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10 Great Outdoorsy Getaways From New York City

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storm king

With constant talk of weekend getaways and city escapes, summer has us convinced that we’ve always been the outdoorsy type.

Yes, seeing as though we’re substituting perpetual subway commutes with oxygen-nutrient saunters, demanding patio seating at our favorite lunch spots, and swearing by rooftop nightlife, we’re obviously terrestrial beings — right?

All this delusion that we’re suddenly off the grid has us wondering if there’s any way to actually get in touch with Mama Nature...as New Yorkers, that is. 

It goes without saying that hopelessly wandering the city for truly ventilated terrain can feel, well, hopeless. Central Park is to nature as kitten is to heel; it’s almost there, but not quite. But, lucky for us, right outside of Manhattan are some of the most awe-inspiring places to grab a breath of real fresh air.

Understandably, not all of us are Mount Everest ready. So, we’ve tailored our sanctuary finds to fit the needs of the vegetating and the vagabond alike to guarantee that we can all get our enviro-fix before falling back into arctic hibernation.

Greenwood Gardens

Created in the early 1900s as the stomping grounds for a millionaire’s large family, Greenwood Gardens was eventually purchased by a lawyer (doubling as a farmer), who transformed the grounds into a sculptural celebration of horticulture.

Today, the gardens are a nonprofit conservation organization and have the prestigious title of being one of the 16 American gardens that the Garden Conservancy has deemed "exceptional." Talk about a green thumb!

Greenwood Gardens, 274 Old Short Hills Road, Short Hills, NJ; (973) 258-4026



Storm King Art Center

Just an hour north of the city, in the lower Hudson Valley, you’ll find an artist’s playground in the form of an open-air museum. Storm King Art Center consists of 500 acres of hills, woodlands, and fields that exhibit over 100 sculptures by some of the most iconic artists of our time.

Among others, you’ll see work by Andy Goldsworthy, Roy Lichtenstein, and Maya Lin. You have the option of walking or renting a bike, so if you choose not to part with your leather-soled loafers, Storm King won’t do too much damage.

Storm King Art Center, 1 Museum Road, New Windsor, NY; (845) 534-3115



The Giant Stairs At Palisades

The title itself gives away what you’re in for if you make the 25-minute trek to Palisades Interstate Park. The four-mile trail includes a small section of boulders that have been rightly named: The ‘Giant Stairs.’

We promise it’s a do-able hike, but if you’re not looking to break a sweat, the park has some trails that let you skip the dose of stairmaster and offer great views of the cliffs along the Hudson. So, if you’re committed to getting yourself onto a real trail, you don’t have to climb the Giant to find what you’re looking for.

Palisades Interstate Park, Alpine, NJ; (201) 784-1430



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This New Lightweight Lamborghini Can Hit 199 MPH

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lamborghini lp 570 4

It was only a few months ago that Lamborghini founded its Squadra Corse department to handle its motorsport activities, including its one-make series, theBlancpain Super Trofeo.

The Super Trofeo race series spawned its own special-edition racing Gallardo, and now the Squadra Corse department has given us another.

Also based on the Gallardo Super Trofeo, the Gallardo LP 570-4 Squadra Corse is a road-going car that leverages technology and weight savings from race car, including extensive use of aluminum and carbon fiber, high-downforce aerodynamics, and quick-release engine cover.

The engine is the same V-10 used in the race car, accelerating the car to 62 mph in just 3.4 seconds and to 124 mph in 10.4 seconds. Top speed is 199 mph. The quick acceleration isn't just about power, however, as Lamborghini has managed to cut the Squadra Corse's weight by about 150 pounds compared to the Gallardo LP 560-4.

Like the Super Trofeo race cars, the LP 570-4 Squadra Corse is all-wheel drive, and comes standard with the robotized e-gear six-speed transmission operated by steering wheel paddles.

The design of the car is intended to highlight the brand's Italian roots, with a decal strip along the flank of each car in the colors of the Italian flag: green, white, and red. Available exterior colors are yellow, white, grey, and red, with a matte black rear wing and high-gloss treatments for the hood, intakes, wheels, and rear diffuser.

Inside each Squadra Corse is a minimalist interior finished principally in carbon fiber and Alcantara.

The Gallardo LP 570-4 Squadra Corse will make its world debut at the Frankfurt Auto Show this September and is expected to be the last Gallardo variant before the car's successor arrives.

Follow Motor Authority on FacebookTwitter, and Google+.

SEE ALSO: BMW's New All-Electric Car Is Pretty Strange Looking

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HOUSE OF THE DAY: Insane $50 Million Tribeca Penthouse Finally Sells After 2 Years On The Market

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144 duane street, $45 million, tribeca loft

A crazy, six-story loft in TriBeCa that was originally listed for $45 million and later had its price increased to $49.5 million has finally sold, according to The New York Observer.

There's no word on the buyer or final sale price on the apartment at 144 Duane Street, which had been on the market since 2011.

The loft made waves last year when The New York Post reported it had piqued the interest of a wealthy Facebook insider following the company's IPO.

 

The 30,000 square-foot loft has eight bedrooms, 10 bathrooms, an elevator, a private gym, and half basketball court. The home is six stories, two underground.

 

Outside there's a private terrace.

The exterior of the 1862 limestone mansion



The loft apartment has 12- to 17-foot ceilings and exposed brick throughout



The den doubles as a library



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American Man Is Attempting To Travel From Cuba To Key West On A Stand-up Paddleboard

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american paddleboard cuba

A 35-year-old American on Thursday left Havana on a stand-up paddleboard in a bid to reach Florida -- a journey he said he hoped would promote "peace and love" between Cuba and the United States.

"This trip is to promote peace and love and friendship between the people of Cuba and the United States, as well as a healthy lifestyle," Benjamin Friberg said before leaving Havana's Marina Hemingway.

Friberg, who hails from the US state of Tennessee, said he hoped to complete the 170-kilometer (105-mile) journey from the Cuban capital to Key West in about 20 hours.

"I'm not sure. It depends on the challenges I will face -- waves, winds, current, all the variables," he said, calling his attempt to cross the perilous, shark-infested Straits of Florida the first by paddleboard.

In the past two years, three swimmers have tried -- and failed -- to make the hazardous crossing.

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Bill Gates: 7 Million Children Die Every Year ... And That's (Relatively) Good News

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Here's a sad statistic that Bill Gates shared when speaking at Microsoft a couple of weeks ago. 7 million children die every year. Still, that's a huge improvement from 2000, when 12 million children died every year.

"The majority of that reduction is new vaccines," he said. "Over the next 15 years, with the world working together, we should be able to get that number below 3 million."

That's a startling fantastic number compared to the year he was born, in 1955.  Back then 20 million children a year died, he said.

Glass half empty or half full?

Here's the whole conversation, given at Microsoft last month during the company's Microsoft Research Faculty Summit.


SEE ALSO: The History Of The Tablet, An Idea Steve Jobs Stole And Turned Into A Game-Changer

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Pinterest Just Became One Of Our Favorite New Savings Tools

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pinterest

Do you ever catch yourself surreptitiously pinning fabulous items on Pinterest that you desperately want, but in reality, will never be able to afford?

That is, unless you win the lottery, and then that bright blue Balenciaga clutch you’ve been eyeing longingly is as good as yours.

Starting today, the social network is adding a new feature that will ease your troubled mind and alleviate the stress sustained by your ever-thinning wallet. Pinterest debuted a new feature this morning that will alert users via email when prices on pinned items drop.

After May’s roll-out of the innovative “product pins,” which display more information about the object you’ve posted, including price, availability and retailer links, tens of millions of products have reportedly been added, including retail information on clothing, furniture or etc.

Cutting out the middle-man, the social platform will now align its’ users interests to the buy-channel, and is on the road to becoming a virtual gold mine for marketers and brands alike.

“Many of the pins already have price information,” Pinterest’s spokesperson Annie Ta told ABC News. “Now we are able to send notifications about the price dropping. We think it will be really helpful for the pinners and great for the websites selling the products.”

Pinterest promises to keep the notifications at a minimum and will only send them a couple of times a day.

Since adding the product pin feature, Pinterest has reported the click-through rate higher for product pins compared to regular pins.

I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling pretty pinspired.

SEE ALSO: These Are The Best Cities In The US To Be Young, Broke, And Single

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Here's What Those Notorious Expats Are Really Doing In China

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Lan Kwai Fong Hong Kong expatriate

When those of us in the Western world look at China, we often do so through the prism of the expatriate, usually a young(ish) Westerner living in one of the country's major metropolitan areas.

However, these expats are not always the most reliable narrators. Even websites that cater to expats are full of stories of foolish, usually drunken, "laowai" humiliating themselves in one manner or another.

Given how this community is a window into China — and perhaps also China's window into into the West — they probably deserve study, and a new book out this week in the U.S. attempts to do that.

Tom Carter, both an expat and "laowai" in China since 2006, chronicles the expat experience as editor of "Unsavory Elements" (a Chinese nickname for foreigners, perhaps one step above "foreign devils"). Featuring 28 essays from foreigners, the book is meant to show some kind of unifying experience amongst a relatively disparate community.

While most of the essays are by relatively established writers (the New Yorker's Peter Hessler is one notable example), they offer a good glimpse of the variety of the expat experience in China. Perhaps the seediest story is Carter's own story, a snapshot of a his trip to a brothel in an unnamed Chinese city (a story that was "so insensitive," Time Out Shanghai felt forced to ask Carter about "his motives for writing it") but others offer more family friendly fare (for example, Alan Paul’s road trip through remote Sichuan province with his young family).

"Unsavory Elements" comes out in the United States this week and you can buy it on Amazon here. Business Insider spoke with Carter in an effort to understand what he really things about the experience of foreigners in China.

Business Insider: What made you want to edit this book? Your previous book was photography-based, why the shift?

Tom Carter: During my 2-year, 35,000-mile journey across China back in ’06-’08, my backpack was constantly filled with books – more books than anything else, which made my pack quite unwieldy – including the memoirs of many of the authors who would later contribute to Unsavory. The snapshots that I took during my travels ultimately resulted in the creation of my own book, CHINA: Portrait of a People, which was well received and inspired me to pursue photojournalism professionally.

Tom CarterBut, as it happened, in the following years the photojournalism industry basically collapsed (due in part to the decline of print media and the advent of digital devices). While I was sitting around waiting for interviews and job offers that never came, I started working on other literary projects, such as this anthology, for fun.

I conceived Unsavory Elements as a tribute to all those expat authors in China that had inspired me during my travels with their tales and prose. I reached out to them to commission all-new stories – I did not know any of them personally but everyone was accessible and receptive – and found I had a knack for editing. It was an entirely organic, grassroots project that perfectly exemplifies the unpredictable, fluid spirit of expatriate life in China, where anyone can reinvent themselves, and where even if one door of opportunity closes on you, another will usually open.

BI: Is there something unique about the expat community in China as opposed to say, expats in Japan or France?

TC: I can’t speak on France – my only knowledge of the expatriate scene there comes from Henry Miller’s Tropic of Cancer – but I did used to live in Tokyo. Gaijin and laowai share many quandaries, such as our host countries’ deep-rooted mistrust and openly xenophobic attitudes towards outsiders (“No Foreigners Allowed” signs are just as common in Shinjuku as they are in Shenyang).

And yet, my impression was that Japan’s expat community has an air of privilege and conceit to it; gaijin appreciate Japan for its opulent comforts, its meticulous perfections, its soft-spoken sensibilities, and seem to abhor the uncertainties and disquieting disorder of a developing nation. They really are quite precious, those gaijin.

China’s expat scene, on the other hand, is like a great big rowdy saloon from America’s Wild West days,

China’s expat scene [...] is like a great big rowdy saloon from America’s Wild West days

with dusty explorers, try-your-luck prospectors and even the occasional outlaw laowai riding in from the hazy horizon to find their fortunes in this final frontier … or simply to get in adventures that no developed country like Japan could ever offer.

BI: Why do you think so many people move to China?

TC: China truly has become the new land of opportunity, where westerners of all walks, defeated by this ongoing global recession, have replaced the Chinese as the world’s economic refugees; a “floating population” of blonde-haired, blue-eyed migrant laborers blown in by fate and free-trade treaties onto the red shores of China, destitute and dragging plaid peasant bags bursting with emotional and financial baggage.

I’m being lyrically sensationalistic here, but beneath my playful prose is the harsh truth: America is seeing its end of days. China is our largest foreign creditor – the Communist Party basically owns us – we’ve exported most of our manufacturing base (that iPad you are reading this article on was assembled by an adolescent from Anhui), and our “land of the free” ethos has regressed to a totalitarian police state echoing Cultural Revolution-era China.

The irony of this reversal of roles is not lost on me, nor on the nearly 1 million foreigners living and working in China today, an (unofficial) number that has increased 10% year-on-year for the past decade. All said, I am less inclined to think we are moving to China so much as we are fleeing the west.

BI: Do you think the view of foreigners in China has changed over the years?

TC: Mark Kitto, a contributor to the Unsavory anthology, writes a humorously-vain account about how local authorities wanted to immortalize his likeness into a statue – and as soon as they did they tore it down! I think this story is an apt metaphor for China’s historical love-hate relationship with foreigners, where one moment they are idolizing westerners like superstars and the next they are fumigating us like some invasive species (an analogy that Jonathan Watts touches on in his essay).

If you look back at history, China is one of the few countries that have instituted systematic purges of “foreign devils” over the centuries, most notably the wholesale slaughter of thousands of Christians during the bloody Boxer Uprising and the Cultural Revolution persecutions of any Chinese who associated with westerners.

Foreigners in China have advanced (some might argue regressed) over the centuries from unremitting missionaries and exploitative opium operations to backpackers and businessmen, but the purges continue to take place to this day at the whim of the ever-capricious Communist Party, including last year’s state-sponsored looting of Japanese businesses and vehicles, and the campaign’s official government artwork of a fist smashing down on the characters for “foreigners.” My anthology’s title “Unsavory Elements” is a cheeky reference to one of the Party’s many pet names for us.

BI: Could you make out any common themes? Did anything in the stories surprise you?

TC: The lighthearted tone of the book is emulated in part after my backpacking days when I’d just sit around a hostel laughing and swapping short stories with other travelers and transients about our various adventures.

Unsavory Elements Tom CarterBut beneath the fun reading I was surprised to find a subtext of heavier themes shared by all the writers, such as how modernism and the country’s break-neck development have done more to disrupt the society than enhance it, yet, for all of New China’s pretentious pomp and steel-and-glass glitz, there remains an undercurrent of thousands-years-old traditions that will always define this culture and dictate their decisions.

BI: There are a lot of stories about the bad behavior of foreigners in China floating online. In Unsavory Elements, some of the stories (including your own) perhaps further the image of foreigners as, well, unsavory. Do you think that the influence of foreigners on China is a good thing?

TC: To be fair, the anthology is a well-balanced mix of family-friendly fare – such as Alan Paul’s “National Lampoon’s Vacation”-esque road trip across Sichuan with his family, and Susan Conley and her children using street food as a means to acclimate – as much as the backpackers behaving badly, or should I say Gweilo Gone Wild, contingent, like Dominic Stevenson tossed in a Shanghai prison for drug dealing or Susie Gordon during her decadent evening of ketamine, cocktails and karaoke.

Admittedly, my own story, about a boy’s night out to a brothel, has made the most ripples: Time Out Shanghai called it “offensive and implicitly exploitative”, which I accepted gracefully as their professional interpretation. I was prepared for this critical fallout and decided to martyr myself because, as the editor, it would have been disingenuous to exclude a story about prostitution, which is rampant in China.

But then the Time Out review online was overrun by clique of “fem-pats” (not my phrase; I borrowed that from one of the website’s comments; I think it refers to those angry, lonely, single female expats in China who are overlooked by western males seeking Chinese girlfriends) who, not even having read the book, knee-jerkingly called for my “arrest and deportation from China” because, they believed, I patronized an underage prostitute.

All things considered, I think China is more of an influence on the expats who live here than we are on it…though, if my own story is any indication, this “When in China” outlook can get us into trouble.

BI: Is there a danger when writing about the expat experience, of "otherizing" China — playing up the weirdness too much, falling into tropes?

TC: Absolutely. There are many “gonzo adventure” books out there – I don’t want to name them because they are rather lame – about how “unusual” and “mystifying” China is.

There are many “gonzo adventure” books out there – I don’t want to name them because they are rather lame – about how “unusual” and “mystifying” China is.

Commercial publishers, especially travel magazines, love to otherize this country and its people, as it plays off the west’s ignorance, which is unfortunate because beyond the obvious cultural differences, it is a beautiful, traditional culture with a complex, rich history.

My photo-book CHINA: Portrait of a People sought to dispel the widely held belief that the Chinese are a single, homogeneous race – there are over 56 different ethnicities of Chinese – so I am conscious about the tendency to otherize China. And I think the final result of Unsavory Elements echoes the comedic if not slightly tragic reality of our situation here as outsiders: we, not the Chinese, are the weird ones.

BI: How has the book been received by the expat community? Has the Chinese reaction been different?

TC: It’s been a mixed response from both demographics. We debuted Unsavory Elements to a sold-out session at the Shanghai Literary Festival: over 250 attendees. But our session at Beijing’s Capital Literary Festival was only 25 people! Having lived in both cities, my interpretation is that the rough-and-tumble expats in Beijing are more likely to go seek their own adventures, whereas Shanghai’s colonialist-minded expats have less opportunity, or inclination, to explore “real China”, and therefore prefer to experience China vicariously. That’s just my cursory analysis.

As far as the Chinese, I can’t imagine many if any are aware of this or other English-language books. China’s book market is growing fast, however, so getting Unsavory Elements translated into Chinese is a priority for my publisher. We’ve received positive reviews from all the state-operated English-language new agencies such as China Daily and Global Times, so there is obviously an interest in our lives here as “waiguoren,” outsiders.

But truthfully, I think the Chinese government couldn’t care less about what foreigners in China are up to or what we have to say so long as we don’t speak it in a language that 1.3 billion people can understand, and so long as we are not raising hell about the Three Taboo Ts.

BI: A lot of people featured in the book began as English teachers — do you think that influences the relationship they have with the country?

TC: Indeed, many of this anthology’s most respected writers such as Peter Hessler and Michael Meyer got their start as English teachers in China. And yet there is this stigma surrounding English teaching where we are utterly despised by the white-collar expatriate community and even by our own Department of State. Whether this is due to our perceived status as bottom-feeders detritivorously foraging Asia for any job that will hire a white face, or because they think we are aiding and abetting America’s successor, I don’t know, but the derision towards English teachers is palpable.

I too got my start in China as a teacher (after responding to an ad on Craigslist which turned out to be a scam and left me homeless and jobless my first week here) and eventually wound up teaching 1,500 primary school students entirely myself, a baptism by fire if there ever was one. I then went on to teach business English to companies in Beijing. Honestly, I can think of no other career path that places you so directly in the heart of Chinese culture and society like teaching does, or gives you a better ground view of the future of this country.

For this reason, I was adamant about including at least a couple stories from the classroom, including Michael Levy’s account of being offered vast sums of money by the principal of his school to write college entrance exams for his students, and Matt Muller’s observational piece about being in a class full of indifferent high school students with no ambition for higher education. When read together, these stories offer a contrasting glimpse into China’s widening economic disparity, from perspectives that no executive and no journalist could ever obtain.

Mark Kitto ReutersBI: A lot of the people writing in the book have since left the country, and some — such as, famously Mark Kitto— have said they intend to leave soon. Do you perceive there to be an exodus of people leaving? If so, what would you put that down to?

TC: Regarding the so-called exodus, I don’t believe that more foreigners are departing China than arriving. Sure, certain western corporations are looking for the next burgeoning nation to exploit now that China’s economy is on a downturn. But good riddance to the expense-account expats. Of the laowai who are leaving because of pollution or whatever, in the past year it’s become a kind of trend to publish your “Why I’m Leaving China” goodbye letter. What most people don’t know is that Mark Kitto, who is to be credited, or blamed, for starting this trend, never left!

And this fact speaks volumes about our love affair with China, a love-it or hate-it kind of place, to the point that even when we want to leave, we really can’t. I had this happen to me too, where after living here for four straight years I moved to Japan for a year, and then to India for another year, but each time I found myself drawn back to China. I now concede this is where destiny intends me to be.

But of the authors in this anthology who have left, such as Pete Hessler to Egypt and Jon Watts to South America, the fact that they can continue to write so passionately about China is a testament to how close to our hearts this culture and its people are.

BI: After editing the book and hearing many stories, what advice would you give to a young man or woman about to move to China?

TC: Read. There really are so many inspirational memoirs and travelogues about China, including all the ones penned by the contributors of this anthology, which will give you a good understanding of what you are getting yourself into. But I feel a bit hypocritical proffering this advice, as I myself had not ever read a single book about China prior to moving here – I came on a lark because I wanted to travel the world and go on adventures but didn’t have any money to do so – and was completely oblivious of Chinese culture and its history. I learned as I went along, total immersion, which upon reflection was not the easiest way, especially in a challenging country like China. Reading memoirs, and learning from the first-hand insight of others, can help ease your transition.

---

Many thanks to Tom for talking to us. Make sure to check out Unsavory Elements if you liked what you read.

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China Tried To Build A City To Replicate Paris ... And Here's What It Looks Like Now

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paris in china corn field

If you visit Tianducheng, a day trip from Shanghai in China's Zhejiang province, you will be confronted by a 354-foot replica of the Eiffel tower.

Development on this Paris replica in China began in 2007, but local media say it is a ghost town now.

Everyone points to China's ghost towns as proof of a malaise in China's property sector. 

But some, like Stephen Roach, former chairman of Morgan Stanley Asia have argued that these cities will become "thriving metropolitan areas" as China continues to urbanize.

What's truly quirky about these ghost towns though is that some of them have been designed as replicas of Italian, German, English, and French towns.

We drew on photos from Reuters photographer Aly Song to give you a peek at Tianducheng.

Tianducheng, a Paris replica, began to be developed in China in 2007.



A residential area was built around a replica of the Eiffel tower.



The replica of the Eiffel tower is 108 meters (354 feet) tall. The actual Eiffel tower is 3x as tall.



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THE OTHER SIDE OF PARADISE: Inside Hawaii's Giant Homeless Community [PHOTOS]

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Oahu Homeless Tent City On Beach 48

When the governor of Hawaii announced his plan this week to buy the state's homeless one-way tickets to the continental U.S., it was the latest in a series of efforts aimed at curbing the Aloha State's massive homeless problem.

Low wages and high-priced housing have given Hawaii the third-largest homeless population per capita in the country. More than 7,500 people live on Oahu's streets and beaches, but a large number of them are native Hawaiians and they don't want to go anywhere.

The native communities in Hawaii are often the poorest and border toxic landfills, chemical research facilities, and pesticide test crops. Waianae is Oahu's largest native community and has more homeless than anywhere else in the state.

Business Insider visited Waianae in mid-July and toured the largest tent city there. The following photos offer a glimpse of what life is like for the homeless in Hawaii.

More than 700,000 people visited Hawaii in June 2013 and spent $1.3 billion in one month alone.



Twelve hundred people a day visited during the first half of 2013 and spent $2.6 million every 24 hours.



Hawaii's almost 8 million visitors spent more than $14 billion in 2012 and visited Oahu more than any other island.



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Philly College Grad Plans Epic 1,000-Mile Run To Pay Off Student Loan Debt

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jason kasher

Like dealing with grief, there's an emotional process most college graduates go through with student loan debt: denial, anger, depression, bargaining, and, finally, acceptance.

Millions get trapped somewhere between steps one and four, tripped up by a weak job market, predatory private lenders, or out-of-control payment schedules.

Others skip all that mess and head straight for step five. They suck it up and move back in with mom and dad. They rent out their spare bedroom and get a side gig. They live on boats or camp out in their van.

And in the case of Jason Kasher, they turn their bodies into billboards and run 1,000 miles across the country.

Beginning this September, the Temple University graduate will spend 183 days running in dozens of different cities in order to pay down his five-figure loan debt.

"It's a pretty unique challenge," Kasher, 23, told Business Insider. "I was at work one day and I sat there asking myself, is this something I want to do consistently for five or 10 years? I came to the realization that it's not."

He had toyed around with the idea of launching his own business in college but had only managed to pay down $6,000 of his loans in the year after graduation, leaving nearly $30,000 standing in his way.

It wasn't until June that he started exploring the idea of a thousand-mile fundraiser.

"I was actually getting to ready to purchase a plane ticket to fly down to Florida to visit family down there ... and the price of the ticket went up like $100 in three days," he said. "I remember thinking, I'd be better off just walking the thousand miles down there than paying this price. And I just made a connection." 

In early July, he quit his job as an operations manager for a central Pennsylvania-based logistics firm, moved back in with his parents, and started work on Paidtorun.com.  

jason kasherSix miles a day for six months straight:

Kasher isn't the first person to sell their body for advertising, but he said his motives are much different.

"The one thing that differentiates me from [other sites] is that what they're doing is based off the money aspect," he said. "I'm trying to achieve a personal goal for myself, running 1,000 miles."

Each day of his challenge, Kasher plans on running six miles. If a company wants to buy ad time, they simply ship him an outfit of their choosing with their logo ("T-shirt, uniform, whatever, I'm not picky.") and he will wear it for the day. Rates start out dirt cheap at $1/mile the first day, but increase by $1 each day thereafter.

If he manages to secure funding for every day of his challenge, he'll wind up raising close to $100,000 – enough to cover his $29,500 loan bill three times over.

Of course, that's part of the plan. Kasher plans on using any additional funds raised to pump into a startup he is working on with a friend.

"Since I was a sophomore in college, I always thought about getting into entrepreneurship, but until now I never actually went full-force and did it myself," he said.

Coming up with a game plan:

Running six miles a day is routine for most marathoners, but Kasher admits he hasn't consistently run in more than a year. He's spent the better part of three months conditioning his body to handle the demand he plans on putting on it.

If he runs into any injuries along the way, he has a couple weeks' worth of cushion in his schedule for time off. As for where he'll run, he has a few destinations in mind (New York, Philadelphia, and Miami, for example), all home to friends who will let him crash for free.

"I don't have any set course right now," he said. "I'm talking to friends about where I should run and I think I'll [end up] couch surfing my way down South."

Giving back along the way:

Kasher is setting aside two days on his trip to raise funds for charities, Oct. l and Dec. 25. He'll donate 50% of those days' proceeds to the National Breast Cancer Foundation and The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, respectively.

"It started off as a quirky idea to see if I could pay off my loans or make a little money on the side," he said. "I'm pretty much never going to have a better opportunity to do this in my life so I'm taking a shot."

You can follow Kasher on his journey here.

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A Dubai Architecture Firm Wants To Build A Skyscraper That Rotates Like A Rubik's Cube

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There's a plan in Dubai for an 80-story skyscraper with floors that can rotate 360 degrees every 90 minutes, according to Curbed.

The building design was dreamed up by architect David Fisher of Dynamic Architecture, and looks like an undulating Rubik's Cube.

According to the video about the project, tenants would get a range of views as the room would rotate slowly throughout the day, and could be controlled by voice command.

Check out the video below to see it in action:

SEE ALSO: The 9 Tallest Skyscrapers That Are Being Built Right Now

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Meet The Chefs Who Cook For Presidents, Prime Ministers, And Royalty

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cristeta comerfordThe Club des Chefs des Chefs is the most exclusive culinary society in the world.

Its membership consists of just 20 chefs, all of whom cook for royalty, prime ministers, and other heads of state.

The group, which meets annually to compare recipes and learn each other's culinary traditions, is currently in the U.S. as the guests of White House Chef Cristeta Comerford, visiting New York and Washington and discussing the art of "gastronomic diplomacy."

Meet the chefs and learn what they prepare for their high-powered bosses.

Hilton Little, Chef to the President of South Africa

Cooking for South African Presidents: Little joined the South African presidential household in 1996, and has cooked for South African presidents including Nelson Mandela. He has won numerous awards, including Salon Culinaire, Bocuse d’Or and Chef of the Year, according to his publisher's website.

While the favorite dish of the current South African president, Jacob Zuma, is under wraps, he recently recreated Mandela's favorite lamb and green bean stew for a cooking event.

In a 2009 interview with PRI's The World, he said that because presidents cannot go out to restaurants, he tries to keep things varied in the kitchen. "In South Africa we have what’s called a rainbow cuisine, a little bit of everything, you know? We call it 'some of cuisine': some of this and some of that," he said.



Mark Flanagan, Chef to the Queen of the United Kingdom

Cooking for the Queen: "Her majesty has very simple tastes, very down to earth," Flanagan recently told a Macau publication. "Our style is very classical, although we do try to encourage some contemporary dishes. The kitchen is based on traditional French style cuisine."

Flanagan, who has worked at the palace for the past 12 years, and oversaw the buffet-style breakfast served to 600 guests following the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton.



Bernard Vaussion, Chef to the President of France

Cooking for President Francois Hollande: Vaussion has worked at France's Elysee Palace for 40 years, and is now cooking for his sixth French president.

Artichokes have been banned from the kitchen since Francois Hollande took office; the French president reportedly despises them.

"But [Vaussion] is delighted that cheese is back on the Elysee menu after being banished from the table during the term of Hollande's chocaholic predecessor, Nicolas Sarkozy," the Daily News reported.



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The Incredible Winning Images From The 2013 National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

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nat geo traveler photo contest 2013, cheetahs

The winners of the 2013 National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest were just selected among some 15,500 entries taken by photographers all over the world.

From Brazil to Kenya, the winning pictures have captured stunning, quiet landscapes, surprising moments, and intimate scenes from cultural rituals. 

Viewers' Choice Winner: Another Perspective of the Day (Location: South Sulawesi, Indonesia)

Photos courtesy of 2013 National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest



Merit Winner: Guanjiang Shou (Location: Taichung, Taiwan)

Photos courtesy of 2013 National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest



Merit Winner: Piano Play at Sunset (Location: Queenstown, New Zealand)

Photos courtesy of 2013 National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest



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50 Foods You Avoid That Are Actually Good For You

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brunch

Our food choices are influenced by age, gender, friends, family, cultural background and where we live.

Early childhood experiences with food can be traumatizing (who liked liver and onions as a kid?), but if you decided never to try something again as an adult, then you might be missing out on some truly nutritious and, perhaps, delicious items.

We avoid certain foods for a number of reasons, but sometimes it’s for the wrong reasons.

Science may have given it a bad rap (we already went through the ups-and-downs with butter, wine and chocolate), or it may taste or look gross (the thought of eating insects might repulse most North Americans, but in some cultures, they are considered delicacies). But it's time to put your prejudices aside, have an open mind and give these 50 healthy foods a chance.

1. Red Meat

Why we avoid it: Over the last 30 years, red meat has been blamed for everything from heart disease to cancer. Researchers thought that this was due to the meat’s saturated fat and cholesterol content, as well as the sodium and nitrates in processed deli meats. Bolstered by alarmist newspaper and magazine headlines, people tossed the red meat out of their diets, afraid of turning their stomach into meat repositories.

Why we should eat it: The meat controversy arose from observational studies that are always plagued with confounding variables. Take, for instance, the “healthy user bias.” Folks who are health-conscious and have listened to the mainstream press and vilified red meat are also the same who are likely to refrain from refined sugar, trans fats and processed foods. On the other side of the spectrum, heavy meat eaters tend to be older guys who are very fond of alcohol and cigarettes, don’t eat enough fruits or vegetables, are very sedentary and tend to have other health problems that may or may not stem from their carnivorous habits.

No matter how good you are as a statistician, there are too many factors to consider when studying humans in their natural, complicating habitat. Recent reviews find that the evidence gathered so far is insufficient to support a clear positive correlation between red meat consumption and colorectal cancer, heart disease, stroke or death. And despite claims to the contrary, there’s no consistent evidence demonstrating that the saturated fat in meat significantly raises cholesterol levels.

In fact, a large study with almost 60,000 Japanese women found the opposite: The more saturated fat they ate, the lower their risk of stroke. Red meat has been unfairly blamed for the ills of our society. Red meat haters are missing out on an excellent source of heme iron, a form that is absorbed and utilized much more effectively than the non-heme iron found in vegetables. If there’s not enough fish or sunlight in your life, then red meat can contribute significantly to your overall vitamin D intake. This form of vitamin D is absorbed more quickly and easily than other dietary forms.

Zinc is also easily absorbed from meat and is a very important source in our diets, especially if we don’t eat enough organ meats and shellfish. Zinc is essential for many physiological functions and forms part of the structure for many proteins and enzymes. The fat of red meat is usually equal parts saturated and monounsaturated fat, with only a small amount of polyunsaturated fat. Grass-fed beef is highly recommended because of the higher content of conjugated linoleic acid, a compound that seems to aid fat loss, and a healthier omega-6:omega-3 ratio. If you were scared of red meat before, fear no more! Eat that (grass-fed) steak guilt free.



2. Bacon

Why we avoid it: The iconic American food is avoided because it is ultra greasy and ultra salty, making it enemy No. 1 for most cardiologists and high blood-pressure patients.

Why we should eat it: Bacon was once vilified because of its saturated fat and cholesterol content, but we now know that these aren’t all that bad for us. Dietary cholesterol has minimal effects on blood cholesterol levels and isn’t going to give you a heart attack. As for saturated fat, recent long-term studies haven’t found an association with high blood cholesterol levels or heart disease.

In fact, a Japanese prospective study that followed 58,000 men for about 14 years actually found an inverse association between saturated fat intake and stroke. The salt, however, is a problem. With about 1 gram of salt per 3.5 oz serving, bacon can be an issue depending on your size, blood pressure and physical tolerance. If you refrain from abusing the salt shaker and stay away from obscene salt bombs like movie popcorn and processed foods, then bacon can be a welcome addition to your healthy diet. If possible, choose organic or pastured pork that’s antibiotic and hormone-free.



3. Coffee

Why we avoid it: Caffeine is the world’s favorite legal drug, but it can become addictive, cause anxiety, restlessness, irritability, insomnia, headaches, heart palpitations and withdrawal symptoms. Some people just don’t feel normal without coffee, and that’s not normal. Former coffee drinkers often report that they have more energy, not less, when they eventually make it through the nightmare of kicking the habit.

Why we should eat it: The key to keeping coffee healthy is to eschew the large triple latte and limit your coffee intake to 1-2 cups a day. Not everyone responds to coffee the same way. Some have one cup in the morning and can’t sleep for days, and others can have a triple espresso after dinner and fall asleep as soon as they hit the pillow. Figure out where you fit, drink sensibly and get ready to reap the benefits of the black gold. First, coffee can make you smarter. Caffeine blocks an inhibitor in the brain, causing an increase in the release of several neurotransmitters like dopamine and norepinephrine. Studies showed that caffeine improves mood, reaction time, memory, vigilance and general cognitive function.

Secondly, coffee can help you burn fat by stimulating your central nervous system, boosting your metabolism and increasing the oxidation of fatty acids from your fat stores. Thirdly, coffee consumption has been associated with decrease risk of type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, depression, heart attacks and stroke. In fact, drinking coffee has even been suggested to increase your life span. Additionally, the benefits of java extend far beyond the abundance of studies that support its health benefits. For millions of people, coffee has an important psychological, societal and cultural significance that can make dragging yourself out of bed and commuting to work a little bit more bearable and, perhaps, a little more enjoyable.



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America Won't Have Enough Grapes To Make All Of The Wine It Wants To Drink

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There's a grape shortage developing in the U.S., warns Citi's Gino Rossi and Craig Woolford.

And the roots of this problem originate twenty years ago.

"An excess of US vineyard plantings in the 1990s resulted in surplus wine grape supply through the 2000s," noted Rossi and Woolford.  "The excess supply of grapes over the last decade and Californian farmers’ ability to switch to other crops has meant new plantings of vine in California have been low."

But now the supply-demand dynamics are reversing.

"[S]trong consumption growth in the US has meant that demand has eventually caught up to supply and the small harvest in 2011 caused many industry participants to panic," they add. "This sent grape prices higher, indicative of how nervous the industry is about a growing grape shortage."

"On our estimates current vineyard plantings are insufficient to meet future demand for domestic wine."

For now, this is a big win for foreign wine producers who are increasingly able to compete on price.

Unfortunately, this problem can't be fixed overnight.

"If growers planted new vineyards today, the shortage could be contained in three to four years," they add. "To meet future demand we forecast that acreage in California needs to increase by 2.5% p/a, or approximately 12,800 acres each year."

"However, there are impediments to a quick industry response."

Why?

Because you can make way more money growing something else.

"Using data from UC Davis and the Office of the Agricultural Commissioner, we estimate that in 2011 wine grape growers in San Joaquin Valley made a cash loss on wine grapes of -$170 per acre compared to a profit of $2,962 per acre with Walnuts and $1,483 with almonds," said the analysts.

Here's a look at the collapse in grape plantings.

grape plantins

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I Was Seriously Disappointed By Popeyes' Chicken Waffle Tenders

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popeyes chicken waffle tenders

It could have been the best melding of Louisiana and West Coast flava since Karl Malone signed with the Lakers: chicken and waffles, made with amazing Popeyes chicken dipped in breakfast batter and served with a side of honey-maple sauce.

I was sold by the simple description, and even more excited when the drive-thru clerk in Portland responded "Oh my god, yes" when I asked if they were good. And at $5 for three whopping waffle wonders with a biscuit and fries, it appeared I had found my new favorite food group.

Sadly, I had not.

The initial promise of a hand-held version of chicken & waffles wonder percolated hopes of a nostalgic flavor odyssey reminiscent of the old-school French toast stick -- that weirdly delicious school lunch staple that you couldn't resist, despite it tasting like neither toast nor France. Take that idea, then stuff it with juicy Popeyes chicken, and you've got an instant winner. Right?

As luck would have it, it doesn't taste like a waffle at all... neither Eggo nor cone. In fact, the waffle batter has the consistency of Popeyes' regular batter, but minus any hint of spice. It tastes more like mildly sweet flour coating on a juicy piece of chicken -- perfectly crunchy and moist, but also depressingly bland.

Of course, a lot of that flavor's gonna come from the sauce... but even calling it sauce might be a little generous. As would be the use of the words "honey" and "maple" in the description of this paste-like goop that has the consistency of marmalade wallpaper paste and the flavor of Bit-O-Honey left on your dash for two days in the Summer. 

The sauce's consistency barely changes when introduced to a piping-hot tender. In fact, it remains oddly solid, resembling something from Ghostbusters or a Mucinex commercial more than something I want to dip my delicious, delicious Popeyes chicken into. But hey, maybe the flavors will combine into a symphony of awesome.

So what does it taste like? Disappointment. And usually when I'm sad or disappointed, I like to eat to compensate. Yet there are two more chicken tenders in this box that look deceptively like the delicious Popeyes I love, but taste like sad. I don't even want to eat them. I just want to drown the sad away... time to head back to Popeyes for a six-piece of spicy Bonafide-recipe chicken. Hold the sweet mucus sauce. 

SEE ALSO: Fast Food Chains That Should Come To America

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Beyonce Never Mentioned How Pricey It Is To Be A Single Lady

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One isn’t just the loneliest number — it’s also the most expensive.

Unwed women pay more than their married counterparts in many key financial areas.

From health insurance to taxes to housing, see what the cost is of being single in society.

The Cost of Being a Single Woman

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HAPPINESS EXPERT: New 'Dolphin Dad' Parenting Strategy Is Better Than The 'Tiger Mom'

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dolphin dad

If there's one topic that can fuel the range and fire of human emotion, it's parenting.

There's zealotry in the quest to correct and preserve teachings of past generations, profess the rectitude of a chosen parenting style and defend against the readily exchanged judgment about how to win or lose at this paramount task.

If you already felt parental performance anxiety, Amy Chua, aka Tiger Mom, probably didn't help matters. In her 2011 book, "Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother," Chua championed a take-no-prisoners approach of Chinese parenting, a term she frames not as an ethnic moniker but a traditional style, which can be summarized by the old Lexus slogan: "the relentless pursuit of perfection." No play dates, no grades below an A, no sleepovers, no TV and voilá, her kids became successful, Chua preached.

[Read: Sleepaway Camp: A Remedy for Overparenting?]

They may also be depressed. Two recent studies have debunked Chua's claims: In the first example, researchers found that, when compared to a supportive style, tiger parenting begets children who suffer academically and emotionally; a second study found that children raised by authoritarian parents struggle with depression, anxiety and social skills.

Instead of tiger parenting, consider dolphin parenting, says Shawn Achor, a happiness researcher who teaches at Wharton Business School. Why dolphins? They're playful, social and intelligent, and thereby represent the attributes of successful parenting, he says.

[Read: How to Be a Better Example for Your Kids.]

Success follows happiness, Achor argues in his book, "The Happiness Advantage," and in his widely-viewed (and laugh-out-loud funny) TED talk,"The Happy Secret to Better Work." But to attain happiness, you first need the right perspective, he writes in his new book, "Before Happiness," slated for release next month.

Over and over again, Achor illustrates how perception of reality dictates what follows. So, the best outcome hinges on the ability to see multiple, realistic opportunities and navigate among them, whether it comes to your career trajectory or your child's SAT score.

[Read: Hidden Risks of Chronic Stress.]

In the latter, for example, Achor cites research showing that SAT scores rise and fall according to the number of test takers in the room. Why? "When we perceive there are fewer competitors, we believe there is greater likelihood of success, which results in more engagement and concentration and improved performance," he says. The same rationale explains why a stadium with better "park factors," such as propitious wind flow or altitude levels, could enable a baseball player to hit so many more home runs than expected. In this example, the baseball player moved to a team whose stadium boasted 28.6 percent better park factors, and yet the player far surpassed the logical advantage, batting 60 percent more home runs.

"What we focus on becomes our reality," Achor writes. But to get our perspective right, we must prime ourselves, and our children, for the right angle. One tool is to remind ourselves of past accomplishments to nurture future achievements. So, for example, you might display a picture of your child clutching her debate trophy before she heads off to a big tournament.

A ratio of five positive interactions to every negative one is optimal to achieve a state of emotional health in which success can flourish, Achor says. Consider modeling optimism to your kids by expressing gratitude for daily happenings at the dinner table, he suggests. And don't forget to smile – it causes a mirror reaction in others.

[Read: 7 Steps to Successful Family Meals.]

Happiness depends not on deluding ourselves about negativity, but putting it in perspective to surmount the obstacles, Achor says. It's what he calls "rational optimism" – or what you may recognize as encouragement.

When it comes to parenting, that means making your child's goals seem more within reach and the negative habit harder to persist. Want your kid to watch less TV and exercise more? Hide the remote, so it takes more effort to switch channels, and put her in sneakers so she's ready to get moving. Or, take a cue from research, which found that as rats approached cheese, they ran more quickly through a maze to reach it. So, break up your child's goals into smaller objectives so they seem easier to obtain.

And if nothing else, have fun. As a counselor to college freshmen at Harvard University for several years, Achor recalls the mentality that made so many students miserable – that happiness would follow success. Instead, enjoy the process to bring about success. Rather than wait to reward your child for finishing his homework, let him wear his favorite pajamas while he studies, or kick off the study session with a funny story.

All this positive energy isn't easy, Achor admits. The human brain "naturally scans for threats," he says. So, even when we're not facing a sabre-toothed tiger, we may still act like it. But we don't have to. "While it takes more cognitive processing to be happier, the more that you do these positive habits, the more that you switch your default." And, according to Achor, happiness is "the belief that you can change."

It's commonly said that it takes more muscles to smile than to frown. Of course, smiling gives you – and others – an instant lift. So, if you find yourself scowling at your child, try fighting gravity, and perhaps your nature, and curl your lips upward. Here's betting your kid will smile right back.

[See: 8 Ways to Become an Optimist.]

More From U.S. News & World Report:
The Trouble With Sleep Texting
Are You Tough Enough To Compete In A Tough Mudder?
3 Meditation Techniques For Beginners

Find Us On Facebook — Business Insider: Science

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We Tried Jaguar's Brand New Sports Car, And It's An Incredibly Fun Ride

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2014 Jaguar F-Type

The F-Type, the first Jaguar sports car since the legendary E-Type went out of production 40 years ago, is finally hitting the road in the United States.

To see how it lives up to its predecessor — which Enzo Ferrari himself reportedly called the "most beautiful car ever made" — we headed out to Seattle for a day-long drive through the mountains and on the track.

The product of more than three years of work and some 350 engineers, the end result is not as gorgeous as the E-Type, but it's a lot more fun to drive.

The sports car comes in three versions, the F-Type, F-Type S, and F-Type V8 S, which start at $69,000, $81,000, and $92,000, respectively. That's right in the range of the less expensive models of the Porsche 911, which Jaguar reps say is the target competitor.

We drove the F-Type S and F-Type V8 S, worth $99,320 and $104,770, respectively. And we loved them.

Full Disclosure: Jaguar Land Rover paid for our travel and lodging expenses to drive the 2014 F-Type.

There's no denying the F-Type is a good looking car.



Even though it lacks the raw sex appeal of its predecessor, the E-Type.



It did win the 2013 World Car Design of the Year.



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Ralph Lauren's Homes And Offices Are Completely True To His Style

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He may helm one of the best-known and most successful luxury brands on the planet, but Ralph Lauren designs for himself.

Always has. It’s what got him started in the late 1960s, when he couldn’t find the wider neckties he wanted to wear.

No one was making them, so he did.

Ties and shirts eventually led to seasonal head-to-toe collections, outfitting both men and women for everything from a formal evening out in the city to a yachting excursion off the New England coast to a weekend on a Western ranch.

“When I started out, people would see things I was wearing and say, ‘Can you make that for me?’” Lauren recalls. “I guess that was when I knew I had something different.”

RL2But Lauren didn’t stop at clothes. Back in 1983, in the days before major fashion houses had furnishings lines, the designer launched the Ralph Lauren Home Collection, expanding his vision of a thoroughly stylish life.

“I came at everything with a sense of how I would want to live,” Lauren says. “My wife, Ricky, and I were shopping for things for our apartment, and all the sheets were very feminine and covered in roses. I wondered, Why can’t I get something masculine? So I took the Oxford cloth we were using to make shirts, turned it into bedding, and sewed buttons down the side of the pillowcases.”

This year marks the 30th anniversary of Lauren’s pioneering home collection, a line whose impact and influence have been monumental.

RL3Customers can now buy Ralph Lauren bedding, furniture, lighting, rugs, china and glassware, wall coverings, and paint in a wide variety of looks with evocative names such as Thoroughbred, Modern Penthouse, Jamaica, and, new this fall, Apartment No. One.

The latter was inspired by the Duke of Windsor and named for the residence at London’s Kensington Palace where Prince William and Kate Middleton will make their home. The range of offerings reflects Lauren’s unwillingness to be pinned down by a single style.

“I’m never just one person,” he notes. Nonetheless, everything carries the unmistakable imprint of the designer and his brand.

RL4

In the world of Ralph Lauren, the private and business spheres are so tightly aligned as to be virtually indistinguishable. He’s living out the fantasy he’s marketing, with all the trappings: a minimalist Manhattan apartment, a rustic-modern Long Island beach house, a ranch in Colorado, a tropical retreat in Jamaica, and a stone manse in Bedford, New York.

Each home is its own distinct vision of the good life, and each tells a different but complementary story—stories that directly shape his collections. “I think it’s the eye, the taste, and the spirit of the dream,” he says when asked what links it all together.

See more photos of Ralph Lauren's real estate >

More From Architectural Digest:

Gorgeous Celebrity Pools
Amazing Architectural Treehouses
Brooke Sheilds' Manhattan Townhouse
Stunning Celebrity Living Rooms

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