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I Drove A Brand-New $250,000 Bentley Around Manhattan, And It Was Surprisingly Stressful

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2014 Bentley Flying Spur

I thought I understood driving in New York City. I thought I understood stress.

But then I drove a 2014 Bentley Flying Spur in Manhattan and my ideas about stress were changed forever.

The Flying Spur is a 17-foot-long, 5,500-pound, $250,000 engineering marvel that's a unique pleasure on the roads outside New York City. I enjoyed every mile and minute of our all-too-brief weekend together.

But then I drove to Gotham to meet friends for dinner and everything changed.

I'm no novice when it comes to driving in New York. I've navigated the city in exotic sports cars and utilitarian SUVs. City driving is never stress-free, but I've learned to manage. 

Bentleys, however, operate on a different plan of risk analysis. Every time a cab dove into a gap near my car, I feared for the Bentley's $4,400 Kingfisher Blue paint job. My terror would be temporarily drowned out by the $7,500 Naim premium audio system. But then another cab would come diving into the another gap!  

I felt like I was running with the bulls in Pamplona while holding a priceless Ming vase. 

No Parking For Bentleys

2014 Bentley Flying Spur No ParkingIf that sounds like an exaggeration, just try parking a Ming vase — I mean, a Bentley— anywhere in Manhattan. There are rules against it, and those rules are clearly posted to discourage such behavior.

I met up with friends at their apartment on the Upper East Side before going to dinner in SoHo, a few miles south. I figured the parking garage of a luxury building in the generally posh neighborhood would gladly accept the car.

Wrong. Nobody on the Upper East Side wanted to take the Bentley, probably because of insurance risks.

Being unable to park the Flying Spur was worrisome. But then we started to run out of gas (10 miles per gallon will do that to a car). With little fuel to spare, I headed south toward Business Insider's offices, where I knew I could find parking and, more important, gasoline. As I inched along Park Avenue, the stress from the 4.4-mile trip became ulcer-inducing. More cabs entered the fray. I could feel my blood pressure rising as I gripped the $2,200 steering wheel more tightly.

2014 Bentley Flying Spur InteriorI finally found a small gas station, which should have relieved some of the pressure. But remember when I said the Bentley was 17 feet long? A Honda Civic beat me to the spot closest to the station's entrance. Five feet of Flying Spur jutted out into the street. My passenger hopped out to divert traffic from an unimaginably expensive bumper and presumably priceless taillight.

By this point a crowd had gathered, both out of a curiosity and because I had blocked the sidewalk. As countless cellphone photos were taken, I managed to maneuver the Bentley in front of another pump. I was afraid that filling the tank would be like refueling an Abrams tank, but I was finished, mercifully, in 10 minutes. During the fill-up, the Bentley's big twin-turbocharged W12 engine radiated so much heat that the station attendant ask if I needed a mechanic. 

It all worked out OK in the end, but the next time I see a Bentley in the city, I'll understand what the driver is going through. I'll feel their pain.

But What A Car!

2014 Bentley Flying SpurFortunately, I also got the chance to assess the Bentley on the calm roads of Northern New Jersey and the soothing byways of Upstate New York. 

The 616-horsepower Flying Spur is stylish, powerful, and athletic, everything a Bentley should be. Even better, the super-sedan's raw horsepower is wrapped in civility. This is a car that coddles passengers with almost otherworldly luxury. 

The car is massive. However, thanks to its aluminum construction, it feels surprising light on its feet, whether navigating country roads — far from marauding cabs — or cruising in the left lane of a highway.

There's no lack of pep, either. When you stomp on the gas pedal, that W12 comes life (and, yes, you read that right — with 12 cylinders the Flying Spur proves that there's no replacement for displacement).

Zero to 60 whizzes by in just 4.3 seconds, on the way to a top speed of 200 mph (I obviously didn't come remotely close to testing that limit). This is surprising supercar speed in a four-door that some might liken to a road-going mega-yacht. But acceleration in the Flying Spur isn't the gut punch it is in many supercars. Bentley simply wouldn't subject occupants to such vulgarities. Instead, the power come on in a steady, confident surge — a continuous tidal wave of thrust. 

2014 Bentley Flying SpurAll in all, I marvel at what Bentley's engineers have been able to accomplish with the Flying Spur. Sure, it was a difficult to drive in Manhattan. But then again, that's not where it's supposed to shine. The Flying Spur is a high-speed cruiser. It's a throwback to the days before the private jet, or commercial air travel in general, when the well-heeled used big-engined chauffeured sedans to cover long distances in style.

In that role, the Flying Spur is a world-beater. And the next time I want to drive to my ancestral castle in the distant New Jersey countryside, the Bentley will be my ride of choice.

SEE ALSO: A Hong Kong Tycoon Just Placed The Largest Order In Rolls-Royce History

Join the conversation about this story »









I Drove A Brand-New $250,000 Bentley Around Manhattan, And It Was Surprisingly Stressful

0
0

2014 Bentley Flying Spur

I thought I understood driving in New York City. I thought I understood stress.

But then I drove a 2014 Bentley Flying Spur in Manhattan and my ideas about stress were changed forever.

The Flying Spur is a 17-foot-long, 5,500-pound, $250,000 engineering marvel that's a unique pleasure on the roads outside New York City. I enjoyed every mile and minute of our all-too-brief weekend together.

But then I drove to Gotham to meet friends for dinner and everything changed.

I'm no novice when it comes to driving in New York. I've navigated the city in exotic sports cars and utilitarian SUVs. City driving is never stress-free, but I've learned to manage. 

Bentleys, however, operate on a different plan of risk analysis. Every time a cab dove into a gap near my car, I feared for the Bentley's $4,400 Kingfisher Blue paint job. My terror would be temporarily drowned out by the $7,500 Naim premium audio system. But then another cab would come diving into another gap!  

I felt like I was running with the bulls in Pamplona while holding a priceless Ming vase. 

No Parking For Bentleys

2014 Bentley Flying Spur No ParkingIf that sounds like an exaggeration, just try parking a Ming vase — I mean, a Bentley— anywhere in Manhattan. There are rules against it, and those rules are clearly posted to discourage such behavior.

I met up with friends at their apartment on the Upper East Side before going to dinner in SoHo, a few miles south. I figured the parking garage of a luxury building in the generally posh neighborhood would gladly accept the car.

Wrong. Nobody on the Upper East Side wanted to take the Bentley, probably because of insurance risks.

Being unable to park the Flying Spur was worrisome. But then we started to run out of gas (10 miles per gallon will do that to a car). With little fuel to spare, I headed south toward Business Insider's offices, where I knew I could find parking and, more important, gasoline. As I inched along Park Avenue, the stress from the 4.4-mile trip became ulcer-inducing. More cabs entered the fray. I could feel my blood pressure rising as I gripped the $2,200 steering wheel more tightly.

2014 Bentley Flying Spur InteriorI finally found a small gas station, which should have relieved some of the pressure. But remember when I said the Bentley was 17 feet long? A Honda Civic beat me to the spot closest to the station's entrance. Five feet of Flying Spur jutted out into the street. My passenger hopped out to divert traffic from an unimaginably expensive bumper and presumably priceless taillight.

By this point a crowd had gathered, both out of a curiosity and because I had blocked the sidewalk. As countless cellphone photos were taken, I managed to maneuver the Bentley in front of another pump. I was afraid that filling the tank would be like refueling an Abrams tank, but I was finished, mercifully, in 10 minutes. During the fill-up, the Bentley's big twin-turbocharged W12 engine radiated so much heat that the station attendant ask if I needed a mechanic. 

It all worked out OK in the end, but the next time I see a Bentley in the city, I'll understand what the driver is going through. I'll feel their pain.

But What A Car!

2014 Bentley Flying SpurFortunately, I also got the chance to assess the Bentley on the calm roads of Northern New Jersey and the soothing byways of Upstate New York. 

The 616-horsepower Flying Spur is stylish, powerful, and athletic, everything a Bentley should be. Even better, the super-sedan's raw horsepower is wrapped in civility. This is a car that coddles passengers with almost otherworldly luxury. 

The car is massive. However, thanks to its aluminum construction, it feels surprising light on its feet, whether navigating country roads — far from marauding cabs — or cruising in the left lane of a highway.

There's no lack of pep, either. When you stomp on the gas pedal, that W12 comes life (and, yes, you read that right — with 12 cylinders the Flying Spur proves that there's no replacement for displacement).

Zero to 60 whizzes by in just 4.3 seconds, on the way to a top speed of 200 mph (I obviously didn't come remotely close to testing that limit). This is surprising supercar speed in a four-door that some might liken to a road-going mega-yacht. But acceleration in the Flying Spur isn't the gut punch it is in many supercars. Bentley simply wouldn't subject occupants to such vulgarities. Instead, the power come on in a steady, confident surge — a continuous tidal wave of thrust. 

2014 Bentley Flying SpurAll in all, I marvel at what Bentley's engineers have been able to accomplish with the Flying Spur. Sure, it was a difficult to drive in Manhattan. But then again, that's not where it's supposed to shine. The Flying Spur is a high-speed cruiser. It's a throwback to the days before the private jet, or commercial air travel in general, when the well-heeled used big-engined chauffeured sedans to cover long distances in style.

In that role, the Flying Spur is a world-beater. And the next time I want to drive to my ancestral castle in the distant New Jersey countryside, the Bentley will be my ride of choice.

SEE ALSO: A Hong Kong Tycoon Just Placed The Largest Order In Rolls-Royce History

Join the conversation about this story »


Rent For A 1-Bedroom Apartment Will Cost You More In San Francisco Than Anywhere Else In The US

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The rent in San Francisco is high, and it keeps getting higher. 

According to a new report from online real estate marketplace Zumper, San Francisco is officially the most expensive place to rent a one-bedroom apartment, passing notoriously pricey New York City for the first time. 

Zumper analyzed more than 500,000 active listings in cities across the U.S., calculating the median rental price for various apartment types during the month of August 2014.

They found that San Francisco has the most expensive one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments, with a median rent of $3,100 and $4,050, respectively. New York came in second, with median rents of $2,995 for a one-bedroom and $3,495 for a two-bedroom.

Still, the two cities are still in close contention, as the price per bedroom (ranging from studios to homes with more than four bedrooms) is still slightly higher in New York.

The chart below shows the data that Zumper compiled for 25 cities in the U.S. 

zumper sf rent

Zumper CEO Anthemos Georgiades told the San Francisco Business Times that the results are to be expected. 

"It's an enormous testament to the demand — the Bay Area is buzzing," he said. "But it's also a humbling reminder of the structural supply-side factors that continue to drive upward pressure on prices: limited new construction on the way; rent control regulation that has led to very low vacancy rates; short term leasing which has spiked rents and taken long-term leases off the market."

SEE ALSO: Here's What The Average One-Bedroom Rental Costs Around San Francisco

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Here's The Cologne That Smells Best To 3 Successful Women

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Roughly 99.9% of the reason you use cologne is to impress women, so why rely on your nose alone? We asked three smart (and funny!) women to smell six new colognes and separate the good from the bad.

cologne 1The panel, from left to right, is fashion director Caroline Issa of London's Tank magazine, Victoria's Secret model Shanina Shaik, and comedian Nikki Glaser. 

Here's what they thought about these scents compared to GQ staff.

Lacoste L!VE

cologne

WHAT WE THINK: Lime with a bit of woodsy smoke. Sounds like a great gin drink, actually.

WHAT WOMEN THINK: Lacoste was a lady-killer. "I'd follow a man wearing this," said Issa. Shaik saw "a guy in a Hugo Boss suit," and Glaser said, "It smells like a guy who trims his ball hair." (Hint: That's a good thing.)

$69, 3.3 oz., available at lacoste.com

Pharrell Williams Girl By Comme Des Garcons

cologne

WHAT WE THINK: Don't worry — this floral, cedary smell is for boys, too. (We swear.)

WHAT WOMEN THINK: This one scored a 1 out of 3. It reminded Glaser of "the lobby bathroom in an expensive hotel." Issa, however, found it "light and insubstantial." Shaik was more to the point: "No bueno."

$135, 3.3 oz., available at doverstreetmarket.com

Masculin Pluriel By Maison Francis Kurkdjian

cologne

WHAT WE THINK: We can't pronounce it, but we know a spicy, manly scent when we smell it.

WHAT WOMEN THINK: "This is for a pretentious dad," said Glaser. The other two gals were all for going Continental. It reminded Shaik of "summer on a rooftop," while Issa pictured "a Frenchman who takes care of himself."

$185, 2.4 oz., available at neimanmarcus.com

RELATED: 5 New Rules of Fall Layering

Michael Kors For Men

cologne

WHAT WE THINK: If you look up "cologne" in the dictionary, it sprays you with Kors' newest men's scent, a bergamot-and-musk blend.

WHAT WOMEN THINK: Issa caught a sweet undertone she dubbed a "subtle Popsicle scent," while Shaik whiffed manliness, saying, "It's like an aftershave on a guy from the 1960s." And Glaser? "It smells like an expensive baby."

$78, 4 oz., available at michaelkors.com

Luna Rossa Extreme By Prada

cologne

WHAT WE THINK: A classic sweet-spicy mix with a few twists: bergamot (as in Earl Grey tea), juniper (as in gin), leather (as in leather).

WHAT WOMEN THINK: "Smells like a tropical air freshener," said Glaser. Issa dug its dirtier qualities — "Like a guy who rolled around in the earth" — and Shaik got a whiff of Florida, saying, "It's like a sexy man on Miami Beach."

$86, 3.4 oz. available at macys.com

Invictus By Paco Rabanne

cologne

WHAT WE THINK: A patchouli-and-grapefruit blend sounds like Stevie Nicks's lunch. Here, it makes for a sporty, lightweight scent.

WHAT WOMEN THINK: The sweetness got to Issa, who said, "It smells like cotton candy and little girls." Glaser found it homey, saying, "It smells like fresh sheets," and Shaik found her number one: "Definitely my favorite."

$82, 3.4 oz. available at macys.com

More From GQ:

9 Things Every Man Should Have in His Pockets

The Focused Man's Guide to the Gym

The Ultimate Guide to a Perfect Fitting Suit

Eat Healthy All Week for Just $6

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I Just Switched To A Really Big Phone And I'm Completely In Love With It

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Carrots on Phone

There's been a ton of debate swirling around the watercooler lately about big vs. small. I'm talking about phone size, and people are really divided on this topic. Particularly with last week's announcement of Apple's new line of iPhones — the 6 and the 6 Plus.

I'd already made my decision months ago that this next phone was going to be an Android (I'm the kind of guy who will switch the furniture around in his living room every couple of months just because I want to switch things up). So when my iPhone decided to completely kick the bucket and give me some version of the blue screen of death a couple weeks ago, I leaped at the Galaxy Note 3.

I love this phone. I love its size. And I am never turning back.

Look at this.

Big flies in phone

Amazing. Sitting right next to the iPhone 5, the Samsung looks like a behemoth. A mammoth hunk of electronics that nobody could ever possibly want or need, right?

Oh so wrong.

After about an hour of using one of these "phablets," you're going to wonder why you balked in the first place. Phones aren't phones anymore, it's as simple as that. They are multimedia juggernauts. All that stuff that developers work tirelessly to get in our app stores is meant to be watched, played with, and shown around.

Pizza on phones

Sure we take the odd phone call and compose text messages, but mostly we're consuming and creating content. And, as I have learned, a 4-inch screen (or, I would argue, even a 4.7-inch screen like the iPhone 6) just isn't enough.

Let me answer your questions.

Does it fit in your pocket? It looks completely unmanageable. It fits great, much better than you would think for most people.

Can you type on it easily? Yes, in fact, it's easier.

Does it use way more battery because the screen is so much larger? No. Battery life is better because the phone can house a larger power source.

Can you use it with one hand? Absolutely. And if you feel a little off, these phablets (including the new iPhone 6 Plus) come with a one-handed mode that shrinks the display and docks it to one side for easy tapping.

Note 3 on iPhone 5I couldn't even imagine moving to a smaller phone now. When I pick up my wife's iPhone 5 and stare at the screen I can hardly believe that I used to get by with it for all those years. It's almost adorable how tiny and unfortunately ill-equipped it is.

In fact, now that I have my 5.7-inch screen, I almost want one bigger! Of course, I won't be actually following through on that, but the point stands. Big-screen phones are fantastic, fun to use, more suitable for the actual functions of a smartphone in 2014, and most importantly, not a burden in any sense. Once you get it, you're almost immediately used to it and you will never even consider turning back.

So keep that in mind when you're lining up around the block on September 19th to snatch up your new iDevice. Bigger is better, and you won't regret it for a single second.


NOW WATCH: We Did The Math— Which iPhone 6 Should You Buy?

 

SEE ALSO: Critics Are In Love With The iPhone 6

Join the conversation about this story »








The Best Burger In Every State

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Abbey Burger Bistro, Baltimore

It's National Cheeseburger Day, and we think a proper celebration is in order.

To commemorate this all-American holiday, we conducted painstaking journalistic research to figure out the very best burger in every state, from mom-and-pop joints to celebrity-chef restaurants and everything in between.

Based on accolades, reviews, and our own stomachs, we came up with a comprehensive list so you can devour a truly great burger anywhere in the US.

ALABAMA: Chez Fonfon — a fancy name for a fancy restaurant. The Birmingham bistro is better known for its French cuisine, but it's widely regarded as the home of the best burger in Alabama. The "Hamburger Fonfon" comes with comté cheese and pommes frites.

Chez Fonfon



ALASKA: Tommy's Burger Stop, which just celebrated its 12th anniversary, serves sky-high beef patties topped with all sorts of goodies from deep-fried jalapeno pepper slices to onion rings to everyone's favorite, bacon. The Stella Bleu Burger alone — a blue-cheese-oozing monster — is worth a trip to Anchorage.

Tommy's Burger Stop



ARIZONA: Holding multiple accolades for its perfectly balanced burgers, Phoenix's Delux proudly serves beef burgers made with grass-fed, humanely raised cattle from local Niman Ranch.

Delux



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A Hilarious New Tumblr Shames Guys Who Only Wear Their Free Startup Shirts

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The startup world isn't exactly known for its fashion. And with a gender ratio that undoubtedly tilts toward males, there's a real sense of a "brogrammer" culture in Silicon Valley. 

A new Tumblr called "Dudes in Startup Shirts" calls out brogrammers in a hilarious way, posting pictures of guys wearing the t-shirts they probably got from their employers for free. 

Here are some of the brotastic looks you can find on the blog. 

dudes in startup shirtsSome big-time startups got called out on the blog, including Uber.

dudes in startup shirtsYelp also makes an appearance.

dudes in startup shirtsObviously, a beach day requires uniforms.

dudes in startup shirtsAs do house parties and press events.

dudes in startup shirtsdudes in startup shirtsStartup shirts are apparently a good option for any night out on the town. 

dudes in startup shirtsdudes in startup shirtsNo matter how questionable the slogan is, startup guys sure do love their startup shirts.

dudes in startup shirtsdudes in startup shirts

SEE ALSO: These Comfy Work Clothes Are The Latest Thing In Startup Fashion

WE'RE ON PINTEREST: Click Here To Follow Us

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Tech Schools Completely Dominated Our List Of The Best Colleges In America

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Stanford Engineering studentBusiness Insider has released its annual ranking of the Best Colleges in America.

One trend is clear: Colleges with a strong engineering and technology pedigree ranked the highest, with Stanford University (No. 1), the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (No. 2), and the California Institute of Technology (No. 3) rounding out the top three on the list.

The dominance of tech schools in this year's ranking could be a reflection of a larger trend in American education in general, where learning tech skills in school is seen as a surefire way to secure a job later. 

Jobs in technology are plentiful. The tech sector is growing faster than the U.S. economy, and according to some economists, for each high-tech job that's created, an additional five spin-off jobs follow.

These jobs are famously lucrative, too. Engineers at major tech companies like Microsoft, Facebook, and Google have some of the highest salaries around, not to mention the free food, fun work atmosphere, and the other numerous perks tech workers are known to enjoy. recent study from the University of California, Santa Barbara even found that those who have both strong math and social skills were likely to make more money down the road than those who do not.

As a result, it seems like more and more students are leaning towards a path to the tech world. 

"Computational thinking is affecting everything. That is really new, just within the past decade or two, so businesses are eager to hire people who think computationally," Harry Lewis, Harvard's director of undergraduate studies in computer science, said to Business Insider. "That means more than having tech skills — it’s the disposition to look at a problem and think that data analysis and manipulation might be the right way to solve it."

Engineering Student ComputerEngineers with a solid business plan can end up finding extreme success at a relatively young age. Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom, for example, was only 28 years old when his company sold to Facebook for $1 billion. Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy, cofounders of $10-billion company Snapchat, are only 24 and 26 years old, respectively. 

The strong appeal of jobs in the tech world means that schools that have a strong engineering and business curriculum, like Stanford, are becoming more popular than more traditional liberal arts colleges.

And with such high demand for a tech-focused education, these schools remain incredibly difficult to get in to.

In 2014, MIT only let in 8.2% of applicants, while CalTech accepted 10.6%. With an admissions rate of just 5.1%, Stanford was the most selective university in the U.S. for the second year in a row. That title had previously belonged to Harvard, whose 6% admissions rate was still shockingly low.

Once they're in, though, students can take advantage of a valuable alumni network and helpful incubator programs that facilitate tech entrepreneurship. (PayPal cofounder Peter Thiel, LinkedIn cofounder Reid Hoffman, and Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer all went to Stanford, while Dropbox CEO Drew Houston and Qualcomm cofounder Irwin Jacobs went to MIT.) 

These tech schools actively encourage students to venture into tech careers by offering tech courses and programs that are designed to encourage entrepreneurship in the tech industry. 

About 90% of Stanford undergrads take at least one programming class during their time in college, and the university offers StartX, a nonprofit accelerator funded by Stanford University, that caters exclusively to its alums. Since last September, StartX has backed 50 ventures with a total of $16.4 million, according to Fortune. Since 2009, 16 of the accelerator's companies have been acquired by such giants as Google, Dropbox, and Yahoo.

Similarly, MIT has the Entrepreneurship Project, an intensive one-semester class where teams of students work on developing ideas for their own tech companies, with the guidance of venture capitalists, MIT faculty, and other mentors from the business world. At the Media Lab, research groups work on developing disruptive technologies. 

harvard computer science cs50 lecture

Even at schools that aren't specifically tech-focused, students are enrolling in tech and computer science classes in droves.

At Harvard, a record-breaking 818 students signed up for "Introduction to Computer Science I" (CS50) this fall. It's the most students the class has had in 30 years of being taught — fewer than 100 students enrolled in 2002, and only 15 attended an in-class guest lecture by a young Mark Zuckerberg in 2005. Now CS50 has the largest enrollment of any class at Harvard.

According to Lewis, Harry Lewis, Harvard's director of undergraduate studies in computer science, a relatively small amount of those enrolled in the class will eventually become computer science majors, but it signals an interesting trend. 

"That number is growing, but mostly that course enrolls students from other disciplines who realize that computational thinking and skills are valuable in their own discipline, whether that’s economics or biochemistry or music or even the Classics," Lewis said to Business Insider.

"The digital revolution has created ways for students who know even a little computer science to do things nobody was able to do before, and students find themselves empowered, long before they go looking for jobs."

See the full list:  The 50 Best Colleges In America

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New York City's Elite Pay 6-Figures For Over-The-Top Bar Mitzvahs

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Bar Mitzvah Gourmet AdvisoryA Bar or Bat Mitzvah is a momentous occasion when 13-year-old Jewish teens cements their statuses as adults by leading a service and reading the Torah in front of their family and friends. It's a huge milestone in Judaism and takes years of practice and hard work. 

After the ceremony, it's time to party.

Some of the most lavish Bar and Bat Mitzvahs of New York City's elite run 6-figure budgets with celebrity performers. Behind the scenes, event planning company Gourmet Advisory pulls out all the stops for these NYC bashes. Its president, Harriette Rose Katz, once dubbed the "Bar Mitzvah Queen of New York," has been throwing the parties for 36 years.

Katz talked to Business Insider about everything that goes into planning these lavish events. 

She says one of the main changes over the years is that today it's "all about the kids."  In the past, the celebrations were more formal with separate rooms for children and adults. But today, every parties together in one "multi-generational," inclusive shindig. 

Bar Mitzvah Gourmet AdvisoryEven the kid's food is being served to adults. "To be very honest with you, adults like kid's food," she says as recounts the "old days" when the men would sneak into the kid's room to eat the pigs in the blanket. And the music is mixing too. Katz describes the music played as "mash-up, crossover," in which oldies are mixed with top 40.

Another trend is the whole family acting in mini movies that are projected in a short video to the crowd. Katz says it's popular for parents to write scripts that mimic TV shows like Modern Family or Family Guy that include the children and grandparents. The family then works with Gourmet Advisory's producers to film the sketch and project it on the big screen at the party.

Bar Mitzvah Gourmet AdvisoryFor venues, she said it's "just like any other party" with the the most popular choices as "very hot" dancing places, like trendy NYC nightclubs. "They're much less formal then from years ago," she adds. 

Entertainment-wise, there are plenty of magicians, casino tables, video games, and jewelry making -- and even celebrity performances. "We've had celebrity performers," Katz said. "Not my favorite thing to do for a Bar Mitzvah, but the kids love these crazy entertainers and singers." 

And some crazy entrances: "I had one boy who wanted to arrive on the Intrepid by helicopter. And I said no, I wouldn't do. It was too nerve wrecking, too scary for me. He had a Hawaiian theme at Pier 60, and he came in on a mechanical tiger."

Gourmet Advisory Bar MitzvahNeedless to say, these cost some major bucks. Katz says she can't talk about budgets, but "they're big." On a Huffington Post segment about New York Bar Mitzvahs, Untouchable Events owner David Sharky said the events his company plans range from $80,000-$150,000.

And if you want to party like a NYC Jewish teen, plan ahead. Katz said that most of her clients come to her when they get their Bar Mitzvah dates  three years in advance. 

SEE ALSO: We Got A Look Inside One Of The Most Exclusive Hotel Suites In San Francisco

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Exercise Can Make You Happier — Here's How

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Feeling stressed, anxious or depressed?

Exercise is proven to increase feel-good chemicals in the brain, reduce stress hormones, and relieve depression and anxiety according to Happify, a website and app that offers psychology-based games to increase your happiness.

And you can achieve these positive changes in just a few short minutes. Researchers at the University of Vermont found that even just 20 minutes of exercise can give you those mood-boosting benefits for up to 12 hours afterward! Moreover, people who are active are happier and more satisfied with their lives.

The duration and location of your workout also affects how happy you feel afterward. So, check out how to achieve your maximum happiness sweet spot.

fitness happify

READ MORE: 4 Common Workout Mistakes That Sabotage Fitness Goals

RANKED:  The 13 Best Health And Fitness Apps

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17 Of The Most Shocking PETA Ads

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peta_louann_aotw

The People For the Ethical Treatment of animals do a lot of "shockvertising": using controversial images to burrow a message into your brain, by way of nearly naked people, bloody animal corpses, or an intensely dark sense of humor. 

The nonprofit revels in its audacity, putting together websites to promote ads that have been banned or rejected.

Though they turn plenty of heads, do some of their ads go over the line? PETA has been slammed for objectifying women, which may alienate potential new followers.

What do you think? Be warned — not all of these will be safe for work. 

Kim Bhasin contributed to an earlier version of this article.

This spot showed the link between purchase and poaching. 'Poaching is driven by demand. So the day you stop buying, they stop killing.' (Singapore, 2014).



This gruesome ad shows where fur comes from. 'Poaching is driven by demand. So the day you stop buying, they stop killing.' (Singapore, 2014).



It goes for menswear, too. 'Poaching is driven by demand. So the day you stop buying, they stop killing.' (Singapore, 2014).



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This Guy Combined A Snowboard And A Bicycle Into One Genius Invention

Here's A Great Way To Find A Cheap Flight If You Don't Care Where

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st. martin airplane maho beach

Sometimes, when you are planning a vacation, where to go isn't the most important part of the equation.

For me, any number of factors can determine the destination: Is it relaxing? Is it interesting? Is it exotic? Have I been there before? If a destination hits any of those factors, I could be interested — as long as airfare is the right price. 

While planning a recent vacation with no concrete destination in mind, I hit upon one of the best secrets in travel.

For those in the know, SkyScanner is one of the best travel booking sites on the planet. It searches through hundreds of different booking and airline sites to find you the best deals, but somehow it always seems to find cheaper flights than other travel sites like Expedia or Kayak. In addition it has great features like airfare graphs to let you know whether you should buy now or wait for prices to drop. 

SkyScanner's best secret, however, is for people who aren't too picky about the destination: It lets you search for flights all over the world to find the cheapest destination to fly into. 

To search for flights all over the world, simply go to the SkyScanner flight search page and enter the city you are flying out of in the "From" box and then type in "Everywhere" in the "To" box. Step1Next, put in your desired dates and hit "Search." SkyScanner will then search all the available flights on those dates and give you every option ordered by price.  Step2

Just in the quick search above, I found sub-$400 airfare to hot travel destinations like Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, Mexico, and St. Maarten. Cheap U.S. flights on those dates include Florida (Orlando, Tampa, Ft. Lauderdale), Chicago, and Texas. If your dates are flexible, try out a few different searches.

There are also great last-minute deals. In August, I found a $350 round-trip ticket to Stockholm, Sweden, for just two weeks later. It's usually impossible to fly round-trip to Europe for anything less than $800.

SEE ALSO: The 20 Best Airlines In The World

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I Witnessed The New Beatlemania At A YouTube Stars Convention, And It Was Insane (GOOG)

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INTOUR

This year has been marked by the rise of the YouTube star.

People are noticing that YouTube is creating the next generation of mega media stars, who are making millions.

Last week, I flew to LA from NYC to attend an event called INTOUR, put on by Fullscreen, to see what it was like when 15 famous YouTube stars (most of them very cute teenage boys) showed up to perform and hang out with thousands of their fans (most of them young teenage girls).

Because the fans are minors, all tickets came with a free ticket for a parent or guardian.

The parents milled around, seemingly super confused as to why their daughters were shrieking and crying over these young kids the majority of the world has never heard of. But it was amazing.

After spending the day with the talent and the fans, one thing was clear: YouTube celebrities are accessible, unlike Hollywood A-listers who remain untouchable.

These kids want to be friends with their fans. They all took the time to say hi, take selfies, and give hugs. As I completed interview after interview with these young stars on the rise, one thing was clear: They were humble and really interested in spreading a message that being yourself is the best thing you can be.

What better idea to send to young and impressionable kids?

I arrived at the Pasadena Convention Center in Los Angeles at 8 a.m.



The folks who had bought VIP tickets had been waiting for hours already.



Everyone got a purple wristband.



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This Cartoonist Won A MacArthur Genius Grant For Her Work On Suicide, Lesbians, And Small-Town America

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bechdel_2014_hi res download_1_2Cartoonist Alison Bechdel was named a MacArthur Fellow on Wednesday and will receive a $625,000 no-strings-attached grant to advance her idiosyncratic art. 

Bechdel makes comics, but not in the cape and cowl variety — her work digs into small-town American childhood, parental relationships, and gender identity. 

bechdel3

Bechdel cut her teeth penning "Dykes to Watch Out For," a gender-studies-and-current-events comic strip that gained a cult following through its 1983 to 2008 run.

In 2006 she published her first book, "Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic." It's about her growing up in a small town in Pennsylvania and her increasingly complex relationship with her father, who she didn't know had sexual relationships with men until she came out to her parents.

The book is heartfelt, honest, and deals in the ambiguities of family life. Bechdel leaves the reader wondering if her father killed himself on the day he was hit by a truck and died — or if it was an accident.

funhomeHer second book arrived in 2012. Called "Are You My Mother? A Comic Drama," the graphic memoir uses a psychoanalytic lens to better understand her relationship with her mom. 

Bechdel's work is a union of image and text, expanding the form established by comic legends Will Eisner, Art Spiegelman, and Alan Moore.

"What I love about cartooning is the way you have access to these two different kinds of communication," she tells the MacArthur Foundation. 

"I love putting sentences together, but language remains symbolic, it still has to get filtered through our brains," she says. "Whereas drawing, it's right there, immediate, and you just assimilate it without having to think about it. I love having access to both kinds of communication when I tell my stories." 

Bechdel is one of 21 MacArthur fellows for 2014. Her peers include community organizers, mathematicians, and musicians

She says the grant validates her career.

bechdel drawing

"Getting this kind of recognition from the MacArthur Foundation, I can feel it already changing my life," she says. "I'm having to adjust to the fact that this has happened, therefore I must be doing something worthwhile. And to have that kind of confidence put into my work is a huge gift, and I'm going to work very, very hard to live up to those expectations."

Check out her full bio here, and watch the full MacArthur Foundation interview with her below. 

SEE ALSO: Meet The 21 MacArthur 'Geniuses' Who Each Got $625,000 To Change The World

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Here's Who Should Book Thanksgiving Flights In September

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If you're balking at Halloween candy at the drugstore, you won't be happy about the fact that it's time to start looking at Thanksgiving flights. 

Not everyone needs to rush online, however. CheapAir put together the below infographic to help fliers figure out whether or not they need to buy their tickets as soon as possible in order to save on fares.

And if you're looking to book a flight for later in the season — or any time, really — take a look at the Ultimate Guide To Scoring Cheap Flights.

infographic cheapair thanksgiving

SEE ALSO: The Ultimate Guide To Scoring Cheap Flights

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A NYC High School Helps Restore New York Harbor Through Its 1 Billion Oyster Project

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Students examining oysters

This post is sponsored by Verizon.

The Urban Assembly New York Harbor School, a marine biology-focused public high school located on Governors Island, has pledged to restore a billion oysters to the harbor by 2030 through its Billion Oyster Project.

The project is giving students a hands-on education about marine biology and will help preserve native marine species for decades to come.

The school has partnered on the project with Verizon, which is contributing equipment and technology — such as a self-cleaning underwater camera and Verizon's 4G LTE network, which the students are using to collect data.

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Oysters eat by pumping water through their body and cleaning it with their gills. A single oyster can filter up to 50 gallons of water per day.



Pollution has devastated natural oyster populations. The Urban Assembly New York Harbor School, a public high school that focuses on marine biology, decided to do something about it.



The Harbor School has its own oyster hatchery. Students cultivate up to 100 million oysters per year and then transplant them into the ocean floor.



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The Best 'Cheap Eats' In New York City

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cafe habana new york city cuban sandwich

Usually, a New York City's 'best restaurants' list would blow almost any budget.

But the city has amazing food at every price point.

We asked the so-called "eats experts" at The Infatuation, a restaurant review site, to help us develop a list of the best "cheap eats" spots in NYC.

The eateries range in cuisine from Middle Eastern to classic burgers.

Los Tacos No. 1 serves up small, flavorful tacos and quesadillas

75 9th Ave.

In the back of Chelsea Market is Los Tacos No. 1. It's a gem, but a tiny one — there are no tables and barely any room to stand, but the snack-sized tacos will blow your mind.

The prices are super affordable, running from $3 tacos to a "Nopal (cactus) Plate" with beans, cheese, and meat for $6. Lines can get long, but the staff is efficient at turning out their delicious Mexican food.

Read The Infatuation's Los Tacos No. 1 review here



Order fried chicken with outlandish flavors like wasabi at Sticky's Finger Joint

31 W. 8th St.

Fried chicken lovers, Sticky's Finger Joint is your new go-to. The fried chicken is well-done, but what makes Sticky's extra special is the sheer amount of house-made sauces and flavors like Wasabi, General Tso, and Salted Caramel.

Each finger ranges from $2.50 to $4.50, which may seem expensive, but they are huge, juicy, and crunchy. The $4 truffle fries will also meet anyone's high expectations.

Read The Infatuation's Sticky's Finger Joint review here   



Max in Williamsburg makes traditional, mouth-watering Italian dishes

740 Driggs Ave.

The South Williamsburg location of Max has everything a neighborhood staple could offer — friendly service, affordable food, and piping-hot, huge portions.

Though all of the menu items are worth trying, it's the homemade lasagna (in a bowl) that will seal the deal. The pasta dishes range from $9-$14 while entrees like pan-seared cod are $14 to $17.

Read The Infatuation's Max review here



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15 Things That Are Harder To Get Into Than Harvard

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Harvard Business School graduation

Harvard is one of the most prestigious universities in the world.

The Cambridge, Massachusetts school accepted just 5.9% of roughly 34,000 applications for its class of 2018. As Harvard President Drew Gilpin Faust recently said, "We could fill our class twice over with valedictorians."

The school seeks out students who not only have high grades, but also have outstanding achievements under their belts — from overcoming homelessness to starting their own nonprofits. The students who manage to catch the attention of admissions officers overcome exceptional odds, but they should maintain some perspective.

Many things in life — like landing a job at some Wal-Mart locations — are harder to achieve than getting into that prestigious university.

A Job At Some Wal-Mart Locations

Met with both merriment and protest, Wal-Mart came to Washington, D.C. at the end of 2013. 

The store received more than 23,000 applications but only hired 600 associates, NBC Washington reported. That's a 2.6% acceptance rate — almost twice as selective as Harvard. 

While many Harvard graduates can expect a 6-figure income, Wal-Mart employees pocket an average of $11.83 an hour or nearly $25,000 annually,,according to the company.



The Top 50 Posts On A Friend's Newsfeed

When Facebook compiles your Newsfeed, it chooses from roughly 1,500 different posts.

The company uses an algorithm based on the popularity and relevance of posts, along with other factors, to decide what goes where.

The chances of a certain post finding its way into the top 50 stories on someone's Newsfeed is about 3.3%.

If you want to boost your chances, posts with photos do far better than links or text-based posts.

 

 



The American Dream

A recent report from researchers at Harvard and Berkeley Universities shows that in many major US cities, it's very hard to achieve a rags-to-riches success story. 

The report analyzes the number of people who were born into the lowest income quintile but ended up in the highest income quintile. The results don't bode well for upward socioeconomic mobility.

The chances were below 5% in Atlanta, Georgia; Charlotte, North Carolina; Jacksonville, Florida; Columbus, Ohio; Dayton, Ohio; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; and Indianapolis, Indiana.

Even at the top of the list, people in San Jose, California showed just a 12.9% chance of living the American dream.



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