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Living It Up and Up

October 10, 2018

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A LONDON ART AUCTION

On Tuesday, June 26, 2018 I decided to watch Sotheby’s “Contemporary Art Evening Auction” taking place in London at 7:00 BST pm (2:00 pm in NYC), on my desktop computer with its big 21” screen (measured diagonally).

My main reason for watching was this: I wanted to see what the Jean-Michel Basquiat paintings would go for because, these days, he’s SO HOT.

Jean-Michel Basquiat - Untitled

Sotheby’s estimate: 7,500,000 – 10,000,000 GBP

SOLD FOR: 14,674,200 GBP (this is the abbreviation for the British pound sterling) or $19,302,442.68 in our currency – WOW!

But, there was more to this auction than I realized at the outset: SEVEN female artists were in the sale – all sold -- but one, in particular, did very, very well.

Cecily Brown, a female artist in England, had this painting titled, The Skin of Our Teeth, in the auction. The estimate was: 750,000-950,000 GBP but the bidding went up and up until it sold for 3,010,000 GBP or $3,978,286.90 in our money. You go girl!

The sales total for the entire evening was 110,239,550 GBP or a whopping $145,009,104.07 – like I said earlier, there’s a lot of money being spent on art these days.

A NEW YORK BAR: ONE OF THE BEST

On May 16th we celebrated hitting Blog #200 for Adea. CLICK HERE to read more. 

Then, on June 26th we visited Bemelmans Bar in the Carlyle Hotel, located at 35 East 76th Street, for post-celebratory drinks. As of today we’re up to Blog #221 (we don’t rest on our laurels).

We were there for three hours (two drinks + munchies, small plates, etc.) and enjoyed every minute of it. The surroundings are elegant, the lighting subdued and, of course, the service is impeccable. For more, be sure and see the recently released documentary, Always at the Carlyle – it’s absolutely terrific. CLICK HERE for a preview. 

STYLISH TRAVEL IN RUSSIA

This fascinating report written by Alan Lichtenstein of Commack, NY appeared in International Travel News, May 2018 and is titled Crossing Russia in Luxury on the Trans-Siberian Railway.  Here is his detailed description of this fascinating journey taken by him and his wife.

LIFE ON THE GOLDEN EAGLE

We chose the Golden Eagle and decided on the East-to-West (Vladivostok to Moscow) itinerary (seven time zones). We also booked a private compartment with its own bathroom and shower through MIR Corporation (Seattle, WA, (800) 424-7289, mircorp.com). The 14-day trip cost $20,595 per person + round-trip air from New York and back was another $2,620 per person.

At each stop in Russia, there was a guided tour and a bus to transport us. All services, tours and tips were included in the price of the trip. Gold Service on the Golden Eagle included three meals (with cocktails) plus wine at dinner).

STARTING AT VLADIVOSTOK

We arrived on August 4, 2017, after a 19 1/2-hour flight from JFK. The next day we headed to the station to board the Golden Eagle where we were greeted by a brass band and uniformed attendants. We settled into a cabin that was our home for the next 14 days (5,770 miles). Dinner was served on fine china with wine constantly being poured into crystal glasses. On board, we had Russian language lessons, lectures on the history of Russia, films to watch – or we just relaxed.

MONGOLIA WAS AN ADVENTURE

Then we headed back into Russia and to Irkutsk, a fairly large city that is referred to as “The Paris of Siberia.” We had several more stops before entering Moscow where we visited the Kremlin Armoury. This is a “must-see” museum where we saw a fabulous wardrobe of gowns worn by Catherine the Great and a dazzling exhibit of Fabergé eggs.

At a farewell dinner, we said our good-byes and agreed that our rail journey provided an eye-opening experience of Russia. My wife and I have taken many trips, and this one ranks as one of the best.

Shaun Nelson-Henrick


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