Bentley Continental GT Speed Black Edition

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.

Bentley Continental GT Speed Black Edition
Bentley Continental GT Speed Black Edition

The Lust List – Beaver Creek’s Most Expensive Listing

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.

Beaver Creek Listing - Interior Living Room
Beaver Creek Listing – Interior Living Room
Beaver Creek Listing - Interior Master Bedroom
Beaver Creek Listing – Interior Master Bedroom

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.

Beaver Creek Listing - Interior Wine Celler
Beaver Creek Listing – Interior Wine Celler

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.

Beaver Creek Listing - Interior Stairway
Beaver Creek Listing – Interior Stairway
Beaver Creek Listing - Exterior
Beaver Creek Listing – Exterior

Beaver Creek $22MM Listing

Ode to the Martini

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.

Another theory is that the martini is actually the result of a very successful marketing ploy by Italian vermouth maker Martini & Rossi in 1863, when the brand created a drink in response to customers asking for a tipple of dry vermouth and gin. When cocktail historian David Wondrich published the first edition of Imbibe! in 2007, he floated several martini origin stories. But he suggests the most plausible, although not proven, to be one involving New York judge Randolph B. Martine who supposedly invented the martini at New York City’s The Manhattan Club.

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.

Tito's Vodka
Tito’s Vodka

Variations

  • 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 Magical Modernist Box

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.

Walker Guest House Exterior
Walker Guest House Exterior

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.

Walker Guest House Interior
Walker Guest House Interior

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.

Paul Walker designed guest house on Sanibel Island
Paul Walker designed guest house on Sanibel Island