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The 11 best restaurants in New York City


Del Posto

As one of the biggest world foodie destinations, New York City certainly has no shortage of great restaurants to choose from.

To find NYC's top spots, we looked at our recent list of the best restaurants in America, which combined five noteworthy lists compiled by food critics, experts, and diners. 

We singled out the restaurants based in New York City and listed them here. You can read our complete methodology here.

11. Blue Hill

Chef: Shingoon Hong
Blue Hill

10. Bâtard

Chef: Marcus Glocker

9. Cosme

Chef: Enrique Olvera

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

A former Amazon exec has listed his Miami mansion for $39 million (AMZN)


villa contenta

Former Amazon executive Christian Jagodzinski is selling his 10,000-square-foot Miami mansion for a whopping $39 million, the Real Deal reports.

Jagodzinski sold Telebook, a German online book retailer, to Amazon in 1998.

He spent a year growing Amazon's presence in Germany before founding Desdemona Capital, a real estate and private equity investment firm, and Villazzo, a luxury vacation rental company.

The home is enormous, with six bedrooms, a volleyball court, and its own private dock.

The home is located on Palm Island, near South Beach in Miami.

The home is 9,893 square feet and sits on a one-acre lot.

Inside, the home is decorated in the traditional Spanish Colonial style.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

DRONE DEAL OF THE DAY: The Finejo Predator drone is 79% off right now


Screen Shot 2015 05 01 at 12.06.07 PMHere's the drone deal of the day.

The Finejo Predator drone not only flies, but can perform 360-degree rolls.

It comes with a replaceable battery, so you don't have to wait half an hour charging the drone between flights.

The drone also comes with protection frame blades that will protect the drone if it hits something.

Finejo Predator 6-axis mini quadcopter UFO drone: $199.99$41.99[79% off]


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I have 3 major problems with the Apple Watch (AAPL)


Matt DeBord Apple Watch

I'm not an Apple Watch skeptic. As Apple devices go, I don't think I've even been as excited to play around with one as I was the wrist computer from Cupertino.

About a week ago, I did get get some hands-on time with the Apple Watch (along with some other BI-ers). I was really looking at it as a watch, not as a piece of connected technology. My topline impression was that Apple did a nice job with the design of the stainless-steel version. At over $400, it feels solid – it has good heft on the wrist, and the fit and finish are pleasing. It's not all that heavy, something that actually bothered me a bit. Unless you're intentionally spending hundreds or thousands for a slim, lightweight timepiece, you want your watch to gently remind you that it's there.

But there were three things that bothered me more.

The Apple Watch is very, very, very fiddly

Even rather complicated traditional watches are ultimately quite intuitive: they're largely controlled by the crown, the stem, and in some cases, small buttons called "pushers." Master these simple controls and you can get the time (even in different time zones), the day and date, study the phases of the moon, monitor elapsed time, keep track of time, and set alarms. 

The Apple Watch, by contrast, has a whole bunch of fiddly little details to master, from interacting with the crown to swiping the screen to managing the setup of the apps on the device. This is not all that easy to do, mainly because the screen is so small. 

Plus, just putting the watch on is a fiddly process, at least with the synthetic sport band, which makes use of a weird sort of punch-hole-and-keeper system rather than a simple buckle. I couldn't get a very precise fit.

The Apple Watch is hard to read

I can't read some of the stuff on my older digital sport watches anymore without glasses – the information is simply too small. Everything is small on the Apple Watch, so as soon as I had to interact with it beyond telling time, out came the glasses. This was immediately annoying. I guess this is probably more about me than the watch, but I have of late been favoring larger watches with simple faces, so that I don't have to go to the specs.

The Apple Watch is uncomfortable

I wore the watch for about 15 minutes and in that time, the device became rather uncomfortable in my wrist. I thought this was weird for a relatively light watch. But what was initially merely irritating became rapidly intolerable – and this was without the vibrating notifications. I wanted the thing off. I'm currently testing out two other watches and neither has created this issue: they've both been good for all-day comfort, indoors and out.

Any of these issues would compel me to question whether a traditional watch was worth it. In fairness, the Apple Watch's techno-fiddliness is a function of what it's supposed to be: a "smart" device. But the other problems could be defined as bad watchmaking.

SEE ALSO: The Apple Watch has single-handedly revived an unusual style of watch band

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Tour the Upper East Side penthouse where Sinatra used to host wild ragers with his Rat Pack


530 E 14 copyArchitect Marvin Mitchell has bought Frank Sinatra's former penthouse at the Edgewater building on 530 E. 72nd Street for a cool $4.995 million. 

Mitchell — who told The Wall Street Journal that he purchased the home for its spacious floorplan, not its history — takes ownership of the 3,200-square-foot, tri-level apartment just four years after the previous owner, Long Island car insurance executive Penny Hart, renovated it. Hart, who bought the home for a reported $2.5 million and never lived in it, first listed it at $7.7 million in 2012.   

Seller Penny Hart had this glass staircase made to the exact specifications of those in the Apple stores.

Sinatra owned the penthouse from 1961 to 1972. He lived primarily on the West Coast so this was his East Coast party pad; rumor has it that Sammy Davis, Jr. used to chuck Champagne glasses off the terrace onto FDR Drive.

Sinatra entertained everyone from president John F. Kennedy to Dean Martin to Marilyn Monroe in the apartment.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

The right way to eat sushi


Sushi is delicious, but eating it can be tricky.

Can you eat with your hands? Is it okay to bathe your sushi in soy sauce?

I Love Coffee posted a helpful infographic that will answer these and all your other sushi-related conundrums.

Turns out you can eat sushi with your hands, but if you choose to use chopsticks, you better be using them the right way. And keep in mind that soy sauce and wasabi are meant to enhance flavor, not smother it.

Take a look at the infographic below to avoid any cringeworthy mistakes and to make your next sushi experience more enjoyable.

How to Eat Sushi

SEE ALSO: The 12 best sushi restaurants in New York City

FOLLOW US! BI Travel is on Twitter

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These 7 books, gadgets and films are must-haves for Star Wars fans [up to 58% off]


Princess Leia, Star Wars, New Hope

It's May Fourth, a day for all Star Wars lovers to rejoice in their favorite sci-fi franchise.

You can buy almost any kind of Star Wars-related merchandise these days; below you'll find a few of our favorite items.

And, of course, may the Fourth be with you.

An R2-D2 USB flash drive

Screen Shot 2015 05 01 at 8.40.41 AMHere's a fun way to get some Star Wars merchandise into your office.

This R2-D2 USB flash drive comes with 8GB storage capacity.

"It lights up when plugged in and is even titled R2-D2 drive when in a computer!" one reviewer wrote.

$19.99$14.99[25% off]  

A Star Wars iPhone case

Screen Shot 2015 05 01 at 8.49.10 AMHere's another fun gift for any techies.

POWER A has three Star Wars iPhone cases: C-3PO, Darth Vader, and R2-D2 — so you can pick whichever character you prefer.

Available for the iPhone 5s or 5.

$39.99$16.76[58% off] (for the C-3P0 one) 

Death Star ice cube molds for your whiskey

Screen Shot 2015 05 01 at 8.41.11 AMSpherical ice has become rather popular for whiskey drinks and cocktails in the last year.

And if you're a Star Wars fan, you can take it one step further and make Death Star ice cubes.


A Lego B-Wing set collectible

Screen Shot 2015 05 01 at 8.41.37 AMIf you need to get a gift for any young Star Wars fans, a collectible Lego set is the way to go.

This one comes with a B-Wing with a rotating cockpit, four large engines, two spring-loaded shooters and foldable wings.

"When you have two eight year old grandsons, this is the perfect gift," one reviewer wrote.

$49.99$39.99[20% off] 

"The Jedi Path: A Manual for Students of the Force [vault edition]"

Screen Shot 2015 05 01 at 8.42.00 AMThis book makes a nice addition to a coffee table, or a great gift for any serious fans.

"The Jedi Path" is a fully illustrated ancient training manual crafted by early Jedi Masters and has been passed down for generations of Jedi.

"It is a fun collector's edition," one reviewer wrote.

$10.00 for Kindle, $44.99 Hardcover 


"Star Wars: The Blueprints"

Screen Shot 2015 05 01 at 8.49.31 AMThis book is another great coffee table option.

"Star Wars: The Blueprints" is a collection of technical drawings from the Lucasfilm Archives. The text shows the behind the scenes creations from the brilliant engineers, designers and artists who have created some of the most iconic scenes in film history.

"Overall a great book and a must own for Star Wars fans and movie fans," one reviewer wrote.

$44.99 Hardcover

Star Wars: The Digital Movie Collection

Screen Shot 2015 05 01 at 9.02.02 AM

And last but not least... how could we forget the entire Star Wars collection?

Rewatch the classic six episodes before the new one comes out in December 2015.



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Science says some men's beards are 'as dirty as toilets'



If you don't like men wearing beards, then congrats – science is providing an argument against them.

An Albuquerque, New Mexico affiliate of ABC News tested the beards of some "brave" men, and what they found shocked them.

The swabs were evaluated by Quest Diagnostics microbiologist John Golobic. While some of the beards tested were found to have a normal level of bacteria, others were "comparable to toilets."

“Those are the types of things you'd find in [fecal matter],” Golobic said.

The bacteria won't cause illness, ABC says, but Golobic added that if the bacteria found in the beards were to be discovered in the water supply, the system would need to be shut down and disinfected.

Battling the bacteria, however, is easy. If the problem is bad hygiene, the solution is good old-fashioned scrubbing. Periodically washing your hands and face, combined with not touching your face, can dramatically reduce the beard bacteria, Golobic said.

H/T Buzzfeed.


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Check out New York's swankiest Kentucky Derby party at Eleven Madison Park


derby party emp

Without question, Eleven Madison Park is the place to see and be seen on Derby day in New York City.

For the past seven years, the three-Michelin-star-restaurant has been hosting a celebration with live music, a spread of fresh shellfish, chef Daniel Humm's famous fried chicken, and perfectly executed mint juleps, among other bites and delights. 

Neil Patrick Harris did the dress code proud with a pincord suit and bowler hat.

In-the-know guests made a beeline for the back of the restaurant, where an extensive raw bar awaited.

The EMP staff kept a constant watch on the shellfish supply. The bar never ran out of briny bounty.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

From dirt poor to a $7 billion fortune — the incredible rags-to-riches story of Ralph Lauren


ralph lauren car 2In the 1957 DeWitt Clinton High School yearbook, Ralph Lauren wrote "millionaire" as one of his life goals.

Today, he has an estimated net worth of $7 billion, according to Forbes, after netting billions with his iconic brand Polo Ralph Lauren.

Long before he became a fashion icon, he was Ralph Lipschitz, the youngest son of Jewish immigrant parents living in the Bronx. 

Growing up, he learned to escape his family's poverty by going to the movies and immersing himself in the fictional plot lines. 

"He would literally fall into the fantasies of the movies of that era," Michael Gross, author of "Genuine Authentic: The Real Life of Ralph Lauren," told Bloomberg"He truly did project himself into the scenes in which men like Gary Cooper and Cary Grant were playing. He sees the characters that populate his dreams and visions, and that vision — that ability to step into a fantasy world — Ralph brought to the fashion business."

He further detached from his humble origins in his late teens when he chose to change his name from Lipschitz to Lauren after enduring years of teasing and bullying. 

Later, after a short stint in the army, Lauren moved back to New York City and started working as a clerk at Brooks Brothers.


Then a transformative experience — his first polo match — helped to shape his perspective and activate his entrepreneurial spirit. "We were exposed to fabulous things," recalled Warren Helstein, the friend that took him to the polo match. "The silver, the leather, the horses, the tall slinky blondes with the big hats, and the high society that we really weren't knowledgeable of."

The event inspired him to start developing a high-class, elegant brand, which would eventually become Polo Ralph Lauren. 

Having only a high school diploma and a few business classes under his belt, the decision to start his own company was the first of many risks Lauren would take in his legendary career.

The next was designing wide, colorful neckties at a time when narrow and plain was the norm.

The radical approach won over Bloomingdale's — and loads of customers. He sold $500,000 worth of ties in one year.

Despite such quick success, Lauren relentlessly expanded his company. "Ralph doesn't sit on his laurels for one minute," Lauren's protégé John Varvatos told Bloomberg. "You can enjoy the moment, but you have to keep things going — and you can't be a one-trick pony." 

When it came to new design ideas, Lauren kept it simple. He envisioned clothing that he would want to wear, clothing fit for a movie star.

"What you thought Cary Grant was wearing, you could not walk into a store and buy," he told Charlie Rose in 1993. "The things that I made, you could not buy. You could not find them anywhere."

Ralph Lauren waving striped shirt denim Lauren took the company public in 1997 — a decision he grappled with, unsure if he wanted shareholders and a board in the picture — but still controls 81.5% of the voting power.

The wide-eyed kid who dreamed of becoming a millionaire now, at age 75, enjoys the spoils of his success, with homes in Jamaica, Long Island, Bedford, and Manhattan, as well as a 17,000-acre ranch in Colorado.

He also boasts one of the world's most valuable car collections. "Others collect art, but for me owning a rare and magnificently designed car offers a different kind of experience," he toldArchitectural Digest. "In the end you can enjoy both the beauty of the machine and the journey it takes you on."

SEE ALSO: 15 Billionaires Who Were Once Dirt Poor

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23 vintage photos of Paris in spring


Arc de TriompheParis is one of the most romantic cities in the world — and it's most beautiful in the springtime. 

Over fifty years ago, avid traveler and amateur photographer Charles W. Cushman traveled to Paris in the springtime and documented the city.

The images of Paris in 1960 show a glamorous and romantic city that hasn't changed all that much today.

These photos are being shared with permission from the Indiana University Archives. 

It's amazing how many of the city's iconic sites have not changed at all. The Eiffel Tower looks exactly the same.

As does the famous Arc de Triomphe.

Notre Dame de Paris has stood in the same spot since the 1300s.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

This therapist has discovered an amazing method for unlocking secret rifts in relationships using IKEA furniture


building ikea furniture

Dr. Ramani Durvasula was sitting in the sofa department of IKEA when she realized the Swedish furniture store was filled with arguing couples.

“I could see all the room displays, and I was watching couples go through and I would say almost half of them were bickering,” Dr. Durvasula, a professor of psychology at California State University Los Angeles and therapist in San Diego, told Business Insider. “And I thought ‘Wow, this place is really bringing out the worst in relationships.’”

It was right then that she was inspired to have couples in counseling build IKEA furniture together as therapy.  

“What I see is when you work with a couple, we talk this big game about communication, collaboration, and respect, but it’s often hard to build that into a task, especially one that’s manageable,” she told us. “Furniture assembly is a metaphor for what we need to be able to do in a relationship.”

Now, Dr. Durvasula uses IKEA furniture as a tool to help her clients work through relationship roadblocks and build skills such as listening, communication, and consideration. 

When one of her couple clients is looking for a new piece of furniture, Dr. Durvasula will encourage them to buy something to assemble together. Since most of her clients are young, they usually tend to be on the market of IKEA pieces, which according to Dr. Durvsaula is perfect since the Swedish furniture company requires assembly as well as collaboration.

The couples then return and describe to Dr. Durvasula how it went — did someone storm off, insult the other person, or make commands? Or did they laugh and work together?

“If I had my way honestly, I would love to be in their house, but that’s not something ethically that’s possible for a therapist,” she told us. “But if I were actually observing them, they’d be on their best behavior. The nice thing about not being there is that they’re being themselves, and they usually are pretty honest.”

ikea furniture divorcemakerDr. Durvasula told Business Insider the most challenging pieces of furniture couples can build together include the PAX wardrobe with its unwieldy drawers and big doors, king-sized beds since they all require two people working in tandem, and called the heavy LIATORP entertainment center a “divorcemaker.”

“It’s such a great metaphor for a relationship: You get those dowels in, you get those screws in, and everything has to line up and fit together before you start,” Dr. Durvasula told Business Insider. “If you don’t, it can crack the furniture and it will always be off kilter, which is so beautiful because that’s exactly what a relationship is — getting everything lined up and then getting the timing right before everything comes into place."

assembling IKEA furniture

If you’re building furniture with your significant other, these are the signs Dr. Durvasula said to watch out for:

Insults or disrespect: No one likes to be disrespected, but off-handed insults such as “You don’t know what you’re doing” or “Are you an idiot?” can speak to bigger problems in a relationship. 

“These are what I call the reflexive insults, which we tend to do when we’re frustrated,” Dr. Durvasula said to Business Insider.

Storming off: Tossing the instructions on the ground and walking out of the room are not an effective way to communicate. Dr. Durvasula said this was a major problem and demonstrated a lack of confronting issues and communicating effectively.

Making commands: Ordering your partner to do something can be both bossy and disrespectful, even if you have the best intentions. 

“Instead of saying ‘Do that,’ they should say ‘Would you like me to help with that?’ which becomes a more helpful bounds of communication,” Dr. Durvasula said.

Denial of the other’s reality: IKEA furniture can be challenging to put together, but it can be even harder when you’re not seeing things from your partner’s perspective. Accusing your significant other of holding something wrong, too tight, or in the wrong place can lead to fighting as you both angle to be the most “right.”

“The denial of the other person’s reality happens a lot in everyday life,” Dr. Druvasula told us. “That’s really unhealthy for couples." 

And these are the things to strive for while building IKEA furniture as a couple:

Mindfulness: Putting together IKEA furniture is going to be frustrating, but taking time to check in with your partner can make all the difference. 

“Building IKEA furniture forces couples to work on mindfulness,” Dr. Druvasula said. “Always take that millisecond pause before you say something because an insult cannot be taken back.”

Back-and-forth: Having a dialogue, asking questions, and checking in with each other are all signs that you are communicating effectively. Ask your partner how they’re doing and what they need from you to stay on the same page and keep channels of communication open. 

Listen, listen, listen: In addition to having a solid dialogue with one another, it’s important to listen to what your partner is actually saying. 

“Sometimes we don’t hear things right because we hear what we want to hear,” Dr. Druvasula said. “But when you’re building furniture, the consequences are immediate. If you say ‘I’m going to lift this piece up, I’m going to need you to yours next,’ and the other person isn’t listening, then you just broke a piece of furniture.”

Laughter:“In a moment when things aren’t going right, being able to laugh about it is important,” Dr. Druvasula said. Making mistakes happens, but instead of leading to a larger argument, the key is to find the humor, and move on.

Join the conversation about this story »

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50 incredible hotels you should sleep in during your lifetime


Hotel Salto Chico

Everyone has their dream bucket list of travel destinations, but what about dream hotels? 

Since summer is right around the corner and we’re dreaming about vacations in far off places, we’ve come up with the ultimate bucket list of hotels to stay in around the world.

From private overwater bungalow suites in Bora Bora to glass igloos in the middle of Finland’s wilderness, here are the 50 hotels everyone should stay in at least once in their lives. 

Did we miss your dream hotel? Let us know in the comments. And check our Wanderlust board on Pinterest for more beautiful travel photos. 

Stare out at Singapore's skyline while taking a dip in the incredible 57-story-high infinity pool at the Marina Bay Sands hotel.

Learn more about Marina Bay Sands in Singapore >

Book a room at the hotel >

Eat breakfast while watching zebras at the Little Mombo Camp in Botswana's Okavango Delta, which Travel + Leisure called the best hotel in the world.

Learn more about Little Mombo Camp >

Book a room at the hotel >


Take a private boat to the Oberoi Udaivilas, called the Best Hotel In India by TripAdvisor.

Learn more about the Oberoi Udaivilas >

Book a room at the hotel >


See the rest of the story at Business Insider

The 6 most baller restaurants in Las Vegas


From the flamboyant shows to the iconic world landmarks replicated along the Strip, everything about Las Vegas is over the top — including the food.

And since Wall Street is heading there this week for the hedge fund blow out of the year, you can bet they'll take full advantage of that.

We found the six most baller restaurants in Sin City, decked out in $50 truffle shavings and imported Maine lobster tails, based on our list of the 44 best restaurants in America

6. Michael's Gourmet Room

Michael's Gourmet Room at the South Point Casino, Las Vegas

9777 South Las Vegas Blvd.

Michael's Gourmet Room at South Point Casino opened in 1982, and is one of the restaurants that turned Las Vegas into a fine dining hot spot. Chef Fred Bilak crafts a menu that mixes surf and turf options, from the decadent broiled Maine lobster (for $120) to the rack of lamb for two (for $175).

5. é by José Andrés

é by José Andrés, Las Vegas

3708 South Las Vegas Blvd.

The simply named é by José Andrés is one of the Spanish gems under the umbrella of celebrity restaurateur José Andrés. Found inside the glamorous Cosmopolitan hotel, é seduces diners with a tantalizing 15-course tasting menu that heavily features foie gras and truffle. Expect to spend nearly $200 a person on the meal — not including drinks.

4. Jaleo

Jaleo Las Vegas, José Andrés

3708 South Las Vegas Blvd.

Jaleo is another José Andrés restaurant, and can also be found inside the Cosmopolitan. The crown jewel of Jaleo is the open-fire wood grill where head chef Luis Montesinos whips up paella the traditional Spanish way. Order a la carte, or choose one of two tasting menus: the Jaleo experience, for $55 per person, or José's way, an $85-per-person tapas love affair.

3. Restaurant Guy Savoy

Restaurant Guy Savoy, Las Vegas, desserts

3570 South Las Vegas Blvd.

The Caesar's Palace restaurant, which bears the name of French chef Guy Savoy, features many of the same dishes (expertly prepared by executive chef Mathieu Chartron) from Savoy's Paris location. Restaurant Guy Savoy is also the only restaurant in the US with a Krug chef's table, where guests at the six-seat table enjoy a Champagne-paired tasting menu with a view of the kitchen. Prix fixe menus start at about $250 a person.

2. Joël Robuchon

joel robuchon las vegas

3799 South Las Vegas Blvd.

Joël Robuchon's eponymous restaurant — and the only one in the US — features the executive chef Claude Le Tohic's finest specialties. Whatever you do, don't miss the truffled langoustine ravioli with chopped cabbage, or the farm chicken and foie gras. The meal may cost you upwards of $227 a head, but it's worth every cent.

1. Bazaar Meat by José Andrés


2535 South Las Vegas Blvd.

What's more baller than a restaurant with "meat" in the name? Chef de cuisine David Thomas prepares the meat-centric menu tapas-style, ranging from the cured to the carpaccio to the tartare. Bazaar Meat, which is tucked inside the SLS Las Vegas Hotel and Casino, also offers an extensive raw bar and even "caviar flights." Dishes range in price from $9 to $70.

SEE ALSO: The 44 best restaurants in America

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This is what happened when I went on a whim to a class that claims to teach you how to pickpocket



When I arrived at the Brooklyn space I was told I had to "wait to be picked."

The Crown Heights event promised to teach me how to pickpocket. From the outside, the space appeared to be mostly open, enclosed by two buildings. There were maybe three other people standing outside also waiting to be picked.

So I stood on the sidewalk twiddling my thumbs until a woman kneeling underneath a tent beckoned me to sign in. She then asked me to produce a dollar and write down "a desire you want taken or a desire you want back." I did so and was instructed to keep it in a somewhat easily accessible place. 

It begins.

Artists have been throwing "parties" like this forever.

This party billed itself a "Pickpocket Rent Party," in that the people throwing it (a group of artists) were raising funds to pay their rent and it purported to teach attendees how to pickpocket.

It’s a pretty straightforward name. 

The collective is named "1067 Pacific People," which also happens to be the address. So straightforwardness is kind of this group’s thing.

In the grand scheme of things, an art party claiming to teach how to pickpocket isn't the most outlandish of themes. Salvador Dali once hosted a benefit where he and his wife dressed in strange paper maché animal-like costumes and fed a baby lion. European artist Marina Abramovic also held a gala (that reportedly went for $10,000 a head) where naked performers and seemingly severed heads were strewn about during the dinner. And I can only imagine some of the ideas Warhol executed at his storied Factory space.

So in the name of art (and perhaps a tiny hope I would learn a new skill) I decided to shell out the $15 to help these artists keep their space.

The scene.

The first description I found about this party described the event thus; As it unfolds, "all the party guest become outlaws." In a recent DNAinfo article, the description went further: "We’re also going to teach people to steal from themselves," the event’s organizer Andrea Haenggi explained to the blog.  

Of course this was all said with an extremely obtuse artistic veneer. When I bought my ticket online I was instructed to bring a dollar or two and to write a message on it "WHAT DESIRE WOULD YOU LIKE TO STEAL BACK?" the event wrote. 

I began milling around the open area. There were signs strewn about like Tibetan peace flags saying things like "TKS for PICKPOCKETING," "F**K Square," "THIS IS SERIOUS," and "This Space is OUTLAWED." 


There were also individual installations of random objects throughout the open space: A mattress with a sign; A few plants atop a carpet; A lamp. Everything had a sign with a message near it.


The dance of the pickpocket.

As the party went on, I waited for the formal pickpocketing instructions to begin. Instead, a woman accosted me and asked to perform a dance. I accepted. She began by inverting one of her pockets, indicating that it was empty.

And then the dance began: Her body began to gyrate to and fro; Her legs moving, arms flailing. She would take off half her jacket then put it back on. Her hands began going in and out of every pocket-like surface on her clothes.

I soon understood that this dance was a sort of trick; she would slip a dollar into the before-empty pocket.

It didn’t quite work out as planned. Her vigorously moving body caused the dollar in question to fly out from whatever place it was hiding, into the air, landing behind her, without the dancer so much as noticing. She finished the dance, put her hand in the pocket to present the new dollar, and she couldn’t find it.

I pointed behind her to where it had landed. She sheepishly picked up the fallen money and read it aloud; “Thank you for allowing my body to be outlawed.”

The woman behind it all.

I continued walking around after this and was met by another woman. She had long hair with purple tips, baggy pants, and a vaguely European accent. She was clearly the center of this event — the Andrea quoted in the article I read. We chatted for some time and she asked if one of the pickpockets had seen me and if I was impressed by their talents. I felt obligated to inform her of the flying dollar mishap.

The party was obviously Andrea's child. Some Googling indicated that she has been an active New York-based performance artist for years. Her first collective artist space was in the neighborhood of Williamsburg, but she got priced out in 2012. She moved her work to Crown Heights in the hopes of cheaper rent, but Crown Heights is steadily seeing the same rent-hike fate as Williamsburg.

This party/workshop is meant both a statement about systemic thievery as well as a potential new revenue stream for the 1067 Pacific People. In fact, Andrea told me she may throw more parties of this sort.

Andrea's artist bio describes her as an "interdisciplinary artist, choreographer, dancer, improviser and teacher." Her work has been featured at the well-known modern art museum Mass MoCA, and she has performed around the world.

This event is another notch in her proverbial performance art belt, albeit much less attended than any storied museum. 


The event continued; people awkwardly stood, talking, while different woman approached them, danced, and produced dollars from thin air. There were about 15 of us, which seemed like a pretty small crowd for a how-to on how to pickpocket. 

Here's where I learned to steal...kind of.

Finally we were all called to an area where Andrea and two other woman stood. The demonstration was finally about to begin. 

"I want to let you become outlaws," the artist proclaimed. "I want to teach you how to pickpocket. I want you to come closer." She then had us stretch out hand. "Stretch and expand your possibility," she ordered. And so we did. Or at least tried. 


She then had use make a "ball of energy" with our hands. The instructions started getting confusing. "Make a ball. Don’t expand the energy," she said. But while doing this her hand was expanding. I didn’t know how to not expand energy or if there even was energy in the nonexistent ball I was making with my hands.

Then she told us to pinch our fingers. And so we did. Then she told us to "roll the coin," motioning as if a coin were in her hand. It continued like this for some time until she decided we were ready. 

Andrea said that we had to pick with a "firm, easy hand." She then pantomimed the action. She instructed us to "rotate," while moving her hand. I am still not sure what this means. And finally she said that we had to give the victim a "firm bony touch."

To recap, how to pickpocket: form some energy in your hand, roll your fingers, grab people with a bony grip while picking their pockets with a firm easy hand. And then rotate. She then told us to practice with the audience.

About a dozen complete strangers rambled around an open space trying to grab each other’s arms and surreptitiously pick the others’ pockets. I spent a good 15 minutes scanning the space while others scanned me. We looked at each other, grabbed a hold of each other, awkwardly lunged toward each other, but none of us knew what we were doing. As I talked to people throughout the night most weren't coming to learn the art of thievery. 

In fact, most (if not all other than me) were friends of the artists.


Following the demonstration, I spent the rest of the night chitchatting with others attendees and occasionally trying to pickpocket people. I also lived in fear of others getting me. Andrea at one point tried to make a game where we ganged up on one person to get their dollar.

I hastily stole $1 from a random woman right after the demonstration finished, and after about 2 hours I decided to call it quits. People were beginning to leave and it was getting cold. I approached the exit and saw Andrea standing there. I asked if there was more planned for the evening. She said, a bit sad, that if more people came she may do the presentation again.

After a moment’s pause she asked for my dollar. I suppose she does have to make rent.

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Meet the app that wants to help you have better sex


PlsPlsMe app

If the insane popularity of "Fifty Shades of Grey" has taught us anything, it's that people are curious about exploring sex even if they're too embarrassed to admit it.

That's where PlsPlsMe comes in. It's a new app designed to provide you and a partner a safe and research-based way to explore what you're into sexually.

While you can explore PlsPlsMe by yourself, the core idea of the app is to give you and your partner an easy way to be honest about what turns you on. Once you've taken the app's sexual profile quiz, you and your partner are then shown only the things you are both into — the rest remains hidden.

"The initial idea for PlsPlsMe came from the fact that I didn't know how to get the sex I wanted — or even what that was!" PlsPlsMe founder Graceann Bennett told Business Insider. "I was a virgin Mormon bride that couldn't get in touch with my sexual self to improve my intimate relationship with my husband. When I looked for resources and advice, I was completely turned off by what was out there. I shut down and the communication got worse."

Bennett says the communication gap between partners is something couples both new and old experience, and that the persisting stigma around sex leads many to choose silence instead of opening up and pursuing potential sparks.

PlsPlsMe founder Graceann Bennett"It’s really hard to talk about what you really want when it comes to sex, and it’s hard to stay turned on with a partner over a period of time," said Bennett.

"If you think about technology and mobile phones, it’s your most intimate device, and we thought we could facilitate better conversations that don’t have to be in the bedroom at that moment where it’s awkward to be having a conversation the kind of sex you want."

The backbone of PlsPlsMe is the 2015 Sexual Exploration in America survey the team conducted with Indiana University, home of the famous Kinsey Institute. "All the research we’re doing, one out of three Americans say they have a hard time talking about their sexual desires with a partner. And we also know that over half of Americans wish people were more open-minded when it came to sexual exploration, so there’s this gap between what we want and what we’re asking for and getting."

With a design inspired by the classy decor of the Gramercy Park Hotel in Manhattan, PlsPlsMe gives its users the opportunity to honestly answer some questions, further explore some specific situations related to those desires, and then it matches up any mutual interests with your partner. Armed with the latest research, PlsPlsMe users will also see how their desires compare statistically to the rest of the United States.

"Once you take the sexual profile quiz, the app puts you into one of four sexual profile segments, which will give you an insight into who you are sexually," said Bennett. "But then you can play these specific turn-on cards, which are each separate questions. Right now we’re starting with one deck of cards, 52 questions, centered around sexual activities that you can rate ‘love it,’ ‘like it,’ ‘not so much,’ and ‘no way.’ So that can be anything from toe sucking and cuddling to sex in public — there’s a whole range of vanilla to racy."

PlsPlsMe app

"You play those cards, and then your partner plays them, and when you match up you’re taken to what we’re calling ‘The Private Chamber,’ a private chat room for the two of you to start to explore that thing that you matched on."

When asked if there were any lines for as to what was deemed "too racy," Bennet said there was only one limiting factor: Apple. "The one line is that we have to get into the Apple App Store, so there certain guidelines. We think that’s kind of a good thing, because if we’re getting into the App Store, then we have to have a certain level of taste and discretion with how we present the app so that it passes."

PlsPlsMe is still in the private beta for now, but Bennett says to expect an open beta this summer followed by a release "late summer, early fall" on iPhone, with an Android version possibly down the road.

SEE ALSO: Here’s the best way to handle a ‘friends with benefits’ relationship

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This is a milestone that only Volvo could celebrate


Volvo Integrated Booster Cushion

Last year, Ford celebrated the 50th anniversary of the iconic Mustang.

Earlier this year, BMW commemorated the 40th anniversary of its first racing victory in the US. 

So what big anniversary is Volvo celebrating? 

How about 25 years of the integrated booster cushion!

Yes, Volvo is cheering the birthday of its built-in child seat.

"The introduction of the first integrated booster cushion improved child safety in 1990 was a huge step forward for child safety," senior technical leader at the Volvo Cars Safety Centre Lotta Jakobsson said.

And you thought celebrating a kid's 3th grade graduation was a little over the top.

But Volvo has earned this one. There isn't another car company in the world that's quite as devoted to safety as the Swedish automaker. In fact, no company in the transportation business has been so effective at using safety as its corporate calling card.

And Volvo makes good on its reputation. It vehicles are nothing if not safe.

What started out as a modified center arm rest has turned into one of Volvo's most recognizable features for car shoppers with young families. 

These days, Volvo's integrated booster cushion is a fancy two-stage system that allows the driver to adjust the height of the booster so that child occupants can take advantage of safety belts and head rests. It's even adjustable to a height that enables kids to look out the window. 

According to Volvo, "this has the effect of making children less prone to boredom and agitation, which can also negatively affect the driver’s experience and concentration abilities."

They've literally thought of everything!

In addition to the built-in baby seat, Volvo also pioneered other revolutionary safety measures such as the three-point seat belt and side crash crumple-zones.

So well-done Volvo! And we wish the integrated booster cushion another 25 years of safe traveling. 

SEE ALSO: Tired of your Mercedes? Then step up to an Aston Martin, for about $2,600 a month

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Bill de Blasio just laid out an ambitious plan to help New York outpace Silicon Valley


mayor bill de blasio techcrunch disrupt

In a fireside chat at TechCrunch Disrupt on Monday, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio laid out a plan to help the city's tech scene outpace Silicon Valley once again.

The bottom line: He needs your help, New York.

De Blasio outlined three pillars to grow "Silicon Alley" and harness its success for the betterment of the city.

Professional development: A stronger, more inclusive tech scene begins with the local talent it acquires, according to the mayor. "We're going to do everything we can, through our public schools, our public universities, and our training programs, to improve that pipeline," de Blasio said.

Those efforts include a just-announced $80 million cash infusion in the CUNY system over the next two years, in order to build out its STEM educational programming. The government already has its hands in fostering entrepreneurship through a $10 million initiative called Tech Talent Pipeline, a collaboration with LinkedIn that recruits and trains New Yorkers to become top-notch job candidates in the tech scene.

Access: Earlier this week, De Blasio commited $70 million to equip all New Yorkers with broadband access by 2025, through a combination of high-speed corridors and public kiosks with gigabit-speed service. He described this information web as the largest and fastest free Wifi municipal network, with over 10,000 hotspots connecting all 8.5 million city residents.

Innovation: In the most humbling moment of the interview, the mayor called upon the tech community to meet him halfway. He admitted that the government hasn't always had the "best track record" of embracing innovation, whether it be in macro policy or in the systems they use to do their day-to-day work.

"We understand we can do something different and better," de Blasio said. "We want to be pushed by this community."

In pursuit of an open dialogue with the leaders of the tech industry, de Blasio appointed Minerva Tantoco as the city's first CTO last fall. Its Tech Talent Pipeline program keeps in constant communication with tech workers responsible for hiring, in order to grasp what are the desired skills and how can they improve training programs. He encouraged leaders to speak out, and tell them what they're doing wrong.

De Blasio: "Meet us in that process"

These three key areas add up to help the city meet a goal, beyond reinstating New York as the tech capital of the country.

De Blasio's administration aims to install 100,000 high school students in summer jobs, internships, or mentorship programs annually by 2020. In his final moments onstage at TechCrunch Disrupt, he pleaded with the tech industry to help them create those opportunities.

"If you can create a summer job for a young person, we want you to start doing that now, so we can build out that pipeline," de Blasio said. "We beseech you to hire the maximum number of employees who come out of those efforts." 

In doing so, 100,000 students would enter the work force with the contacts they need, the skills required of them, and the sense that they belong here.

SEE ALSO: Fred Wilson: Here's why companies like Airbnb should share their data with the government

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