There’s not a breath of wind in the humidity-soaked streets of Singapore. Even as the blue-black cumulus clouds rush in, pregnant with precipitation as they collide with skyscrapers, the air remains oddly stagnant. Eager for relief, I duck inside the Chinatown Complex Food Centre, one of the city-state’s many hawker centers (a kind of food court comprised of stainless-steel stalls).
It used to be that securing that coveted table at the hot restaurant was enough. Now L.A. haunts like E.P & L.P., Cecconi’s and recently opened Vinoteca in the Four Seasons Beverly Hills are gifting celebrities and Hollywood insiders literal keys that offer figurative membership in a secret society and unlock secret off-menu items, entry into private tastings and one-on-one mixology classes, among other perks. "It’s something very personal," says Matt Huhn, Cecconi’s guest relations manager.
The latest fitness craze contender is a workout that promises all the usual exercises combined with the fun of surfing-sound of crashing waves included. Fitness seekers use a machine called the RipSurfer X, an actual surfboard affixed atop inflatable medicine balls. Participants do surf moves-paddling, pushing up, grinding-indoors, to rock and surf music and projected images of surfers.