For Sale: A House So Big You Need a Segway to Get Around It

Maureen O'Connor · 07/16/10 03:21PM

Jacqueline and Dave Siegel embarked on their $100 million Orlando mansion—named "Versailles"—before the credit crisis hit. Now they're trying to sell it. At 90,000 square feet, it is the largest privately owned home in America.

What is a $33,000 Mattress Made Out Of?

Max Read · 06/17/10 01:03AM

Luxury mattress makers E.S. Kluft sell a $33,000 mattress called the Palais Royale. It will probably not make you sleep that much better than an $800 mattress from Sleepy's. So how do they justify charging that much?

Greenwich Gets Back to 'Normal'

cityfile · 02/08/10 11:43AM

Now that the economy has rebounded—for people who make their living on Wall Street, at least!—and big bonuses have returned, how are residents of fancy schmancy Greenwich faring? Life is "slowly returning to normal," apparently. "The Greenwich version of normal, anyway," which means people are once again turning up to the local Ferrari dealership:

The Splashiest NYE Party Ever

cityfile · 01/06/10 01:34PM

If you weren't invited to Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich's $5 million New Year's party in St. Barts—or you were invited but you elected to spend the evening in Times Square with a blue foam hat strapped to your head instead—here's some of what you missed. [Gawker]

The iPhone You've Been Waiting For

cityfile · 11/30/09 12:38PM

It's really too bad Dubai is imploding. Where else in the world does this $3.2 million iPhone—made with "271 grams of 22-karat gold and 136 flawless diamonds"—stand a chance of finding a buyer? Guess there's always Moscow! [NYDN]

Greenwich Goes Green (and Gold)

cityfile · 09/24/09 01:15PM

Here's a question for you: How much do you think this brand new garbage bin is costing the town of Greenwich? If you guessed $675, you've probably been to Beverly Hills recently, since that's one of the only other places that has purchased the "hunter green and gold-lettered" receptacle. The total tab for the 34 new bins is going to come out to about $25,000; the good news is that an anonymous donor has stepped in to cover the costs. And Greenwich will be now cleaner than ever. Which is great to hear because as we all know—and as one local official points out—"it's important to have the proper receptacles so that the trash hits the bin and not the sidewalk." [GT]

Do As We Say, Not As We Do

cityfile · 08/10/09 01:23PM

Not only have House lawmakers proposed blowing half a billion dollars of taxpayer money on eight new jets to ferry them around the world—the same taxpayer money that auto companies and banks were scolded for spending on their own corporate jets a few months ago, of course—now it turns out that the government is probably significantly overpaying for the planes, too. [WSJ]

The Recession Bypasses Sardinia

cityfile · 06/29/09 11:24AM

A "luxury fair" designed to appeal to the world's richest people took place in Sardinia this past weekend. But if you were thinking the economic downturn would have put a damper on things, well, think again. Thirty bottles of "Exousia Gold Luxury Water," which is describede as a "gold petal designer label mineral water" and costs $2,800 a pop, were sold over the course of two evenings. And the water still isn't good enough to drink as is, apparently. "A spokeswoman for Exousia said sales were mainly to Russians, who 'like to use it to make tea.'" [DJ/Wealth Bulletin]

Rich People Still Buying Expensive Things

cityfile · 06/12/09 07:07AM

Today, the New York Times reminds us that some members of the filthy rich continue to be filthy rich, recession notwithstanding. They're just hiding their spending places where regular people can't see it: in their homes. Designer Clive Christian's extremely high-end wares—think over-the-top chandeliers and the sort of Liberace-inspired designs that would appeal to someone like Celine Dion—are selling better than ever.

Chuck Flies High

cityfile · 06/11/09 07:42AM

How much does it cost to take the sting out of commuting around New York? $144,014. That's how much Senator Chuck Schumer spent between October 2008 and March 2009 on travel, more than any Senator but one. (Republican John Cornyn of Texas spent more, after dragging 59 of his staffers to a retreat in St. Michaels, Maryland). According to Politico.com, Schumer took 25 chartered flights to various locations around New York State, most within 30 minutes of an international airport, at $1,000 to $7,000 a trip, running up a travel tab that's ten times more than some of his colleagues.

One More Sign the Worst Is Behind Us

cityfile · 05/06/09 01:39PM

So you've probably been hearing that the recession has eased a bit, and there are signs the U.S. economy is finally turning the corner. Fewer people are losing their jobs! The stock market had its best April in years! People are spending money again! We have absolutely no idea if this is true or it's all part of some plot by Ben Bernanke to use the power of positive thinking to improve the economic outlook—and if that's the case, we're really screwed—but here's a sign that our darkest days are behind us: Someone actually spent $6 million buying the first-ever Hermès-designed helicopter (or "l'Hélicoptère par Hermès," as they like to refer to it). Okay, so the buyer is in Abu Dhabi and "signature Hermès orange accents" and "natural-grained Hermès calf leather upholstery" never really goes out of style there, but still! We're totally taking this as a positive sign regardless. [Luxist]

The 10 Least Recession-Friendly New Products

cityfile · 03/03/09 11:00PM

We're in the middle of a recession, have you heard? If you're like most people and you're looking for ways to keep your budget in check, here are 10 items that hit the market recently that you should probably scratch off your shopping list. At least until the economy turns around or you win the lottery or something.

Steve Cohen's Greenwich Mansion Gets Even Bigger

cityfile · 11/14/08 11:08AM

Like most hedge fund moguls, Steve Cohen hasn't been having a very good run recently. (His flagship fund is reportedly down 18 percent so far this year.) But that isn't stopping the billionaire from making some home improvements: The proud owner of one of the most over-the-top estates in America is now looking to make his mansion even bigger. Last night, an application by Cohen and his wife, Alexandra, was put before the Greenwich Planning and Zoning Commission. The couple is seeking permission to add another 1,145 square feet to their already-massive 35,000-square-foot Crown Lane home. There's no word just yet as to whether the request was approved. There's also no word on what exactly the Cohens plan to use the additional space for, especially since the estate already has a basketball court, indoor pool, 6,734-square-foot ice skating rink (along with a separate structure to house the Zamboni), and about half a billion dollars in art scattered in every direction. A few photos of Cohen's estate are located here.

Steve Schwarzman's $3 Mil. Birthday Bash: Any Regrets?

cityfile · 10/30/08 01:11PM

Steve Schwarzman's 60th birthday party last year may go down as the last, great party before the fall. Days after closing on what was then the biggest leveraged buyout in history, the $39 billion purchase of Equity Office Properties, the billionaire chairman of the Blackstone Group invited 500 people to the Armory on Park Avenue for a party that cost an estimated $3 million. A very long list of notables turned up—Donald Trump, Barbara Walters, Barry Diller, Lloyd Blankfein, Jamie Dimon—as did many of the people who have now become poster boys for the global financial crisis, like former Merrill Lynch CEO Stan O'Neal, ex-Bear Stearns chief Jimmy Cayne. Rod Stewart was paid $1 million to perform for the assembled guests; Patti LaBelle sang "Happy Birthday." And the room was designed to replicate Schwarzman's $40 million co-op at 740 Park Avenue. So does Schwarzman have any regrets now the economy has crumbled and he was depicted as a real-life Gordon Gekko in the relentless press coverage that followed?

Poor Little Hedge Funder

cityfile · 09/03/08 12:43PM

Just in case the reports of Wall Streeters not making millions this year has softened your resentment of ostentatious master-of-the-universe types and their role in the recession, a profile of London hedge fund manager "Mark" will ensure that any sympathy you might have had vanishes instantly. Meet the bespoke suit-wearing, modern art-buying, A-list-schmoozing thirty-something who's only worth £30 mil. and now has to figure out how to achieve his plan of earning £50 mil. more by 2010. [Independent]

The End of the Hood Ornament?

cityfile · 08/28/08 07:26AM

Unfortunate news for Rolls-Royce owners who enjoy announcing to the world that they're driving a car that costs as much as a house in most parts of the country: "That ultimate symbol of brand and luxury, the automotive hood ornament, seems to be nearing the end of the road." [AdFreak]