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The American Caliban

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I believe the Devil is in the details also. [Feb. 8th, 2009|06:09 pm]
The American Caliban
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From today's Los Angeles Times Magazine I bring you some pullquotes from an article about the Pelican Hill Resort in Newport Coast. The whole article is worth reading: Heaven is in the Details
Marie Friedlander, Certified YogaGolf Instructor
“Breathe through your nose,” says Friedlander in smooth, even tones. High atop the course at the Pacific View Tee, three middle-aged male golfers stand barefoot on mats with their arms stretched overhead and palms together. “Become aware of your stance. Stack your spine. Stare at your drishti.” The two-hour session concludes with the men remarking how much more flexible and relaxed they feel. One golfer, who had complained of lower back pain, heads to a canvas tent, where his swing is videotaped. He compares it with a previously taped swing playing on a nearby laptop. He smiles.

I'm not sure how a 5000-year-old Indian religious practice works with the conspicious-consumption ritual sport of the American executive, but I bet both can be done pompously. A brilliant move, though; now they can sell yoga hours to the men and not just the women. —Ed.
As for the attention to detail, it’s as if all the veteran hospitality professionals brought on board sat in one room and asked themselves, What detail would I like to add? What would contribute to the perfect experience? That’s why there are five types of coffee in each villa, a choice of soaps and Villeroy & Boch china; why no guest will ever have to request toothpaste, a razor or shaving gel; and why such touches as orchids in the sitting rooms and expansive patios with chaise lounges and tables contribute to the feeling that you’re staying at a close friend’s vacation home. The details go beyond the guest rooms: Risotto is finished in a 28-inch wheel of Parmesan and served in individual silver dishes; the spa features temperature-controlled beds and a waiting room full of art books; and the lobby is a study in opulent minimalism.

(The print edition has a photo of a chef spooning a saffron-rich risotto into a hollow that has been cut into an entire wheel of parmigiano. If there is a purpose here other than excess for its own sake, I'd love to hear it. —Ed.)

(Also, the phrase "opulent minimalism" deserves an award or a terrible punishment, probably both. —Ed.)
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: eyeteeth
2009-02-09 02:25 am (UTC)
I guess if the lobby just has some big gold blocks lying around for people to use as benches that would be opulent minimalism. I wish my close friends had vacation homes with expansive patios and five types of coffee in each villa.
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[User Picture]From: substitute
2009-02-09 02:38 am (UTC)
Next time you're here, you can sit in my small- to medium-sized patio and have up to 3 kinds of coffee.
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[User Picture]From: eyeteeth
2009-02-09 02:43 am (UTC)
That sounds good! Maybe I'll bring one of those cheesehead hats Packers fans wear and we can serve risotto out of it.
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[User Picture]From: lele
2009-02-09 02:34 am (UTC)
i couldn't read it all because i started to tear up and worry... where exactly is this? what piece of beautiful, natural land did they tear apart to build this? wasn't that land protected? or is this where the dump used to be?
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[User Picture]From: lele
2009-02-09 02:37 am (UTC)
"philanthropist and conservationist Donald Bren" ???!!!???
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[User Picture]From: substitute
2009-02-09 02:38 am (UTC)
"conservationist" bahahahahahahaha
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[User Picture]From: lele
2009-02-09 02:41 am (UTC)
that makes me want to scream.

(does donald bren own the LA times or something?! wtf)
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[User Picture]From: scythrop
2009-02-09 03:06 am (UTC)

Penance is in the broad strokes.

Well, he did (admirably or not) bankroll the admirable Bren School.

Nothing will ever excuse the line "Our valets are like Michael Phelps" however. (Or anything the Irvine Company has done in recent decades.)
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[User Picture]From: substitute
2009-02-09 04:12 am (UTC)

Re: Penance is in the broad strokes.

I do hope the valets are constantly baked on really good pot, though. It's the least we can do for them.
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[User Picture]From: scythrop
2009-02-09 04:54 am (UTC)

Re: Penance is in the broad strokes.

Good point. It leads me to imagine a dreamworld where caddies lace the coke with beta blockers and statins for clients users guests who tip well.
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[User Picture]From: springheel_jack
2009-02-09 07:36 pm (UTC)
"Yoga golf."
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[User Picture]From: substitute
2009-02-10 01:26 am (UTC)
That is what caught my eye. And a picture of the instructor doing some yoga-ish maneuver with foot way up in the air, while balanced on...

...a golf club.
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