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Tuesday 22 September 2015 - Filed under Health


 ::  Share or discuss  ::  2015-09-22  ::  Christine

Discover Local Artist: Diane Arrieta

Thursday 3 September 2015 - Filed under Discover Local Artists

Palm Beach State College’s solo exhibition of Diane Arrieta’s work, “Misunderstood,” Sept. 15 through Oct. 16, deals with the plight of animals, ecosystems and their struggle with humans.


“Living off of consumer based, human-centric treatment of the planet for decades, we are now faced with real dilemmas affecting our basic health and well-being,” Arrieta says. “Unregulated abuse, habitat fragmentation, and urban sprawl are among the many problems that are fueling extreme weather patterns, climate change, unprecedented species extinction rates, and an increasing rise of infectious disease prevalence.”

Humans tend to think of nature as distant and not part of their everyday lives, she observes. Fast-paced lives rely on disposable items, fast-food restaurants and being confined in closed workspaces, which increase the gap between humans and nature.

"Til the cows come home," mixed media, $3,200.
“Til the cows come home,” mixed media, $3,200.

“The most common misconception that we as humans have about nature is that it is not under control of humans. Once we intervene, it becomes part of our world.”

“Misunderstood” highlights some of the endangered species, the environmental and social issues surrounding their well-being; her work is based on the misconceptions and misunderstanding of these animals.

“We need to step up and be heroes for the environment. We can either be hero or villain when it comes to the planet,” she says.

Arrieta utilizes various printmaking techniques with cut vinyl, illustration, sculpture and animation. Her work has a distinct urban feel, with a style rooted in the comic book genre, but also has strong influences from artists like Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns and Daisy Youngblood.

Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday; and 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday. The Art Gallery at Eissey Campus is located in the frst foor of the BB building, 3160 PGA Blvd. For more information, call the gallery at 561-207-5015.



2 comments  ::  Share or discuss  ::  2015-09-03  ::  Christine

History for what its worth

Sunday 28 June 2015 - Filed under Palm Beach

Hard to believe that the site of Palm Beach’s posh Everglades Club was once a tourist attraction showcasing a pit full of alligators and crocodiles, but so it was.

Visitors paid a quarter to ride a chauffeured three-wheeled whicker chair along the meandering Jungle Trail to watch Warren Frazee, known as Joe Frazier, wrestle large reptiles, said Palm Beach historian James Ponce.
“That area was very low and a virtual jungle, and someone had cut a path through it from County Road to Alligator Joe’s. When Palm Beach’s Royal Park addition was platted in 1913, Jungle Trail became Worth Avenue, named for General William Jenkins Worth.”

In 1918, Singer Sewing Machine heir, Paris Singer, bought the alligator farm, hiring his friend, architect Addison Mizner, to build a convalescent hospital for veterans on the site. But World War I ended before the facility opened, and the Touchstone Convalescent Club was repurposed as the Everglade’s Club, captivating the town’s affluent social set who quickly sought membership.

“Mizner’s unique version of Mediterranean architecture caused controversy,” Worth Avenue tour guide Rick Rose said. “People were used to British Colonial and Mizner’s designs included lots of styles, blending different heights and different angles, but people loved the hodgepodge.”

The club was an immediate success, and Singer asked Mizner to supervise the construction of 12 “Maisonettes” to the east of the club, with storefronts on the first floor and apartments on the second floor. Soon after, Via Mizner and Via Parigi were built just across the street. A shopping mecca incorporating romantic architecture, enchanting passageways and intimate courtyards, the vias were the perfect setting for charming boutiques.
Early shops included Jay Thorpe, a fancy ready-to-wear shop; Exotic Gardens landscape company; Catherine Mac Veady’s shop, which sold hats and gowns; William Beaumgarten interior decorators; John and Annie Clifton’s realty; Feigh’s barbershop; Maria van Hausen’s corsetry shop; Etta Menko’s antique shop; and Darrah & Darrah silversmiths.

Within the decade, Saks Fifth Avenue leased the building where Ralph Lauren is now, and The Cadillac Motor Company occupied the space that the haberdashery Maus & Hoffman now occupies.

As Worth Avenue became the heart of the island, houses along the street slowly converted to storefronts, and by 1940, several Fifth-Avenue stores with Palm Beach addresses – the Elizabeth Arden Salon, Bonwit-Teller, Hattie Carnegie and Cartier – relocated there from the town’s older shopping areas.

The restaurant Ta-boo arrived in 1941 and Aldo Gucci opened his first store on the avenue in the 1950s.

“At that time, both sides of the road were solidly built until the last block on the south side facing County Road,” Ponce recalled. “That was a parking lot, and cross from it was the Standard Oil gas station.
“The town folded up by mid-April,” he added. “They even took the streetlights down.”

In the 1960s Ta-boo was the first to stay open year ’round, followed by Saks Fifth Avenue and The Breakers hotel, “and that was due to the advent of air-conditioning,” Rose explained.

Over the years, old buildings were replaced with new at the east end of the avenue, making room for The Esplanade (now 150 Worth), a two-story open-air promenade, and the premiere upscale department store, Neiman Marcus.
Some aspects of the avenue never change. Elegant clientele with discriminating taste know exactly what they want, and Worth Avenue merchants understanding that, offer tony labels as well as especially designed custom lines.

Today, the glamorous resort attracts a host of national and international visitors as well as winter residents who continue to establish multi-million-dollar seasonal homes on the island, and, as such, Worth Avenue carries a singular cachet that’s recognized the world over.

Considered one of the most famous retail destinations, famed purveyors of fine merchandise vie for the opportunity to display their pricey and precious wares along the thoroughfare. Among them are fabulous fine jewelry firms: Graff, noted for diamonds of extraordinary rarity and beauty; Cartier, crown jeweler to 19 royal houses; and Van Cleef & Arpel, a signature brand that bedazzles and beguiles with the choicest diamonds and gemstones in exquisite settings. Internationally renowned design houses proffer luxury wares that are the epitome of elegance and refinement, including Louis Vuitton, with its unparalleled hand-wrought luggage and iconic handbags, and Chanel, widely recognized for its exquisite haute couture and fashion accessories.

Currently, with more than 200 shops with a 60/40 mix of boutiques and corporate stores, “Worth Avenue is certainly not a concrete mall destination,” said Worth Avenue Association president, Gregg Beletsky, who is also general manager of Ralph Lauren’s Palm Beach shop. “It’s about 100 years of service, so to speak. You don’t get hand deliveries and personal note cards at big-box malls.

“We know our customers by name,” he said. “We offer an experience of community that’s been cultivated over the years, and that’s what makes us special and unique.”

In 2010 and 2011, the avenue’s $15.8 million renovation made shopping even more engaging, he said. “The mature trees, new sidewalks and benches along the street invite customers to sit down and take a moment to enjoy the beautiful landscape and architecture around them.”


 ::  Share or discuss  ::  2015-06-28  ::  Christine

Princess Yachts America’s new 68 footer

Saturday 18 April 2015 - Filed under Luxury

While the Princess 68 is the latest model launched by Princess Yachts America, it was not at the recent Palm Beach International Boat Show. That’s because it sold right after the Miami show.

Still, the Palm Beach show earned praised from James Noble, Princess Yachts America’s vice president and marketing director. “Out of five models, we sold four out of the show, and we still have activity going on that we are following up.”

Overall, Princess offers 10 flybridge models from 43 to 98 feet, and the 68-footer was developed to fill the gap between the popular 72-foot and 64-foot motor yachts.

“Unlike the 64, the 68 has a foredeck seating area. It has a hardtop, and it has the ability to carry a tender on the flybridge or the hydraulic platform,” Noble said. “It is a very unique layout for its size range. The galley is aft on the main deck, and it has a private stairway to the owner’s stateroom, which is very unique for a boat in this size range.”

Princess also makes nine V-Class express models from 39 to 85 feet; a 72-foot S-Class Sportsbridge; and three M-Class yachts at 30, 35, and 40 meters.

Plymouth, England-based Princess International, founded in 1965 by David King as Marine Projects, celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. In 1995, King’s company partnered with Viking Yachts, headquartered in New Jersey, forming Viking Sport Cruises, to produce boats for the American market.

“Our boats are 80 percent done in-house, including all the woodwork, metal work and tooling for the fiberglass molds,” Noble said. “Changes were made to fit the American market.” Appliance brands recognized in America were used, refrigeration was increased, and air conditioning and generator system specifications were upgraded for Florida and the Caribbean’s climate. Engine rooms were reconfigured for more horsepower, and electrical systems were designed to handle the increased load.

“When we first started in this market, Princess was not a known name in the American market because there was no customer support. While Viking didn’t have facilities to bring on a whole new product line, it could offer support and service after the sale,” Noble explained. In the United States, Viking has two service centers: New Gretna, N.J., and Singer Island, as well as a network of more than 60 yacht-dealer service locations in North and Central America and the Caribbean.

Proving to be a winning combination, the two companies together made a mark. In 2008, Princess became part of the Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy family of luxury brands (other brands include Louis Vuitton, Fendi, Christian Dior and Feadship). Princess builds about 300 boats a year, introduces three or four new models each year, and will soon launch its 30-meter and 35-meter M-class yachts.

“We’ve sold five of the 35-meter and we’ve sold some of the 30 meter, too,” Noble said. “What we learn when we build a new model translates to everything we do.”


Princess Yachts America has an administrative office at Royal Poinciana Plaza. HMY is its dealer in the Palm Beach area, with an inventory of four-to-six new boats docked at Palm Harbor, 400 N. Flagler Drive, West Palm Beach. For information, call HMY at 833-6060.

article written for Palm Beach Daily News


 ::  Share or discuss  ::  2015-04-18  ::  Christine

Green gray yacht: Arcadia

Saturday 4 April 2015 - Filed under Luxury

If you saw the 85-foot Arcadia at last weekend’s boat show, don’t let appearances deceive you. This gray boat is green.

Built by Arcadia Yachts of Italy, “Arcadia’s ‘Eco + Think’ philosophy aims to leave less of a carbon footprint; the engines are very economical, at 12 knots only burning 18 gallons an hour,” says Dean Young, broker at HMY Yachts, and partner representative for Arcadia Yachts.

The main aft deck is set up for al fresco dining, and in the salon, glass is everywhere, with walls of glass port and starboard, a half-wall aft, and an entire ceiling that features two layers of glass, which sandwich photovoltaic cells. Flip a switch, and silhouette blinds slide into place for shade.

“It’s called a heavy glass veranda,” Young says.

The photovoltaic cells are capable of producing 4 kilowatts of electrical energy, which will power onboard the audio-visual equipment, refrigerator and freezer, lighting and the inverter that makes this power for a period of up to 12 hours.

The Arcadia also has a Hamann System, which turns black- and gray-water sewage to fully acceptable discharge in any marine environment, Young explains.

In addition to its green technology, the yacht is also lovely, comfy and roomy, with architecture and interior design by Francesco Guida. Surfaces are richly finished in washed oak, lacquered zebrawood, and slate. Furnishings are by Poltrona Frau Group, and audio/visual is all Bang & Olufsen.

The dining area is part of the salon, and forward are the galley, pilothouse and foredeck with a dining / seating area that converts to a sunbed.

On the lower deck are the full-beam ensuite master stateroom, ensuite VIP stateroom and two ensuite twin staterooms, as well as two crew quarters with heads, the engine room and tender garage.

The yacht will cruise at a comfortable range of 1,000 nautical miles at 12 knots, and top speed of 18 knots.

Arcadia Yachts is a new corporation based in Torre Annunziata, Italy, that started in 2007. This yacht, which was launched in September 2014, is No. 8 hull in its series and the first built to U.S. specifications.

Sold through HMY Yachts, Arcadia is priced at 5 million Euros. For information, call Young at 833-6060.

Written for the Palm Beach Daily News. Click here to go to the story.


 ::  Share or discuss  ::  2015-04-04  ::  Christine

Lisa Erdmann at Red Cross Designers Show House

Thursday 26 February 2015 - Filed under Palm Beach

As she embarks on her third decade in business, interior designer Lisa E. Erdmann follows an every-other-year schedule to decide when she will decorate a room in the American Red Cross Designers’ Show House, an annual fundraiser that benefits the charity’s Palm Beach Treasure Coast chapter. On alternate years, she focuses on a different organization, from creating a table setting for a benefit at the Norton Museum to helping the Center for Family Services renovate its West Palm Beach offices.

But this year, she’s returning her time and design talents to the 39th annual Red Cross Show House at a historic lakefront home in Lake Worth, which hosts a preview party Wednesday before opening to the public the next day for a month of tours.

“My parents raised me to always know it was our responsibility to give back if we had the means to do so,” Erdmann says. “So picking a charity is important in my makeup, and working with the Red Cross is a pleasure. It’s so well received that it helps expose our design talent, and it benefits them, too.”

Giving back is not the only way of thinking Erdmann learned from her family.

Her livelihood centers around homes and design, and she comes from a land-development family with a name certainly familiar to Palm Beachers. Her grandfather, E. Llwyd Ecclestone Sr. — an early proponent of building luxury homes clustered around golf courses — developed the South Florida luxury communities Lost Tree Village and John’s Island. Her father, Palm Beacher E. Llwyd Ecclestone, developed PGA National and Old Port Cove. Her brother, E. Llwyd Ecclestone III, meanwhile, has just finished work on a pair of houses he developed on speculation on the North End.

Erdmann graduated from Middlebury College in Vermont and attended Parsons School of Design while working in the design industry in New York City. Having also studied at Florida Institute of Technology, she founded Lisa Erdmann & Associates in 1994. It’s based at her family’s development offices in West Palm Beach but has also long maintained a Palm Beach address.

For this year’s show house, Erdmann is cooking up something special for the living room of the 1925 Mediterranean-style house known locally as the “Birthday Cake Castle,” although its formal name is La Florentia.

The 7,000 square foot house, recently bought by Scott Levine, was originally built by Sherman Childs. It received its Birthday Cake Castle nickname when former owner Upton Close gave the home to his wife, Margaret Fretter Nye, as a birthday present in 1954. With slender candle-like pillars, plaster swirls that resemble icing and graceful curves, it even has a birthday-cake stained-glass window in the stairwell.

Its grandly scaled rooms, casual spaces, and nooks and crannies of various shapes and sizes will be the basic ingredients for 20 designers, who will adorn them to create their own slices of decorating magic.

The living room’s existing architectural features were the starting points for Erdmann and her design team, Rhonda Grammer and Eden Tepper.

“It’s a gorgeous room, very big, with an original Adam fireplace, trefoil windows and original hardwood floor. It was a blank slate,” Erdmann says. “Since it’s an old house and has such wonderful character, we treated it like it was on the island of Palm Beach with a more formal living room.”

Erdmann often uses antiques as part as part of their design strategy, but in the Birthday Cake Castle they played an even more important role.

“This is the correct way the room should be presented. The home is Mediterranean, and the interior needs to be consistent with the exterior,” she explains.

Furniture pieces in the main seating area are grouped around the fireplace, a logical place to gather with family and friends. A second seating vignette, placed near an adjoining wall, consists of two wing chairs and a table, where the home’s residents might settle in for tea, or to play chess or backgammon.

Erdmann chose comfortable upholstered furniture, adding English antiques for a more formal feel. For balance, on the wall opposite the fireplace, she placed a Regency mahogany sideboard. Many of the antiques were supplied by The Elephant’s Foot on Antique Row in West Palm Beach.

Lamps and chandeliers are from Niermann Weeks. “The chandelier that swags either side of the fireplace are crystal and metal with a beautiful Venetian silver type of finish,” she says.

The color scheme is neutral with touches of icy blue. “A room this large needs color, but it has to be soft, which is more consistent with the formal style,” she says. “The room does not get lots of sunlight, and the icy blue brightens the room up.”

Fabrics are by Cowtan and Tout, and all the patterns are subtle, she says.

“There’s a soft pattern on the drapes, a small herringbone on one chair and a larger pattern on the wing chairs, but the room is not defined by pattern; it’s more defined by the mix of the pieces together.”

The goal, she adds, “was to be elegant. In a past showroom, I chose bold colors in the drapery fabric, to draw the eye to the view and away from the adjacent kitchen; that’s a little trick,” she says. “But this is an interior room, with no views. Even the stained glass keeps the eye inside, so the drapes are softer.”

Written for the Palm Beach Daily News, Feb. 27, 2015


 ::  Share or discuss  ::  2015-02-26  ::  Christine

a really haute ride

Thursday 26 February 2015 - Filed under Palm Beach

For a chic two-wheel ride that celebrates Italian Week Palm Beach in style, hop on the bella Benelli Classica eBike, which importer Larry Ferracci calls “an haute item.”

Benelli Classica eBike

It’s being shown from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. today and Friday at MacKenzie-Childs Palm Beach, 238 Worth Ave.

Benelli, a century-old luxury Italian brand known for its motorcycles, launched the Classica in December. For Italian Week, it’s available for test rides and for sale with a percentage of proceeds benefiting Il Circolo Palm Beach.

The Classica, which is perfect for urban streets, has a top speed of 20 mph and a range up to 40 miles. It comes in white, cream and black with natural saddle-color leather handlebar grips and seat. Its features include a lightweight lithium battery pack, with Samsung cell technology, that is concealed in the front frame. Recharging is as easy as charging a laptop.

It can be ridden as a bike without pedal-assist, or its rider can twist the shift on the grip to engage the motor and change speeds. Its LCD display shows battery capacity, speed and total distance.

“It’s a classic Milan bicycle and that’s what appeals to me,” Ferracci said. “And I like to think of riding a bike as fun.

“The last time I was in Palm Beach at the Four Seasons, I rode one of their bikes south to Manalapan. It was a nice leisurely ride and I was cruising looking around, but it took longer coming back because of 10 to 15 mile-an-hour headwinds.”

That’s when he wished he was riding a Classica electric bike with pedal assist, he said.

How does the bike work? Just like a bike. With its step-through design, you just get on and pedal. Engaging the motor is intuitive, with the dash integrated into the handlebar. From the grip, twist it on, choose the speed level, pedal and the system activates. It also has a throttle for a burst of energy.

Benelli Classica eBikes, priced at $2,100, can be drop-shipped anywhere in the United States within three or four days. For information, visit They also are available at specialty bicycle dealers, including Palm Beach Bicycle Trail Shop.

Easily maintained and serviced, “it is 98 percent a standard bicycle, with most of its components available at any bike shop,” Ferracci said. “There are only three special components: the front motor, display and battery pack; and a bike shop can call us for those parts, and we’ll send them.

“Keep air in the tires and the batteries charged, and you’ll have an enjoyable time.”

Written for Palm Beach Daily News, February 26, 2015


 ::  Share or discuss  ::  2015-02-26  ::  Christine

Building Rybovich boats a family affair

Saturday 21 February 2015 - Filed under Palm Beach

Just up the waterway from Wayne Huizenga Jr.’s marina, Rybovich, is the Michael Rybovich & Sons Boat Works in Palm Beach Gardens at 2175 Idlewild Road, where Michael and Dusty Rybovich build sportfishing boats in their family’s tradition.

At 64 feet long overall with 18 feet of beam, Lizzie Bee’s walkaround design allows for fishing all the way around the boat. It has a 360-degree center-console fishing platform with a large raised helm deck, well-appointed cabin and four staterooms. “My wife, Pat, likes it as much as I do. She did all the interior design, and is just as enthusiastic,” Larry Wilson said. At its final sea trial, Wilson said: “We went from Palm Beach to Miami and back this morning. Ran perfectly: smooth, dry, fast, fuel efficient, quiet and a great ride.”


After Huizenga Jr. bought the Rybovich Spencer boatyard in 2004, he hired Michael to head the new-construction end of the business, Michael explained.

“But when economy tanked, so did interest in new construction, and rather than fund a speculative new-construction venture, they decided to disband the company that was responsible for new construction.”

After he left Huizenga’s Rybovich, in 2011 he, with Palm Beacher Larry Wilson, acquired land owned by E&H Boat Works. Then, Michael sunk money into the rundown property, cleaning it up and rebuilding to create his new boat building, maintenance, modification and repairs company.

Family affair

Building Rybovich boats has been a family affair from its first boat, the 34-foot Miss Chevy II built for Charles Johnson in 1947, and it still is.

Dusty and Michael Rybovich, photo courtesy of Robert Holland


“In 1975 when I was 19, I was officially placed on the payroll,” Michael said. “I worked on a bottom crew. They haul, launch the boats, clean the bottoms, pull propellers, anything to do with work below the waterline.”

His son, Dusty, was born to the business. Dusty’s favorite Rybovich boat is hull No. 110, a 33-footer built at Ryco Marine in 1987. Dusty helped put new engines in it when he was in high school, he said. “Dad told me he was doing that boat’s sea trial, when mom went into labor with me.”

Like his father, he worked in the boat yard when he was in high school. “I’d come in after school and take care of all the messy jobs: painting in small areas, cleaning up, (doing) basic carpentry, digging through rotten wood, scraping barnacles.”

Undaunted, after high school, he went to Webb Institute in New York state and is now a naval architect and marine engineer. He joined his father in January 2013. “I guess being in the family business was what I’ve always wanted,” Dusty said.

Now with renovations complete, Michael Rybovich & Sons is up and running in all areas.

“We’ve done several major refits in addition to routine service and maintenance,” Michael said. “We worked a lot on our own boats and we’ll work on boats built by others, but most of our customers own one or more of our boats. I’d say we’ve worked on 20 to 25 of them.”

Custom boat builder

The boat building part of the company got underway in May 2012 with a 64-foot walkaround for Larry Wilson. It was finished summer 2014.

“Larry has been a fisherman and boat owner long enough to know exactly what he wants, and every time we’ve done work for Larry he wants something different,” Michael said. “He likes being involved in projects that push the envelope.

“This one was the largest walkaround that we’d ever built, and it had a unique propulsion system using a Volvo IPS Pod drive (a system that has forward-facing counter rotating propellers).”

How does Michael build boats compared to his father, grandfather and uncles? “I don’t want to get stuck with a particular method because we are constantly experimenting with methods of construction, combining Old World craftsmanship with the latest in weight-saving technology,” he said.

Currently, an 86-foot and a 68-foot conventional sportfishing boats are in the works.

“For our new construction business, we are a total custom-builder,” Michael said. “We can build anybody anything they want from 40 to 100 feet as long as it looks and performs like one of our boats.”

Since Dusty joined his father, designing is now digital. “We see how the boat is going to fit before we built it. It’s a great timesaver,” Dusty said.

“While each boat is completely custom, including the way it looks, we try to keep with our signature theme, but make each boat unique unto itself.”

Wilson, who has owned six Rybovich boats, has this to say: “Since 1947, the Rybovich family has been very innovative, with the tuna tower, transom door, fighting chair, and other items that are now standard for sportfishing boats.

“Rybovich boats were always the highest quality, and they were always made out of wood, which is lighter than fiberglass, and has a more elegant look. Of all the Rybovich boats built, 124 are still in use. That’s eight decades. They are works of art.

“Mike is a perfectionist, wants it right and keeps to a high standard,” he said. “He continues to build boats that ride better and perform better than other boats. They are more efficient and elegant. He builds a boat that I believe is the best.”

Currently, in addition to owning the 64-foot walkaround recently launched, Michael Rybovich & Sons’ hull No. 1, Lizzie Bee, Wilson also owns the 32-foot, Charmer, hull No. 108, built at Ryco Marine in 1985, and launched at that same time as Ruthie.

published: Palm Beach Daily News


 ::  Share or discuss  ::  2015-02-21  ::  Christine

A Waterfront Classic

Sunday 4 January 2015 - Filed under Luxury

Link to Palm Beach Daily News Story

It’s no surprise that horses played their part in Mary Jo Condren and her late husband deciding to buy a home in Palm Beach.

William Condren, after all, was part owner of two Kentucky Derby winners — Strike the Gold in 1991, and Go for Gin in 1994 — and the 1996 Preakness winner, Louis Quatorze. He also co-founded and served as director of the National Thoroughbred Association and as a trustee for the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association.

His wife took up riding again with her daughters, and in 1995, when the Condrens bought their Estate Section home at 240 Banyan Road, their daughter, Jennifer Bargas, was still in college and riding in Wellington.

“My sister, Jennifer, was involved in horseshows,” explained Elizabeth Condren. “I was finishing up college then, and Jennifer spent more time in Florida than my brother, Colin, or I.”

Their parents also made regular visits to Florida from New York.

“My father would go down to Gulfstream to watch the horses race. That was a factor in their coming to Florida,” she says.

“When my parents saw this house on Banyan, they liked it. They enjoyed the size and flow of the rooms, the view, the light airy feel — and it’s at the end of the block, so it’s quiet.”

After William Condren’s death in 2007, Mary Jo continued to live in the house but has decided she wants to spend more time at her summer home in Southampton to be closer to her daughters, who live nearby.

Accordingly, the Condrens’ four-bedroom villa — with 11,365 square feet of living space, inside and out — is listed by Cristina Condon of Sothebys International Realty. She has it priced at $21.5 million.

U-shaped floor plan

Built in 1991 on a lot measuring three-quarters of an acre, the house was developed by the Condron’s neighbors at the time, Diana and Lowry Bell, Elizabeth Condren recalls. The interiors were designed by Palm Beach decorator Scott Snyder.

With a U-shape configuration featuring north and south wings, the main house is oriented toward the west to make the most of its Intracoastal Waterway views. Rooms facing the water also look out to the pool and patio, an expansive lawn and the dock. In the waterway beyond is the northern tip of Everglades Island.

The main entry to the two-story house is on the east side, with an arrival court running the length of a raised garden. The garden lies between the main house and a two-story building that houses the three-car garage and an upstairs guest apartment with a living room, bar and two bedroom suites.

The front façade for the modified Georgian-style house features quoins at the corners, shutters at the windows and an elaborate arched surround around the front doorway. Triangular pediments pierce the roofline over the central portion of the house as well as over first-floor windows that flank the front door.

The design of the gardens is based on an axis with a central fountain and radiating walkways leading to the main house, the east building, a south covered walkway and the motor court.

Water views abound

Inside, the foyer and stair hall are quite grand, with a curved staircase and a variety of moldings. Floors here and in the main living areas are covered in marble.

The living room features a carved-stone fireplace, deep crown molding, classical surrounds around the doorways. French doors with fanlights above them lead outside to the covered loggia.

In the south wing are the kitchen, breakfast room and dining room, and in the north wing are the library and den.

Both the dining room and den have French doors fronting the loggia and with picture windows capturing views of the pool and Intracoastal. The central portions of the windows are crowned with fanlights, and all the windows set off with pilasters.

The den also has an alcove bar, a pecky-cypress coffered ceiling and a terracotta-tile floor.

The library features a hardwood floor and plantation shutters at the windows, along with custom cabinetry and paneling with decorative molding and wainscoting.

Upstairs in the north wing is the master suite, which includes a bedroom, two bathrooms, a dressing room and a sitting room with a morning bar and arched French doors opening onto a balcony. Windows in the master bedroom offer water views, and other features include crown molding, casement windows and a hardwood floor.

Also on the second floor are three en-suite guest bedrooms. In all, the property has five bathrooms and two half-baths.

‘House was fantastic’

Elizabeth Condren recalled the home as a happy one.

“When I was in college, this was a vacation house for me. We have a little back garden off the kitchen, and I’d pick up the scent of jasmine,” she said.. “The house was fantastic. I’d come with good friends, and I loved seeing everybody and hanging out by the pool.”

A Waterfront Classic photo

Higher-than-average ceilings are found throughout the house, including those in the second-floor bedrooms. Photo by Andy Frame, courtesy of Sotheby’s International Realty

A Waterfront Classic photo

The property measures three-quarter of an acre and freatures extensive gardens. Photo by Andy Frame, courtesy of Sotheby’s International Realty

A Waterfront Classic photo

A second-floor balcony overlooks the pool. Photo by Andy Frame, courtesy of Sotheby’s International Realty

A Waterfront Classic photo

Because of its U-shaped configuration, many of the rooms have views of the extensive pool area facing the water. Photo by Andy Frame, courtesy of Sotheby’s International Realty

A Waterfront Classic photo

A Palladian-style window showcase the view from the formal dining room. Photo by Andy Frame, courtesy of Sotheby’s International Realty

A Waterfront Classic photo

In the north wing, the family room directly faces the pool area. Photo by Andy Frame, courtesy of Sotheby’s International Realty

A Waterfront Classic photo

From the living room, sets of French doors with fanlights above them open onto the covered loggia. Photo by Andy Frame, courtesy of Sotheby’s International Realty

A Waterfront Classic photo

In the foyer and stair hall, a curved staircase provides a focal point. Photo by Andy Frame, courtesy of Sotheby’s International Realty

A Waterfront Classic photo

A fountain anchors the approach to the house at 240 Banyan Road. The estate is listed for sale at $21.5 million by Sothebys International Realty. Photo by Andy Frame, courtesy of Sotheby’s International Realty

A Waterfront Classic photo

The library is appointed with detailed paneling and millwork. Photo by Andy Frame, courtesy of Sotheby’s International Realty

A Waterfront Classic photo

An elaborate frontispiece, typical of the Palladian style, adorns the front fa ade. The axis of the house runs straight from the front door to pool beyond. Photo by Andy Frame, courtesy of Sotheby’s International Realty

A Waterfront Classic photo

An aerial photo looking south shows house s position in relation to the gentle curve to the Intracoastal Waterway. Photo by Andy Frame, courtesy of Sotheby’s International Realty


 ::  Share or discuss  ::  2015-01-04  ::  Christine

Get going with hybrid cycle

Sunday 4 January 2015 - Filed under Luxury

Link to original Palm Beach Daily News story

Here’s a bike that might make a perfect holiday gift. And it might be a perfect vehicle for your New Year’s resolve to get more exercise.

The GoCycle changes back and forth from your power, with manual shifting, to electric power, with gear shifting engaging automatically.

Karbon Kinetics Limited’s GoCycle G2 lets you pedal away to your heart’s content (and health), or you can choose to be completely lazy, thanks to this electric bike’s combination of two drive systems: a three-speed hub gearbox, as well as a front hub-mounted 250W motor.

First and foremost, the GoCycle electric bike is an actual bike, can be ridden as a bike and feels like a bike.

To get it going under its own steam, so to speak, just push its little red turbo button on the dashboard display on its handlebars, and you’ll zip around effortlessly.

The faster you were going when you pressed the button, the faster you’ll be propelled, although it won’t go much above 20 mph.

How far will it take you? Well, it depends on how much effort you put into it. You can ride forever under your own power; you can go up to 80 miles if you do some of your own pedaling; or you can travel a distance of 8 to 12 miles, if you don’t pedal at all, depending on the terrain.

Created in 2002 in Britain by ex-Formula One design engineer Richard Thorpe, the GoCycle’s second generation was launched in the United States at the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show in fall. The GoCycle G2 is ergonomic, environmentally friendly, elegant and fun to ride. It has a comfy saddle, and its fore-aft weight distribution, with a low center of gravity, makes it agile and responsive to ride.

How does it work? Utilizing its easy-to-use dashboard display on the handlebars, the rider can monitor the battery level; set the riding mode to city, eco, on-demand or custom; change gears; and regulate speed.

In addition, it has a trip odometer and calories-burned calculator. Also available is a Smartphone GocycleConnect app, which links to GoCycle with Bluetooth, and you can set modes that way. The app also can shut the GoCycle off, if it gets stolen.

With GoCycle, you don’t have to worry about getting into the wrong gear. The electric motor powers the front wheel, while the pedals power the rear wheel.

Either you are in command, changing the gears as you pedal along, or, when the motor is engaged, you let GoCycle intuitively change gears for you.

“What makes this bike unique, is that you can use it as a bicycle with no drag from the motor. It’s just so easy to ride. It figures out what you need and gives it to you. It’s amazing,” said Roger Moore, owner of Nautical Ventures of Dania Beach, a business that carries GoCycles.

Other features include high-tech, durable injection-molded magnesium fabrication; three-speed fully enclosed drive chain (so your clothes don’t get greasy or caught up); and interchangeable side-mounted front and rear wheels with hydraulic disc brakes. It comes in white, black and gray; and it weighs 35 pounds.

With four parts – frame, wheels, saddle – it’s technically foldable (to a dimension of 2 by 2.5 by 1 foot) and storable, so it’s ideal for yachts. Also, since it’s easily adjustable without tools, its driving position can be changed, and it can be made to fit a variety of body types, so the bike can be shared by different riders.

No special license is necessary; it can be ridden wherever a bike can be ridden.

The GoCycle, priced at $5,199, comes with a storage case, and is available at Nautical Ventures, 50 South Bryan Road, Dania Beach, where it also can be serviced. For information, call (954) 926-5250.

Accessories, including packs, mud guards and lighting, can be purchased.

“We just became dealers, and we’ve already sold a few,” Moore said. “We sell tenders, and for people with boats who want portability, it’s killer.

“We call it the ‘GoCycle smile.’ Customers, who take it for a ride, come back with big grins. It’s cool with all these intuitive features.”


 ::  Share or discuss  ::  2015-01-04  ::  Christine