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Luxury Watch Sales Have Hit Record Highs Despite The Downturn

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askmen best watches 2013

Amid gloomy talk of a possible triple-dip recession in Britain and the march of austerity across Europe, some people somewhere are spending an absolute fortune on showpiece watches.

Luxury watch sales have hit record levels. Last week 16 of the world's top brands were in Geneva to showcase their latest micro-technologies and elegant craftsmanship. And all indicators suggest that, despite myriad alternative means of telling the time, the next 12 months will be even more profitable for them.

The 23rd annual Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) trade fair ended on Friday, celebrating a 10% rise in year-on-year visitor numbers. In April there is the Baselworld trade fair, which will be the most ambitious ever.

Buoyed by good pre-Christmas sales, watchmakers have never been more bullish. Even before the year-end figures for Swiss watch exports are finalised before their expected release next week, Jean-Daniel Pasche, president of the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry, said: "We can already say that 2012 will be a record year. We are going to outrun the amount of 20 billion Swiss francs [£13.6bn]."

According to Bill Prince, deputy editor of GQ: "It's not about ostentatious wealth. Although it remains of course the most portable show of wealth, a badge of success, ready reckoner of a person's status. But it's also a very guy thing, it's a 300-year-old technology that has continued to develop into an intricate and fascinating piece of mechanism, a great thing of beauty that is produced with the best micro-engineering has to offer. It's built to be manhandled."

Prince points to the entry into the market of designers such as Chanel, Dior and Hermès. "They bring in a big marketing spend, targeting men who perhaps wouldn't have looked at high-end watches before, but now are interested in what they are wearing, in grooming products. So a beautiful watch is traditionally the one bit of jewellery a man, a conservative man, can wear."

A watch also holds its value if the owner should fall on tough times. RAF officers wore Rolex watches during the second world war to bribe their way out of trouble, and a luxury watch holds its resale value far better than a sports car.

Eric Clapton sold his 1987 Patek Philippe for £2.3m in November last year. It had a perpetual calendar with moon phases and according to Aurel Bacs, international head of Christie's watch department, who conducted the sale, stood out for "rarity and superior provenance".

An Omega owned by Elvis Presley – another watch collector — was auctioned last year for $52,000, while there are several US websites dedicated to identifying the wristwatches in paparazzi snaps of celebrities or movies.

While the last major recession, in the 1970s and early 1980s, was disastrous for top-end watch makers, coinciding as it did with the appearance of quartz technology, this time around a global downturn has done wonders for the industry.

Since 2007 the numbers of people employed in the industry has been slowly rising, as new markets in China, India, Brazil and Mexico have emerged. However, the Chinese market is currently having a wobble, thanks to new anti-corruption legislation aimed at restricting the numbers of watches government officials are allowed to accept as gifts.

There are no such worries in the US, where high-end timepieces are hugely popular with celebrities and musicians. Music mogul and watch collector Jay-Z was reportedly given a Hublot with more than 1,000 diamonds on his 43rd birthday in December by wife Beyoncé, at an estimated cost of $4.3m.

But according to one of London's big pre-owned watch dealers, most first-time buyers are not looking for bling. "They are looking for something timeless and classic. If you are going to spend five, fifteen or five hundred thousand on a watch you want something special to you," said David Hagan, of the David Duggan watch store in Mayfair. "The nice thing about some of these watches is that they are subtle and quiet. Now there is a real collector's market they hold their value and are easily turnable back into cash." The London shop has moved into bigger premises to cope with demand and specialise in Patek Philipe and Rolex.

Ironically it was the 16th-century religious reformist Jean Calvin whose ban on jewellery created the Swiss watchmaking industry, forcing the goldsmiths and enamellers of Geneva to find a new outlet for their skills. At SIHH in Geneva, Calvinists would have blanched at Cartier's limited edition panther head watch in sapphire and gold, worth a mere £46,000.

Women's watches are the next big thing for the industry. "They used to believe women wanted quartz working even in a high-end watch," said Prince. "But now they are beginning to put the same kind of intricate craftsmanship into the mechanisms and that's the real shift."

Sotheby's held its first dedicated sale of wristwatches in 1980 and the recent surge in interest now sees the auction house hold two a year in London, New York, Geneva and Hong Kong. "The category has become one of the most vital and vibrant on the world auction stage," says the firm, which holds the record for the most expensive watch ever sold at auction – a Patek Philippe The Henry Graves Supercomplication, which went for more than $11.5m. As the watch industry celebrates an annus mirabilis, that record might not last much longer.

This article originally appeared on guardian.co.uk

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John Mack's Son Is Selling This Sick 9-Bedroom Penthouse Condo For $22.5 Million

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John Mack Condo

Dauntless real estate blog The Real Estalker reports that former Morgan Stanley CEO John Mack put his 9-bedroom Upper East Side penthouse condo on the market for $22.5 million.

But that's wrong. The house belongs to John Mack's son, a photographer and author.

We can see where the confusion comes from. In 2009, John Mack Senior bought one of Bunny Mellon's (seemingly endless) real estate holdings, a "carriage house" on East 70th Street for $13.5 million. Mack has mentioned having an apartment in the city before too (along with holdings in Westchester and North Carolina), so it wouldn't be surprising if he sold his old holdings and moved into new, remodeled digs.

Even though that's not the case, John Mack Jr.'s pad is definitely fit for a CEO. There's an awesome view from the top, 11 foot ceilings, the only fireplace in the building, and great big windows.







See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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'Mantyhose' Are The Latest Hot Trend In Menswear

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Meggings are so last year

Metropolitan men in Europe and the U.S. are rushing to buy "mantyhose," which are tights for men. 

“It’s definitely become a trend for men in Europe. It’s fun for them to wear, and you can see the color and patterns standing out [from] their shoes...They wear the tights with shorts, under jeans that have holes, under pants to stay warm in colder climates, or just to lounge around,” Designer Lisa Cavallini told Women's Wear Daily.“The interest is also growing in the U.S. market, and we’ve had so many requests for mantyhose that we’ve added an extra-large size for men who are 6 feet tall and weigh up to 198 pounds.”

Lisa is the daughter of legendary menswear designer Emilio Cavallini and runs his namesake brand.

The Emilio Cavallini tights retail for $40 and come in prints including barbed-wire, dots, and crossword puzzle. 

A website called mantyhose.net offered a few tips for men looking to capitalize on the trend. 

  • Choose the right size. A weight and height chart is usually on the packaging. 
  • Be careful putting them on. Be sure to clip your toenails so that they don't rip the delicate fabric. 
  • Choose a color that matches the tone of your pants or top. Apply the same rules as you do for socks. 
  • If you don't shave your legs, choose a pair of hose that are at least a shade darker than your leg hair. 
Here's a picture of some "his and her" tights from Emilio Cavallini:
emilio cavallini

DON'T MISS: Jos. A Bank's Worst Nightmare Is Coming True >

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This Weather-Proof Suit Will Change Your Winter Work Commute

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These are Indochino's Nanotech Storm Suits.

Why We Love It: Indochino creates custom-made suits and shirts, but now they've just invented a three-piece winter-wear suit. Dubbed the Nanotech Collection, the suits include details such as an earphone hole in the lapel and a water-proof smartphone pocket that is touch responsive.

The suits themselves are made with NanoTech, a protective coating that is transparent and keeps the wool from staining and wrinkling without changing the feel or appearance of the suit.

They also have a detachable storm flap to keep your neck and chest protected from chilly weather, and are highly-customizable as well — customers can choose their own favored styles of jacket lapels, jacket vents, buttons, lining, stitching, and pants pleat, not to mention that the Indochino fit is customized to your exact measurements.

Indochino Nanotech Suit

 

Indochino Nanotech Suit

 

Indochino Nanotech Suit

Where To Buy: Available through the Indochino website.

Cost: $499-$629.

Want to nominate a cool product for Stuff We Love? Send an email to Megan Willett at mwillett@businessinsider.com with "Stuff We Love" in the subject line.

SEE ALSO:  The ThumbSaver Is The Tool Your Home Projects Have Been Waiting For

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America's Most Annoying Airport Security Checkpoints

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airport security denver

Anyone who flies has suffered the agony of long security lines, intrusive X-ray scans or pat downs, and confusing rules.

But which airports incite the most frustration? As part of our first-ever airport survey, Travel + Leisure asked readers to rate the check-in and security process at 22 major domestic airports.

We’re highlighting the lowest-ranking airports—those with the most annoying security checkpoints—and have researched the factors and headline-making incidents that may have contributed to readers’ opinions.

Check out the airports >

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is an easy scapegoat, and security expert Bruce Schneier understands the frustration with the federal agency. “Airport security is just so focused on details like shoes or liquids, whatever the terrorists did last time. It’s like saying, ‘I’m worried about burglaries, so I’m gonna put all my effort on the third window on the left.’”

“Early on, TSA had some real challenges that they really didn’t understand, but I think they’re doing a lot more right these days that people just don’t see,” counters Jeffrey Price, a professor of aerospace science at Denver’s Metropolitan State University.

He points to recent innovations like the PreCheck program for frequent flyers, risk-based screening, and alternative screening procedures for passengers under 12 and over 75 years of age.

Some bigger proposals may be grounded by the age of the airports themselves. Most U.S. airport terminals were built well before today’s sprawling security procedures, and older, smaller airports like New York’s LaGuardia feel those limitations the most.

But even larger, newer Orlando MCO—whose security checkpoints readers rated seventh-most annoying—is saddled with designs that inhibit rather than aid passenger flow.

Fliers can also be their own worst enemies when it comes to slowing down security lines. You know the offenders: those with excess carry-on baggage, who don’t follow the well-publicized rules, who try to sneak things past security. Every year, the TSA confiscates thousands of contraband items, including live animals, drugs, and loaded guns.

Southern U.S. airports are especially prone to firearm seizures, with the most incidents at Atlanta Hartsfield–Jackson. LAX, which readers crowned as the airport with the most annoying security checkpoints, has its own homegrown challenge: celebrities. They can cause a ruckus—and delays—because of trailing paparazzi or because some feel entitled to take banned items through security.

Predicting and avoiding long airport security lines is becoming a science unto itself. The TSA has created an app where passengers can post airport security waiting times. But days and sometimes weeks go by between updates, making the app only marginally useful. Ifly.com posts average wait times for all major U.S. airports, broken down by checkpoint and time of day. But again, its times are estimates based on the TSA’s historical averages, not what’s happening in the given moment.

And it’s that continued uncertainty and inability to plan that travelers dread. As Price puts it: “You can be in screening for five minutes or for an hour.”

See the methodology.

More From Travel + Leisure:

10. Seattle Sea-Tac SEA

Seattle is a classic example of how airline hubbing can lead to longer, more irritating airport security lines.

With around 150 flights departing each day, Alaska Airlines is far and away the airport’s No. 1 carrier.

During the morning hubbing rush hour, the security checkpoints for Concourses A, C, and N (where most of the Alaska Airlines flights arrive and depart) can bottleneck quickly.



9. Boston BOS

A new “behavior detection” program at Logan Airport went wrong in August 2012 when eight TSA officers were accused of racially profiling — claims backed up by fellow security agents in interviews with The New York Times.

Instead of uncovering would-be terrorists, the officers allegedly targeted blacks, Asians, and Hispanics for extra screening — often based on what they were wearing rather than how they were acting — in the belief that stopping and searching such passengers would detect more illegal drugs, outstanding warrants, and illegal immigrants.



8. Washington Dulles IAD

As LAX has its celebrities, so Washington Dulles has politicians and diplomats, some with a sense of entitlement that can inconvenience other fliers.

The most publicized incident came in 2009 when David Vitter, the Republican senator from Louisiana, was allegedly rude to airline staff and set off a security alarm when he tried to open a security door in his rush to catch a United Airlines flight.



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The Best & Worst Dressed Of The SAG Awards

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Sofia Vergara SAG Awards 2013

The SAG awards are an accolade given by the Screen Actors Guild‐American Federation of Television and Radio Artists to recognize outstanding performances by its members — both in film and television.

While the statue given to winners is a nude male, this year's stars were anything but bare.

From sparkling gowns to one major wardrobe malfunction, see which A-listers rocked the red carpet ... and who needs to hire a new stylist.

BEST: With husband Liev Schreiber by her side, "Impossible" nominee Naomi Watts sparkled in this metallic Marchesa gown.



WORST: January Jones looked like her Prabal Gurung dress was on backwards.



BEST: Anne Hathaway took home a statue for "Les Mis" while wearing this gothic Giambattista Valli gown.



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The Breathtaking View From The Top Of Dubai's Burj Khalifa

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In honor of an upcoming photography contest, Dubai has released an interactive panorama of the view from the pinnacle of the Burj Khalifa, and it's absolutely breathtaking.

While other builders are working to take the title, the Burj still holds the record as the world's tallest building. The skyscraper, which was made famous when Tom Cruise swung from it in "Mission Impossible 4," rises 2,722 feet above the city.

The panorama was created from 70 images shot by Dubai-based photographer Gerald Donovan. Scroll down to see a video about the panorama, or click here to see the interactive version of the photo.

view from burj khalifa

SEE ALSO: The 10 Tallest Skyscrapers That Are Being Built Right Now

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The 12 Best Brunch Spots In Manhattan

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Cafe D'Alsace, brunch, NYC

Brunch is a cherished meal in New York City, when friends gather together to recap the events from the night before over Mimosas and eggs.

The experts at Zagat have found the best brunch places in Manhattan, from downtown to uptown. Here are their top picks, organized by location (downtown, midtown, uptown).

Prune

54 East 1st Street

Food: 25

Decor: 17

Service: 22

Cost: $33

Prune is the product of chef and writer Gabrielle Hamilton. The menu is fresh and inviting, with new takes on classic brunch dishes like the steak and eggs with parsley shallot butter.



Minetta Tavern

113 MacDougal Street

Food: 24

Decor: 22

Service: 21

Cost: $67

Minetta Tavern has been a New York City brunch classic since it opened in 1937. Their brunch options, which are perfect for Francophiles, include black pudding clafoutis and filet of trout Meunière.



DBGB

299 Bowery

Food: 24

Decor: 23

Service: 21

Cost: $52

The menu at DBGB is created around the wide variety of craft beers and fine wines this downtown establishment offers. Brunch can be ordered a la carte or prix fixe, which includes a basket of delicate mini pastries, a main, and an ice cream sundae.



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I Was Quite Surprised By Some Things On My American Airlines International 'Economy Class' Flight

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American Airlines wing

Everyone's always complaining about how horrible flying is--especially "economy class" flying.

And compared to other ways that one can spend one's time, flying is indeed often unpleasant and aggravating. Absent a need to get somewhere else, it's hard to imagine choosing to fly.

Among the common complaints about flying are lousy service, cramped seats, yucky food (if any), egregious add-on fees, frequent delays and cancellations, and a general impression that one is less a customer than a herd animal.

But!

If we airline customers have demonstrated anything over the past few decades it's that what we care about most is cost. Given the choice between paying more for better service, food, space, etc., or suffering and saving, today's flyers almost unanimously choose the latter.

So you can't blame airlines for cutting amenities. Especially when, even with these cuts, airlines still go bankrupt all the time--like American Airlines.

What's it really like to fly international "economy class" these days? And what's it like to fly on a bankrupt airline?

Yesterday, I flew American from Zurich to New York.

First and foremost: They got the important things right. The flight left on time, arrived 40 minutes early, and arrived safely. That's 99% of the "service" I was buying when I bought the ticket. And American delivered!



I'm not going to talk about the gum-chewing stewardess or the pee all over the plane's bathroom floor. Those things certainly did not enhance the flight. But I actually blame my fellow passengers for the latter.



I was flying in a 767, in Seat 29J--in the heart of cattle class. The plane was relatively full, and the flight was an interminable 9 hours.



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People Are Talking About The 'Russian Parties' At Davos

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abramovich usmanov

Yes, world leaders need to talk about the most important issues of our time, but they also need to blow off a little steam.

That's why there are parties at the World Economic Forum in Davos. Usually, as the Washington Post reports, the most epic of those parties is thrown by Google.

Not so this year.

This year the buzz was all about mysterious "Russian Parties". Russia sent 12 billionaires to the conference including its richest man, Alisher Usmanov, and you know those guys know how to spend cash on a good time.

These blowouts had to be huge, because even The Economist couldn't ignore them:

Euphemism of the week: Translator. When any of the army of beautiful, lightly clad young ladies flown in for the "Russian party" were asked what they did, they answered "l'm translator".

At one Friday night party, Russian punk band Leningrad from St Petersburg played a live set.

Sounds wild!

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What It's Like To Hang Out At Disneyland's Super Exclusive, $10,000-A-Year Private Club

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Disney Land Club 33

One of the most exclusive dining experiences in California isn't in a bar or nightclub — it's Club 33 at Disneyland. 

Named after its location at 33 Royal Street in Disneyland's New Orleans Square, Club 33 serves a five-course tasting menu of French/New American food and is decorated with antiques chosen by Walt Disney and his wife. It's also the only Disneyland restaurant to serve alcohol.

Club 33, which officially opened in May 1967, was dreamed up by Disney as a venue for entertaining visiting dignitaries, celebrities, and politicians (though he sadly passed away five months before it was complete).

There are rumored to be only 500 members on the roster, with a staggering 800 people on the waiting list hoping to gain an invitation and the right to pay the $25,000 joining fee plus $10,000-a-year membership fees. The club gained media attention in May of last year when it sent invitations to 100 new members for the first time in over a decade.

Graphic designer Pete Hottelet visited the club last year, and shared some photos of his experience with us.

Graphic designer Pete Hottelet took his niece and nephew to Disneyland to celebrate Christmas. He sent Business Insider pictures of the experience.



The private door to gain entrance on 33 Royal Street is relatively inconspicuous.

Source: Disneyland Club 33



Inside, the building is more ornate. A glass French lift takes guests to the second-story of the club.

Source: Disneyland Club 33



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New York Ecstasy Dealer Says He Earns $4 Million A Year

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Manhattan Aerial View, AirPano

Big time drug dealers risk life in prison and the inability to look themselves in the mirror, but they can get rich too.

NYPost's Madeline Scinto talks with a runner and a distributor working around New York University for some intel on the ecstasy trade. Here's how it breaks down, according to the Post:

It starts with the makers in Vancouver, who sell ecstasy powder for $5,000 a pound.

The drugs are carried accross the Canadian border by the connect, Nick, who sells it in America for up to $15,000 a pound, locking in a monthly profit of up to $200,000.

Next drugs are bought by the middle man, Chad, who runs distribution in the tri-state area. He sells powder for $1,400 an ounce, for a monthly profit of up to $350,000—annual profit of more than $4 million.

"I'm making a killing," Chad tells Scinto.

Finally the drugs go to runners like a young woman named Ragan, who sells for up to $100 a gram. She earns up to $41,000 in a month.

Read the fascinating full article here >

For other dubious lines of work, check out: Here's What Porn Stars Get Paid >

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HOUSE OF THE DAY: Ethan Hawke Lists Colorful Chelsea Townhouse For $6.25 Million

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ethan hawke 353 w 21st st

Ethan Hawke has listed his six-bedroom townhouse in New York's Chelsea neighborhood for $6.25 million, according to celebrity real estate blogger The Real Estalker.

The home measure 3,500 square feet with four floors, laundry machines, and a private backyard garden. The Corcoran Real Estate Group is selling the property, and the listing is potentially the most colorful of its kind that we've ever seen — the house is filled with bright red walls, yellow cabinets, and green bookshelves.

Hawke, made famous by the movies Training Day and Dead Poet's Society, has lived in the home since purchasing it back in April of 2005 for $3 million.

The house sits on a tree-lined street in NYC's Chelsea neighborhood.

Source: Corcoran Real Estate Group



Inside, the 3,500 square foot house is extremely colorful.



The parlor connects with the open kitchen and has a wood burning fireplace.



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The Brooklyn Nightclub That Everyone's Been Waiting For Opened This Weekend, And It Was Totally Epic

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Wythe Hotel Williamsburg

What made this weekend's opening of the new Williamsburg club, Output, so interesting wasn't that Brooklyn's been waiting for it — it's that all of New York City has been waiting for it.

City music freaks have been talking about a new club in Williamsburg since this summer. Of course, at that time it had no name, and was only described in details. The word was that the club would be large (a 452-person capacity is big by NYC standards) and music/sound oriented — no bottles, no doormen, no nonsense.

There would be no fist pumping either. Electro yes, fist pumping no.

After months of waiting, Output finally opened its doors this weekend.

The club sits on Wythe Avenue next to another monument to Williamsburg's ascendancy, the Wythe Hotel. On Saturday night, when the wisest partiers showed up to stand in line at an ungodly hour (10:30?!!!? No one goes out in NYC til 12:00), it seemed like that one block's transformation was complete. Output showed that Williamsburg was no longer an outpost.

In a word, the place was loud — loud because of an incredible sound system in an incredible space, loud because of the insane lights, and loud because what was billed as a $30 party ended up being free with an open bar that lasted all night long.

It may have seemed even louder because everything was new and the ceilings were high. From the second floor looking down, everyone on the dance floor looked like a swarm of moths fluttering toward the flaming wall of light behind the DJ booth.

There was no hassle at the door. This is an important thing to many New Yorkers, and this is what many of them have been waiting to see at a proper, large-scale club. Before the financial crisis hit and every kind of discretionary spending in town was squeezed, doors were everything. Either look fabulous or buy a bottle, those were a party-goer's choices. All that mattered to many clubs, was paying Manhattan rents and playing music that everyone liked. Club goers had shown up, after all, mostly to be seen.

You do not go to Output to be seen. You go to dance. Some of New York's nightlife scene moved that way during the recession when everything went bust, and that's how many people want it to stay.

That's why the the bouncers at Output don't care what you're wearing. That's why there were no pictures or hip magazines to cover the opening. The only coverage we saw was from Williamsburg Blogs, where not everyone was pleased.

Here's one less than thrilled tweet:

output tweet

Okay, fair enough. Thing is, Output admits it's not for everyone, especially not for people who care how plush a club is. Here's how they put it on the event page for Saturday night's soiree on party networking site, Resident Advisor:

Output is open to anyone, but is not for everyone. Output welcomes individuals who value the communal experience of music over cameras, ropes, and bottles.

For more proof of this attitude you need only look at their Saturday night line up. First up was Justin Strauss, an NYC dance scene veteran who's made remixes for Tina Turner and played at clubs since the 1980s; Benoit and Sergio, a DJ duo that splits time between Washington DC and Berlin; Mike Simonetti, fresh off an epic birthday party at The Standard Hotel's club, Le Bain, last week; and Justin Miller, a musician who manages to straddle being an uber hip Fashion Week face while also starting an underground house label called 'Have A Killer Time.' 

None of those DJs, or any of the DJs you're likely to see at Output, are from the Tiesto/Swedish House Mafia crowd. Most have a particularly Brooklyn flavor. They play for the same partiers that Output is catering to — hardcore dancers, French people, music nerds, Australian tourists from Melbourne, German tourists from Berlin, hipsters that like to shake it, recovering 90s club rats, kids that never want to hear the same thing twice, and anyone who got really into LCD Soundsystem.

There are a lot of those people in New York City, and they've been waiting for Output. If you're one of them, head over. If you're not, don't. If you're curious, feel free... it's not like anyone will care what you look like or anything.

Oh, and a little before 3:00 a.m., everyone went absolutely nuts to this:

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Consumer Reports Has An Amazing Deal For Anyone Who Wants A Sweet New Car

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2012 audi tt roadster 2.0 tfsi black

For its car reviews, Consumer Reports actually buys the vehicles it tests.

Usually, once a car has been tested, it is sold to a Consumer Reports employee, or traded in for a new vehicle. But now the magazine has four convertibles it does not need, and it is offering them to the public.

And that offer is amazing for anyone who wants to own a Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, or Porsche.

First of all, these cars are nearly brand new; all have fewer than 10,000 miles on the odometer. Plus, you know exactly what you are getting: All you have to do is read the review.

Second, the consumer-oriented magazine is knocking $10,000 off the sticker price for each car.

And third, whoever buys a car will get a tour of the magazine's facilities, plus a few laps on its test track in the new ride.

There's only one catch: Only four cars are up for sale, so interested buyers should move quickly.

Here's what's for grabs:

2012 Audi TT 2.0 TFSI quattro S-Tronic (automatic)
Asking price: $36,500
MSRP: $45,300
Approximate miles:6,600

2012 BMW Z4 sDrive28i (manual)
Asking price: $45,000.
MSRP: $55,225
Approximate miles: 8,400

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLK250 (manual)
Asking price: $39,500
MSRP: $48,045
Approximate miles: 8,500

2013 Porsche Boxster (manual)
Asking price: $48,000
MSRP: $59,600
Approximate miles: 7,000

To summarize: New, reliable German convertible. Major discount. And free time on the track.

SEE ALSO: Meet The Classy Booth Babes Of The Detroit Auto Show

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An Incredible Collection Of Ferraris Was On Display In Palm Beach This Weekend

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red ferraris cavallino classic palm beach

Thousands of Ferrari lovers flocked to Palm Beach this weekend for the annual Cavallino Classic, one of the largest Ferrari conventions in the world.

The centerpiece of the event was the Concorso d'Eleganza at the Breakers Hotel on Saturday morning, where some 150 rare Ferraris from the past seven decades were on display on the front lawn.

Spectators milled around, snapping photos and watching as pairs of judges inspected each vehicle and awarded points for originality and elegance.

We were on hand to take in the scene, which was completely over the top.

The Cavallino Classic is one of the biggest and most important Ferrari gatherings around. Dozens of high-profile collectors display their cars and compete for the coveted titles that are handed out.



The event takes place at The Breakers in Palm Beach, a grand hotel that's temporarily turned into a massive car showroom.



General admission tickets are $75 — not cheap. But for diehard Ferrari fans, it's a small price to pay.



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Lamborghini Took Over Miami's Airport To Show Off Its New Topless Supercar

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lamborghini aventador lp 700-4 roadster

Lamborghini has finally debuted the roadster version of the LP 700-4 we first saw in photos in November, and it did not take the usual auto show route.

Instead of putting the topless supercar on stage, Lamborghini took over a runway at Miami International Airport yesterday, where it raced five of the new Aventadors at 210 mph.

That's 30 mph faster than the speed of a large passenger jet at takeoff.

The airport fun was followed by a 50-vehicle parade down Collins Avenue in South Beach.

The Italian automaker noted that the airport takeover was authorized by the FAA and that thanks to careful planning, no flights were affected.

The Aventador LP 700-4 Roadster, which comes with a $445,300 price tag, has 700 horsepower and goes from 0 to 60 mph in just under three seconds.

Take a closer look at the topless Aventador >

lamborghini parade miami january 2013

stephan winkelman lamborghini aventador lp 700-4 roadster

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Yes, It's Possible To Get An Amazing Apartment In Manhattan For Just $990 A Month

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Most young professionals who land their first job in New York City quickly learn that their salary is around $40k short of affording them to live on their own in Manhattan.

Unless they're sitting on a pile of money, newly minted New Yorkers usually find themselves living in the outer boroughs (i.e. Queens, Brooklyn, Bronx) or in the fringe of Manhattan on the Upper East or Upper West Side, where you are almost closer to Connecticut than you are to the East Village.

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However, some open-minded New Yorkers who appreciate the value of a good trade-off can find their dream home in the heart of Manhattan.

Ashley Baldwin, a design professional, recently found a listing on Craigslist for an apartment in Chelsea for $990 a month.

Estimated floor space: around 120 square feet.

"Well, I know the width is about 6.25 feet," Ashley told Business Insider.

Sure, that sounds pretty tight.  But given the space, Baldwin has created a remarkably livable home thanks to some small life-adjustments and an incredible eye for design.

And after considering the trade-offs, you might find yourself convinced that 120 square feet isn't too bad.

Ashley gave us a tour of her home and explained why it's worth living in a tight space if it means living in Manhattan.

The unit has one window. But the sunlight-to-square-footage ratio is amazing!



A large mirror creates the illusion of much-needed, additional space.



Turn around and you'll see a typical entranceway. The space is large enough for a loveseat-style sofa.



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These Amazing Vintage Posters, Stolen By The Nazis, Were Just Sold For $2.5 Million

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Born in 1881, Hans Sachs began collecting posters and ads as a teenage hobby and over the years became Germany's top acquirer, with 12,500 posters in his collection.

Some were painted by top artists of the day, like Toulouse-Lautrec and Kandinsky. They advertised cigarettes, cabaret, fashion and fast cars.

Then, in 1938, on Kristallnacht, the Gestapo confiscated them all. Sachs escaped the Nazis and died in 1974. He never saw the posters again.

Earlier this month, 4,344 of the posters surfaced at Guernsey's auction house in New York. They fetched $2.5 million.

This is how it happened, according to GalleristNY.

After the Nazis stole the Sachs posters, Hans Sachs was held in a concentration camp.



He eventually escaped to the U.S.



The posters, however, disappeared into East Germany, behind the Iron Curtain.



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Chinese Millionaire Is Selling Canned Fresh Air

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China Smog

This is a story that shows how deliriously capitalist China has become (for good and bad).

Rapid industrialisation has covered northern China in a dense pea soup of toxic chemicals.

In the past, the old fashioned communist solution might have been either to ignore the problem or, if people insist on dying, organise the entire country in a “popular war on bourgeois toxins.”

But in a post-Mao order, how does China’s elite deal with pollution? Yuppie consumerism.

Chen Guangbiao, an entrepreneur worth $740 million (how, why, and would he like to meet my daughters?) has started selling cans of fresh air for people to crack open and suck in.

They go for 5 yuan each and, according to one report, they come with atmospheric flavours including “pristine Tibet, post-industrial Taiwan and revolutionary Yan'an.” Presumably the “pristine Tibet” can smells ever so slightly of gunpowder.

The story tells us two things. First, the price of China’s rapid development is that it now has to cope with the same problems that beset the already developed world. It’s good, because it means people are getting richer.But it’s bad because it means the country is experiencing what London went through in the 1950s as the industrial landscape coughs up its blackened lungs.

According to the BBC, Beijing has reported air quality readings that show pollutants present at 20 times the recommended limits; visibility has been reduced and residents have been advised to stay indoors. Prosperity creates its own kinds of poverty.

But the story also suggests that the response of China’s new middle class is to ape the indulgent lifestyle consumerism of their Western counterparts. The cans of air are partly being sold asa way of promoting environmentalism, although no one has pointed out that the manufacture and disposal of all the cans used in the process will, itself,contribute towards China’s pollution.

But Chen also seems deadly serious about the profitability of selling cans of basically nothing to his countrymen. In an interview last year, he explained the process for canning the air thus:

Chen said the air is put into pull-tag cans he invented, with a chip in each can. The air is not compressed – he said his staff need only swing their hands three times to push the air into the can. When there is enough air, the chip will make the cap close automatically.

So, in short, some bloke stands on a mountain, waves a can about, takes it to market and sells it for money. And aside from fooling the buyer in to thinking that they're helping to keep China clean, what are the benefits?

According to Chen, “Open the can and three deep breaths will allow you to have a good mood and a clear mind.” In the West, such vague nonsense would probably get you hauled before the advertising standards people. But China is still in the early, naive stages of consumerism.

We've all been there. It won’t be long before we see Clive Sinclair’s C5 buzzing through Beijing’s bust streets, and dream catchers hanging in Tiananmen Square.


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