose him. He was forced to accompany his sister to her ballet lessons after school to stay out of trouble. He saw the raw athleticism of the sport and was hooked.

Protégé of a Dancing Legend Villela entered the School of American Ballet at age 10, then interrupted his dance training to attend New York Maritime Academy at his father’s request. There he was lettered in baseball and became a welterweight boxing champion. After getting his B.S. degree, Villela was invited to join New York City Ballet and became a Balanchine protégé. “I was lucky enough to be the raw talent for his genius,” reminisces Villela. Within a year, Villela became a soloist and, PHOTO courtesy Gio alma

soon after, Principal Dancer. He was the first American male dancer to perform with the Royal Danish Ballet and the only American to ever receive an encore at the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow. He performed at President Kennedy’s inauguration and also for Continued on page 108 106

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Summer 2012

presidents Johnson, Nixon and Ford. However, at his last performance at the White House, Villela suffered an injury that brought his career to a premature end.

Launch of Miami City Ballet After his dance career ended, Villela had to figure out what to do with the rest of his life. He started doing speaking engagements. Fate once again crossed his path when he was speaking in Miami. Several people, including Toby Lerner Ansin, approached him about advising them on starting Miami City Ballet. After he wrote a plan for them, they said only he could execute it. And, as they say, the rest is history. “New Yorkers don’t leave NYC,” remarks Villela. “Miami was coined ‘the city of the future’, but NYC was the city of the time.” But after studying the demographics and seeing that over 1,000 people per day were moving to Florida, he was persuaded. Villela and his wife were looking for a ballet school for their daughter in Miami and when they couldn’t find one, they decided to create their own here. Linda Villela ran the school and turned it into one of the best in the country. Villela brought the Balanchine style to Miami. “But you can’t go from Swan Lake to Balanchine,” states Villela. “It is the most complicated and intellectual and takes special training,” he adds. It took time for Villela to both recruit dancers to Miami and to build an audience and develop patrons. Over time, they eventually moved from the Jackie Gleason Center to the Arsht Center. Along the way, budgets – and ticket prices – went up. “The challenge has been to match the artistic with the financial resources,” adds Villela.

Reminiscing on his Legacy Villela says he is proud to have had the opportunity to build a ballet company from the ground up in Miami and see it through. “George Balanchine started


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Summer 2012

Scenes from the 2012-13 season of Miami City Ballet: (above) Nutcracker, (left) Don Quixote, (below left) Slaughter on Tenth Avenue, (below right) Apollo. For performance dates, venues and times, go to www.

a unique new style and I had to take that

regarded as classic ballet’s greatest chore-

master classes, consulting, coaching and

vocabulary and devise an approach to ser-

ographer bringing Symphonic Dances, and

more. “My days ahead are to please myself

vice a full repertoire from 19th, 20th to 21st

25-year-old Liam Scarlett from the Royal

through my art form. If you keep your mind


He created a ‘dancers company’

Ballet of London, to create a World Premiere

open, you would be surprised what happens.”

where everyone is working on a performance.

ballet on the heels of his triumphant suc-

The new and final season for Edward Villela

“I love to work and get my hands on the work,”

cess, Viscera. “In regard to Miami, who could

as Artistic Director for Miami City Ballet runs

remarks Villela. He still works directly with

not like it? Especially after boarding a plane

from October 2012 through May 2013. Full

his dancers.

from wet and grey London,” smiles Scarlett.

and mini subscription packages are now

Villela’s last season in Miami will feature

When asked about returning to New York,

new works by two of the world’s most inno-

Villela says, “I can’t wait because it is going

vative choreographers, Alexei Ratmansky,

home.” He will be working on a new book,

on sale by calling the Miami City Ballet Box Office at 305-929-7010 or online at www.

Summer 2012

South Florida OPULENCE




Exquisite escape for summer travelers BY LINDA LEVI


ew luxury hotels can boast about being over 100 years old, listed among America’s National Historic Landmarks, home to an adorable – and adored – children’s book character and featured in several iconic films. But New York’s landmark 20-story Plaza Hotel can, and it may deservedly be the world’s most celebrated hotel. Indeed, it’s been said that “nothing unimportant ever happens at The Plaza,” and it’s true.

Nostalgia buffs will likely be amused to know that the current French Renaissance chateau-style hotel, located at the glamorous intersection of Fifth Avenue, Central Park South and 58th Street, wasn’t the first. The initial structure (pictured in this layout) started construction in 1883 on the former site of the New York Skating Club. It opened in 1890 and was demolished in 1905 to make way for a much larger, grander Plaza. It was the dream of financier Bernhard Beinecke, hotelier Fred Sterry and businessman Harry Black. It was designed by Henry Janeway Hardenberg, who provided the backdrop for plenty of opulence. The new Plaza Hotel opened in 1907 at a cost of $12.5 million to build, an unprecedented sum in those days. Back then, a night’s stay cost $2.50 (compared to a minimum of $695 today).


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Summer 2012

Fifth Avenue entrance at night

Conrad Hilton bought the hotel in 1943 for $7.4 million and spent another $6 million refurbishing it. A decade later, the Childs Company, a national restaurant chain, bought the hotel for stock valued at $6.3 million. Three decades later, Donald Trump bought the iconic hotel for $407 million, calling it “not a building but a masterpiece,” adding that “for the first time in my life I made a deal that was not economic.” Trump later sold the hotel for $325 million in 1995 following his divorce from Ivana Trump.

Royal Terrace Suite

Venue for Literature and film

movie was the first time ever that an American cast, crew and

Over the years, kings, presidents, ambassadors

director gathered for an on-site shoot, rather than in a Holly-

and stars of stage and screen alike stayed at The

wood soundstage. Since then, it’s provided the site for motion

Plaza. In the 1920s, it was the occasional home

pictures including Plaza Suite, The Way We Were, The Great Gatsby,

and social playground of Zelda and F. Scott

Barefoot in the Park, Funny Girl, Crocodile Dundee, and Home Alone II.

Fitzgerald and their literary crowd companions. In fact, The Plaza was so well known that Ernest Hemingway advised Fitzgerald, “Leave your liver to Princeton, but leave your heart to The Plaza.” The glorious venue has appeared in many movies, but its debut was in the 1959 Alfred Hitchcock movie North by Northwest. Quite appropriately, the

Many fondly remember The Plaza as home to Eloise, a capricious six-year-old who “lived” there as the title character of a children’s book series written by Kay Thompson in the 1950s. Her mystique and charm continue today, and for

(Photo right) In 1969, the author Kay Thompson mimicked her young friend Eloise in the lobby of The Plaza Hotel. (Photo: United Press International)

Summer 2012

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a firsthand Eloise experience hotel visitors can frequent the “Eloise at the Plaza Shop” on the Concourse Level or the spectacular Eloise Suite. On the 18th floor, the pink and black suite is decorated by Betsey Johnson and features custom-designed bedding and furnishings. Closed in 2005 by owner El Ad Properties for “head to toe” renovations, The Plaza reopened in 2008 with 152 suites set aside as The Plaza Pied a Terre Hotel Condominiums. Ranging in price from $1.5-5.7 million, they offer unique residential units for sophisticated investors, world travelers, C-suite executives and other cosmopolitan types looking for convenience, flexibility and the ultimate “best-in-class” experience. A legendary destination, The Plaza is within walking distance of Tiffany’s, Bergdorf Goodman, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdale’s and virtually every luxury brand’s flagship store offering plenty of opportunities for indulgence. And for those who enjoy cultural pursuits, the hotel is just minutes away from NYC’s many world-renown museums, Lincoln Center, Broadway’s many theaters and so much more. So for a luxurious Big Apple experience, be sure to add The Plaza to your 2012 travel itinerary.

(Photo right) View from Central Park

Plaza Historical Timeline




1883 – Construction begins on the first Plaza Hotel on the former site of the New York Skate Club.

1920 – F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel The Great Gatsby is published with scenes set in The Plaza.

1950 – Architect Frank Lloyd Wright moves into Suite 223-225, where he lived for six years.

1991 – Movie Home Alone

1890 – First Plaza Hotel opens on October 1. (1)

1930 – Breaking up for larger suites for visitors begins.

1960 – Portrait of Eloise vanishes after a college dance in the ballroom in November.

1993 – Donald Trump weds Marla Maples in the Grand Ballroom on December 20.

1905 – First Plaza Hotel

1940 – Hotel enforces three-day maximum stay rule during war years.

1960 – The Beatles arrive in February for a six-day visit.

2005 – On April 5, The Plaza

1943 – Conrad Hilton and

1978 – Plaza added to the

demolished to build a larger one.

1907 – New Plaza Hotel opens on Oct. 1, costing $12.5 million. (2) 1910 – Summer Garden, a

season restaurant, opens in the area known as the Rose Room.



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Atlas Corp. acquires the hotel for $7,400,000.

1945 – The Oak Bar opens on January 13. (3)

Summer 2012

National Register for Historic Places.

1980 – Tycoon Donald Trump

acquires the hotel for $390 million.

begins filming in the 59th-Street lobby in December.

closes its doors for a $450 million restoration.

2007 – On October 1, The Plaza celebrates 100 year anniversary. 2008 – Newly renovated Plaza reopens to its original glory. (4)

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The Little-Known World of the

By Alex Starace

New York’s robust art-and-culture scene has all sorts of little secrets. One of them is the Westbeth Artists’ Community.


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Summer 2012

hile the community is off the general public’s radar, artists of all types – painters, poets, actors and dancers – greatly covet admission into New York’s Westbeth Artists’ Community, since it provides inexpensive

photo credit for westbeth story Troy Wharton

Westbeth Artists’ Community today.

housing and studio space for those who are accepted. The complex of thirteen buildings, which takes up a city block at the intersection of Bethune and Washington in the West Village, has a long history. Constructed in 1898 by Bell Laboratories as a research center, it was once the largest research complex in the United States, where many things we now take for granted were developed, including talking movies, television (both black-and-white and color), phonographs and the first-ever commercial television broadcasts. However, by 1966, Bell closed the facility. Soon thereafter, a plan was hatched to convert the buildings into low-income artists’ residences.

Westbeth building at the turn of the century, when a rail system ran directly through the 3rd floor.

Stephen Hall paints portraits of people over brightly colored designs.

Painter Greg Kessler ponders the next stroke on his latest masterpiece.

Summer 2012

South Florida OPULENCE



t the time, the idea of adaptive reuse of an industrial space was revolutionary. Architects Richard Meier and Tod Williams performed the renovation, which was funded by the NEA and the J.M. Kaplan Foundation. After the changeover was complete, rent was kept low because the complex was (and still is) owned by a non-profit foundation.

Some forty-odd years later, the roster of artists who lived and worked in the complex is truly remarkable: actor Vin Diesel, photographer Diane Arbus, visual artist Hans Haacke, saxophonist Billy Harper and poet Ed Sanders, to name a few. Additionally, the Merce Cunningham Dance Troupe and the Martha Graham Center for Contemporary Dance have ties with Westbeth.

Old entrance leads into the dance studio.

South Florida Opulence was lucky enough to gain access to the studios of three members of the community. One of them, Greg Kessler, uses the technique of painting-over and destroying his work, so as to re-imagine and re-fashion his canvases. What results is a mélange of the mythological, cartoonish and abstract: New York social- and street-life presented in a comedic, yet gritty tone. His paintings were recently featured in a curated group show in Westbeth, as well as at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida. Stephen Hall, on the other hand, paints figurative portraits of individuals wearing ethnic garb. Each subject is overlain with brightly-colored designs, while standing in front of a contrasting, green-screen-like 2-D patterned background. The outcome is an intersection of figuration, pattern and meaning. His work has appeared in music videos by the B-52s, Lenny Kravitz and Robin Hitchcock, as well as in movies such as Wall Street 2 and School of Rock. His most recent solo exhibition was at AGallery in New York.

Greg Kessler paints over and “destroys” work to re-imagine and re-fashion his canvases.

Lastly, William Anthony captures the elemental aspects of the 21st century condition by evoking both Henry Darger and Beavis and Butthead in the deceptively simple, self-contained worlds he conjures. He recently had a show at the Christopher Henry Gallery in the Lower East Side, where the absurdity, excitement and crassness of life came to the fore, making one wonder why no one else had seen the world this way … and demonstrating that Westbeth brings out the best in its artists.

Artist Stephen Hall paints figurative portraits overlain with brightly contrasting designs on 2-D patterns.

William Anthony in his art studio, where he creates social statements in clever cartoon-esque paintings.


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Summer 2012

Interior Design, Architectural Services and Construction Management

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Cheers Miami! Princess Promotions Celebrates 20 Years in Shaping Miami’s Party Scene You might say that South Florida native Kim Rubin was born to have fun. More than two decades ago, the young entrepreneur sensed Miami was a growing hot spot and launched Princess Promotions to help build upscale brands through on-site product sampling at nightclubs, sporting events, trade shows and retail venues. Rubin shot right to the top with gigs to launch Stoli Oranj Vodka, which resulted in a 1.5 million dollar contract in promoting BrownForman Brands – like Jack Daniels, Southern Comfort and Finlandia Vodka. From nightclub soirees to charity golf tournaments, Rubin’s Princess Promotions attracts top VIPs, including celebrities such as Chris Bosh, BB King, Matt Damon, Barry Gibb and Dan Marino. South Florida Opulence sat down with Rubin to chat about Miami’s discerning

Kim Rubin

party scene. SFO: Congratulations on celebrating two decades in the business! What inspired you to start Princess Promotions? Kim Rubin: I was working with Jagermeister back when I owned my previous company, Shooter Girls, and I was contacted by Carillion Importers to launch Stoli Oranj Vodka in the South Florida market. They mentioned that I was the only person they could find to execute product demonstrations in nightclubs, bars and restaurants. After the success of the Stoli O launch, I saw the growing need for these types of promotions and Princess Promotions was born in 1993.   Shortly after, I received the exclusive Brown-Forman contract that lasted over five years. SFO: With Miami being such a hot spot these days, clients must be very demanding in their promotional expectations. Kim Rubin: Yes, Miami is definitely a hot spot. There are several components to making an event a huge success – from PR to media and celebrity attendance. The event needs the right venue and specialty drink features, as well as other memorable features such as sculptured ice luges and dynamic entertainment. Like Us on Facebook:


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Summer 2012

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Condo Law

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

Property Taxes and Their Effect on Association Foreclosures of Assessments


n this current economic climate, property owners are falling behind in not only their mortgage and association payments, but also in their annual real property taxes. While historically, this issue has not been significant to associations foreclosing on their assessment liens, the current conditions have demonstrated the occasional need to pay closer attention to this potential problem. If a property owner fails to pay the real property taxes for a given year, the delinquent taxes can become a lien on the property after January 1 of the following year. If the taxes are then not paid by April 1 subsequent to the year for which they are assessed, the tax collector for the County is authorized to issue a tax certificate against the property. After proper notice and publication, the tax collector will sell the certificates at a public auction. This typically occurs on or about June 1 each year.

Tax Certificate Auction At the auction, any such certificate is bid on by interested potential purchasers for the tax amount due and accrued interest. The person bidding at the lowest interest rate will be the successful bidder. The successful bidder will then hold the certificate and is entitled to charge interest thereon at the rate bid. If the certificate is not bid upon, the certificate is issued to the County in which the property is situated. Prior to the certificate being subject to a tax deed sale, a certificate can be redeemed by the property owner or any other interested party. A first mortgage lender on the particular property is considered an interested party. A first mortgage lender would generally seek to protect its secured interest in the property by redeeming the tax certificate. This would prevent a third party from purchasing the property at a tax deed sale, which would eliminate the lender’s interest in the property. The association would also be considered an interested party by virtue of its interest under the governing documents for the community.

Tax Deed Sale If the tax certificate is not redeemed, the certificate holder may proceed to apply for a tax deed sale after a specified holding period. This can occur no earlier than two (2) years after April 1 of the year of the issuance of the tax certificate, but no later than seven (7) years after issuance. The seven (7) year limitation can be extended if the property owner filed for bankruptcy and the property was within the bankruptcy estate and therefore subject to an automatic stay. Upon the application for the tax deed, the individual applying for the tax deed must 120

South Florida OPULENCE

Summer 2012

redeem all other tax certificates on the property, including the fees and interest that have accrued. On a date posted by the County in its Public Records, individuals can bid on the tax deed. The amount set as an opening bid depends on whether the property is subject to homestead exemption. The opening bid for non-homestead properties includes the amount paid upon application for the tax deed, the amount to redeem the certificate, and all costs and fees paid by the tax deed applicant. If the property is homestead, the opening bid also must include at least one-half of the latest assessed tax value of the property. The highest bidder will obtain the tax deed and is required to pay the Clerk within 24 hours of sale. Once a tax deed is issued, all subordinate liens are eliminated with the exception of certain federal tax and city liens. However, the covenants running with the land contained in the declaration of covenants for the community are not extinguished by the tax sale. The tax deed holder takes the property free and clear of all mortgages and past due assessments, and is entitled to immediate possession of the property. To prevent being divested of property that the association acquired through its own foreclosure, an association may consider paying existing tax certificates. This would ensure that the interest of the association remains intact.   Should the association determine that it may wish to bid at a tax sale, title insurance issues should then be considered. As noted above, the property will transfer to the association subject to all federal tax, city and municipal liens. Should the association take title by tax deed, it could later face problems when attempting to sell the property. Generally, national title insurance underwriting guidelines will not insure the title to the property for a period of twenty (20) years after the issuance of a tax deed. In some limited instances, a title insurance underwriter will insure a sale transaction upon the successful conclusion of a lawsuit clearing title to the property (a quiet title action). This, however, cannot be done until the property is held by the tax deed owner for four (4) years.

Analyze Benefits and Consequences The benefits and negative results of payment of tax deeds and certificates require a careful and thorough analysis. A complete title examination and valuation of the property must reflect that the benefits outweigh the potential consequences, as well as the inability to insure the title, which will affect the ability to sell the property. Each property should be viewed on its own circumstances.

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Condo Living

High-Tech Window Films

Improve Energy Efficiency, Comfort and Style In the glass-friendly condominium world of South Florida, savvy homeowners, business owners and property managers know that today’s high-tech window tinting options provide an abundance of aesthetic and cost-saving benefits.

company with a quarter-of-a-century of pleased clients – including Marriott, the Breakers Hotel and Auto Nation – is Window Tint USA, which has installed window tinting in high-rise condominiums and elaborate primary residences from Vero Beach to Ocean Reef.

The solar performance of today’s optically clear coatings reduces up to 99 percent of ultraviolet rays that can otherwise damage fine artwork, furniture and flooring. Modern tinting methods keep rooms up to 15 degrees cooler – and can save up to 20 percent in energy costs in hot summer months by deflecting up to 70 percent of outside heat. And, by reducing glare by up to 85 percent with a clear, non-metallic finish, residents and staff can enjoy the comfort of natural light without an obstructed or distorted view created by older, unsophisticated filming methods.

A certified 3M Dealer of Prestige and Ultra Prestige window films, Window Tint USA is a provider you can trust. “We’re pleased to have the brand recognition and technology of 3M behind us as a Prestige Dealer,” said Jim Luck, team leader at Window Tint USA, who has 35 years of experience in the industry. “We believe it’s important to listen to what the consumer is looking to achieve with the film. Are we fighting a heat issue? Is there expensive artwork that needs to be protected from the sun’s damaging UV rays? Sometimes it’s a simple glare issue due to the sun shining on a computer or television screen.” No matter the issue, Window Tint USA and 3M have a solution.

Trust an expert If you’re considering window tinting for your condominium or business high-rise, it’s important to consult an expert with a long track record of satisfied customers. One such

“When I speak with our customers at post job inspection, one of their first comments is usually about the professionalism of the installers,” said Jim. “Window Tint USA prides itself on the integrity of our staff. They are polite, knowledgeable of the product and courteous of the homeowner and their home furnishings.” Window Tint USA also offers specialty films. 3M Ultra Prestige with 3M Ultra Flex will hold glass together if it breaks. And the Facara line of decorative films offers crystallized patterns for a non-intrusive, soft, clean look for a modern office.

A history of reliable service In an economy in which many businesses are closing their doors, Window Tint USA has the advantage of longevity on its side. Marriott, the Breakers Hotel and AutoNation are just a few of the discerning clients of Window Tint USA – a staple in the South Florida window film community.

Luck says that once a film is selected and an appointment set, most installations take only a day or two.

Change Your Viewpoint without moVing an inCh Window Tint USA is a leader in glass coating applications in South Florida. For over 20 years, they have installed window film from Vero Beach to Ocean Reef, including many communities that we are familiar with. Whether it be a hi-rise winter home or an elaborate primary residence, the vast knowledge of the installers makes light work out of any installation.

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Real Estate and Tangible Personal Property Tax Representation of Commercial and Residential Taxpayers throughout Florida. Federal Tax Credits/Local Abatements Available for the Rehabilitation of Historic Structures throughout the United States. Gary A. Appel, Esq., Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

PROPERTY TAX ADJUSTERS, INC. Bay Point Office Tower, 4770 Biscayne Blvd., Suite 1100, Miami, Florida 33137 Phone (305) 576-0033,,



A Simple Way to Transfer Wealth


hanks to the 2010 tax-relief legislation, the rules for estate

can pay tuition or medi-

planning are very favorable in 2012. This two-year window

cal expenses for another

of opportunity provides the incentive to act now.


Lifetime gifts can be a simple, effective way to transfer your wealth to other individuals – provided you know the tax rules. Here’s a brief overview of three opportunities you may want to consider that allow you to make transfers without any estate or gift taxes.



tion. These gifts do not count against the annual exclusion or lifetime gift exclusion. However, you must pay the school or

Annual exclusion gifts. Did you know you can give up to $13,000


per year to as many people as you like? And you can gift to anyone,

rectly. Funds given to

not just family members. If you are married, you and your spouse

the beneficiary directly

can give $26,000 per beneficiary per year.

will not qualify. And “tu-

Annual exclusion gifts are attractive because they’re simple –

ition” means just that –

no tax reporting is required. They reduce your taxable estate (potentially saving a 35% tax), and there are no lifetime limits, as long as you stay within the annual limits. Gifts to individuals are not taxable income to the beneficiary and do not create any income tax deduction for you. Lifetime exclusion gifts. With this type of gift, you can make gifts above $13,000 per person per year, without paying gift tax, up to a $5,000,000 lifetime limit (this amount is scheduled to change



tuition only, not books, supplies, fees or room and board. No specific

Brad W. McMorris Vice President – Investments

tax reporting is required, but as a rule you should keep good records. Ultimately, it is your responsibility to be able to prove that your gift qualified under this rule. Wells Fargo Advisors can help you determine the best gifting strategy that benefits you as well as the individual(s) on the receiving end.

in 2013). Let’s say you give $100,000 to a family member. The first

Call your Financial Advisor today to discuss your gifting options.

$13,000 is covered by the annual exclusion; the remaining $87,000

The information in this article reflects federal tax laws in effect for

is applied to your lifetime exclusion. If this was your first gift exceed-

2011 and 2012, after the enactment of the Tax Relief, Unemployment

ing annual exclusion limits, you would have $4,913,000 of lifetime

Insurance Reauthorization and Job Creation Act of 2010.

exclusion remaining.

Wells Fargo Advisors does not render legal or tax advice.

When making this type of larger gift, you should keep in mind that a gift tax return is required. You must report the gift, but will not owe gift tax. In effect, these lifetime transfers “use up” part of the exclusion that would otherwise be available at death to reduce your estate tax. The key benefit is that if you transfer assets that appreciate in value, all of the future appreciation is removed from your taxable estate, although the recipient takes on your cost basis and holding period for income tax purposes.

This article was written by Wells Fargo Advisors and provided courtesy of Brad W. McMorris, VP – Investments at ArchMcMorris Wealth Management Group of Wells Fargo Advisors in Miami at 305-523-2922. Investments in securities and insurance products are: NOT FDIC-INSURED/NOT BANK-GUARANTEED/MAY LOSE VALUE Investment products and services are offered through Wells Fargo

Direct gifts (tuition and medical expenses). There are special rules in place for direct gifts of tuition or medical expenses. You

Advisors Financial Network, LLC (WFAFN), Member SIPC. ArchMcMorris Wealth Management Group is a separate entity from WFAFN. ©2012 Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC. All rights reserved. 0000 0000 (87564-v1) 03/12


South Florida OPULENCE

Summer 2012

Seal the cracks in Is it time to invest your portfolioor seek out with caution Do you know which investments are draining new opportunities? your earnings potential? We can help you determine if your investments are working toward your goals if they’re working well Find out what weand think. together. today a complimentary Read our freeCall midyear reportfor to find out more about our forecast for the portfolio review. rest of the year. Call today to order your copy of our “2009 Midyear Outlook.”

FA Name Steven F. Arch Compliance-Approved Title Senior Vice PresidentAddress - Investments and Suite Number 333 SE 2nd Avenue,City 46thName, Floor State Zip Miami, FL 33131 xxx-xxx-xxxx • 8xx-xxx-xxxx 305-523-2921 • 800-327-5051 Web or E-mail Address

FA Name Brad W. McMorrisTitle Compliance-Approved Vice President Investments Address and Suite -Number SE 2nd City333 Name, StateAvenue, Zip 46th Floor Miami, FL •33131 xxx-xxx-xxxx 8xx-xxx-xxxx • 800-327-5051 Web305-523-2922 or E-mail Address

Investment and Insurance Products: u NOT FDIC Insured u NO Bank Guarantee u MAY Lose Value affiliate of Wells Fargo & Company. Wells Fargo Advisors, Advisors,LLC, LLC,Member MemberSIPC, SIPC,isisaaregistered registeredbroker-dealer broker-dealerand anda separate a separatenon-bank non-bank affiliate of Wells Fargo & Company. ©2009 Wells Fargo FargoAdvisors, Advisors,LLC. LLC.AllAllrights rightsreserved. reserved.0310-4466 0709-0792 [77921-v1] A1354 ©2010 Wells [74030-v2] A1284


condo living

Smashing Secrets to Success Meet Continuum North Tower resident Francisco Mehech By John D. Adams


here are no shortcuts to success. Just ask Continuum North Tower resident Francisco Mehech. After taking a 15-year leave from tennis, he’s back on the courts working to achieve a Top 10 World Ranking in the International

Tennis Federation’s Senior Amateur Tour. “I was away from it [tennis] for a number of years while I built my business,” says Mehech. “When I was lucky enough to slow down, I didn’t have any other outlet for my energy so I went back to what brought me to USA in the first place.”

Francisco Mehech

Mehech grew up in Chile, where his grandparents had immigrated from Syria and Palestine in the early 1920s. “It was a six-month voyage by vessel into Buenos Aires and then train travel from there to Santiago, Chile. It was not easy for them,” muses Mehech. At the age of 6, he was introduced to tennis by his father. “We belonged to a club and my dad played every weekend. My brother and I would sit in the stands watching him play.” It was only natural that at some point they asked if they could play, too. “He fed us a couple of balls to appease us and off we went.” His passion for the game was ignited and his fervor grew, allowing him to build a successful life for himself and his family in America. “I think you are born with certain skills and they are, slowly but surely, nurtured and developed. From my early days, I recall being very competitive at all I did. I always wanted to be ‘Number One,’ the one to do it better and faster…” Since 2003, Mehech and his family have called the Continuum home – first renting in the South Tower, then owning in the North Tower. “I wanted to be on the beach, enjoying the water and the sun, and living in a resort-style community. I looked at many properties in South Florida, but there is nothing comparable to Continuum in what it has to offer – from the Beach Club, 3 wonderfully-kept tennis courts, manicured resort style grounds, lagoon pools, spa & gym, and its restaurant. I felt it offered the best value for my money and the type of lifestyle that I wanted to have.” Today, his tennis goals are as strong as ever just having reached a world ranking of #12 in +M45. Mehech recently returned from Turkey where he reached his first career


South Florida OPULENCE

Summer 2012

The Team – Left: Laurence Tieleman, Tennis Coach; Center: Francisco Mehech; Right: Duglas Cordero, Strength, Conditioning Coach & Physiotherapist

Grade 1 final – losing to the current World’s #1, but beating a former #1 in the world (2010) in an exciting 3-set match on Centre Court played in front of a thoroughly enthusiastic crowd; then making the finals in Doubles with his partner, Carlos Behar, from Colombia. “I’m a person that sets his mind on something and works relentlessly to achieve it – but without compromising ethical or moral values to do so. There is no shortcut to success but hard work.”

We measure our success by your absolute satisfaction.

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To schedule an appointment, please contact: Christina Leon Shackleford Director of Project Development Phone: (305) 534-1989

Exposing the

Secret Service Scandal An exclusive interview with Washington News Correspondent Ronald Kessler who broke the story By Kristen Mager


ith their shades and stoic expressions, Secret Service agents typically fly under the radar. But in April, when 12 Secret Service agents violated top-secret security clearances in Colombia, the Secret Service became embroiled in an embarrassing – and reckless – prostitution scandal. The scandal surfaced as President Barack Obama was headed to a Latin American summit in Cartagena, Colombia. As if the agents’ behavior wasn’t cheap enough (most of the agents are married), it was one agent’s especially pathetic attempt at not paying a prostitute $42 that eventually brought the scandal to the surface.

Washington Newsmax Correspondent Ronald Kessler (at left) was the reporter who broke the news of the Secret Service scandal in Colombia. Kessler is shown here with First Lady Laura Bush, President George W. Bush, and Kessler’s wife Pamela.

A scandal of mass proportions

Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

Ronald Kessler, Chief Washington Correspondent of, calls the scandal the biggest in Secret Service history. He broke the story to the Washington Post after getting tipped off by a Secret Service agent who – like Kessler – believes that the agency’s corner-cutting could lead to an assassination. “I have a track record with them,” he says, about why Secret Service agents are willing to disclose information to him. “I listen. And when they do good, I tell that, too.” The New York Times best-selling author of books on the Secret Service, FBI, and CIA says, “These prostitutes could’ve blackmailed the agents into cooperating with a foreign intelligence service, terrorist, or drug cartel leader to obtain access to the president. They’re warned not to compromise security.” Aside from jeopardizing security clearances, engaging prostitutes violates the basic Secret Service code of conduct. According to Kessler, the scandal posed more of a risk than when three intruders crashed a White House state dinner in November 2009.

A symptom of corner-cutting In Kessler’s book, “In the President’s Secret Service: Behind the Scenes with Agents in the Line of Fire and the Presidents They Protect,” he talks about how the Secret Service has been cutting corners and creating a culture that encourages reckless behavior. Among the corner-cutting measures: • Not passing crowds through magnetometers at presidential, vice presidential, and campaign events.

Secret Service agents walk with President Obama at his arrival in Tampa not long after the story of the scandal broke. Advance detail agents in Cartagena, Colombia, were sent home to the United States after allegedly hiring prostitutes. There is no suggestion that the agents pictured were involved in the scandal. The Secret Service covers up that practice by dishonestly telling agents to fill out their own test scores. • Also, demands on the Secret Service have increased in recent years without adequate increase in staff. As a result, agents often work 18-hour-days, functioning on far too little sleep.

A growing problem

• Not keeping up to date with the latest, most powerful firearms used by the FBI, other federal law enforcement, and the military.

Kessler says the problems with the Secret Service have intensified since the agency was taken over by Homeland Security in 2003. He believes the only way to stop the cycle of carelessness is for radical change. “President Obama needs to make wholesale change in the administration,” says Kessler, who feels a new director from outside the agency is the key to sweeping reforms.

• Not allowing agents time for regular firearms requalification or physical training.

For a full bio and book descriptions, visit

• Cutting back on the size of counter-assault teams and, for the sake of cosmetics, bowing to demands of staff that the teams remain at a distance from protectees.


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Summer 2012

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STATE-OF-THE-ART BUILDING SERVICES AND SUPERIOR WORK FORCE MANAGEMENT CSI International, Inc. provides Custodial, Mechanical and Corporate Support services to commercial Class A properties and the Fortune 500 clientele in the State of Florida. Since 1989, CSI has earned an incomparable reputation for cost-effective solutions with responsive service, unbeatable support, and uncompromising quality. We are committed to delivering healthy environments for all our clients through our green cleaning initiative. At CSI, everything we do stems from one simple premise: We are here to make life easier for our clients. We ensure this by providing the finest in: Janitorial services Green cleaning options Mechanical services

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You CAN Always Get What You Want Discover the benefits of joining the Community Associations Institute SouthEast Florida Chapter By Andrew Rand* If you’re reading this article, chances are you’re involved in a Community Association in one way or another. Whether you’re a unit owner, board member, community association manager or industry vendor, the Community Associations Institute Southeast Florida Chapter is an important resource. Internationally, the Community Associations Institute (CAI) has more than 30,000 members, and for over 30 years, CAI has been the leader in providing education and resources to the volunteer homeowners who govern community associations and the professionals who support them. The Southeast Florida Chapter currently has over 400 members and is growing fast! In the past few short years, the membership has more than doubled. Why are we growing so fast? Our mission is to inspire professionalism, effective leadership and responsible citizenship – ideals reflected in communities that are preferred places to call home. Our local chapter, the SE Florida Chapter, engages our members by hosting a monthly Hot Topic, Hot Breakfast! in Broward County at the Jacaranda Country Club in Plantation and a quarterly Hot Topic, Hot Breakfast! in Miami-Dade County. The breakfast is educational, offering a free one-hour Continuing Education Credit to Community Association Manager Members, in addition to providing industryspecific education and networking opportunities to all who attend. We also have

Keeping Your Building

“After Hours” events for those that are not “Morning People,” held throughout Broward and Miami-Dade counties. We have many other annual events, such as a Casino Night in September, our Annual Sponsorship Dinner and Awards, our golf tournament in October, and the biggest event of the year: our Annual Expo/Day of Education, held at the end of January. Our next one is scheduled for January 26, 2013, at the Signature Grand in Davie. Please visit our website for specific dates, times and information regarding all our events, You can also contact Jill Proietti – a contributing author to this article – at 954.816.0661 or at Look for next issue’s article on What a Board of Directors Should Expect to be Included as Part of an Industry Standard Monthly Financial Statement Provided by a Management Company. *Andrew Rand, Assistant Controller and Director of Association Accounting at CSI Management Services, current Past President of CAI SE Florida Chapter, Past Treasurer and Chairman of the Annual Expo/Day of Education. Andrew can be contacted at Signature Place


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Condo Living


Condo Law

Donna DiMaggio Berger, Esq.

PREVENTING FRAUD IN YOUR CONDOMINIUM COMMUNITY How does fraud take hold in a private residential community? It is important for boards and managers to recognize the “Fraud Triangle” and what it can do in their communities, if left unchecked.

The Fraud Triangle The fraud triangle consists of: Opportunity, Motive and Rationalization. Opportunity presents itself when a person sits in a position of trust in a community. That trust allows the potential fraudster access that is not available to outsiders. Pressure presents itself when outside forces wreak havoc on the potential fraudster. This pressure is usually economic and usually arises in the form of a job loss, divorce, death or illness of a family member, gambling or other addiction problem. Rationalization allows the fraudster to avoid seeing himself or herself as a criminal who is stealing money from people, but rather as someone simply righting the wrongs of the universe. The typical fraudster thinking in this regard usually falls along these lines: “I am overworked and underpaid so this balances things out” or “I am just borrowing these funds and will return them at a later date” or “They’ll never notice, they have so much money.”


Proper fidelity bonding is necessary. Fannie Mae guidelines suggest carrying bonding for 3 months of assessments plus any reserves on hand. Speaking of reserves, check those accounts religiously. If you have been told you have $50,000 in the painting reserve, make sure that it really is true.


Not every Employee Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI) policy is created equal. Some require that you successfully prosecute the fraud before you can recover under the policy. It is also important to remember that board and committee members are not considered employees of the association so you will need endorsements to your policy to cover that loophole.


Review your EPLI policy annually and with each change in the Board.

By the time you become suspicious of a potential fraud, it has usually been going on for quite a while. The typical fraud lasts for three years; at that point the fraudster starts getting weary or sloppy. There are over 60 different types of fraud including forgery, skimming, paying false payees or ghost employees, writing off accounts receivable as bad debt when the debt has been paid, reimbursing for personal expenses, falsifying accounts payable, bank statements and more. So what can your community do to notice these signs and discourage fraud in the first place?

n Do not rely solely on the management company’s insurance policy as it might not

Here are some easy steps you can take to put a system of checks and balances in place: n

Require two signatures on checks. If you are one of the dual signatories, never sign a blank check.


Have more than one set of eyes on the books. No oversight of the person handling your books and an overly informal operation can expose you to fraud.


P roperly screen employees in advance. Some instances of association fraud involved collusion between association employees so if one employee pushes you to hire people he or she knows, do your homework first. When collusion amongst employees is present, the opportunity for an economic loss increases dramatically.


Request that your bank provide duplicate statements directly to someone else other than the manager or board member handling your books.


If you have an association credit card, keep the limits very low. Always check receipts against the statement and scrutinize receipts submitted for reimbursement to see if any personal or odd items are included in the reimbursement request.


South Florida OPULENCE

Summer 2012

have enough coverage should several associations make claims at once. Also, the management company’s policy might not include all possible endorsements including: losses incurred in transit to and from the bank, losses incurred via computer or wire transfer fraud, losses incurred as a result of forgery, etc. n

 o not allow owners to make payments in cash or by checks made payable D to anyone other than the association in order to avoid skimming.


Make sure your association’s accountant reconciles your bank statements and never relies solely on bank statements provided to him or her.

Remember that once you start suspecting a fraud is occurring, it has usually been going on for some time. It is important to act sooner rather than later for several reasons. Losses continue to add up more quickly as the fraud continues and most insurance policies only cover losses through the date the fraud was discovered. Call the police, insist on a report and contact your association counsel to review your insurance policy, submit a claim and to discuss your civil and criminal prosecution options. If someone wants to steal from you, he or she usually can do it, at least for a while. However, with some advance planning and foresight, you can make your community a much more difficult target for a potential fraudster. Donna DiMaggio Berger, Esq. is one of the Founding Partners of the statewide law firm Katzman Garfinkel & Berger (KG&B), a firm that devotes its practice to the representation of community associations. Ms. Berger can be reached directly at 954-315-0372 or via email at


Condo Living Dealing with Condo Politics Steve G. Mason, LCAM, CMCA, AMS


emocracy is defined as “The principles of social equality and respect for the individual within a community.”

When considering becoming a Community Association Manager in South Florida, it’s important to realize there is no class that reviews the trials and tribulations of Association Politics. This is, by far, one of the main key elements a Manager can never prepare for by attending a class, as it is more of an “on the job” training aspect of the industry. Every year, an Association schedules an election to elect new Board of Director members to serve and volunteer their time to serve in the best interest of the Association. The Board of Directors is given specific powers and duties and is responsible to implement the authority of the affairs of an Association. Members of the Board serve without compensation unless the bylaws of the Association provide to the contrary. They also have a fiduciary relationship with the unit owners of the Association. This relationship imposes obligations of trust and confidence in favor of the Association and its members. It requires the Board to act in good faith and in the best interest of the owners by exercising due care and diligence when acting for the community. The challenge as a Manager is when Board Members act outside the realm of their responsibility. The Manager has to analyze and recommend appropriate action, keeping in mind that they have a license to protect. A few years ago, the State of Florida acknowledged that many controversial scenarios among Board Members were becoming more common. Issues like a Board Member

Steve G. Mason

suing or filing complaints against other Board Members have increased, leading the State of Florida to amend the Florida Statute. The Florida Statute was amended to where a Board Member can now be held personally liable for damages for making decisions which constitute a transaction from which the officer or director derived an improper personal benefit, either directly or indirectly; or constitutes recklessness or an act or omission that was in bad faith, with malicious purpose, or in a manner exhibiting wanton and willful disregard of human rights, safety or property as outlined in Florida Statute 718.111(1)(d). It is important to realize that every decision made on behalf of the Association may always be judged and/or interpreted in a manner for which it was not intended. This is specifically why we have Association Attorneys to help us define and interpret the Florida Statute. It is always in the best benefit for everyone to have the Association Attorney involved in any major decision that will impact the community. There are many scenarios that challenge Managers in this industry and the only real thing that can help us prepare for the politics of an Association is experience. Those of us that have the support staff of working with a professional management company are fortunate to have that support because the odds are they, too, have already faced one of many political scenarios.

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Make The Most Of Your Money Mutual of Omaha Bank helps ensure your homeowner funds are managed the right way By John D. Adams

One of the most important fiduciary responsibilities of a homeowner association’s board of directors is ensuring the association’s funds are managed properly. That’s where Mutual of Omaha Bank’s Community Association Banking team comes into play. “There are three key factors for managing an association’s operating and reserve accounts: security, liquidity and yield,” said Kathy Naughton, Regional Account Executive for Mutual of Omaha Bank in Southeast Florida. “That’s why we advise and help our clients protect all of their funds in FDIC insured accounts.” Mutual of Omaha Bank is widely recognized as the nation’s leader in association banking. With representatives assigned to all 50 states, including a team of representatives and full-service bank locations throughout Florida, Mutual of Omaha Bank is well-positioned to serve its association client base.

“Most of our account executives come from the common interest community industry, so we understand our clients’ needs and speak the same language,” Naughton said. “We work hard to be their trusted advisor.” The bank’s solutions for associations include online payment systems; deposit and investment accounts; Internet cash management; and even a Certificate of Deposit Account Registry Service (CDARS), which allows associations to access full FDIC coverage for deposits up to $50 million. Beyond funds management, the bank also has a loan department that specializes in association lending. “Most banks don’t understand the nuances of association loans,” said Naughton. “We offer informed advice on how best to structure a loan based on a number of factors and what’s in the best interest of the community.

Kathy Naughton

“We educate managers and boards on how to do it the right way – how to benefit all of the homeowners,” said Naughton. “When they have their annual meetings, they can stand up with confidence and explain that homeowner funds are being appropriately dispersed. After all, it is their money, their homes.” For more information about Mutual of Omaha Bank’s customized solutions for condo and homeowners associations, contact Kathy Naughton at (954) 393-8786 or – or visit

Who else can say – our account executives know community management backwards and forwards. Who else can say – our relationship managers speak your language and understand your business. Who else can say – our technology group has revolutionized the business of association management.


Kathy Naughton CMCA AMS Regional Account Executive 954.393.8786 Toll Free 866.800.4656, ext. 7515

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Stone Sensations Imagination and innovation continue to bring this timeless luxury to any environment By John D. Adams

“I found Rome a city of brick and left it a city of marble.” – Roman Emperor Caesar Augustus


or centuries, marble has been viewed as a symbol of luxury, wealth and permanence. While Egyptian and Greek civilizations widely used marble and granite, it was the Romans (who first developed cement) who were able to clad entire cities in white stone. A symbol, perhaps, of longevity since marble was considered the strongest, most beautiful and most difficult stone to quarry. Even today, marble and other natural stones continue to bring luxurious beauty. Traveling throughout Europe, Italy, Indonesia, China, Egypt and a variety of other countries, Sebastian Mehech, President of New Stone Age in Miami, spoke to us about the latest trends and innovations that bring renewed vigor to this centuriesold hallmark of luxurious living.

Get your flame on “I like to come up with crazy things and try new techniques with stone,” says Mehech. His latest innovation is called “flaming.” “Normally you see granite and other stonework as highly polished counters and floors,” he begins. “But when you flame a stone [such as granite] with a torch, then burnish it with steel brushes, you are giving it a texture and relief. You get an effect of roughness combined with a softness of dimension that you have likely never encountered before.”

Stone tones As with fashion, interior design trends come and go. The use of color in natural stone is no exception. Fifteen years ago the residential marble palette was all about beiges, yellows and golds. Then we saw that trend swing to a polar opposite – vivid greens, blues, yellows and reds were all the rage. “Today, we are reaching a middle-ground,” says Mehech. “We are seeing more neutral accent colors in browns and creams and very subtle, almost pastel, colors.” He notes that combining whites and grays with subtle blues and pale greens will produce today’s “wow” factor.

Timber? In our tropical Florida climate, wood flooring isn’t always the best option. But Mehech notes that walls and floors can now be clad in stone that stunningly mimics exotic wood. “We carefully select stone with directional veining with a strong appearance to wood. Then, by cutting the stone in planks, we


South Florida OPULENCE

Summer 2012

accent this appearance. Now you have a ‘wood floor’ that maintains the resilience and dimension of natural stone. “Stone has so many possibilities...” he muses. “Get creative, try new things. We have been around for 18 years now. To succeed you have to look ahead, make innovations, and show people something they have never seen before.” That sentiment should be carved in stone. To learn more, visit the New Stone Age showroom at 2981 NW 79th Avenue, Miami. Phone: 305-436-0341. Online:

Exotic. Exquisite. Rare. Not all stone is created equal. New StoNe Age, INc. Limestone • Onyx • Quartzite • Keystone Marble • Granite • Sandstone • Slate

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Giving Back and Investing in Tomorrow Horizon Publishing Presented The Hammond Family Scholarship at the Annual New York Matrix Awards with Top National News Journalists and Celebrities

Barbara Walters, Katie Couric, Ann Curry, Leslie Stahl, Glenn Close and Meredith Vieira were among the top national television news journalists and celebrities who attended the coveted New York Women in Communications Matrix Awards in April. While honoring leaders in today’s communications industry, the Matrix Awards also presents scholarships to college-bound women aspiring to be the next generation of newscasters, reporters, editors, publishers, movie-makers, authors, poets or social network guru. It’s a way of giving back and investing in tomorrow. Horizon Publishing (which publishes South Florida Opulence) was honored to present a $10,000 Hammond Family Scholarship to a rising star in publishing: Grace Gavilanes. Horizon publisher, Mark Blackburn, and Editor in Chief of Horizon’s South Florida Opulence magazine, Robin Jay, interviewed celebrities on the red carpet of the Matrix Awards and presented each of them with a copy of Geoff Hammond’s latest suspense espionage thriller novel, The Last Khan. Excellence in quality publishing is the mission of Horizon Publishing, which believes in investing in the next generation of writers and publishers with targeted scholarships. An additional $10,000 scholarship is being offered via essay contest through Horizon Publishing. For details, go to

(L-R) Zenia Mucha, Executive Vice President and Chief Communications Officer at the Walt Disney Company, with news icon Barbara Walters, Robin Jay and Mark Blackburn of Horizon Publishing.

TURNING A TRAGEDY INTO SAVING LIVES It was Father’s Day. It began as an uneventful morning at a Florida Fire Station, but that all changed when the doorbell rang. There stood a young woman, looking exhausted and frightened. Her face was streaked with tears. She was holding something very tight, wrapped in a nice blanket. She said, “I want to leave her in a Safe Haven.” The Fire Fighter said, “Are you sure?” and she replied, “Yes, it is the only way. Please take good care of her.” She placed the baby in his arms, then turned and left. A Safe Haven for Newborns is offered to everyone, especially young women across Florida, who are hiding their pregnancy, who might otherwise abandon their unwanted newborn, an unthinkable act, but an act of panicked desperation by mothers who believe themselves to be abandoned, without support or resources. The young mother in the story actually called the Safe Haven toll-free, confidential 24/7, multilingual helpline for assistance prior to surrendering the baby. Two days after the original call, she called again. She had two letters for us to give to the adoptive parents, one for them and the other to be read to the baby, Gloria Hope, at the appropriate time. We met the mother at a church. It was a very emotional meeting.


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Summer 2012

Safe Haven has gained national attention and become a prototype, setting the standard for affiliated programs in Kansas and Missouri. Safe Haven relies mainly on donations and grants to maintain this lifesaving program. Donations can be made online at

Nick Silverio with a Safe Haven baby.

The message to Gloria Hope is: You did not think I loved you because I gave you up but that is exactly why I did it. I didn’t have a future and I wanted you to have one. Safe Haven, a not-for-profit 501(c)3, was created in 2001 by Nick Silverio, a man whose deep compassion and love for children led him to devote his life to saving infants from being abandoned. He created the organization to honor the life of his beloved Gloria, who was killed in a car accident by a speeding driver in 1999. Nick and Gloria were married for 32 years, and although they had no children, they were devoted to children and served as godparents to 14.

The 170th Safe Haven baby was named in honor of Henry Delgado, General Manager of Smith and Wollensky-South Beach. Henry is a cherished supporter and ambassador of this lifesaving program. “We are overwhelmed and overjoyed when a precious life is saved; conversely, we are heartbroken if a newborn is abandoned,” Silverio said. Without the Safe Haven for Newborns, many, if not most, of the 172 babies saved to date would not be here today. Who knows, maybe one among them will become president of the United States., a Supreme Court justice , a scientist finding a cure for cancer or more importantly, a great mom and dad to their children.

Summer 2012

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Social Living

Glenn Close & Mark Blackburn at the Matrix Awards

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South Florida OPULENCE

Wayne Gretsky mingles at the Breitling Watch Boutique event in Aventura

Summer 2012

Chopard Bal Harbour event crowd

Chopard Bal Harbour Shops - Malinka Max, Lei Marco and Victoria Krutova

(L-R): Andres Reyes, Yvette Yoslov, Maria Sinopoli-Spain, NBA players enjoy the Hublot event in Bal Harbour Arminda Resto, Arminda “Mindy” Figueroa, Patricia Urquiaga, Roberto Rivera and Nilda Velez at Latin2Latin event.

Donald Sutherland and CSI’s Mark Blackburn

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Rick De La Croix, President of Hublot Latin America, with a guest at Hublot Bal Harbour

Mel Jay, Wayne Gretsky and Michael Jay at Breitling

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South Florida OPULENCE

Summer 2012



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South Florida Opulence Summer Issue  

Welcome to the Summer 2012 issue of South Florida Opulence. In this issue, you'll find captivating local, national and global features. Disc...

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