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These Incredible Hand-Drawn Maps Of New York City Took Months To Create

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DNU Hand Drawn NYC Map

When online art vendor Evermade.com commissioned Jenni Sparks to draw a detailed map of New York City including its subway lines and famous landmarks, it was nothing new for the London-based artist.

Sparks had already hand-drawn a similar map of London for Harry Hayes, Evermade's owner.

Much like the Map of London project, the Map of New York took three months for Sparks to complete. Each building had to be researched, neighborhoods toured, and subway lines mapped out before the intense, hand-cramping work had even begun.

The finished print includes Lower Manhattan, Midtown, parts of the Upper West and Upper East Sides, Williamsburg, Long Island City, Central Park, and a bit of Brooklyn and Queens. Sadly, the Bronx, Staten Island, and the remainder of Brooklyn is missing, but perhaps that's another map for another day.

Both the New York and London maps are for sale on the design store's website.

Here's the Google Maps satellite image of the neighborhoods Jenni Sparks illustrated.



And a reminder of what the subway lines look like via the New York City MTA.



And now for the hand-drawn map of NYC by Jenni Sparks.



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The Most Outrageous Works We Saw At Art Basel Miami Beach

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Art BAsel Miami

This year's Art Basel Miami Beach brought the world's best artists and galleries to the sunshine state for a five-day art fair showcasing established and upcoming talent.

While the convention center was home to large galleries such as Gagosian and White Cube, the surrounding satellite art fairs featured works from well-known and unknown artists alike.

No matter the level of fame, it seemed like each gallery booth had plenty of interesting art to offer.

From stickers to skulls to gold-plated statues, see the most outrageous artworks featured at this year's Art Basel Miami Beach.

Welcome to Art Basel Miami Beach 2012.



Where all types of people come out to view the art.



One of the most head-turning pieces was this "Armed Freedom Lying On A Sunbed" by Allora & Calzadilla.



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Here's How Much Money The Guys Who Run The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame Make

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The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame just announced its 2013 inductees: Public Enemy, Donna Summer, Heart, Randy Newman, Rush and Albert King.

Life-changing artists.

But the hall itself has not been without criticism, especially of its selection process.

Looking at the institution's financial statements on Guidestar.org, another quirk emerges. 

The Hall is a nonprofit institution, receiving most of its revenue from contributions. 

In 2010, President and CEO Terry Stewart enjoyed total takehome of $476,504. The head of the Hall's foundation — that's right, they possess a nonprofit within a nonprofit — earned $409,737.

As you can see here, no one among the Hall's named executives made less than $150,000.

rock and roll salaries guidestar 

In total, the Hall paid its executives a total of about $1,952,366 in 2010.

That's 8 percent of all revenues.

Is that reasonable?

Well, in 2010, the Smithsonian Institution, which boasts the largest revenue of any nonprofit museum in the country, had revenues of $1.2 billion.

Total salary? $8.6 million, or .7 percent of its revenues (as in not even a whole percentage point).

Punk rock?

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Finally: The Answers To 7 Awkward Money Questions

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networking, girl, awkward, staring, drinking

Recently, I made lunch plans with a woman whose son is the same age as mine.

We picked a restaurant with a large outdoor area the kids could play in without bugging other customers. Coincidentally, I had a PTA discount card that gives me 10 percent off food and drinks at the place.

Saving 10 percent for doing nothing other than pulling a card out of my wallet seemed like a no-brainer, except I was worried I would look cheap for busting out my savings card in front of a woman I barely knew.

Sticking to a budget and having a social life isn’t always easy, so I asked etiquette experts to weigh in on seven tricky money situations.

Is it OK to use a coupon on a date?

When a similar topic was discussed at Budgets Are Sexy, commenters were really divided, from people who thought it was off-putting to others who appreciated the idea of a budget-savvy date.

Kate Forest, a relationship counselor and coach at Master Matchmakers, says flat-out no to using a coupon. “Money, like religion and politics, is one of those topics best avoided when you are first getting to know someone, whether that’s a someone you might have a romantic relationship with or even a new friend,” Forest says. “You shouldn’t have to act like you don’t care about money, but neither should you act like you care too much.”

She says using a two-for-one blooming onion coupon will make you seem too money-focused. Keep the deal in your pocket until you’re out with a dear old friend who couldn’t care less whether you use it or not (and may in fact like a big plate of greasy, delicious, fried onion-ness, too!).

Dating on a budget? Forest suggests planning inexpensive outings like eating at a fun restaurant that won’t be too pricey (dim sum, anyone?), bringing coffee and taking your dogs to a dog park or touring a local winery where the tasting is free and then having lunch afterward. “I think the other person is more impressed by the thought and planning that goes into a date rather than the check at the end,” Forest says.



It’s date number two, and you’ve ordered too much. Can you ask for a doggie bag?

Nope, says Forest. “The biggest reason to not ask for a doggie bag is that you should have your hands free on a date. Even on an early date, there is opportunity for holding hands or lightly touching the other person,” which won’t happen if you’re toting a Styrofoam container around with you.

Vicky Oliver, author of The Millionaire’s Handbookdisagrees, saying she’s started taking leftover food from restaurants because she hates the idea of wasting so much. “It’s just so much better food than anything I could make at home, and the portions are ginormous!” Oliver says. She adds that as long as you’re polite to the waiter, cute about your request or make a joke with your companion like, “I wish I were a chef, but I’m definitely not,” there shouldn’t be an issue with it. “We need to get out of our shame and embarrassment. Frugal is in fashion, and it can be all in the way you try to make it fun.”

Both experts agree: You cannot take other people’s food home (which, bizarrely, happened to one of Forest’s clients on a first date.)



What if your co-workers eat out every Friday and start asking why you won’t join them?

Brown bagging it is cheaper, but outside-work excursions “are sometimes the glue that holds these relationships together,” Oliver explains.

Skipping after-work drinks or the weekly pizza lunch makes you seem as if “you’re not fun and not friendly.”

Go, says Oliver. “If it gets to be prohibitively expensive, maybe you can suggest a cheaper venue, but you don’t want to be standoffish.”

Consider it an investment in your career.



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Architect Scales Back Design For The 'Death Spire' Above MoMA

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The latest concept designs for the proposed tower above New York's Museum of Modern Art, called Torre Verre, have just been released.

Originally designed to be 85 stories tall, the new version from architect Jean Nouvel would be 1,050-feet tall, or 78 stories. There would be 100 hotel rooms, 480,000-square-feet of residential space, and a planned 52,000-square-foot space set aside for MoMA to expand into as well.

The general design of the building has remained consistent since its 2007 conception, with three asymmetrical peaks and a web of interior concrete columns. The building, which has been roundly criticized and even referred to as the "Death Spire," would stand just shy of the Chrysler building's height, with entrances on both 53rd and 54th streets.

Currently the MoMA Tower is still trying to gain the financing it has so desperately been seeking for the past year, according to the New York Observer. And though the lot at 53 West 53rd Street still sadly sits empty, at least you can see the concept images below to tide you over.

MoMA Tower Concept

 

MoMA Tower Concept

 

MoMA Tower Concept

 

MoMA Tower Concept

 

MoMA Tower Concept

DON'T MISS: The MoMA Collection Now Includes Your Favorite Video Games

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A Startup Is Making Private Jets Cheaper For People Who Already Fly First Class

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jumpjet

First class air travelers who want to upgrade to private jets without the extra cost have an option in a newly launched startup.

Jumpjet founder Will Ashcroft describes his company as a "private travel club," with price points matching that of first class travel on large airlines.

On top of comfort, according to Ashcroft, the great advantages private jets offer are convenience and time savings. Flying in a private jet offers an average time savings of three hours, he said.

That's because there's no TSA security process. Jumpjet flies mostly out of small airports, so clients often can be delivered by car directly to their plane. It is recommended they arrive a mere 15 minutes before takeoff.

Membership packages cover different distances and numbers of flights. For $2,350 per month, Upper Club members get 10 round trips per year on flights as long as three hours 15 minutes (from New York City, that's about as far as Aspen).

Upper Club Plus covers flights of four hours 15 minutes; ten round trips per year cost $3,995 per month. The Coast to Coast Elite package provides ten round trips across the country for $5,500 per month.

Unfortunately for frugal customers, there is no way to take a flight outside the boundaries of one's membership package. An Upper Club member will have to upgrade to Coast to Coast Elite for any flight from New York to California.

In Upper Club and Upper Club Plus, a member can bring seven guests per trip, but Coast to Coast Elite members can only bring three. Personal memberships can be "shared," so the member himself does not need to be the one to take the trip.

Businesses work with Jumpjet to create their own membership deals, based on their flying needs.

So far, Jumpjet has signed up nearly 700 customers, 90 percent of whom are individuals. The businesses that make up the remaining 10 percent vary from large corporations to accounting and law firms, Ashcroft said.

Jumpjet launched in October and expects to have planes in the air early next year. To start, it will offer service to 40 cities and charter the aircraft.

jumpjet dassault falconAsked about challenges facing Jumpjet, Ashcroft mentioned the "too good to be true factor." It can be hard to convince potential customers that the startup can really offer dependable service, he said.

The secret is software that creates plane itineraries based on where its passengers want to go.

The fact that reservations should be made two weeks in advance gives Jumpjet some time to figure out how to move its clients efficiently.

Ashcroft says Jumpjet has no direct competitors, but examples of similar businesses shine light on the difficulties of what it is trying to do.

DayJet provided on-demand jet travel and suspended operations in September 2008, less than a year after it went into business.

SurfAir offers "all-you-can-fly access" to members, but only in California, greatly simplifying flight planning.

If Jumpjet can get its members where they need to go efficiently and profitably, it could change the airline industry. If not, it will go the way of DayJet.

SEE ALSO: Tour The Amazing $64.5 Million Gulfstream G650

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It's Ridiculously Expensive To Buy Food At Art Basel Miami

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Art Basel Miami Beach

Unless you're a Miami local, you've shelled out a lot of cash to fly to Miami, stay at a hotel, perhaps buy yourself a new pair of sandals and a pedicure, all to attend the chi-chi five-day long art fair known as Art Basel.

But once you've made it inside the enormous Miami Convention Center filled with a labyrinth of art gallery booths, you should still be prepared to spend on the food inside the fair.

After what can be an entire day of walking around, it's only natural to search for the nearest bottle of water or snack to fuel up for the night's party festivities.

But upon entering the chic "cafeteria," here is what we found.

From a distance, the food options seemed endless:

Food art basel miami beach

But upon further inspection, our choices are pretty much limited to an $8 fruit cup...

fruit cup art basel miami

Or a sad-looking $11 turkey wrap.

turkey wrap art basel miami

We decided to go all out and splurge on this glorious $16 sushi platter.

Sushi Art BAsel Miami

But that was nothing compared to the prices of the hot meals served by caterers.

food art basel miami

There was a bar, too. One glass of wine was listed at $20, and a bottle of water was four bucks.

bar art basel miami

Patrons could sit and eat, or drink, surrounded by art.

Art bAsel Miami Beach

Or they could lounge on this grassy indoor knoll, great for a picnic.

grassy knoll art basel miami beach

Because why enjoy the Miami sunshine when you have fake greenery to lay upon?

SEE ALSO: Inside The Star-Studded Parties At Art Basel Miami

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See Tokyo's Gigantic Fish Market Before It Closes Next Year

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Japan fish market

Tokyo's Tsukiji fish market is the largest in the world, with $15.5 million worth of fish sold there on a daily basis.

But the iconic market is about to get even bigger. Tokyo recently announced plans for a new fish market 40 percent larger than Tsukiji, to replace the 78-year-old landmark that's become cramped and run-down in recent years.

The city will shutter Tsukiji by the end of 2013, and the fish market will reopen in a new building 1.4 miles away by the beginning of 2014.

Business Insider's Jay Yarow got to visit the market on a trip to Japan last year. It was buzzing with activity when he arrived at 4:30 AM. Tourists aren't normally allowed into the market before 9 AM, because they get in the way of the men who are actually selling fish. But he snuck in and snapped photos until he was kicked out.

A fish seller stands alone waiting for the rush to start



Around the edges of the fish market are small diners selling breakfast



Here's another peek inside one of the diners



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Five Wines Under $20 For Your Holiday Party Hosts

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girl drinking wine

Now that you have Cyber Monday-induced carpal tunnel syndrome, it’s time to put the mouse down and use the gray mush between your ears for a bit. It’s not as fun as spending money but a well-considered gift can be affordable and still make someone else happy.

As the holiday season gets rolling, you’re going to be invited to plenty of parties. Sometimes, you just won’t know what to bring. I’m here to crack that code with five great gifts for your hosts, each gift being $20 or less. All you have to do is answer a few simple questions!

Is the Host a Stranger?

It happens to the best of us, you get roped into going to parties where you don’t really know the host or his or her taste in wines. If your host is a stranger, take the easy route with bubbles.
 
I have a preference for Prosecco.

There are so many great bottles of Prosecco out there under $20 that are all festive, fun and easy to drink, with perfumed pear and apple fruit and just a hint of sweetness. In an ideal world, your host will enjoy your bottle as a hangover helper the day after the party. While they might not remember where the Prosecco came from, they sure as heck will appreciate it.


What to buy: Col Vetoraz, $16

This stuff is addictively delicious. It’s sort of a high-end Prosecco in a nice package, so that helps with the whole gifting and not looking like you just came from Trader Joe’s thing.

Do You Want to be Less of a Stranger?

And I’m talking much, much less. If so, consider festive bubbles that are pink and delicious.

Sparkling rosé is wine made for fun. Aim for something that's a little off-dry but bursting with red and white fruits. It should be clean, fresh and decidedly slurp-able.

What to buy: Fantinel, $13

A sparkling rosé introduced some time over the past few years, Fantinel may have previously been called Prosecco Rosé. This is just their Brut Rosé and it is a great party wine. Stock up and share this holiday season. At this price, that’s a no brainer. A single bottle is a perfect single serving, so you better be buying two or more.

Is Your Host a High School Buddy?

Besides possibly being a little pathetic (trust me, I know my high school buddies so I speak from experience here), you are in luck. These folks have known you for so long that you could re-gift that bottle of quince-flavored orange wine from Papua New Guinea that’s been sitting in your kitchen since Menudo was topping the charts and probably get away with it.

If you’re the one buying wine, you might be the wine guy or gal in your group, so let’s reconsider. You are old friends, so the party you’re heading to is probably more low key and food centric than most. Consider introducing your friends to one of the most food-friendly, easy to drink reds that they probably haven’t tried: Carmenere.

What to buy: Lapostolle's Cuvee Alexandre, $17

Coming mostly from Chile, Carmenere is a Bordeaux variety that fits neatly between Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. At its best, it’s got modest tannins, great fruit and really lovely herbal complexity. Lapostolle’s Cuvee Alexandre is a wonderful example that shows uncommon focus and great freshness.

Is Your Host a Coworker?

This can be a touchy subject. If he or she is a subordinate, you don’t want to come off like a total tool. In this case, remaining modest yet generous is key. On the other hand, if your host is one of your superiors, you need to be a kiss ass without coming off as a kiss ass. Again, maintaining a certain sense of modesty is essential here. So, what should you do?

Obscurity, go for obscurity. Of course, obscurity poses its own problems, like finding the wine in the first place, so you can only go so obscure. Where does great wine come from where no one seems to buy? I’m going to vote for South Africa. While in South Africa, I’m going to look for really nice packaging and a big bottle. Not that I’m shallow, just shrewd.

What to buy: DeMorgenzon’s DMZ wines, $11-$17

This line rings all those bells and you can find some of the wines stateside. Take your pick from Shiraz forthe red and fruity with classic, mineral and spice accents or Chardonnay for a classic example of cool climate, New World Chardonnay. These are steals at these prices and are worth stocking up for gifting all year round.

Are You Clueless?

Relax, we knew that about you. Just kidding, actually your friends just mentioned it, so I had no previous knowledge of your abject cluelessness when it comes to people and wine.
What’s the failsafe? What can you always bring to a party that will make you look like a champ? That is the million dollar question and I only have a handful of 2 cent answers, but if I had to pick just one wine to make you look like a knowledgeable, considerate, inquisitive, forward-thinking wine geek I would have to say, “aaaarghh…”. After much hemming and hawing, I would ultimately suggest sticking with what’s tried and true. People love Pinot Noir and it’s easy to drink, plus there’s a lot of great juice out there. So which one is the $20 or under wonder?

What to buy: Brophy Clark, $20

This winery's Santa Maria Valley and Santa Rita Hills Pinot wines come in right around $20 a bottle. For that coin, you get some really good, opulent but not overwrought Pinot in a very nice package. It’s the $20 wonder of 2012!

Want To Learn More?

Looking for fun holiday gift ideas for the wine geeks in your life? Check out our holiday gift guide here!

And visit Snooth.com to get more wine news and reviews from Gregory Dal Piaz or add him to your Google+ Circles.

You may also like:
Tips for Hosting a Great Holiday Party
7 Courses of the Ultimate Holiday Meal
7 Dessert Wines for the Holidays

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Our First Bite At The East Village's New Rustic Italian Restaurant, L'Apicio

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l'apicio restaurant waiter

Welcome to First Bite, wherein we bring you a look at some of the city's newest restaurants shortly after they open.

We'll go, eat some food, take some pictures, and report back to you.

This go round it's L'Apicio, the newest project from Joe Campanale and chef Gabe Thompson on East First Street that opened October 18th.

We didn't have a chance to go before we left for Asia, but it was our first dinner when we got back to town.

One of the great things about Epicurean Management restaurants (dell'anima, L'Artusi, Anfora, and now L'Apicio) are the wine lists.

Joe Campanale, beverage director and co-owner, curates delightfully explorative wine lists to accompany chef Gabe Thompson's rustic, Italian cuisine. An example of this is the 2011 Arnot-Roberts trousseau from Clear Lake, California. Trousseau is a grape indigenous to the small wine producing region of Jura in eastern France, but also one that thrives in the cooler climate of Lake County, California, and the '11 Arnot-Roberts effort was recently featured in a New York Times article.

Despite its lighter-bodied profile, trousseau produces incredibly well-structured, complex, and balanced wines. We found the Arnot-Roberts trousseau to be similar to schiava, a grape that's grown in Trentino Alto-Adige in Italy's north. In both instances, the wines are light, floral, mineral-driven, and have a slightly bitter finish. Surprisingly tannic for such a thin-skinned varietal, Arnot-Roberts' trousseau is a refreshing alternative to the oft overbearing, rich, powerful wines produced in California.

The wine list will change with some regularity, particularly the by the glass options, but in order to highlight the list, we've provided a pairing option for each of the dishes we had.

Escarole pecorino-buttermilk dressing, almonds, and cucumber ($13) - The salad carries a bright acidity from a liberal squeeze of lemon in the buttermilk dressing. Cucumbers and radishes add texture and freshness to contrast the fat in the cheese and buttermilk.

The salad is a nod to the fundamentals of Italian cooking: minimal ingredients and fresh produce. It's a great way to excite the palate before the starches show up.

Wine: Vignoles Estate, Keuka Lakes Vineyards 2011 (Finger Lakes, New York) $10 - Finger Lakes wines are a quickly growing sensation. The terroir surrounding said lakes provides exceptional growing conditions in which wines of great freshness and bright acidity are produced. The vibrant, acid-driven vignoles is light and crisp, but has a slightly rich mouth feel that can withstand the fatty dressing.

Linguine clams, pepperoni, and chilies ($19) - There was no denying the fresh clam flavor in this pasta. Chilies brightened everything up, and while the inclusion of pepperoni provided a modern twist, didn't offer much else to the dish.

Wine: Bianchetta Genovese "U Pastine," Bisson 2011 (Liguria, Italy) $13 - Bianchetta Genovese is from the coastal region of Liguria in Italy, where seafood is a well-known and cherished fare. Many Ligurian wines have a subtle salinity that results from grapes growing in approximation to the Mediterranean.

It is especially evident in wines from Genoa, Liguria's coastal capital, and proves to go extremely well with the brininess found in shellfish. The wine, from one of the region's best producers, is rarely vinified as a varietal wine, and shows Campanale's passion for finding Italian gems.

Pappardelle short rib ragu ($18) - Ragus are sometimes the best place to look when scouring for a chef's ability to make pasta. This one hits the nail on the head. It's not an overly sauced, Americanized mound of poorly cooked meat; but a refined, richly flavored, and decadent pasta. The toothsome bit of the perfectly cooked noodles was matched by the most tender shreds of braised short rib meat.

Wine: Syrah "Tous Ensemble," Copain 2009 (Mendocino County, California) $15 - There are a few solid red options by the glass that would pair well with the ragu, but we settled on the California syrah. The pasta is packed with flavor and spice, so we thought a wine of similar character and ambition would be the best way to wash it down, especially on a cold night!

Broccoli Rabe garlic, chili, and onion ($16) - Polenta alla spianatora is a dish in the Epicurean Management Group unique to L'Apicio. It's a glorified side dish of sorts, served family style on a wooden board. Polenta might be to the Italian chef what the omelet is to a French chef and Thompson has the technique down pat.

With our ragu intake from the pasta, we settled on the veggie option. The result was a textural, flavorful delight. It was a little heavy handed on the spice (we dig spice), but everything polenta should be.

Wine: Nebbiolo, Vallana Boca 2004 (Piedmont, Italy) $17 -We say go for the nebbiolo, a grape indigenous to the northern parts of Italy. Polenta is said to have originated in Friuli, where nebbiolo is not grown, but the dish is also popular in Lombardia, where nebbiolo (known locally as chiavennasca) is one of the most widely planted grapes.

So, in a round about way, this pairing supports the ol' "grows together goes together" ideal. Being an '04, the wine is a bit further along in the aging process, so developed nuances and complexities will make for a more enjoyable, fuller bodied wine that will stand up to the fat and richness that makes polenta so good.

Chandeliers are part of the decor in the 180-seat restaurant. The ambitious room is hip in that industrial, clubby, East Village sort of way. It's a far cry from the intimate rooms found at other EMG restaurants, but the offerings are still undeniably Thompson and Campanale's.

L'Apicio | 13 East First Street | 212.533.7400 

Sunday-Wednesday, 5:30pm – 11:00pm, Thursday-Saturday, 5:30pm-12:00am

*brunch coming soon

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15 Great Gifts For The Aspiring Race Car Driver In Your Life

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kid racing bike

The holidays are already here, so it is past time to find the perfect gift for that person in your life who wants nothing more than to race cars all day.

Not sure what to get them? Suffering from limited funds?

Luckily, we've dug up gifts to fit every budget and satisfy every driving need.

From tools to fix the old Mustang, to the gear to look good on the track, to lessons on how to drive like a champ, there is something for every aspiring racer out there.

Give them the power to fix their old ride.

Does your car lover rely on the mechanic to fix everything that goes wrong with his ride? Does he want to fix up the old Mustang in his garage?

Enable him with a Mechanics Tool Set from Craftsman, complete with 155 pieces, including 94 sockets, five drive tools, 12 combination wrenches, and 44 specialty tools.

Price: $149.99.



And the tools to drive it as well as possible.

A good pair of driving shoes makes all the difference, especially in performance driving.

An accurate feel for the pedals allows for precise inputs, fewer missed shifts, and faster driving.

That is what it should all be about.

Price: $100.



Sunglasses are crucial in sunny conditions.

Quality sunglasses should be a requirement for all drivers.

Sun glare causes accidents, so you can even say these are a safety feature.

The pair featured here are Ray Ban's new Ultra Caravan. Polarized lenses and frames plated in 18-karat gold make these functional and stylish. We also love the retro style.

Price: $480.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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The Big Art Trend We Noticed At This Year's Art Basel Miami Beach

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Art Basel Miami

After days of perusing the art at the Miami Convention Center and satellite fairs surrounding Art Basel, there was one major trend we couldn't ignore: words.

Words in lights, words in cages, words moving across video screens.

Funny phrases and bold statements stole the show at 2012's Art Basel Miami. 

See some of the most draw-dropping and thought provoking statements here.

Alfredo Jaar's 1995 neon, "Teach Us To Outgrow Our Madness."



"Greedy Schmuck" is actually an untitled piece by Barbara Kruger.



Kruger also posed these three big questions ...



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Here's What The Typical New York City Apartment Hunter Looks Like [Infographic]

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Naked Apartments, a site for New Yorkers searching for rentals, has compiled its registration data into this interesting infographic on its users' apartment hunting habits.

Perhaps the most interesting piece of information is that almost half of Naked Apartments users need a guarantor to help them rent a place — meaning that half of the users don't have a salary that is 40 times the monthly rent (the standard requirement of many apartment contracts).

But perhaps this is unsurprising, given that NYC's average rent is now $3,418. Check out the infographic below.

Infographic NYC Renter Data

SEE ALSO: The Most Outrageously Expensive Apartments For Rent In New York City

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Bloomberg: New Yorkers Live Longer

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Times Square New York

New Yorkers are living longers than Americans overall, and the margin is increasing, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said, as he praised his administration's health policies.

A New Yorker born in 2010 has a life expectancy of 80.9 years, 2.2 years longer than the national life expectancy of 78.7 years at the time.

Since 2001, New Yorkers' life expectancy has increased by three years, against 1.8 years at the national level, according to data released by Bloomberg and the city's health department.

Women in New York are now expected to live 83.3 years and men are expected to live 78.1 years.

Bloomberg has aggressively pushed for sweeping public health policies. In 2003, he banned smoking in bars, restaurants and places of work, a measure widely reproduced elsewhere.

He again stirred controversy this year by announcing a limited ban on super-sized soda drinks he blamed for a national obesity crisis.

"Not only are New Yorkers living longer, but our improvements continue to outpace the gains in the rest of the nation," Bloomberg said.

"Our willingness to invest in health care and bold interventions is paying off in improved health outcomes, decreased infant mortality and increased life expectancy."

SEE ALSO: 11 Surprising Things That Will Make You Live Longer

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MEET THE MELLONS: How Some Irish Potato Farmers Became A Wall Street Dynasty

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Andrew mellon

With contemporaries like the Rothschilds and the Rockefellers, the Mellons are often overlooked in discussions of families who amassed incredible fortunes during and after the Gilded Age.

It doesn't help that the Mellon family's rags-to-riches story has settings that are far from picturesque -- the farmlands of Ireland before the potato famine, and the industrial city of Pittsburgh.

However, the family's shrewd investments always put them on the cutting edge of technology during a period of mass industrialization: an easy formula for unimaginable riches. 

What sets the Mellon dynasty apart from many others is the diversity of their wealth. At the turn of the twentieth century, the Mellons acquired significant interests in major oil, steel, aluminum, and coal companies -- and still keep their family name on a major bank, BNY Mellon, to boot. Descendants of the architects of the Mellon family's wealth have been born into prosperity, but have largely protected, rather than enhanced, the family fortune.

Thomas Mellon, the patriarch of the dynasty, was born in 1813 in Northern Ireland.

In the old country, the Mellons were a family of farmers. The family house, pictured to the right, has been converted into the Ulster American Folk Park Museum. At the age of five, Thomas and his family emigrated to the U.S.

Source: Thomas Mellon and His Times



As a young teenager, Thomas was inspired by Benjamin Franklin.

In his autobiography, Thomas recounts finding The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin when he was 14, which made him yearn for a future greater than farming.

Source: Thomas Mellon and His Times



He became the first in the family to graduate from college in 1837, and went on to become a lawyer.

Thomas attended the Western University of Pennsylvania (currently University of Pittsburgh). After graduation, he worked as a clerk for the county and  opened his own practice located in Pittsburgh in 1839.

Source: The Judge: A Life of Thomas Mellon, Founder of a Fortune



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Porsche Has Already Crushed Its All-Time Annual Sales Record

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porsche 911 carrera 4 4s

German luxury sportscar maker Porsche said Wednesday that it had already sold more cars this year than the annual record it set last year.

Porsche, famous for its iconic 911 sportscar, said in a statement that in the 11 months to November it sold a total 128,978 cars worldwide, beating the 2011 full-year total of 118,868.

In November alone, unit sales sped ahead by 38.7 percent to 12,928 cars, said Porsche marketing and sales chief Bernhard Maier.

Growth was seen in all regions, but sales rose strongest in the United States and in China, with increases of 71.4 percent and 63.4 percent respectively in November.

SEE ALSO: The 25 Coolest Cars We Saw At The Los Angeles Auto Show

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Today Is A Huge Day For Getting Married In Asia

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asia mass wedding

Thousands of couples in Asia flocked Wednesday to tie the knot on 12/12/12, seeking good fortune for marriages begun on the century's last repeating date.

Authorities in Hong Kong and Singapore respectively said 696 and 540 couples were scheduled to attend marriage registries, continuing a trend which has seen couples flocking to marry on 11/11/11 and 10/10/10 in both cities.

The figure is a near-fourfold increase compared to the daily average in the self-governing Chinese city of Hong Kong, and about an eightfold spike for non-Muslim weddings in Singapore, which is three-quarters ethnic Chinese.

Couples also queued to marry in many mainland Chinese cities, on the basis that 12/12/12 sounded like "Will love/will love/will love" in Chinese, the official news agency Xinhua reported.

In several Indonesian cities, mothers gave birth early by Caesarian section so their offspring could have a lucky birthdate.

At one of Hong Kong's five marriage registries, hundreds of people crowded the premises to take photos of brides and grooms in full wedding regalia as they congratulated the newlyweds.

"Today's date is very special and we can get married before doomsday as well," joked 34-year-old groom Raymond Ip.

Some doomsayers believe December 21 will be the date the world ends.

"There won't be a 13/133," Ip said, adding that he had booked the day half-a-year in advance to secure a spot. /1Groom Terance Fung, 29, agreed. "Today is the last day of the century with the same date numbers, so it is quite special," he said.

In Singapore hundreds of couples and family members trooped in batches to the marriage registry despite pouring rain.

One couple in India were able to celebrate an even rarer set of special dates, having got engaged on 10/10/10, held their registered legal marriage on 11/11/11 and finally had a big white wedding in Mumbai on 12/12/12.

The triple twelves, however, was a less popular day to tie the knot than previous sequential dates.

Hong Kong saw 1,002 weddings on November 11, 2011, which signified "Eternal love", and 859 weddings on October 10, 2010 which represented "Perfection".

Singapore had 553 and 724 marriages respectively on the same dates. The all-time high for a single day there was on February 14, 1995, when 1,082 couples were married because the western and Chinese Valentine's Day coincided.

Extra staff were deployed at the marriage registry at Changchun, in China's northeastern province of Jilin, where 2,000 couples were expected.

But the office director Wang Zhe played down the significance of so-called lucky dates.

"Every day is a lucky day to get married and it will be the most unforgettable day of their lives," Wang was quoted as saying.

The Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur saw 289 couples taking part in a mass wedding at the Thean Hou Chinese Temple.

The National Registration Department said another 306 couples were married at two of its offices near the capital, three times the normal number.

At Yogyakarta in Indonesia's Central Java province 12 male sugar cane workers paraded around town in 12 traditional wagons with their brides to mark the day.

Expecting mothers meanwhile headed to hospitals in the country's main cities to undergo Caesarian sections, hoping a 12/12/12 birthdate would bring luck to their offspring.

Twelve women, some of Chinese descent, were booked in for C-sections weeks in advance at the Bunda private hospital in Jakarta, spokesman Samuel Robert told AFP.

"They said they wanted to give birth today because they consider the date unique and special. As long as the women and their babies are healthy, we are happy to accommodate," he said.

SEE ALSO: 15 Unique Wedding Customs From Around The World

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See What $250,000 Will Buy In Today's Housing Market

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Each week we take a look at how much house you can expect to get at a specific price point. This week, we’re looking at homes priced around $250,000.

Cedar Rapids, IA

9330 Deer Valley Dr, Cedar Rapids IA
For sale: $249,000

cedar rapids house zillow

Spacious and sitting on more than an acre lot, this Cedar Rapids home is still within a neighborhood with all the amenities. The 2,642-square-foot home has 4 bedrooms and 3 baths.

Hendersonville, TN

151 Mansker Park Dr, Hendersonville TN
For sale: $247,900

Located about 20 minutes outside Nashville, this suburban home in Hendersonville is just over 3,000 square feet with 3 beds and 3 baths.

Kansas City, MO

9808 N Farley Ave, Kansas City MO
For sale: $249,950

In Kansas City, $250,000 gets you 4 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms in a 5,000-square-foot floor plan. This 2007-built home has hardwood floors downstairs and an office.

Marietta, GA

2285 Glenridge Dr, Marietta GA
For sale: $254,900

A brick exterior with black shutters makes for a curb-friendly home for sale in Marietta. Sitting on an acre, the 2,410-square-foot home has 4 bedrooms and 3 baths.

East Hampton, CT

21 Dogwood Dr, East Hampton CT
For sale: $248,000

At the end of a cul-de-sac, this East Hampton home sits on nearly an acre of wooded land. The 4-bedroom, 2-bath home has an additional room that can be used as an office or nursery.

SEE ALSO: This MBA student is learning to flip her home the hard way >

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ENDING SOON: Subscribe To A Newsletter For A Chance To Win An iPad Mini

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Just in time for the holidays we're giving you have a chance to win an iPad mini.  Become a newsletter subscriber now and you'll have a chance to win Apple's latest tablet.  If you're the lucky winner you will have all of these great features at your finger tips and can stock up on our favorite iPad mini apps.  Click below to enter and to start receiving one or more of our newsletters to keep up to date with the news you need to know.

Entry deadline is December 21.

As a newsletter subscriber, you'll get daily updates and alerts on topics that matter most to you. You must subscribe to at least one newsletter to be eligible, so if you have not already, be sure to choose one or more newsletters before submitting your entry.

CLICK HERE TO ENTER >

On or before December 21, 2012, we'll announce the lucky winner.

You must be a legal resident of the U.S. and a newsletter subscriber to win.

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Peek Inside The Abandoned Bank Of Manhattan That's Being Taken Over By Artists

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Bank vault in the former Bank of Manhattan in the Clock Tower, Long Island City

This post originally appeared at Untapped Cities.

Urban explorers, architecture buffs and art lovers alike will relish this opportunity to fully explore the former Bank of Manhattan in Long Island City’s Clock Tower when the latest No Longer Empty exhibition, “How Much Do I Owe You?” opens to the public on Wednesday, December 12th.

Take a look >

As the event’s media sponsor, Untapped New York was given the chance to do some exploring so we can share with our readers this space, which has been closed to the public since the mid-1980s.

We will also be offering an exclusive tour led by No Longer Empty and Untapped New York to a select number of lucky readers in January, please sign up here.

Today we want to show you all the spots to check out when in the Bank of Manhattan you come to the exhibit, but do also check out this preview of the unique installations from the 26 participating artists.

The Bank of Manhattan later became the ubiquitous Chase Manhattan Bank, but the financial firm actually began as the first organized water delivery service, a private enterprise run by Aaron Burr called the Manhattan Company, which had exclusive rights to supply water to New York City. According to Kate Ascher in her excellent The Works: Anatomy of the City,

Rather than bring water from the outside as planned, the company sank more wells locally and stored it in a reservoir at Chambers Street; thus the quality of the water was no better than that drawn directly from Collect Pond itself. The company prospered nonetheless and used its surplus to start a bank–the Bank of Manhattan Company–that was more profitable than its water delivery business. As its banking operations expanded, its water delivery operations shrank, and in 1808 the company sold its water operations to the city.

The Bank of Manhattan building was built in 1924, the first skyscraper in Long Island City. The Long Island Star Journal proclaimed that it would make Bridge Plaza, then a gardened promenade in the City Beautiful style, “the new Times Square of Queens.”

Andover Realty currently owns the building and approached No Longer Empty to raise awareness of the historic space on the ground floor (the upper floors of the Clock Tower are occupied by law offices).

Lucy Lydon, communications manager for No Longer Empty, tells us that the interior reflects the history of finance.

As the Bank of Manhattan evolved from venerated institution to a more personal banking approach, so the architecture shifted from an imposing neoclassical interior to dry wall, with more opportunity for communication with customers.

Check out more awesome New York City coverage at Untapped Cities.

For example, from the main lobby area you can see the original molding and pilasters above the wall.



Above the drywall, you can see the original lobby details such as the Corinthian pilasters and molding.



The highlight of your visit will likely be the vaults in the basement.



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