It takes one to know one. Josh Altman, arguably one of Los Angeles' sexiest and most successful bachelors, has listed a home at $6,250,000 that he describes as "the sexiest bachelor pad I've ever sold."
A coal baron living in northern China just spent $1.5 million to buy what is considered the world's most expensive dog, a red Tibetan Mastiff. It's hard to know precisely where in that sentence you spurt out your mouthful of coffee: that a dog is worth that much or that there is a millionaire willing to buy one in China.
The Shoot 'n Share Camcorder Projector, which retails for about $300 plus a memory card through Hammacher-Schlemmer, provides a nifty solution. You can instantly project what you just shot on to the nearest wall or flat surface, zooming in to check facial expressions and zooming out to check backgrounds.
Eyes, they say, are the first thing to go. And with the first wave of Baby Boomers turning 65 this year, the timing is perfect for the Reizen Radio-Controlled analog Talking Watch, sold through Hammacher-Schlemmer. What a great retirement gift: A watch that will tell you the time instead of making you squint to read it.
The beauty of this beauty is that the watch face is sufficiently large that you may not actually even need the watch to verbalize the time for you. But the easy-to-use watch feature -- you just push a button -- has a pleasant and clear male voice that is happy to help.
"Don't blame your pet, blame your bowl." Easy for the Neater Feeder people to say. With a 90-pound Golden Retriever whose middle name is Slobber-Puss, I was anxious to try the patented feeding dish with the logo, "Spoil the pet. Spare the floor."
A simple construction that basically provides a dish with a perforated drain and an overflow catch basin below, it is nonetheless nothing short of brilliant. Sign me up, no more wiping up the wood floors or having the mat under the dish get sopping wet. It also eliminated my Mommy Dearest moments whenever my son would inadvertently kicked the water dish with his foot or roll his soccer ball into it. The water still spilled with the Neater Feeder dish during these family life moments, but immediately drained into the basin below and protected my distressed cherry-wood flooring from yet another encounter with water that destroys.
There are certain landmark properties in the Los Angeles area that always cause tourists to lean far out the car window to snap a photo or two to show the folks back home. The building overhanging the Pacific Coast Highway just past Santa Monica's California Incline is one of them. Maybe it's the circular nose that hangs over the highway, or maybe it's the skinny little front legs it seems to perch on. But whatever the appeal, it's a magnet for lookie-loos. Even I find myself straining my neck upward to peek inside some of the units as I whiz by on the road.
And now the 4,000-square-foot penthouse unit has just come on the market at $4,925,000. While not as breath-taking a price-tag as faithful readers of Luxist's Estate of the Day have become accustomed to, it's a breath-taking unit in a eye-catching landmark. And for you faint-of-hearters, we have every reason to believe that the hillsides around it, despite their precarious look each time it rains, aren't going anywhere. Hey, this is L.A. Toughen up!
Billed somewhat immodestly as the most-sought after penthouse in Santa Monica, we are hard-pressed to disagree. It's the only two-story unit of its size in the building and has ocean views from every room, plus 180-degree jetliner views of the city lights. There are three large bedrooms and three bathrooms plus an over-sized master suite with two large walk-in closets, floor-to-ceiling windows, marble and hardwood floors and high ceilings. Amenities in the building include a gym, pool, spa and valet parking. There is around-the-clock security. With the main entrance on Ocean Avenue, Santa Monica restaurants and shops are a short walk away.
Next time I drive by, I hope you'll wave.
Josh and Matthew Altman of Hilton & Hyland Real Estate, Beverly Hills, have the listing.
Gallery: 101 Ocean
Ready for a "love sick" Valentine's Day package? The W Hotels of New York and the W Hotel of Hoboken have something special planned for the Big V Day. The hotel group is offering what it hopes will be the yummiest Valentine's package around. And of course it starts with chocolate.
Guests can indulge in a Max Brenner Chocolate Syringe as part of the hotel's remedy for what ails you. The W New York Downtown will provide private skating at the hotel's one-of-a-kind ice rink as part of its WOW package.
This 10,500 square foot villa sits high above the Swiss city of Lugano in Ticino. The home sits at the end of a cul-de-sac in the famous 1,000-year-old artist colony known as Carona, on Mount San Salvatore. It is bordered on one side entirely by forest; the other three sides have panoramic views of the mountains. It is east-facing with lots of sun, private and so quiet you could probably hear a yodeler if the Swiss ever did that anymore.
Price tag: About $9 million U.S.
The luxury Mediterranean style villa was built in 1992 and recently underwent a renovation and enlargement, adding an indoor pool and sports facilities including a squash court, golf simulator and sauna. It has a first-class home gym and private spa. The five-bedroom home has a thermal heat pumping system, solar panels, and a three-car garage. The master suite is located on the ground floor and the home has an elevator. The large living room is on the garden level, and has a fire place. There is an eat-in kitchen with a fireplace. There is a detached guest unit. The pool has a retractable roof.
But perhaps the most magical part of this property is where it is located -- the so-called Italian Switzerland. In ancient times, the area was settled by a Celtic tribe and later became part of the Roman Empire. Located in the south of Switzerland, it is surrounded almost entirely by Italy.
Carona has been around since the Middle Ages. The village's possessions include the still-existing church of Santa Maria in Torello. Because of the village's loyalty to the Viscounti and Guelph families, it was given its own coat of arms and under Swiss Confederation law, had special status that exempted it from certain law and taxes. Carona's artists included the Aprile, Casella, Scala and Solari families, who remained active throughout Europe during the 15th through 18th centuries.
The village was a sleepy agricultural and sheep community until Lugano -- a 10-minute drive away -- developed into a tourist destination in the beginning of the 19th century. The village today has a population of just 775, 20% of whom are foreign nationals.
Peter Rabitz, director of Wetag International, has the listing.
Gallery: Swiss Villa
Who doesn't love a good cupcake? Cupcakes have replaced cakes in the hearts and minds of all the cool kids, and it's been downright entertaining to watch how elaborate cup-caking has gotten. There's even a Food Network TV show "Cupcake Wars" that brings high drama to the art of what was once the simplest thing to throw together in your kitchen for when the kids got home from school.
One of the players in the cupcake battles has been Casey's Cupcakes, the brainchild of Casey Reinhardt, whose parents own the historic Mission Inn Hotel & Spa in Riverside, Ca. Her first shop opened in her parents' hotel in December 2009 and she just announced that a second shop will open on Feb. 14th -- Valentine's Day -- in her home town of Laguna Beach.
Some of man's (beast's?) greatest inventions have been borne from necessity. And one of those necessities is carrying water for the big thirsty dog who goes with you on your morning run or mountain trail hike. The problem is, dogs don't pucker and suck water from a spout. They lap it up with their tongues and hence have always needed a water dish lugged along on the outing.
Good Life Gear to the rescue, with its newly patented Pet Water Bottle, which retails for about $22.
What makes the Pet Water Bottle patent-worthy is the stainless steel rolling ball at its mouth that stems the flow of water until the dog's tongue pushes the ball up to trigger the release of the water inside. Simple, perhaps. Brilliant, absolutely, for anyone -- me included -- who has messed around with the various ways of transporting and dispensing water for the dog on hikes. In my case, I've lugged an extra bottle and various containers in which to pour a drink for Buddy, our Golden Retriever -- which wastes water when I pour too much and drips in my pack once the dish gets wet. Plus if I don't take a pack, I'm stuck holding the stupid dish for miles.
The patented Pet Water Bottle comes in two sizes -- 16 oz. and 24 oz. -- and various pet-adorable designs, including a bone pattern and one with colorful paws. It is a BPA-free stainless steel bottle that is lightweight and easy to carry with a hook for back or fanny pack attachment. The bottles fit into most automobile cup holders. The wide mouth enables it to easily hold ice cubes. M.K. Distributors, Inc. also distributes a pet pedometer and a Go Green Lunch Kit -- the latter for your human children.
Gallery: Patented Pet Water Bottle