The roots of classic Riva yachts go right back to 1842, when a young Pietro Riva began repairing and building yachts on Lake Iseo in northern Italy. But it was his great-grandson, the legendary Carlo Riva, who had the vision to create a range of wooden-hulled speedboats that were to become the epitome of the jet-set era of the 1950s and 1960s.
Carlo Riva was inspired by the products of the American yacht builder Chris-Craft, for which he was an agent, and he used Chris-Craft and Chrysler engines in his classic Riva yachts before developing the firm’s own Crusader power units that prevailed from 1967 to 1996.
The arrival of fiberglass as a boatbuilding material sounded the death knell for the viability of wooden Rivas. After decades in the doldrums, Riva was bought and revived in 2000 by the Ferretti Group, which today uses the Riva name on a new range of high-end yachts – some runabouts that capture the essence of the original classic Riva yachts, and other contemporary beauties, such as the recently launched Riva Mythos, which stands far apart from that first wooden-hull speedboat.
Inspired by the design of sports cars, the Riva Rivamare Speedboat carries the tradition of Italian speed to the water. Measuring 39 feet long and 11.6 feet at its widest, it’s powered by a pair of 400 hp Volvo Penta D6 400 engines, capable of propelling the craft to a cruising speed of 31 knots and a top speed of 40 knots. On the mahogany panelled deck, you’ll find an intuitive control system with joystick and docking mode functions that make navigating narrow passages a breeze, as well as a rear hatch with mahogany steps that extend to form a faux “beach” area with water access. Meanwhile, the downstairs is as luxurious as up, with a kitchen, bathroom with glass shower, and living area that converts into a double bed for sleeping.
Ditching the standard edition’s chrome brightwork for glossy black, the Bentley Continental GT Speed Black Edition gives the sporty tourer a little extra edge. The new Black Edition offers a host of striking color schemes that visually embody the GT Speed’s phenomenal performance. Based on the 2016 model, it gets the same upgraded 6.0L twin-turbo W12 producing 642 hp, good enough to move it from 0-60 in just 3.9 seconds and hit a top speed of over 200 mph. 21-inch black wheels match the other accents, as well as the carbon fiber of the interior fascia, center, and roof consoles, while a handful of contrast colors — including an eye-catching Cyber Yellow — can be applied to the front splitters, side skirts, leather accents, and interior stitching.
With its lower ride height, the Black Edition feels even faster – and it looks faster, too. The brightware – which includes headlight and grille surrounds, lower body side strips and door handles – is no longer chrome, but has instead been finished in a brooding, evocative black, with all-black 21″ 5-Spoke Directional Sports wheels to match.
This vibrant look runs seamlessly throughout the cabin – exhilaration and elegance co-existing in one sumptuous space. The sports steering wheel features contrast stitching and is hand-upholstered to match the Mulliner Design Seats and the satin finish Carbon Fibre fascia and console.
Beaver Creek is no stranger to top-dollar listings, but the ski area’s most expensive listing clocks in at $21,950,000 with a whole lot of amenities. The 6 bedrooms and 9 bathrooms are a standard number for a 9,824-square-foot house, but few ski country listings come with a 4.24 acre lot. That’s a lot of land, and this property benefits from both a large lawn area and surrounding forests.
Located in the gated Mountain Star neighborhood, the house was designed to resemble mountain peaks and also boasts a massive fireplace, large patio, hot tub, movie theater room, gym, and wine cellar.
Throw in some of the best views in the Vail Valley and access to the surrounding national forest and it just might be the perfect mountain retreat.
There’s nothing sexier than a martini. Beloved by James Bond, the clean, spirit-forward cocktail has proven itself impervious to countless trends, from “shaken, not stirred” to the unfortunate appletini. Although traditionally made with gin, I prefer vodka (fewer morning-after headaches. . .). A martini is usually dressed with olives but occasionally with a lemon twist or onion (but that is actually a Gibson, not a martini). A properly made martini is like drinking a cloud.
History of the Martini
Like many classics cocktails whose origins stretch deep into history, the martini’s story of inception is the stuff of legends. Since the 1950s, the town of Martinez, California has claimed the drink as their own. The story goes that during the Gold Rush around 1849, a prospector who struck gold wanted to celebrate with Champagne, but since the local bar didn’t have any, the bartender instead threw together what he did have—fortified wine and gin—and called it the Martinez special. Over time, the Martinez recipe, which is more similar to a Manhattan, evolved into the martini.
Steps to a Perfect Martini
One: The Vodka. Vodka makes the basis of the martini and is its most important ingredient. Tito’s Handmade Vodka is one of my favorites. I started drinking this a few years ago when it was still a small batch vodka made in Texas. It has since grown to be quite popular (and more expensive). I find it to be very smooth with almost a creamy mouthfeel. Works great in a martini.
Two: The Vermouth. Vermouth is also a key ingredient to a martini. Don’t be afraid of it. I typically use one part vermouth to four parts vodka. I prefer Noilly Prat – a French vermouth in production for over two hundred years. Note that vermouth is a fortified wine with a limited shelf life. It must be refrigerated and will last no more than three months.
Three: The Temperature. Martini’s must be cold, cold, cold. Keep your glasses chilled and shake, shake, shake. If you prefer gin you might want to stir (shaking actually does bruise gin and produces a different drink). But with vodka don’t be afraid to use lots of ice and shake. And use good ice. And good water. Buy a few decent ice cube trays that make the big ice cubes.
Four: The Garnish. I like my martinis a little dirty so always add a bit of olive juice. I never add olives – they really just take up valuable space in the glass. Some use a lemon twist.
Five: Experiment. Martinis are a personal drink. Try different vodka and vermouth combinations. Karlsson’s Gold vodka is getting rave reviews and awards. And Vya vermouth is also getting some great word of mouth – although still a little hard to find.
50/50 Martini: The ultimate wet martini with equal parts gin and vermouth.
Gibson Martini: A martini garnished with a pickled onion.
Martinez: The precursor to the dry martini, made with sweet vermouth, Old Tom gin, and maraschino liqueur. This cocktail similar to a Manhattan cocktail, but made with gin instead of rye.
Vesper : The vodka and gin martini variation created by Ian Fleming in his first James Bondnovel, Casino Royale. It’s three parts (Gordon’s) gin, 1 part Russian vodka and a 1/2 part Kina Lillet (sub Lillet Blanc or Cocchi Americano).
Puritan Cocktail: A martini variation from 1900, made with yellow Chartreuse (1 3/4 ounces gin, 1/2 ounce dry vermouth, 1/4 ounce yellow Chartreuse, a dash orange bitters).
Paul Rudolph’s Walker Guest House on Sanibel Island (1952-53) is a magical modernist box essential for understanding Rudolph and midcentury modernism. In 1952, Dr. Walter Walker of Minneapolis asked Rudolph to build a small guest house on Sanibel Island, intended as a pendant to a larger house already designed by Rudolph (that was never built). Rudolph delivered a unique design: a 576-square-foot lightweight box made of wood posts and beams painted white; glazed with wall-sized windows and screens; enclosed by large square panels; and raised on a 24-by-24-foot platform. Rudolph captured its animated, tensile character when he later said of the house, “It crouches like a spider in the sand.”
Most remembered for his controversial, large-scale Brutalist buildings of the 1960s, Rudolph (1918-97) first achieved international acclaim in the late 1940s and early 1950s for a series of widely published, structurally expressive beach houses he designed in Sarasota, Florida, with Ralph Twitchell (1890-1978). The houses were experimental, using new materials, such as plastics and plywoods. Rudolph saw the houses as opportunities to explore and question the rules of modern architecture in order to find his own unique means of expression.
Controlled by an ingenious, sailboat-like rigging system, the adjustable panels acted as giant shutters that could shade and protect the house’s transparent expanses from sun and rain. Hinged at the top rather than the side, the shutters were abstracted versions of the hurricane shutters found throughout the Caribbean. The shutters were counterbalanced by ball-shaped, iron weights. Painted red, they gave the house its joyful, toy-like character. The Walker family vacationed in the guest house during the winter and affectionately called it “Cannonball.” At the end of the season, they locked the shutters and left the house upon the beach, like a traveler’s trunk waiting to be opened again next winter. They still return to it today.
A prize-winner (the“Award Bienal de Sao Paulo”) , the Walker House helped catapult Rudolph into the chairmanship of the Yale Department of Architecture by 1957, where he influenced an entire generation of students, among them Norman Foster, Richard Rogers and Robert A. M. Stern. A model both local and universal, the lightweight, box-like Walker House was undoubtedly a prototype for his prefabricated dwellings of the 1960s, which he tempered with sensitivity for locale learned from Florida.
Porsche’s iconic 356 Speedster has long been one of my favorite cars – partially due to the styling (I love a ragtop) and partially due to its democratic price point. The model first appeared in 1954 after U.S. distributor Max Hoffman convinced the factory that it needed a product with which to compete with lower-cost British imports. What Porsche delivered was a bare-bones roadster with a base price of just under $3,000, which was exactly what Hoffman needed to get customers in the door. Unlike the luxurious 356 Cabriolet, with its fixed windshield and numerous comfort features, the Speedster was very basic, with side curtains instead of roll-up door glass, a removable windshield, ventilated thin-shell non-reclining bucket seats, and little else—though a lot of fun. The exterior of this example is finished in Meisen Blue with a Navy top, while the interior has a matching Meisen Blue dash with correct gauges, a restored Nardi wooden steering wheel, and tan square-weave carpeting.
The 356 Speedster was a true dual- purpose sports car. Owners could readily use their Speedsters for everyday transportation and then drive to the track on weekends, remove the bumpers, top, windshield, floor mats, and other trim, tape on some numbers, and go racing. Speedsters offered excellent performance due to their light weight, and they soon established themselves as the cars to beat. Speedsters remained competitive well into the 1970s and 1980s, winning many national championships in the U.S. and Europe.
The Jaguar E-Type is the most beautiful, elegant car ever built.
It is one of only six cars in the Museum of Modern Art’s permanent design collection (in 1966, a blue Series 1 roadster). On its release Enzo Ferrari called it “The most beautiful car ever made.” In 2004, Sports Car International magazine placed the E-Type at number one on their list of Top Sports Cars of the 1960s.
The Jaguar E-Type (a.k.a. Jaguar XK-E) was manufactured by between 1961 and 1975. Its combination of beauty, high performance, and competitive pricing established the marque as an icon of 1960s motoring. At a time when most cars had drum brakes, live rear axles, and mediocre performance, the XKE sprang on the scene with 150 mph and a sub-7 second 0-60 time, monocoque construction, disc brakes, rack and pinion steering, independent front and rear suspension, and unrivaled looks.
Over the course of its production Jaguar produced the E-Type in three different series. The Series 1 was initially designed and shown to the public as a rear-wheel drive grand tourer in two-seater coupé form (FHC or Fixed Head Coupé) and as a two-seater convertible (OTS or Open Two Seater). A “2+2” four-seater version of the coupé, with a lengthened wheelbase, was released several years later.
The Series 1 cars (built between 1961 and 1968 – by far the most valuable) fall into two categories: those made between 1961 and 1964, which had 3.8 litre engines and non-synchromesh transmissions, and those made between 1965-1967, which increased engine size and torque by around 10%, added a fully synchronized transmission, and also provided new reclining seats, an alternator in place of the prior generator and other modern amenities. The 4.2 became the most desirable version of the famous E-Type due to their increased power and usability while retaining the same outward appearance as the earlier cars.
The Series 2 (built between 1968 and 1971) introduced a number of design changes, largely due to U.S. design legislation. The most distinctive exterior feature is the absence of the glass headlight covers. Other hallmarks of Series 2 cars are a wrap-around rear bumper, re-positioned and larger front indicators and tail lights below the bumpers, an enlarged “mouth” which aided cooling but detracted for the Series I design purity, twin electric fans, plastic rocker switches in place of the Series I toggle switches, and, of course most importantly, a material downgrading in performance resulting from a switch from the three SU carburetors used in Series 1 models to a mere two “smogged” Stromberg carbs, reducing horsepower from 265 to 246 and reducing torque from 283 to 263.
The Series 3 (built between 1971 and 1975) introduced a new 5.3 L twelve-cylinder Jaguar V12 engine, uprated brakes and standard power steering. Optionally an automatic transmission, wire wheels and air conditioning was available. The brand new V12 engine was originally developed for the Le Mans series. It was equipped with four Zenith carburetors. The Series 3 is easily identifiable by the large cross-slatted front grille, flared wheel arches, wider tyres, four exhaust tips and a badge on the rear that proclaims it to be a V12.
The New Lightweights
Way back in 1963, Jaguar embarked on a special project. A project to build 18 lightweight, all aluminum GT E-Type destined for racing domination. Jaguar planned to produce 18 units but ultimately only a dozen were built. These are exceedingly rare and sought after by collectors – one sold in early 2015 for more than £5 million.
Determined to complete the project, the craftsmen at Jaguar Heritage in Coventry, England, are hand-building the remaining 6. Take a look at the creation of vehicle S850670.
The Rag & Bone sample sale returns to Chelsea Market (410 West 16th St, New York) this weekend. The sale opens on Wednesday (January 13) and runs through Sunday. Hours: Wed-Fri 10:30-8:00PM, Sat 11:00-7:00PM, Sun 11:00-3:00PM.
Last chance – Archibald Motley: Jazz Age Modernist currently at the Whitney Museum of American Art closes January 17th.
Archibald John Motley Jr. (1891–1981) was a bold and highly original modernist and one of the great visual chroniclers of twentieth-century American life. He first came to prominence in the 1920s during the early days of the Harlem Renaissance—the cultural flowering of African American art, music, and literature that extended beyond the New York neighborhood of its name to other cities, notably Chicago, where Motley spent most of his life.
Motley was born in New Orleans, but his family moved to Chicago when he was quite young, and he later became one of the first black artists to attend the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. His training there was academic, rigorously focused on the human figure, and steeped in European tradition. Motley’s sophisticated understanding of art history is especially apparent in his sympathetic portraits, but it was a history that he challenged and advanced with his raucous scenes of everyday urban life.
As the work on view in Archibald Motley: Jazz Age Modernist eloquently attests, Motley rightly holds a place among the great American modernists. The artist created a far more daring visual language than many of his contemporaries, fusing vivid narrative with dizzying spatial distortion and jarring hues to produce striking settings for characters of diverse racial backgrounds and social classes.
Best bets for a few recently opened movies . . .
Anomalisa – A lonely motivational speaker goes on a business trip to Cincinnati, where he meets an extraordinary stranger who might be able to change his negative view of life. This stop-motion-animation feature was penned by lauded screenwriter Charlie Kaufman, who also co-directs alongside Duke Johnson. I am not normally a fan of animation but this movie is getting great reviews and buzz.
The Revenant – In 1820s America, frontiersman and fur trapper Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio) joins a pelt-gathering expedition along with his teenage son Hawk (Forrest Goodluck). When attacks by Arikara Indians claim the lives of many of the men in the party, Glass leads a small group on a new path back to a U.S. fort. While attempting to hunt game on the journey, Glass is mauled by a grizzly bear and horribly wounded. Assumed he’ll be dead soon, Glass is left under the care of roughneck John Fitzgerald (Tom Hardy), and the young and inexperienced Jim Bridger (Will Poulter) as Hawk watches on in horror. Fitzgerald betrays Glass and leaves him for dead, alone and unarmed. Glass nurses himself back to health and charts a course of revenge. Directed by Alejandro G. Inarritu.
The Hateful Eight – Bounty hunter John “The Hangman” Ruth (Kurt Russell) and his dangerous prisoner Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh) encounter a treacherous blizzard en route to her sentencing in Wyoming. During their stagecoach ride they come across another bounty hunter, Major Marquis Warren (Samuel L. Jackson), and former Confederate rebel leader Chris Mannix (Walton Goggins). Seeking refuge from the weather, the group chart a course for a mountain cabin to wait out the storm. There, they meet four other traveling strangers (Tim Roth, Demián Bichir, Michael Madsen, and Bruce Dern) with whom they must share the stuffy confines until the end of the blizzard. Tensions eventually boil over as each individual has his or her own agenda in this inventive Western, which is set in the aftermath of the American Civil War and written and directed by Quentin Tarantino.
Sisters – SNL alumni Tina Fey and Amy Poehler co-star in this comedy about two daffy adult sisters, one an irresponsible single mom and the other a kindhearted nurse, who decide to throw one last wild party at their childhood home before it’s sold by their parents. However, their bash ends up going disastrously awry.
Mr Porter just reduced sale prices from 50% to 70% off retail prices. They usually take one last markdown to 80% off but the pickings are pretty slim by then. There is still a decent selection of great brands at great prices. A few favorites:
This is the time of year when every organization and person creating some sort of content comes out with their “Best of 2015” lists. Rather than come out with my own lists I have culled a few interesting ones for you to enjoy.
First up – a compilation of GoPro videos from the team at GoPro. Some truly awe-inspiring and amazing footage. I think I need to get out more.
With a few days off this week I am catching up on movies and have seen Spotlight, The Big Short and Carol. The first two are great (but be prepared to be angry after seeing The Big Short). Carol is beautifully shot and acted but I didn’t feel the connection between the two lead characters that apparently everyone else on the planet did.
Best of broadway 2015: New York Theater blog best of 2015. And conveniently all in one place – top reviewers give their top 10: Top 10 of the top 10 – best in NY Theater 2015. My picks: Hamilton, Fun Home, An American in Paris, King Charles III, A View from the Bridge, Skylight, Something Rotten and Constellations. Hir showed up on a number of lists – I thought the play was a little strange but I love just about anything with Christine Nielson.
Best in Food 2015
Eater NY best new restaurants in 2015. I am embarrassed to say I have been to only a few of these. I am most looking forward to Bruno, Santina, Lupolo and Upland (see link to best new burgers below. . . )
Best new burgers in 2015 (limited to New York City unfortunately): Eater NY best new burgers in 2015. Sad to say I have had none of these – the Upland burger is the one I am most interested in trying!
The Lighter Side of 2015
For a little comic relief – the video below is a few funny clips early on.