In The Event of an Evacuation, A Life Vest May Be Found Under Your Seat. Hold It Close, Like a Lover. 

Via Issue 192, Gettin' Around

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Four separate itineraries, one common purpose: to exceed the obvious. To dance, dine, and dictate a new societal standard for well-being. From Sydney to Bali to Peru to Rome. And with these intrepid travelers, of course, their physical effects. For we’re only as good as our last trip, only as unique as the things we carry. So dig in for a sprinkle of bio on who alighted from LAX before this publication went to press, learn a bit about where they’re laying their sometimes troubled, sometimes enlightened heads, and consider that which has been inked in permanence regards these destinations with which they’ve made they’re homes or a quick hi-bye thereof.

Image Courtesy of Bowler James Brindley.


Keke was ravenous. Not boring ravenous, like her grumbling tum tum after the long haul flight from LA (who, who isn’t want-ads level seeking constipation, consumes food in the air?) No, this was the kind of hunger that is much easier to describe than action on. Being an assassin was no joke, Keke thought, dog-earring her paperback, The Assassin, as her limousine curved into the wrinkly palm of the mythical Sydney Harbour. She buried her elbows into the nondescript briefcase atop her lap. And again, the hunger. The hunger to transplant the briefcase’s jewels, monitor the jewels to within an inch of her life while Cate Blanchett modeled the jewels a jewel brand had paid the magazine of Keke’s employ. The figure? Well, the equivalent of a year’s undergraduate tuition at USC—the sum itself not a sore spot for Keke, she hated her parents (that her dad was on the run for performing unsanctioned plastic surgery in Puerto Rico was beyond embarrassing) but the comparison was here unnerving, as she’d not long ago been kicked out of her Trojan sorority, not for calling someone ‘a fatty’ on the Kappa Kappa Gamma group chat, but substantiating her claims with peeping tom-level pictures of the Sister eating a Shepherd’s pie in the food hall. Anyhow, so long as the jewels were prominent but didn’t feel ‘forced,’ she was golden and could submit her holiday request and finally reunite with that ethereal Midwestern boy she’d met in Lima, who had invited her to Bali for a beachside rave in the neighborhood where he worked as a water rights advocate. Well, Keke thought, pulling aside her vintage Celine shades for a spritz of eyedrops, then stretching on her black leather gloves as the limo arrived at the newly minted W Hotel, the famed Sydney Opera House shining like a Buick in the horizon, I’ll show them fat—as in fat chance of my missing that bejeweled hero cover moment. I’m a contract killer. 

BVLGARI Monete 18 kt rose gold necklace set with an ancient coin and pavé diamonds and B.zero1 XXth Anniversary five-band ring in 18 kt rose gold. Photographed by Keith Greenbaum.

Overlooking the city’s iconic harbour and skyline, the newly opened W Sydney is a sleek retreat imbued with striking futuristic design and a cheeky larrikin ethos that radiates through Australia’s cultural capital. The luxurious 588-room-and-suite hotel, overlooking city, sky, and sea, immerses guests in it’s sculptural architecture, designed by Hassell. An all-encompassing destination to relax and let loose, the property features panoramic views of Sydney Harbour from the rooftop WET Deck pool and a two-story bar. As General Manager, Craig Seaward, explains, “It’s a complete departure from the city’s traditional hotels, and this unique W spirit is something you feel at every touchpoint, from our eclectic venues to the cool blue rooms and high-energy programming.”

Australian film director, Baz Luhrmann, famed for his fashionable Moulin Rouge, says of the metropolis, “If Paris is a city of lights, Sydney is the city of fireworks.” 

Image Courtesy of Bowler James Brindley.
Image Courtesy of Bowler James Brindley.


There are two kinds of people in life. Those that have saved an enflamed school bus full of deaf kids from falling into the lake, and those that haven’t. I was the kid already in the lake, enjoying an afternoon of truancy from my Michigan-based boarding school, toes kicked up and my dingy gleefully bobbing. Suddenly and up above, the bus appeared. It was smoking like an overdone baked potato across a rusting bridge that resembled structural apple sauce, wobbling side to side as the flames leapt high into the blue May sky. Water, of course, is a healing agent. Particularly if your spirit is aflame. I considered this as the childrens’ screaming came closer (such an eerie thing) and I wondered if maybe the driver ought just veer the bus, knife through the guardrail and into the lake. To at least go out a hero attempting, albeit hopelessly, to quell the fiery hands of hell that had overtaken his or her carriage full of innocents. And that’s when it occurred to me. This bus wasn’t actually smoking. This bus was equipped with a state of the art stereo system that was gyrating so profoundly, so blisteringly, it was causing a mirage of heat to exude from its bonnet. I laughed so hard I there and then determined to move to Bali, where before absconding, I nicked my headmaster’s Montblanc pen and wristwatch, where I’ve been truant for 18 years, where the water heals thee, where the at-present greatest sound system in the world has finally found its home, lighting the floor on fire at the now complete dance club Klymax Discotheque, the brainchild of the inimitable DJ Harvey. As for the deaf kids? Well, apparently the driver let the bass from that system throttle as such a level so as to tingle their bums and spines, so as to soothe them with disco before dropping them at their silly school in that silly baseball glove-shaped peninsula better known as The Great Lakes State. That wasn’t screaming. That was laughter. Those were the squeals of joy.

Courtesy of Potato Head.

After 7 years in the making, DJ Harvey’s new Bali-based Sonic Temple is a love letter to the iconic venues that have helped shape electronic music. Channeling his 40-year career as an icon in the underground scene, Klymax Discotheque was built from the ground up, with a custom sound system designed by Harvey and George Stavro emanating from the subterranean wood-clad interior. The 400-person venue is the latest addition to the sprawling chic hotel, restaurant, and cultural complex, Desa Potato Head. On the lineup, a mix of international heavy hitters from Carl Craig and Nina Kraviz to local legends Dita and Gero.

CELINE suitcase, TIFFANY & CO. HardWear Graduated Link Necklace in Yellow Gold with Pavé Diamonds and Knot Double Row Hinged Bangle in Yellow Gold, and MOLESKINE notebook.. Photographed by Keith Greenbaum.
MONTBLANC pen and OMEGA Speedmaster 38 in Yellow Gold on Leather Strap watch. Photographed by Keith Greenbaum.

In 20th-century composer Colin McPhee’s account of the island in his book, A House in Bali, he writes, “In the early morning the island had a golden freshness, dripped and shone with moisture like a garden in a florist’s window. By noon it had become hard and matter-of-fact. But in the late afternoon, the island was transformed once more; it grew unreal, lavish and theatrical like old-fashioned opera scenery. As the sun neared the horizon men and women turned the colour of new copper, while shadows grew purple, the grass blue, and everything white reflected a deep rose.” 

Photographed by Tommaso Riva.
Photographed by Tommaso Riva.


There’s nothing unusual about an 8,000-mile journey. Ask the gray whales. Ask migratory birds. Carlita had eaten a whale of a bird for lunch—a fat spotted grouse stuffed with all manner of herbs and ideas by chef— accompanied by a brisk Intipalka sauv blanc, and she felt more than calm about the journey ahead. For this was elevation, and one rule about elevation was to never get worked up (foregoing all puns). But that’s the thing with the calling, with being a medium for the high net worthy: it’s exhausting climbing into the auras of others and poking around at the oft-inky innards of feared ineptitude and inequity, particularly when preceded by multi-day plane-train-sea craft itineraries. Then again, when you’ve finally achieved what Carlita’s contemporaries called a ‘breakthrough,’ the conclusion is that of progress. And progress—even at the languid pace of this luxury train, courtesy of LVMH’s Belmond, which Carlita only moments ago ascended with nothing but a thermos-filled Negroni (what Maggie, that sad waste of space, used to call a Negroadie), and of course, this season’s jeweled finery—was progress. And yet she felt a shiver. Bill D was no typical patient. He was more seasoned than the lunchtime grouse, and certainly a greater flight risk. And that he was proposing the Ristoro Della Salute opposite the Colosseo in Rome as a meetup point was not only marginally pompous, but troubling. Tourist traps were hardly the ideal conduit contexts. And the awful heat of Rome in the summer. And what had Marco inferred when he said he’d be in the keeping of a toucan and its blind owner, Manuela? The innumerable variables of this mission saw the hours melt by in a kind of altitudinal daydream. Later, Carlita woke with something of a Campari itch behind her eyes. Lake Titicaca stared back at her: crystalline, exceptional, reading her mind.

Image Courtesy of Belmond.

South America’s First Luxury Sleeper Train, the Andean Explorer, A Belmond Train, traverses the Peruvian Altiplano traveling between Cusco, Puno, and Arequipa. Awash in breathtaking views, the 20-carriage train with 35 cabins whisks travelers for a luxurious one or two-night journey. With a luxurious embrace of local savoir-faire, the train’s design, dining, and spa experiences give a nod towards Peru’s rich history at 4,000 feet above sea level.

Illustrated by Elisa Alcalde.

In the 1993 novel Death In the Andes, Peruvian writer Mario Vargas Llosa writes, “And on the horizon, along the Cordillera where rock and sky met, there was that strange color, somewhere between violet and purple, which he had seen reproduced on so many Indian skirts and shawls and on the woolen bags the campesinos hung from the ears of their llamas; for him it was the color of the Andes...” 

BVLGARI Serpenti Viper 18k rose gold necklace set with pavé diamonds and white mother of pearl elements, Serpenti Viper 18 kt yellow gold bracelet with pavé diamonds, Serpenti Viper 18 kt rose gold thin band ring set with demi pavé diamonds, and Serpenti Viper one-coil 18 kt rose gold ring set with pavé diamonds and white mother-of-pearl elements. Photographed by Keith Greenbaum.


I’d met her at a bar on Bondi Beach. One of those curved feats of marble that, after enough hours overlooking the bay, began to resemble a stuffed Taipan snake, all pebbled and imposing and formerly poisonous. She had this glass toucan that she called Norman in her handbag. And she kept cooing into its ear, “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?” My tummy tightened at how unhinged the gesture read, and anyway, I’d always loved that song—so searing and honest—and that she was robbed, as she shared over an espresso martini, of her sight during a botched plastic surgery experience in Puerto Rico, meant she couldn’t see the loud and, dare I say, garish pattern of my festive button-down shirt, and therefore, the come-what-may nature of my disposition. We hastened to become bedmates, and a wild journey across that beautiful continent made us feel like we were in our 20s again. But now, here in Rome, at the exceptional and new Casa Monti, Roma, a boutique property only a charming stroll away from the Teatro Brancaccio, she’s crossed something of a line. A line I’d fought to make invisible since the grounding of the Concord. She’d told me I needed to be seen. “Be seen?” I asked, stirring the hurriedly melting ice floating atop the breach of my Milano Torino (Rome was so hot then and forever), and she presented the business card of a medium known as Carlita, who for some reason, on its reverse, had printed a photo of an actual mug shot snapped of her in Oakland, 1997. I felt both a tremor of awe and fear, and before I knew it, I’d pulled from Manuela’s Bottega Veneta handbag (purchased just yesterday on the Via del Corso), a green Abruzza tomato and began slowly peeling it with my Swiss Army knife, a memento I’d managed to keep since Luka had left us prematurely back in Coober Pedy. This new nervous habit of mine was odd, but not as odd as a reading in the Eternal City stood to be. Nonetheless, love is blind, as they’ll say. I conceded to the appointment, but only if in public, surrounded by bloated tourists and at the footsteps of Empire and its ceaseless savagery. To the Colosseo, Manuela, but not before Norman gets his peach gelato. 

Illustrated by Paula Castro.
BOTTEGA VENETA dress and bag, BOUCHERON serpent bohème watch and quatre radiant edition rings, and LALIQUE toucan sculpture. Photographed by Keith Greenbaum.

A creative oasis in the Eternal City, Casa Monti exudes an invisible spirit of sprezzatura, or the relaxed ease and effortless elegance in Italian culture. Located in the heart of the Monti, Rome’s first district, the hotel is surrounded by some of the city’s most iconic family run trattorias, independent wine bars and vintage boutiques. This neighborhood, not only known for its creative legacy, is central to the treasures of the city while also remaining a tranquil haven from the frenetic streets of Rome. The hotel, with 26 rooms and 10 suites across six floors, greets guests with a 18th-century exterior, the listed property, a nod to the city’s history and future.

Illustrated by Paula Castro.

As poet Percy Bysshe Shelley says in “Adonais,” 49-52, [Go thou to Rome], “Go thou to Rome,—at once the Paradise, the grave, the city, and the wilderness; And where its wrecks like shattered mountains rise, And flowering weeds, and fragrant copses dress. The bones of Desolation’s nakedness. Pass, till the spirit of the spot shall lead. Thy footsteps to a slope of green access. Where, like an infant’s smile, over the dead A light of laughing flowers along the grass is spread.” 

BOTTEGA VENETA Cha Cha bag and VICTORINOX swiss army knife. Photographed by Keith Greenbaum.

Still Life:

Photographed by Keith Greenbaum at Walter Schupfer Management

Prop Styling: Catherine Pearson

Lighting Tech: Steve Reganato

Model: Branda Zeng at Closeup Models

Nails: Jazz Style

Retouching: Dave Herr

Photo Assistant: Kate Brennan

Illustrations by  Elisa Alcalde and Paula Castro

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No items found.
Flaunt Magazine, Issue 192, Gettin' Around, BVLGARI, Bottega Veneta, Celine, Tiffany & Co., Omega, Montblanc, Moleskine, Boucheron, Victorinox, Casa Monti, Belmond, Andean Explorer, A Belmond Train, DJ Harvey, Klymax Discotheque, Desa Potato Head, W Sydney