I FELT MORE THAN A TWINGE OF NOSTaLGIA AS I READ THIS month’s feature on pilots who fly small planes, often their own. In “The Sky Is the Limit,” writer Stephen Sawicki talked with some of these men and women who enjoy the freedom and peace they get looking at the world from the vantage point of 5,000 feet up. And their comments brought back a flood of memories of my father.
My dad learned to fly in the Army Air Corps during World War II. During my childhood, he was part owner of a floatplane that he and his buddies used mostly to fly into remote spots to enjoy fishing or hunting. Of course, that meant we took a lot of family vacations at lakes with names I have forgotten and where a cabin with indoor plumbing was a rarity. But at age ten, being in the wilderness can be exciting.
Later, the family graduated to a Piper Cherokee, a plane flown by two of the people in our story. Now we could go places that actually attracted other visitors. Sometimes we traveled for vacations; other times I remember going only for lunch. But it always felt like an adventure. It really never dawned on me that I hadn’t flown in a commercial jetliner until I was in college, when friends and I flew to Nassau for spring break. All during that flight I was really nervous, mainly because I couldn’t actually see the pilot, who, of course, wasn’t my father. I suppose the fact that we landed in the middle of a torrential rainstorm didn’t add to the overall first experience.
At any rate, for this, our first-ever luxury living issue, I really enjoyed getting to know some of the individuals who climb into the cockpit to combine travel with their own personal sense of style, exploration and just plain fun.
But the words “luxury living” mean different things to different people. To New Canaan resident Marie Bodman, it undoubtedly includes the upscale watches sold by her company, Breitling, a name now synonymous with opulence and movie stars like George Clooney and John Travolta. Writer Ed Kiersh caught up with Marie at her Wilton offices and in “Woman to Watch” gives us the inside scoop on what it’s like to run a company that sells male “fashion statements” for between $40,000 and $150,000, and whose sales have soared an estimated 30 percent in recent years.
And don’t overlook our feature on collecting art, another field where individual tastes run in many different directions. But whether you enjoy the work of cutting-edge contemporary artists or appreciate more traditional pieces, there is a way to maximize what you can afford. In “The Art of Buying Art,” Jane Kendall talks to the experts — and learns that education and guidance are two indispensable elements for any would-be collectors.
All of this plus the opening of the Glass House, a look at the martini craze and Mark Branca’s “Postscript” thoughts on what really constitutes luxury living in 2007 make this issue special.
Luxury is fun, however you define it. Enjoy!