Loot – Luxury Living, Goods, Services and Reviews

Merrily, Merrily, Merrily, Merrily, God That Water's Cold

Rowing Crew

As temperatures drop, outdoor sports are freezing up, and you'd think rowing clubs would be the first to throw in the towel. But New Yorkers insist on slipping into spandex, hopping into centimeter-thick plastic boats barely wider than their behind and setting off into the chop at 5 a.m. Even more confounding, they plan to do so well into November, while the rest of us wear chunky sweaters and drink tea and peer out of frost-covered windows.

The Row New York program, based at the Peter Jay Sharp boathouse on Harlem River Drive, has adult recreational programs that extend to the second week in November and junior recreational programs that go through the third week of the month. After that they move inside for winter programming.

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Slush and Rain: Give 'em the Boot

Fall/Winter Boots

Dashing to the office in running shoes and changing into heels -- in theory, men have it easier than women. But when the weather gets nasty, even our dress shoes are inadequate.

There's a compromise in what is widely, if somewhat nonsensically, called a dress boot. At this point its definition has broadened to include any boot high enough to stave off minor slush or rain but low enough that it looks decent with a blazer.

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Dream Date: Just You and Me and the East River

Food

It's not about the food.

It's about the merchandising of the food. And the branding. And the selling.

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The $100 Candle. Does That Smell Right to You?

Candles

No one needs a scented candle. It's not a vital organ.

But there are worse things to do to a room than fill it with a delicate, inviting smell. Most candles smell great, and there are enough options out there for everyone. So it comes down to cost. Scenting your room can get deliciously expensive, fast.

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You Call This Fancy Kitchenware? Meh 

Kitchen Appliances

For many New Yorkers, who work long hours and then might catch up with family or friends at a restaurant or bar, cooking is a luxury. So it makes sense that New York is home to some of the most over-the-top kitchen supply stores around. With the likes of Sur la Table and Williams Sonoma proliferating, it takes dedication to find the highest-end esoteric cookware out there. Loot made a little project of it.

Think your $450 steel KitchenAid is top of the line? Then may we introduce you to the Hobart N50-604, a commercial mixer that lists for $3,130 and, if that isn't obnoxious enough, will probably outlive you. It is sold at commercial kitchen supply stores; Balter Sales on Bowery is a registered dealer.

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Dogs vs Children

It is more expensive to raise a dog in New York City than a kid in most places.

The USDA estimates that it cost $12,600 to $14,700 last year for a middle-income, two-parent family to raise a little human being, depending on his or her age. That's the national average, so in New York you can imagine.

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Does the Candy Have to Be Miserable Too?

Halloween

When did we stop trick-or-treating and start being a sexy cat at a house party? It eludes us. But if we cannot return to our youth, the least we can get out of our catty maturity is better candy than they threw at us as kids. Would Loot walk up and down the Upper West Side dressed as a pumpkin if it meant a bunch of free gourmet confections? Yes.

Consider the world's largest gummy bear, from The Sweet Life ($35). Wouldn't you throw on a ghost costume and trek up a few flights of stairs to put that in your plastic jack o'lantern?

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When the Openings Close In on You

Gallery Openings

What is it about gallery openings? They should be happy occasions -- free alcohol, new art, people you know or might like to know. Why are these events so often harried and draining? Why do people keep going to them?

Loot has a little shock for you: The only people in the art world willing to comment declined to do so on the record. But based on discussions with artists, gallerists and curators, it comes down to this.

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You're Getting Warmer. Warmer. Colder. Cold. Warmer ...

Fall Coats

Of a fall jacket, you ask the impossible. It has to work for a solid month of freezing mornings and almost warm afternoons. It seems pointless to own a piece of outerwear that's useful for six weeks a year at most.

But listen, six weeks of freezing or sweating are six weeks too many, especially when you have options. Behold, your options.

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Steel Yourself: It Might Be a Fad

Stainless Steel Kitchen Appliances

Indulge your inner chef with professional stainless steel appliances.

Not necessarily Loot's advice -- it's the boast of a new rental tower in midtown Manhattan. Across the river, a tower in Brooklyn sends out its own siren call: Stainless steel appliances all create a genteel, modern ambiance.

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About Loot

Loot chronicles everything from culture to luxury goods. It's not about being rich but leading an enriched life. Commentary or analyses in this blog are the views of authors and/or commentators, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Bloomberg News.

Contributors

  • James Tarmy
    James Tarmy
  • Jennifer Parker
    Jennifer Parker