Inasmuch as the world needs its heroes, it needs more personal indulgences. We aspire to new experiences, we wonder at exquisite finery, and some with an inquisitive eye, find much to admire in what is exceptional among the ordinary. Indulgences are not reserved for a privileged class, they are not out of reach, and there is no one to say where we might take our pleasures. This is a catalogue of indulgences, a compendium of experiences and artifacts, extravagances and simple pleasures. Among its undiscriminating pages is something for everyone but each nonetheless covetable.
(TOP LEFT TO RIGHT) TOUGH LOVE A Personal Trainer at Gold’s Gym will tell you that it’s not about a six-pack, and shame on infomercials that try to sell you one a million times over. Six-packs (and calves) are hereditary anyway. Try as you may, if they aren’t there now they won’t be there later, and regardless of how many sit-ups you whine through. We say, Flaunt what you’ve got, Baby. Better the best of you. Gold’s personal trainers, at more than 500 locations nationwide, see to it that your goals are reasonable and achievable before putting you through any unnecessary grunts. A one-hour session begins at $40 per. Towels are $1. Find a Gold’s Gym near you; www.goldsgym.com
COMFORT FOOD The Big Bopper at Hut’s Hamburgers is… well, we really couldn’t tell you. Apropos to the best kept secret in Austin, Texas, James C. Hut, Hut’s Hamburgers proprietor, only briefly went on record to assure us that Hut’s burgers are the best burgers anywhere. So, between you and me, this isn’t just a burger, it’s the Burger, the one that all others aspire to. Next time you have a craving, skip the Burger King and hop a flight to Austin. Same-day round-trip direct flights from SFO to Austin Bergstrom International can be had for as low as $339 per traveller; a Big Bopper is $3.25; napkins are free.
FOOD FOR THE COMFORTABLE Caviar, the worldwide paramount of Haute Cuisine, far outranks its companions on your local gourmet food store’s shelves. Traditionally, the designation caviar belongs specifically to wild sturgeon row of a species found in the Caspian Sea. Caviar varieties, in accord with their designations and quality (based on flavor, size, consistency, and color) can cost as much as $18,000 USD per kg. Other “caviars” include salmon roe, which is akin to eating drift seaweed, and that of whitefish, paddlefish, and the too-sad-to-consider beluga. The best we found, and in consideration of its price is, 28 g (1 oz.) for $74.25 of white sturgeon belonging to various waters, but sadly not to the Caspian. Order online from www.gourmetfoodstore.com for guaranteed freshness and overnight delivery.
A TRIAL SEPARATION Even the most tightly knit of couples need space. A custom-made California King-sized bed from McKlosky Airflex, about six feet by seven feet wide, may very well be the cure for America’s climbing divorce rate. This behemoth, baring any jarring sleep disorders, will keep you and your partner at arms length and oblivious to one another all night long and refreshed for AM recreations. For 10 years McKlosky Airflex has tailored beds for snugglers and separatists alike. Twin sets begin at $700 and are available exclusively from the manufacturer.
A LITTLE SUPPORT The Legends Opulence Pillow offers so much support that you’ll soon be asking it for advice. Rest your head on the LOP. Now toss it to the corner of the room, because this is the kind of luxury none of us deserves. However, if you borrowed your LOP from a friend, relative, or co-worker then pick it right up and enjoy a face full of 356 thread-count pure cotton and silk casing and 600-700 wt. Ultimate Platinum Hungarian White Goose down. In all truth and were you a contortionist, you could sleep curled up in that corner on this pillow all year long without complaint. Find the Legends Opulence at www.companystore.com (from $250 per pair).
THE FIRST CUT Why not fresh cut flowers on Tuesdays? Who is responsible for designating them as for special occasion indulgences only? They aren’t especially expensive. A handful of daisies will set you back a mere $3 at your local grocer, and cared for properly they’ll last a full week. Roses can be a steal at $9.99 per dozen (careful of the thorns though, these vendor have to cut corners somewhere). By our way of thinking, any day is occasion enough to give a hydrangea a home. Call Robert’s Flowers of Hanover (NH) to arrange for the weekly delivery of assortments tailored to your tastes.
A NICE SIT-DOWN Ordinary objects are often products of extraordinary efforts, which is to say that good design is no mean trick. Things of beauty that are also things of purpose are rare. In 1946, Charles and Ray Eames impressed upon us their opinion that form and function are interdependent and each is fundamental to all we create. The silhouette of the Eames Molded Plywood Chair is as graceful as its frame is accommodating as it is ingeniously engineered. The Eames’s used a bicycle pump and variously sized inflatable bladders to compress layers of plywood into distinctive shapes. Today, more than three decades since the last chair was manufactured in 1957, Herman Miller acquired rights to reproduce the icon as it was originally conceived.
A BLANK CANVAS Mohawk Paper Mill’s premium Superfine sheet is best in its class, something at once indulgent and accessible, exquisite and accommodating, a blank canvas that gives life to enduring ideas. The Superfine archive ensures that such covetables as what you hold now in your hands will endure.