Lifestyle Concierge Services: Broadening the Bridge to Luxury


By Venus Quintana


If you have more money in the bank than time on your hands and are juggling a successful career with family and personal life, you may want to consider hiring a concierge. The line of work once specific to the hotel industry has, over the years, evolved into hyper-individualized services in industries ranging from property management and domestic staffing to pets and pregnancy.

As over-the-top as such expenditures are, fans of hiring concierges consider them somewhat practical purchases: in the long run, people argue that through concierges, they’re saving time and work and even bettering their overall health and well-being. As we move towards a more service-oriented world, it is more important than ever to understand consumer needs and values. People now value services more than products. The growing focus on lifestyle has enabled lifestyle management companies to administer certain aspects of an individual’s or family’s lifestyles with the objective of making their lives easier.

Photo courtesy of  Ryan O'Hara - tower isle spa jamacia

Photo courtesy of Ryan O’Hara – Tower Isle Spa jamacia

Melissa Psitos

Melissa Psitos

Melissa Psitos knows the business better than most. As founder and president of Lilypond Services LLC, based in New York City, Melissa has experienced the industry from all ends. “After working a decade in luxury hospitality as a governess/personal assistant to high-profile and celebrity families,” she explains, “I grew to know and understand the unique needs and wants of private families. It became clear at that point that the next logical move for me was to begin to cater to them on a whole new level.”

While the majority of these companies offer standard services, some have expanded to offer clients a “tailor-made service” accounting for their individual needs and objectives. Boutique agencies, who strive to have a deeper understanding of their clients, cap the number of clients and limit them so that they offer a truly personalized and impeccable service 365 days a year. They are small in terms of their size, but their services can stretch to all corners of the globe. “I work closely with my team to design each client’s engagement while craftily bringing together our collective and extensive experience in the high-end luxury service market,” Melissa says. “If we weren’t referral-based or ‘boutique’, I wouldn’t be able to bring my knowledge and expertise to the services offered through the company, but more importantly, I couldn’t channel out my passion for serving the needs of this revolutionary market.”

Photo by James Adamson

Photo by James Adamson

For a monthly or annual fee, lifestyle concierge experts step into the lives of people who need things done but do not have the time to spare. Based in the heart of the Hamptons, the Hamptonite Club is the premier members-only luxury lifestyle management company. “What makes us unique is in the way that we only serve The Hamptons. This limits us to a geographical area but also opens the opportunity of being the market expert and leader in our field,” states founder Therese Lindstrom-Kamaras. “All our staff members are local, and we know everything Hamptons. 17771871_ml

We have personal relationships with our business vendors also, which makes the quality control easier when we book services and order goods for our clients.” Therese’s clients sign up for memberships for the summer or the year, while the office manages all transportation, event planning, reservations, personal assistant services and anything else their client’s need while in the Hamptons.

For the one percent of the world, the fees associated with these concierge services might seem like a bargain. In fact, some pay for memberships with more than one concierge service, to increase chances that a request will be completed. At their core, concierge services guarantee VIP treatment anywhere in the world. Founded in London in 2010 by Lorraine Hall, Changing Expectations LLC is on the international scene. Founded on the British private hospitality industry code of ethics, blending California cool and New York trade, Lorraine describes her clientele as “globe-trotters by default.” Correspondence, extensive itineraries and Zen luxury retreats across all time zones, languages and exotic cultures play a key role. “We are branching out to Switzerland and Cambodia, and that is just scratching the surface,” Lorraine reports.

Lorraine Hall

Lorraine Hall

With these services comes a new mentality toward the help. They aren’t just following orders anymore. They’re taking the lead, sometimes guiding their employers’ most important life decisions — even something as personal as raising a child.

Clients are willing to have less power over certain aspects of their lives, because it’s easier than doing it themselves. Manhattan-based company Society Staffing specializes in sourcing and selecting the best individuals for domestic and corporate positions.

CEO Robert Wynne Parry understands the intimacy of what he does. “I’ve always felt that we are an extension of our clients — their homes, businesses, properties, family — and the quality of our service is reflective of that.”

Robert Wynne Parry

Robert Wynne Parry

Keeping up on industry trends and changes in the emerging markets is vital to the future of this private client culture. “There is a boom in luxury real estate right now. As there continues to be this growth, with more families owning multiple homes and properties, this industry is a real necessity,” Robert explains. Robert makes sure he actively follows the needs of the homes and the individuals working in them. “Whether it’s Smart Homes, new design trends or changes in the household management infrastructure, we stay tuned to any industry fluctuations.”

As the saying goes, “The greatest gift you can give someone is your time.” In this day and age, time is our most valuable commodity. Let’s invest it wisely.



Franklin Lakes, NJ: East Meets West in Russian Empire-Style Villa

By Allison Geller

NJ SplashCatherine the Great spent her summers in Russia’s palatial Tsarskoe Selo — home of the Amber Room — while she wintered in St. Petersburg’s none-too-shabby Hermitage. If Cat ever wanted a vacation getaway in  the south of France via New Jersey, this Franklin Lakes home wouldn’t be a bad pick.

“Understated” is not a word anyone would use to describe this 20,000-square foot mansion, listed at $15 million. With a Mediterranean villa exterior and Russian empire interior, the homeowners didn’t design their residence with subtlety in mind.

Built between 2006 and 2010, the couple’s unique vision was brought to eye-popping life with the talents of architect Teo Cambiero and interior designer Robert So. They wanted a Mediterranean exterior that would appeal to future buyers, says listings agent Ron Aiosa, contrasted with a Russian empire interior to remind them of their native home.

While the owners started off with a general contractor, they soon took over the job themselves. “They were involved every step of the way,” Aiosa says.

Set back from a gated entryway by a long, cobbled drive, this home may well be worth its weight in gold. Twenty-four-karat gold leaf covers the railings, wraps around the columns, and plates every light fixture, with touches of silver and Japanese white gold. The precious décor is contained in a sturdy foundation: the home’s exterior is solid limestone, while the stories and interior elements are granite, marble, and onyx.

Among the thirty-plus lavishly designed rooms are two full kitchens, one in the greenery-filled solarium that opens on to the backyard; a 3,000-square-foot master bedroom with a sitting room attached by breezeway; and a two-story walk-in closet for her with a separate, climate-controlled chamber for furs.

Heading underground via one of the two main staircases, Aiosa calls the expansive basement “magnificent.” A custom bar in blue granite and silver leaf is the main attraction, seating eight to ten people in spare-no-expense style. If guests prefer wine over cocktails, there’s a barrel-lined, brick-ceilinged wine room.

ManhattanAD8.875x11.125It’s the details within in each room, however, that leave the biggest impression. The material for the silk draperies, imported from Italy and India, cost $350,000, while painting reached a tidy $1 million. A large portion of that price was the copper dome that rises above the grand entryway, hand-painted by a mysterious artist who spent two years lying on his back surrounded by scaffolding, Michelangelo-style. The finished product features four cherubs representing the four seasons.

“Everywhere you go, every corner that you turn, is another custom piece,” says Aiosa.ManhattanAD8.875x11.125

Stepping outside, visitors are graced with a pool surrounded by chaise lounges: Côte d’Azur meets island paradise. With its landscaped gardens, fruit orchard, and even a koi pond, opulence still allows for a “very Zen feel,” Aiosa says.

Who would be this manse’s ideal buyer?

“Anybody who works in New York City, for starters,” says Aiosa, pointing out the twenty-five-minute commute from the suburb to the city. The residence is fit for anyone who values privacy— a high-level executive for a major corporation, or an actor or athlete. And of course, somebody who isn’t on the hunt for classic American.

“It’s not basic,” Aiosa acknowledges. Which might be the only understatement of all.

The “Golden Goddess” of New York Real Estate

Talking with with Camille Duvall-Hero

by Tyler J. Peckio

photoWhat could being a New York City real estate agent and professional water skier possibly have in common? Surface level, the two could not be more different—one involves navigating the near impossible labyrinth of New York real estate (not for the weak of heart) and the other involves flying around behind a boat at 70 mph on skis (also not for the weak of heart).  The two professions, all appearances aside, have more in common than at first glance; Camille Duvall-Hero can testify to that. The ability to thrive off competition, the hard work necessary to attain success, and most importantly, the near obsessive attention to detail—all of these attributes converge in the worlds of real estate and professional sports. It was because of these skills attained by competing at such a high level in a dangerous water sport that the transfer into real estate was easy for Duvall-Hero.

The preparation and hard work she applied in water skiing led her to become one

of Sport’s Illustrated Magazine’s “100 Greatest Female Athletes of the Century” and that work ethic has transferred over into the New York real estate market. Duvall states, “I want to dot every I and cross every T. I don’t want to enter the competition until I know that everything is perfect and if that takes 10,000 hours of practice to get through then that’s what I do…I think it’s that attention to detail and preparation. I mean, you’re flinging yourself off a ski jump at 70 mph at 25 feet in the air. You don’t want things to go wrong…having that really, really strong preparation ethic carries over into this.” The preparation, Duvall-Hero feels, is what is necessary to eliminate any doubt whatsoever.149400_159903040712230_7333128_n
CD Skiing comp.Another set of skills that Duvall-Hero has used to her advantage: the ability to listen and read body language, which she acquired in her first career shift into broadcast journalism. “[The ability to really listen to people] is an easy carryover into this business. You have to watch their body language, their tone of voice… you can get a lot of clues from being able to really listen to someone…you need to take [the customer’s] desires into consideration when you’re taking an apartment for them or taking their price or whatever that may be.” Duvall-Hero’s main concern in the real estate arena is the customer’s needs and not having an agenda before meeting with the client.
These transferable skills have proven invaluable for Duvall-Hero’s ability to steer herself through the ever-changing real estate market. With the technology readily available for clients to do research themselves, it is the agent’s job to know the market better than the client so that they can advise them as best they can. As more and more agents craft personas through various social media outlets, Duvall-Hero stays focused on the customer’s needs and not on branding herself to be any particular thing. She feels that not everybody wants a “rockstar agent” and that most clients want someone who is going to find them their home.

Four Trends and a Warning: Wealth Expert Robert Frank Divines the Fate of the Luxury Real Estate Market

By Allison Geller

Robert Frank 2013Robert Frank, CNBC reporter, author of two books on the über-rich and former Wall Street Journal Wealth Reporter and overseas correspondent, is a wealth of knowledge on the world’s most moneyed buyers. We asked him to read the signs of today’s ultra-high-end real estate market.

1. The Markets Are Globalizing

Frank predicts a “grand convergence” of prices in the luxury spaces of the major global markets: New York, London, Hong Kong and Los Angeles.

“They won’t be the same,” he clarifies. “But they will be more closely correlated than they are now because the wealthy buyers in London, New York, and Hong Kong have more in common with each other than they do with their own countries.”

Those cities will join to become a super luxury market on their own, Frank says— not powered by the steam of local economies, but “driven by the dynamics of the world’s wealthy.”

“People aren’t buying second or third homes anymore. They’re building real estate portfolios,” he adds, defining that as “an investment-focused, diversified basket of properties” that encompasses the full breadth of these markets.


2.  The Mythical “Overseas Buyer” Is Dying

Gone are the days of building a luxury condo and targeting the faceless “overseas buyer.”

Today’s realtors have to be fluent in the cultural language of each market, from Russian oligarchs looking for high-status Central Park penthouses to Chinese buyers in Seattle seeking top-notch educations for their kids. “Each of those different groups has very different priorities,” Frank says, which realtors must effectively cater to.


3. The Fine Art Market Is Real Estate’s Mirror

The world’s wealthy have overflowing bank accounts, Frank notes, and a limited number of places where they can smartly invest their surfeit dollars (or rubles, or yuan). Once they’ve invested in properties, the ultra rich are seeking out chattel they can take with them.Lynn Tilton and Robert Frank in helicopter

“Art is like real estate: it’s secure, it’s a short- and long- term asset, so you can trade it, but it’s also a long-term appreciating asset,” Frank says. “But unlike real estate, art is very portable.”

And like real estate, only the teetering top of the art market is experiencing a boom. Once you go below the “penthouse level”— “below the Rothkos, the Bacons, the Picassos, the Basquiats”— the market is sluggish, even declining.


4. The Super Rich Are Getting Super Richer

Frank observes the rise of a new kind of rich that is only getting richer: a “billionaire class” that is accruing fortunes “faster and at a scale like never before.”

Compare the people who buy the trophy properties, the $142 million Francis Bacon paintings and the $38 million Ferraris to the start-up entrepreneur or “plodding Wall Streeter”— the “merely wealthy,” as Frank puts it— and the division is clear.

“The highest ground in real estate is where all the growth is,” Frank says.


5. Is the Bubble Due For a Pop?Robert Frank and realtor Senada Adzem

Developers with dollar signs in their eyes are enthusiastically accommodating the nouveau, global rich. But will there be enough demand in a year or two to justify the $5 million luxury condos cropping up by the hundreds in Miami and New York?

That depends on the future of the mysterious “overseas market.” Right now there is a scramble in Russia and China to get money offshore— but it’s anyone’s guess how long that will last.

That makes for a huge degree of volatility at the top of these markets, from penthouses to Picassos. People with “paper fortunes” can simply shut off their spending if they lose confidence in the economy, sending luxury industries tanking.

“And it happens really quickly,” says Frank.



STYLE | An Exclusive Interview with Peyman Umay

Peyman_Umay_DDC_0407_3mtHow is dressing your body similar to designing or decorating your home?

Dressing well is about two critical aesthetics: colors and proportions. Choosing the right colors that enhance one’s natural complexion—and specific shapes that show the advantages of the body and hide the disadvantages of the body at the same time—are of the utmost importance. Building a home to live in is similar. Colors of the walls and furniture should complement the shape of the space and the configuration of every single item in it. Neither professional decoration nor expensive furniture will make a difference if the floors or walls rest on a shaky foundation and the coloring is not right. Everybody is born with their own unique body shape, skin color, face, hair, nose, eyes, torso, etc. I call it our “Natural Gift.” Dressing well is celebrating the natural gift that we all have. How do you celebrate that? By choosing outfits that have the right colors and correct shapes.


What distinguishes an “okay” suit from a great one (design, details, etc.)?

These four main elements: the design, the fabric used, the making of the suit, and finally, the cut. We only use top-notch fabrics from England, Italy, and Turkey—the best you can source—with high-thread-count wools, Egyptian and Turkish cottons, and luxury cashmeres. The highest-quality materials, from the interlining canvas to the buttons and threads, are essential to the makings of a great suit. I have a philosophy I have been using ever since I started designing my first clothing: The elegance is hidden in the details. My signature design details, such as the buttons on the back vents, special pockets and buttonholes on suits, and the notches and side-buttons on shirt collars, make our garments unique and make our clients feel special.peyman_umay_bespoke_0240_4mtFL


TIP: A great suit has to have the following: a perfect fit, the correct proportions, and the right fabric color and pattern.





IMG_1165_5mt_BTell us a little bit about your creative process. What are the steps for transforming your vision into reality?

After our three-step appointment with wardrobe assessment, consultation with a Q&A session, and measurements, we create a detailed profile of the client. I design every suit and shirt myself according to the client’s profile, with his actual photos right in front of me. I choose design details on the garment that would enhance the client’s body and color complexion. The shape of the head, the height of the neck, the torso height, the shoulder width, along with his face features, etc., are very important technical inputs in my design process as I draw the lapels, shoulders, and the pockets accordingly. We can actually make someone look slightly elongated by specific design details, particularly with the support of the proper fabric pattern. It all comes down to the perfect combination of creative skills with tailored elements. We invested in a one-of-a-kind visualizer program that can show the whole suit, jacket, or shirt with the actual fabric you pick from our swatches, on the spot.


How do details help make or break a look?

Simplifying the subject is the most common mistake that is made. The pattern of the shirt and the pattern of the jacket should complement each other. If you wear a jacket with a check pattern or stripes, you need to make sure the shirt does not have patterns on it. A plaid jacket or a windowpane jacket should be worn with a solid-color shirt, and vice-versa, a solid-color jacket can have shirts with patterns or stripes in it. Avoid a clash of colors and patterns; otherwise, you might make yourself look too busy and funny at times. The choice of shoe color can also make or break a look. Suits with navy, brown, or beige colors should be completed with brown-tone shoes, not black. Solid-white socks with a suit are also a big NO. The color of the socks should match the color of the shoes, despite the fact that very colorful socks are all over nowadays, which is totally fine, as long as you are okay with drawing attention to your feet.


Is it possible to keep your wardrobe up-to-date without being a slave to trends?

I believe the concepts “trend” and “fashion” are actual illusions. If you see a fabric pattern or a color in more than one well-known brand’s store window, you think it’s trendy, and you feel you should buy it. That’s how trends happen: by creating the demand for an item. Although trend, by definition, means “popularity of an item at a particular time period,” which does not mean it will look good on you. For instance, the skinny ties were very popular—every man owned skinny ties in the past five to ten years. But a skinny tie looks ridiculous if a big man with broad shoulders and a pronounced face wears one, and what’s worse is that he wouldn’t even realize that, because he thinks he is actually following the trend and is well-dressed. The tie width has nothing to do with trend or fashion but is directly correlated to one’s body proportions and facial shape. In our design house, we educate our clients about what is right and wrong with certain trends by showing them photos of outfits on actual people.


Why do your clients come to you? They’re looking for a suit, of course, but do you think they’re also looking for confidence, youth, edge, a new lease on life, etc.?

We promise the “power look” to our clients. The only part of your skin that can be seen by the rest of the world is your face, a little bit of your neck, and your hands. The rest of what you wear actually tells who you are and what you represent. When you enter a room, it’s all about your energy—which stems from how you stand, how you move, all the way to what you wear. No matter what you do for a living, it’s very important that you look good. Statistically speaking, you have four seconds for the first impression you leave once you start talking to somebody, which is hard to break, regardless if it is positive or negative. We design outfits that enhance who you are, what you do, how you want to look. Clients come to us because they want to step up their game personally and professionally. We design outfits for our clients that maximize the use of their existing wardrobe and add unique pieces to attain an edgy look.[1]


peyman_umay_bespoke_0388_3mtFLWhat’s the #1 tip you would give to someone who wants to dress like a Million-Dollar Broker?

It’s very simple. If you want to sell a multi-million-dollar home, you need to dress like a multi-million-dollar person. All you need is to establish the trust between you and the client, an invisible bridge that makes the client believe that it is the ultimate home they want, you are the only person they should buy it from, and no other broker in the industry can offer anything better. You need to impress them with the confidence you have within yourself, in what you have to offer and how it would change their life. Your energy should be at an optimum level so they can feel it and share it with you. They need to feel so special by buying that home from you. This is the exact philosophy I follow at my design house.

Should a real estate agent always dress according to their own tastes, or should they consider the culture and aesthetic of their clients? Namely, how important is the “other” when picking out the right thing to wear?

It’s all about the client’s comfort zone, and it’s all in the details. It would be a very smart move for an agent to add some details to his outfit that are related to clients’ authenticity or culture. Again, it’s about the invisible bridge between you and the client. It’s about them at that moment, not you. For example, if you are dealing with a Japanese client, wearing a pocket square or a tie with meaningful Japanese writing or cufflinks with Japanese letters would work for your benefit. Or, depending on how much you want to sell the apartment and how confident you are, wearing a kilt to a showing with a Scottish client would definitely make you start out with positive energy. If you can’t do that, at least combine your outfit with pants with red-green kilt patterns.


What’s it like dressing celebrities like Ryan Serhant? Do you tailor each design to the personality of the client?

Dressing Ryan is very fun, because his personality allows me to design the suits and shirts the way I want, from the pocket shapes to the colorful linings. He trusts me and is always happy with the results. He likes a certain fit in his suits and is very particular with his shirt collars. In fact, I designed a special collar for his shirts that nobody actually has; we named it the “RS collar,” which is only used for his shirt orders. We have so many special designs like this that are only used for that particular client. Ryan is in great shape, which makes my life easier, and we enhance his well-built body with particular features. He is a great example to our clientele—a confident man who knows what he wants and enjoys dressing very well. He is the most successful and the best-dressed million-dollar broker in the industry, and I am proud to be a part of that and have him as a client. Needless to say, he is an amazing person, and his friendship is priceless.

Balanced By Design: Karim Rashid’s Democratic Vision

By Allison Geller

Karim_Black & WhiteWorld-renowned industrial designer Karim Rashid grew up making art at the same time as he was hearing his father’s admonition: “never be an artist.”

Rashim’s father, a painter who was deeply acquainted with the struggles of the artistic life, moved the family from Cairo to Rome, Paris, and London before settling in Toronto to work as a set designer for the CBC. As children, Rashid and his siblings would spend weekends watching their father design models for TV, cinema and theater sets. Learning from imitation, they began drawing and making their own creations. “Design was part of me from a very, very young age,” says Rashid.

A gifted math student who loved to sketch, Rashid realized when he entered university that he was best suited for a profession that would use both hemispheres of his brain: the logical left brain and the artistic right brain.


Design school, Rashid says, taught him to manifest his visions into objects that were practical and marketable— to sync creativity with criteria. “Design itself is a program,” Rashid says. He honed the pragmatic creativity that would become the hallmark of all his designs, from hotel interiors to luxury watches to mobile phones.

After a career of over three decades, Rashid no longer has to deal with each criterion separately: he accommodates the set of conditions given to him by his clients as he sketches. If Rashid is designing a chair for a company that sells inexpensive furniture, for example, he already knows he’s working in polymers or plastics. Maybe the chairs needs to have holes, be stackable, or fit the body a certain way. “My first thought is not usually one form or statement. It’s more like bringing all this criteria together simultaneously. That, in turn, informs the chair. I always say you have to inform form,” Rashid says.GLocal Portrait

If design school taught him to deal with practical challenges, Rashid’s early days as a designer were a lesson in the importance of marketing. Working in a design office in Toronto in an era where companies were still dubious about the role of creativity in industry, Rashid had to satisfy clients as practically minded as Black and Decker, the post office and the Canadian military. He realized that he had to educate his clients, but also to sell them. “Over time, I got better and better of convincing people of my ideas,” he says. “’Let’s make this happen; this is great because.’”

Understanding and not resisting corporate culture, while still maintaining his unique vision, has ultimately made Rashid more successful than some of his purely intuitive, right-brained artist/designer counterparts.

“If I can’t tolerate listening to why my designs are being compromised and can’t deal with those issues, I’ll really never produce anything,” Rashid acknowledges.

His goal with any new project is to produce the “right” design instead of a purely creative one. The design should do real work for the company, increasing its brand awareness, its market presence, its bottom line— and in turn, his own success as a designer.

“You have to understand what [each company’s] agenda is,” he says. “I think of that every time someone comes to me with a project.”

The same goes for Rashid’s building designs. When Rashid began working in architecture, he set his sights on designing functional spaces with an innovative touch, but never at the expense of environmental cohesion. A building, he says, should add to the urban fabric and “denote the time in which it is built,” rather than be a kitschy reproduction of another era’s aesthetic.

With over 3,000 working designs and 300 awards under his belt, the work Rashid is most proud of is not art or luxury, but “democratic design”: the $50 chair, the highly designed hotel room at the lowest possible price point. Ultimately, Rashid believes that design is a “social act.”

Karim in Pink Suit_02Increasingly, that act is becoming an ecological one. Rashid is the creative force behind the Bobble bottle, a reusable plastic bottle with a high-quality carbon filter that’s good for 300 refills. Rashid hopes the Bobble can make a “small dent” in the 60 million disposable plastic bottles that are tossed into U.S. landfills every day.

In the end, though, Rashid finds that ultimate fulfillment as a designer comes from striking the right balance between the aesthetics of art and the service of design.

“I always say to myself, if you can imbue 70% of your sensibility in a product you’re kind of lucky,” says Rashid.

Manhattan’s Energy in a Sophisticated Community on the Island

Less than half an hour away from the excitement of New York City, lies the vibrant town of Manhasset. With exceptional schools, world-class shopping, premier dining and a welcoming community, it is an ideal place to live and raise a family.

Manhasset is approximately 2.4 square miles and consists of Plandome Village, Plandome Heights Village, Plandome Manor Village, Flower Hill, Munsey Park and North Hills. The commute to Manhattan is ideal on the Long Island Railroad and take 28 express minutes! It is only 20 miles from Manhattan and 50 miles from the Hamptons.

The public schools are ranked in the top 100 in the country and ranked top 5 of spending per child in the Nassau County. There is a 12:1 student/teacher ratio. The residents in this community pride themselves in being very involved in the education system and that creates a strong dynamic between the students, teachers, administrators and parents. This also translates to success later in life as 80% of students go on to four year colleges. There are vigorous sports programs in lacrosse, soccer, basketball etc. that keep the children active throughout the years. Very strong academic standards and community service are established and encouraged from a young age.

AmericanaManhassetBkgrd2There are several country clubs in Manhasset that offer golf and tennis. There are beautiful parks, walking trails and beaches. A beautiful gazebo sits in the center of town and the community gathers there many times throughout the year to celebrate the lighting of the tree, the annual 5K Run Walk to fight breast cancer and many other events that bring everyone together.

With over 60 high-end stores the Americana Manhasset boasts outstanding outdoor shopping and dining. You will find luxurious brands such as Prada, Giorgio Armani, Tiffany’s, Ralph Lauren, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Christin Dior, London Jeweler’s, Burberry, Hermes, Tory Burch and many more. The incredible stores, restaurants, flowers and décor create a beautiful environment that is truly unique.

A few blocks from the high-end stores of the Americana you will find Plandome Road, which is home toCaption---  The Colombos- Dooley Team with happy client - Yankee Outfielder Carlos Beltran local merchants, many of whom have been there for generations. They know your name and pride themselves in providing exceptional service to their customers. Here you will find the small towns feel that creates a warm feeling amongst its residents.

Manhasset means “island neighborhood” and got its name from a Native American term. It is home to “Shelter Rock”, which is an 1,800 ton boulder which has been here since the Ice Age and is a landmark on Long Island.

As a resident of Manhasset for over ten years, I really enjoy the vitality of this community. There is sophistication in the people of Manhasset that comes with living so close to the heart of New York City. Comfortable living, proximity to the city, exceptional schools, family values and a warm sense of community – an ideal place to live.

The Art of Columbia County, NY

Mary Stapleton

Mary Stapleton
Halstead Property
Click Here To Contact Mary

Columbia County in Hudson Valley is known for its varied landscapes, winding country roads, majestic mountain ranges, lakes, streams, the mighty Hudson River and some of the finest historic estates in New York.

Photo Courtesy Of Sandy ArthurOnce a hidden secret, the county has become a haven for weekenders from the TriState area and beyond. Well-known artists, musicians, actors, and writers are calling Columbia County their home for the same reason many day trippers hop on the Amtrak or wind up the beautiful Taconic Parkway. They come for the majestic beauty, endless outdoor activities for every season, quintessential country towns dotted about, and the hippest little city in the Northeast: Hudson.  There you can find unique and important antique and design establishments, as well as some of the finest galleries, shops and restaurants in the Hudson Valley. In Hudson, you may feel like you stepped back in time, (for the boomers) to the West Village, say forty years ago—or the new running joke, ‘Hudson is the new Brooklyn!’

These are some of the same reasons that brought myself and countless others to the area. Many start as weekenders, but we have been seeing a trend of people coming with the intent of becoming full-time residents. Not only is the Baby Boomer generation transitioning, but it seems every generation is coming as well, bringing creative, innovative businesses to the area. As we are in a mobile, global time, it is easy to see why so many are wanting to call Columbia County their home!



Photo Courtesy of  Dan Tappan - featuring  The Kennedys

Photo Courtesy of Dan Tappan – featuring The Kennedys

Another trend is the Modern Organic Farmers and the Creative Chef figures that are flocking to the area— where the lands are bountiful and the ‘farm-to-table’ explosion is making this region a popular food adventure destination. Add several first-class ski resorts, golf and tennis, boating, hiking and bike trails to the mix and it’s easy to see why so many have shifted from the weekender to the full- ime resident. Of course, there are countless farmers markets, music, art, and film festivals, and many historic sites here, such as Clermont Historic Estate. The Fredrick Church’s Olana, another historic site, is where the famed American School of Painters obtained their a good deal of their inspiration.

Once seasonal, it is easy to see why the area has become a four season destination. The eclectic mix of real estate is so complimentary to a wide range of buyers, keeping the rural communities beauty intact. It’s also easy to understand why Columbia County has become the place for artists, writers, actors of stage and film wanting to be anonymous in our beautiful environment.

Logistically, we are within two hours from New York City, and are centrally located in the Hudson Valley, where we can easily enjoy and utilize the services the surrounding communities.

Photo Courtesy Of Jay WoodworthHalstead’s Hudson Valley office opened its doors in Hudson eight years ago and continues the tradition of offering the finest properties and service available, as in all our offices throughout New York City and the TriState area. I walked into the office five years ago and was greeted by a vibrant New Yorker, a successful New York City Halstead agent and broker, and instantly felt at home. Whether you are looking for a minimalist retreat hidden down a wooded path, a majestic Historic Estate, or a Mountaintop modern masterpiece, you will find it here.

Longboat Key, Sarasota

Deborah Beacham

Deborah Beacham
Michael Saunders Real Estate

With convenient access to both private and international airports, Longboat Key and Sarasota attract the discerning world traveler who seeks the finest in beachfront living with amenities you would expect to find in cities much larger.

Longboat KeyComposed of approximately 12 miles of crystal-quartz beaches framed by lush landscape, Longboat Key is a magnificent, sun-drenched destination that hosts all of the wonderful pleasures one could imagine for an active or relaxed lifestyle.

Elegant, perfectly manicured, Longboat Key is Sarasota’s center for glamor. Fifth Avenue style penthouse apartments co-mingle with expansive estates, the renowned private Longboat Key Club with world class golf and tennis and six restaurants for members and hotel guests.

During the winter season there are black tie events to support the many cultural arts in Sarasota almost every night. Reserve your limousine, and revel in the international lifestyle of Longboat Key’s residents. Or, if the nature lover in you beckons, you will find 32 acres to explore at the award winning nature preserve of Joan Durante Park where you can picnic in the gazebos, enjoy local varieties of plants, including a rose garden, or take a walk along the Couple Beach 2812965coastal hammock forest.

Just over the bridges, you can visit Mote Aquarium, Ringling Museum and Ca’d’Zan Mansion, Asolo Repertory Theater, Ringling College of Art and Design, New College, Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, St. Armands Circle of shops and restaurants, Lido Beach, and nearby downtown Sarasota with boutique galleries, shops, restaurants, and much more.