December 19, 2013 |
Owners of an upscale apartment complex across the street from the popular Grove shopping center in Los Angeles are spending a fortune to make some of their best units even more luxurious - and more expensive to rent. In a handful of pricey neighborhoods across the city, some apartments are beginning to resemble a cross between a $1-million home and a five-star resort. The movement is turning on its head the long-held assumption that wealthy Los Angelenos buy, not rent, their residences.
December 13, 2013 |
I've logged a lot of time on motorcycles, and a lot of time on mountain bikes. So I approached my first "electric bicycle" with the same skepticism that I employed in the minutes before I sat on my first electric motorcycle. That lasted 30 seconds into my first ride, by which time I was a convert. The instrument of my bicycle conversion was an electric Shima, from the German manufacturer A2B. It was followed up by a similar revelation astride A2B's Alva+. The Shima and Alva+ did for me what performance enhancing drugs did for Lance Armstrong.
December 12, 2013 |
With luxury candles often costing $100 or more per wick, the hand-poured soy wax candles of Pommes Frites Candle Co. are a welcome respite. Each candle may be poured, labeled and packaged by Kristen Pumphrey and husband Thomas Neuberger in their downtown Los Angeles studio, but each still retails for about $18. Pumphrey said she wanted to create "an affordable but quality candle -- simple packaging, fine fragrance, domestically grown soy...
December 1, 2013 |
This is not your grandfather's Jeep. The 2014 diesel Grand Cherokee Summit points the brand in a very different direction than its beginnings as a bare-bones World War II gadabout. The same can be said for this new version's $57,000 price tag. Today's Jeep comes with trinkets that were beyond fantasy in the 1940s, including adaptive cruise control, heated and cooled leather seats and an adjustable air suspension. The hope is that goodies like these will draw buyers out of sport utility vehicles from established German luxury brands and establish Jeep as a competitor in the cut-throat, $50,000-plus arena.
November 30, 2013 |
Legendary Vogue Editor Diana Vreeland was probably the world's most reliable generator of quotable fashion speak. ("Pink is the navy blue of India," anyone?) And the latest book of her jotted-down thoughts, "Diana Vreeland Memos: The Vogue Years" (edited by Alexander Vreeland, Rizzoli, $55), adds to the canon. If anyone in the style realm comes close to being as quirkily quotable, it's designer Karl Lagerfeld, whose assorted barbs and quips are compiled in "The World According to Karl: The Wit and Wisdom of Karl Lagerfeld" (edited by Sandrine Gulbenkian and Jean-Christophe Napias, Flammarion, $29.95)
November 24, 2013 |
With eco-friendly cars taking center stage at the 2013 L.A. Auto Show, it was no surprise luxury carmakers wanted to tout their stuff too. And not just far-off concepts that drivers will need to wait years for, either. BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Cadillac each brought production-ready fully electric or plug-in hybrid models. FOR THE RECORD: Electric vehicles: In the Nov. 23 Business section, an article about new electric cars said the BMW i3 is front-wheel-drive. The BMW i3 is a rear-wheel-drive car. - It's not hard to see why they chose to do this at the Los Angeles show.
November 20, 2013 |
Names like Porsche, Jaguar, Mercedes-Benz and Lincoln bring to mind flashy cars with formidable pedigrees and even more formidable price tags. But for the first time, all these storied luxury brands are focused on - of all things - compact crossover vehicles. Each is rolling out a new one at the Los Angeles Auto Show, which opens this week. It's not hard to figure out why: The segment's market share has quadrupled in the last five years and is forecast to keep growing for the next five years.
November 20, 2013 |
Using a city known for luxury living as a backdrop, Kia took a bold step into the world of full-size - and full-priced - cars at today's Los Angeles Auto Show. The Korean automaker unveiled the all-new K900, a large sedan that will offer the space and trappings of German land yachts, while undercutting their prices by tens of thousands of dollars. "This is our boldest statement yet," said Tom Loveless, executive vice president of sales for Kia. "It's a true flagship sedan that symbolizes how far we've come, and we believe it will make you question everything you thought you knew about Kia. " PHOTOS: L.A. Auto Show model debuts The K900's strategy will largely mirror the car on which it's based: the full-size Equus from Kia's corporate cousin Hyundai.
November 17, 2013 |
For years our family made an annual pilgrimage to Yosemite, driving through the tiny town of Oakhurst, Calif., about 14 miles from the entrance to the national park. We didn't stop, unless it was at Raley's market or to say hello to the talking bear in front of Ditton Realty, which, with a push of button, would (and still will) recite "'Twas the Night Before Christmas. " But Oakhurst, as it happens, is worth more than a passing glance as you head up Highway 41. It has, in no particular order, a world-class inn, at least one superb French restaurant, some intriguing shops and what must be the largest collection of life-size, chain saw-carved wooden bears to be found, well, anywhere.
November 13, 2013 |
Most bio-pics are made about somebodies - warriors, kings, artists. This was a bio-pic about a nobody who became a somebody during the Rwandan genocide, a bloody crossroads for a country with deep-seated ethnic frictions. In April 1994, Paul Rusesabagina was brevetted as general manager of the luxury hotel where he worked, and where more than 1,000 people had fled from the killing rampage. For more than two months, he managed to protect them from being slaughtered. Ten years later, the world saw "Hotel Rwanda.