I’m mostly done with my Christmas shopping.
There are a couple of little things I want to pick up, but if I don’t get to them, so be it.
I’ll be wrapping at some point soon, and then settle down for a long winter’s nap.
Tis pity I got things wrapped up before I saw the 87th Edition of Neiman Marcus’ Legendary Christmas Book, and got to press my nose up against the window pane that looks in on the fantasy gift selection.
So, sorry folks, but no one on my list will be getting:
“HIS & HERS” 2013 ULTIMATE OUTDOOR ENTERTAINMENT SYSTEM which includes a 201” screen which emerges like Venus from her scallop shell from wherever you want to stow it in your backyard. 201”, huh? I believe that even my husband would find this too damned large. But everything looks bigger in the great outdoors. In addition to the mega screen, the package includes super-duper speakers, super-duper subwoofers, and Direct TV. You also get a:
…built-in movie package featuring up to 300 movies and concerts (The American Film Institute’s 100 Most Thrilling American Films and 100 Greatest Love Stories, the remaining 100 are your choice).
Plus his-and-her mini iPad remotes.
This one retails from $1.5 M to $2.6M (depending on the speakers you want), and I don’t believe it was discounted on Black Friday.
My problem with this is,quite frankly, not just the price tag. It’s this sort of price tag for technology that, let’s face it, will be obsolete within two years. And you’ll be stuck with 201” worth of once-glorious screen that will start looking like a 1952 b&w Philco pretty darned quick. All that pleasure you got bringing up that screen would just be a yawn. One day the gardener would plant some roses out there, and you’d forget where you put it. Ten years on, when someone decides that your granite-countered, Sub-Zero’d, great roomed McMansion is a tear down, they’ll found this tech junk and laugh. Who needs 300 movies when we’ll all have 3,000 of them, and they’ll all be implanted in our brains!
Anyway, even if I’d seen the catalogue, $1.5M is a bit rich for my blood.
On the other end of the fantasy price spectrum, there’s the $11K CICLOTTE exercycle, which is just the thing to spin on while watching Barbarians at the Gate – for surely that would be a home entertainment pick – on your multi-million dollar outdoor entertainment system.
Back to the upper reaches of the gift range, there’s the FOREVERMARK ULTIMATE DIAMOND EXPERIENCE, which takes you to De Beers HQ in London to pick out your 25 carat diamond in the rough, name the diamond, and meet the craftsman who’s going to cut and polish it for you. But wait, there’s more. (For $1.85M there ought to be.) You get:
A private tour of The Crown Jewels and dinner with De Beers CEO Philippe Mellier and Forevermark CEO Stephen Lussier in the Tower of London follow.
But London can be dreary in winter, so you’ll next take yourself to Namibia and see how responsibly sourced diamonds are responsibly-sourced.
Back home, you meet up with the designer who’ll help you figure out whether to turn your responsibly sourced diamond into a ring, necklace, or belly-button button.
There is one thing in the fantasy catalog that I’d actually like for myself. That’s THE GLASS HOUSE EXPERIENCE: dinner for me and my 10 besties, and an overnight stay at Philip Johnson’s. And I wouldn’t even let myself get creeped out by the fact that this is not just the house that Johnson built; it’s the house he died in. I could happily die in that house, too. Not that I’d want the National Trust for Historic Preservation to have to body-bag me out of there. But they are, after all, the beneficiaries of all the proceeds of the $30K spend that lets you spend the night there.
For $70K, you can get an INDIAN LARRY’S “WILD CHILD” MOTORCYCLE – hand built in Brooklyn Okay, I don’t know who Indian Larry is, but there’s no one on my list who’d jump for joy to be sitting on a “handcarved leather seat in Indian Larry’s likeness.” At least I don’t think there’s anyone on my list who’d want it…
There are a few other goodies in the catalog: JEFF KOONS’S DOM PÉRIGNON BALLOON VENUS ($20K). Meh. And THE NEIMAN MARCUS 2014 ASTON MARTIN VANQUISH VOLANTE - $344,500 is a tiny bit more than I generally consider paying for a car, but this does get up to 180 m.p.h.
But for pure snotty weirdness, I tip my exotic-skin hood to the BESPOKE GLOBAL FALCONRY COMPANION, which will set you back $150K. The kit includes:
Oiled walnut trim and edging. Trunk body: clad with black full grained leather with a natural milled texture with hand-stitched corners, black strapping leather, darkened bronze hardware with contrasting brass fasteners. Interior lining: quilted khaki canvas. Size: 34.375"H x 39.625"W x 26.25"D .
Falcon Transport Case/Portable Falconry Case:
Oiled walnut trim and edging, black full grained leather with a natural milled texture, black strapping leather, darkened bronze hardware with contrasting brass fasteners. Size: 27.5"H x 17.75"W x 21.5"D.
- Two Chatwin chairs with canvas tote bags. Chair frames are oiled walnut; upholstery is black full grain leather with a natural milled texture and black strapping leather with darkened bronze hardware. Size: 32"H x 23.375"W x 23.375"D.
- Folding table. Black full grained leather with a natural milled texture, black strapping leather, darkened bronze hardware. Size (open): 29"H x 38"W x 31.375"D.
- Leather perch scale. Perch is oiled walnut with removable leather-wrapped perch with 2 replacements. Sizes: Perch, 10.25"H x 7.5"W x 5.5"D; scale: .6"H x 7.9"W x 7.9"D.
- Gold perch. 20-karat gold plated with hand cut rings of lapis lazuli. The perch comes with a 304 stainless steel spike to put into the ground or a "Kashmir Gold" granite base for indoor use. Size: 7.5"Dia. (various heights).
- Decanter & cigar carrying case. Case has an inlaid engravable, hallmarked sterling silver plaque. Features two lead crystal decanters with sterling silver plaques laid onto square rosewood stoppers, a cigar cutter, and a walnut box to hold eight Corona No. 5s. Also includes a removable walnut rack that holds eight pewter tumblers, numbered 1 to 8. Oiled walnut, leather, rosewood, sterling silver, nickel hardware; pewter cups and lead crystal decanters. Size: 10.5"H x 15"W x 8.5"D.
- Backgammon board. American black walnut, leather, photographic feathers, and hand painted surface. Marquetry falcon wood inlaid into the lid of the box. The compartments are lined with calf leather. The playing pieces are made from hardened gold-plated brass with leather on opposite side. The lenses are optical glass to replicate the cornea. The pupil and outer ring are polished black slate, the glint is mother of pearl, the brown iris is granite, the yellow iris is treated corian. The doubling die is veneered with bleached bird's-eye maple, the dice shakers are turned ironwood, and the dice are precision cut. Size: 4"H x 23.5"W x 15"D (closed).
- Hoods. Hood A: Syr-Ab Hood made of calf and blue ostrich with a black ostrich inlay and a blue sapphire bead. Hood B: Dutch hood made of rattlesnake with designer ostrich eye panels and a blue sapphire bead. Hood C: Khan hood made of tooled calf with blue ostrich inlay and a lapis lazuli bead to match the perch. Hood D: Khan hood made of tooled calf and blue ostrich with a lapis lazuli bead to match the perch.
- Two savers (matching case to put your hoods when not in use) of calf and blue ostrich with suede lining. Size: 3"H x 4.25"W x 4.25"L.
- Glove. Elk, with blue ostrich and tooled calf leather overlay. Size: 15"L x 13"W.
- Anklet. Kangaroo, with blue ostrich overlay. Size: .75"H x 1.75"W x 2.5" L.
- Leashes and jesses. Dacron. Sizes: various.
- Falcon Hood Stands. Two standard beehive stands with ebonized wooden base.; base 7"H x 4.75"Dia. One tall beehive stand with ebonized wooden base; base 14.5"H x 3"Dia. One standard column stand with ebonized wooden base; base 9.5"H x 2.75"Dia.
You supply the falcon, which may or may not like the idea of wearing a hood made of ostrich hide - or is an ostrich not a fellow bird? And, widening and widening in the gyre, you be the falconer.
To the hounds, or to the birds.