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Archive for the ‘Leisure & Vacation’ Category

#53 - Saving Africa

#53 - Saving Africa

Saving Africa
Price: Modest Knowledge

Rich people love to support noble causes and a favorite cause is to save Africa. Don’t confuse this with caring as it is socially important that every rich person show a compassionate side. The way that rich people save is different than the way that the rest of the world saves. Many people will give a year of their life volunteering or make monthly donations in return for a photograph and signed Christmas card. Rich people use causes as the raison d’être to host lavish fundraising galas with an annual flight to Africa for a safari and photo ops during a tour of schools or hospitals supported by their foundation. Ironically, a major reason that Africa needs help is the 19th century colonization of the continent by rich people.

Historically, the pillaging of Africa was fueled by an insatiable desire for copper, rubber, diamonds, tea and more recently oil. In return for stripping the continent of its riches, Europeans provided limited education, frowned upon mixed marriages, enlisted Africans to fight in World Wars, implemented enforced labor and planted cash crops while neglecting food crops. The result, this doesn’t make for good conversation when befriending the rich. Instead, use this as an opportunity to flatter their generosity and learn more about their benevolent nature.

Rich people like devoting their philanthropic efforts to saving the Dark Continent because it is easy to explain. Medical research or environmental work can be confusing but conjuring images of impoverished orphans in the sub-Saharan is effortless. It is also simple for the wealthy to explain how much good they are doing. Measuring the number of hospitals, patients, schools, students and textbooks is superior to scientific jargon or tonnes of CO2 eliminated. They would spend more time explaining the metric system than proving what generous people they are. Remember, it isn’t about making a difference, it’s about being recognized for the difference rich people make. Ensure you fawn over and embellish their efforts and you are well on your way to a black tie affair. If you are lucky they may invite a real live African whose life they have enriched, the wealthy are so wonderful.

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#41 - Extravagant Parties

#41 - Extravagant Parties

Party Of the Year
Price: Limitless

Everyone enjoys a great party and rich people are no different. The distinction is how one hosts a party. If you receive a written and personalized invitation to a party, your host may be rich. If the invitation asks for an RSVP, this is also a good sign. If the letters BYOB are included on the invite, you aren’t going to a party with rich people. Variations on the letter B include beer, booze, beef and bitches. If it is the latter, you might want to skip the party and start looking for new friends.

All this aside, when rich people party they spare no expense and take care of every detail. An entire industry has been launched from the wallets and purses of the rich driven by their need to outdo the party at the forefront of A-list minds. These inspired games of one-upmanship lead to paid celebrity appearances, performances by top musicians, ice sculptures, champagne fountains, limo services, catering by the city’s best chefs and lavish gift bags featuring the latest must-have items. Why restrict yourself to a single party? If you want to celebrate in style, throw a simul-party (apparently we didn’t make up this word). The outrageously wealthy will organize same-day parties in multiple cities, on multiple continents and fly to them on their private jets. Paris Hilton loaded her closest friends into a Gulfstream and circumnavigated the globe on her 21st birthday including stops in New York, Las Vegas, London, Hollywood and Tokyo.

The opulence and extravagance of these fabulous parties begs the question why? Here are a few reasons, feel free to add you own. Everyone knows that rich people allude to their wealth but never reveal their net worth. Parties keep people guessing and spark discussion; the more extravagant, the more you are worth or so the logic goes. Next, rich people love to impress by hosting the perfect evening. Parties showcase their class, culture, thoughtfulness, creativity and the ability to hire the perfect planner. Finally, the rich worry that nobody will show up and the caviar will spoil; a great party is a guarantee that you’ll never run short of sycophants. This isn’t unique to the rich. Admit it, you’ve sat at home waiting for people to arrive, nervously passing time boozing or gulping Jell-o shots until guests start arriving or you have passed out on the floor. The rich are the same, except they pop champagne and snort lines in the pool house. Either way, score an invite to one of these fab soirees and you could be watching the Jonas Brothers at a private party in the Hills. On second thought, pass the Jell-o and a bucket!

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#37 - Pure White Bathrobes

#37 - Pure White Bathrobes

Loro Piana Cashmere Robe
Price: $3,495

Rich people face a never-ending dichotomy, an inner turmoil that is rarely understood by the middle and lower classes. How does one balance a public image of importance and responsibility with a private life of leisure and luxury? Remember, their time is precious and it should be spent increasing wealth or enjoying life to the fullest. While yacht charters, island getaways, topiary and escort services are all important, the most accessible way to enjoy a luxurious lifestyle is the white bathrobe. Of course it helps if your major domo is serving fresh squeezed orange juice, Italian espresso and a selection of tropical fruits while you work through the NY Times crossword, in pen of course, but these are secondary to the primary luxury that a robe provides.

To befriend the rich, you will want to familiarize yourself with the comfort and luxury provided by this simple item. I know what you are thinking, my father wore a threadbare robe every Sunday morning and he definitely wasn’t rich. Don’t be fooled, there are robes and then there are robes. Any jackass can visit Target and pick up a terry cloth striped robe with bunny slippers for less than twenty bucks but these betray the essence of the real deal. A robe should be thick with plenty of material to wrap and long enough to avoid errantly displaying the family jewels. Next, you will notice the difference in the collar; luxury demands that a second layer is stitched on the inside to ensure you are swaddled in plush fabric around the neck and chest. Finally, deep pockets are required. You may wonder…what would I carry around in the morning? The answer is nothing; they act as a metaphor to remind you that you are rich and can afford frivolities like meaningless pockets.

Should you find yourself in conversation concerning morning couture, sharing breakfast with a wealthy colleague at the summer home or enjoying a steam bath at the club, it is wise to be versed in the subtleties of leisure wear. Debate continues around where one should acquire this essential apparel. To many, the only choice is a pure white robe from a high-end department store or local boutique specializing in fine linens and towels. For others, purchasing robes embossed with luxury hotel brands serves a dual purpose of showcasing your worldliness and accessing global luxury through well regarded purchasing departments. The danger with the latter is the lingering question of whether the robe was purchased or gauchely abducted from the Four Seasons without a second thought. For this reason above all others, err on the side of social acceptability and avoid branded robes, unless you are Winona Ryder of course.

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#34 - Infinity Pools

#34 - Infinity Pools

Infinity Pools
Price: $100,000

Rich people love homes with spectacular views. After spending millions on a dwelling that they may inhabit for as little as a few weeks a year, it is a shame to ruin the splendor and magnificence of the horizon with an unsightly pool edge. Imagine if you will, the distraction that concrete or natural stone could pose when staring across the turquoise seas of the Caribbean, it’s enough to ruin the weekend; it’s like wearing polyester underwear, going to Kansas or flying economy class. Fortunately, architects and pool designers the world over joined forces and collectively tackled this global problem. The result; they gave the world the infinity edge pool. This gift means the wealthy will never again have to tolerate the interruption of their views and can get back to amassing wealth and talking about amassing wealth.

The infinity pool has emerged as a dominant feature of luxury homes and resorts in every corner of the globe. Originally found in villas with spectacular ocean views and hilltop homes overlooking the city below, the infinity pool is now featured in jungles, mountain resorts, rain forests and even golf courses. The most interesting part of the infinity pool is that you will rarely see someone actually use it. Nothing illustrates how bloated you have become after years of Foie Gras and Kobe beef like displacing 25 gallons of water over the side of a large pool.

For many people, the only time they will see an infinity pool is in a photograph or on the television. The simple explanation, rich people don’t do cannonballs while the lower classes believe this is an appropriate baptism for any body of water regardless of size and occasion. Don’t believe it, search YouTube for ‘cannonball pool’ and results include videos of naked cannonballs, flaming cannonballs, cannonball contests, cannonballs from the roof, cannonballs from the wall, etc. Let me put it this way, you will go through a lot of pages before you find a cannonball in The Hamptons. The math is, infinity pool plus cannonball equals funny but you will never get invited back so enjoy it while you can. Besides, nothing ruins a good umbrella drink like the sight of a grown man hurtling through the air!

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#31 - Cocaine

#31 - Cocaine

Cocaine
Price: $23,000 per kg

Rich people have strains and stresses that the middle class do not understand. While the middle class worry about their jobs and their 401(k) plans, the rich have to worry about which boarding school the children will attend, Bentley or Rolls and custom Italian or English suits. Despite these ungodly pressures, they must maintain confidence and alertness across global time zones. Fortunately nature provided just the product and as such, the rich love cocaine. Naturally, not all rich people use cocaine just as not all poor people smoke crack, but the fact remains that funding the Colombian economy is happening by the kilo, not the gram.

Coke, blow, candy cane, Angie, Flake, Aunt Nora, Scottie, Charlie, and dream are all names that the rich use when talking about their recreational drug of choice. Why not call it cocaine? Using pseudonyms for nose candy gives young millionaires “street cred” among their WASP friends and renaming cocaine is a game of sorts; while you were studying at college to improve your life, wealthy frat boys were coming up creative monikers for the primary use of their trust funds. Think of it as a rite of passage for the wealthy to help overcome the crassness of discussing illicit substances. Truthfully, if it wasn’t for this South American powder, most wealthy college attendees would hardly have had the stamina to attend class after an all-night kegger, would lack the ability to concentrate during exams and may not have been interesting enough to their sycophantic colleagues to have had friends at all.

Cocaine wasn’t always the popular drug it is now. While Freud is most often associated with more despicable habits like the Oedipus Complex, the modern world can thank his research and his early use of cocaine for its general acceptance. His paper On Coca or Über Coca was well received and led to a virtual explosion of cocaine’s inclusion in products such as colas, cigarettes, wine and analgesics. As with most controlled substances, too much of a good thing can be very bad indeed. Its highly addictive properties and availability in numerous forms means the estimated market in the US exceeded $70 billion in 2005 and today is popular as a club drug. Surprisingly, while many people won’t sit on a toilet seat in a club, snorting lines off of them is perfectly acceptable.

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It is such a beautiful day! The sun is out, women are wearing gingham dresses, Prada sunglasses and floppy sunhats while the men look relaxed in linen suits with Ferragamo loafers. Such a lovely day calls for a trip to the ballpark, and what would a day watching the boys of summer be without sampling the finest MLB culinary offerings. Discover the best and worst of the 30 major league parks. Enjoy today’s fun site, Finding the Hits, Avoiding the Errors at the NY Times! I recommend the crab cakes in San Francisco!

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#21  - Mint Juleps

#21 - Mint Juleps

Kentucky Derby Mint Julep
Price: $1,000

All rich people love to drink. Give a rich person a stiff cocktail and a cigarette holder and they can stay out until dawn…of course they never do, it would be improper. Unlike the masses, rich people do not pick up a flat of Pabst Blue Ribbon or a bottle of Wild Turkey or loudly proclaim “it’s Miller time!” Instead, rich people tailor their drink of choice to the social gathering at hand. As an example, strawberries and champagne are lovely at Wimbledon, a Manhattan at The Campbell Apartment in New York will do, a Caesar (for our Canadian readers) or a Bloody Mary with brunch is quite civilized and perhaps the most famous, a Mint Julep at the Kentucky Derby is a must have.

Churchill Downs, home of the Kentucky Derby, serves over 120,000 mint juleps each year. While this delightful cocktail of crushed ice, bourbon and fresh mint sweetened with syrup may fit the bill for the common man, the rich prefer a more prestigious concoction of this historic favorite. Each year the Kentucky Derby crafts 50 special edition mint juleps available to their wealthiest patrons for $1,000 per drink. Imagine…crushed ice from the Arctic Circle sweetened with hand-ground sugar from the island Republic of Mauritius, fresh Moroccan mint and Kentucky bourbon blended and served in an engraved gold-plated mug and sipped through a sterling silver straw. Custom storage box and an embroidered silk handkerchief, designed by the makers of jockey silks, make this a must-have for any patron of the sport of kings. Of course the proceeds go to charity but that’s hardly the point is it?

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