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Archive for May, 2009

#3 - Celebrity Homes

#3 - Celebrity Homes

Sudler Sotheby’s Realty
Price: US $2,300,000

Befriending rich people can be difficult even when you live in the same neighborhood. The good news…rich people love to swap stories about the celebrities that have sauntered across their high sheen mahogany flooring. Has Clooney parked his Tesla in your garage, has Warren Buffett joined you for high tea on the family veranda? Subtly hint about the celebrities that have owned, have visited or have worked in your most recent real estate acquisition and build credibility faster than sharing a box of Altadis’ Behike cigars. More impressive still, own homes that have played central roles in iconic American cinematography.

For a paltry $2.3M, a Chicago resident will soon live in the home made famous by the 1986 classic, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Enjoy hosting the local Ferrari Club meeting in 5,300sq.feet of sleek steel and glass poised above the ravine at 370 Beech St in Highland Park. Naturally, the 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California is not included but the stunning garage is the perfect place to showcase your stylish taste in fine automobiles.

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#2 - Sebonack in The Hamptons

#2 - Sebonack in The Hamptons

Sebonack Golf Club
Price: USD $1,000,000

An important step in rich people’s lives is an invitation to the private club. Members-only clubs may be lavish golf courses with national tournaments, renaissance-styled urban monuments or non-descript edifices with nothing more than a private buzzer and a doorman. What they all have in common are outrageous membership fees that only give access to people that are exactly like themselves. It’s like throwing a party at your home with a lot of people you don’t like and somebody else makes rules about what you can wear…probably a blazer with a god-awful crest, white pants and for god’s sake…tuck in your shirt.

There is an important distinction between private clubs and private clubs. The former are for people that believe they are successful, the latter are for the truly wealthy. The former drive Porsche boxsters and dream of 911s while the latter may have driven a Ferrari in high school…if they were driving themselves at all. Insanely exclusive, private clubs are for the white-shoed, old money, pedigreed, well-named and educated-at-the-right-school crowd; you can pick them out by the number of lips stuck to their ass, politicians hanging on their every word and the ever so drôle laugh that casually rolls off their recently collagenated lips. Rich people believe that municipal bonds and credit swaps are excellent “getting to know you” conversation starters and that you simply must have a nanny.

Not sure if you and your friends are privy to the private club lifestyle? Here’s a quick quiz. Is it a pity that the Metropolitan Club opened because your family already held a membership at the Union Club? Are you outraged that members at Shinnecock Hills and Maidstone Club on the South Fork hold memberships at The Bridge? Have you turned down an invitation to The Atlantic? If you answered yes then you most certainly belong at private clubs.

To give you an idea of how exclusive some clubs are; memberships at Sebonack and The Bridge Golf Clubs are rumored to cost $1,000,000 (yes count those zeros) and $850,000 respectively. Money alone does not guarantee entry, but as the saying goes membership has its privileges. The Bridge restricts membership to 150 to ensure that members never have to wait for a tee time while Sebonack offers accommodations at one of the many 4 bedroom guest quarters next to the lavish clubhouse. Furthermore, Sebonack has built a par three 19th hole where members can play tie breakers or settle wagers. Not yet convinced? Annual dues are less than $20,000, include as much golf as you can play but of course does not cover tips to the caddy and other incidental expenses.

Given that beach house rentals in The Hamptons can top $400,000 a month in summer, a million dollar golf membership seems quite civilized indeed.

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#1 - Armoured Vehicles

#1 - Armoured Vehicles

Knight XV by Conquest Vehicles
Price: US $310,000

Armored vehicles are why I decided to start blogging…they are extravagant by every measure. Ignoring whether I actually believe that someone needs this kind of protection, I am amazed by the sheer size and price. I mean, for $310,000 you could probably buy off anyone that really wanted to hurt you! The Knight XV from Conquest Vehicles is somewhere between a tank and luxury bus but only 100 are being manufactured so don’t delay! The specs on this baby are impressive…GVWR of 17,000lbs, curb weight of 12,000lbs (by comparison an Escalade is only 5,700lbs), V10 6.8L engine, 100″ tall (that’s 8′ 4″) with a length of 240″ or a full 20′ long. Take a look at their photo gallery to get an idea of how big it is…it makes a hummer look like a Tonka toy! Next time you park next to your neighbour’s new Lamborghini at the country club you can be sure his manhood will whither.

The question that armoured vehicles raise is, are you safer in this behemoth with all the attention that it attracts with its opaque armour and optional two-way P/A intercom system? I mean, I understand armoured vehicles for the military, police and other professionals that are in the line of fire but they likely aren’t outfitting their vehicle with first class aircraft sleeper seating, flat panel TVs, cigar humidors or a refreshment bar.

But I digress, this really is about how the ultra-rich spend their money. Clearly a need for safety makes armoured vehicles a viable line of business for companies like Conquest Vehicles, Inkas Armoured and Stoof.  Don’t get me wring, I understand how important personal safety is; in Ironman…even the US military couldn’t protect Tony Stark! Next time you are wondering how to dispose of $310,000 look no further than a vehicle that also keeps the environment in mind by utilizing a flex-fuel option which enables consumption of up to 85% ethanol…a diesel engine is available if you plan to do a lot of river crossings. One more thing, don’t forget the optional ‘under vehicle magnetic attachment detector’…even a Blackwater operative would think twice about working in such desperate conditions!

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