Photo of the day (8.13.10)

Old Gadling hand Anna Brones snapped this image in New Orleans, catching a fragment of the 2009 campaign to draft Brad Pitt to run for Mayor of New Orleans. Pitt failed to take the bait, unlike another celebrity, Wyclef Jean, who is currently running for the job of President of Haiti. Jean recently announced his intention to run for Haiti’s top office. He has been hit by scathing yet fair criticism of his qualifications.

Clearly, many celebrities who’ve gotten their public footing in entertainment ponder a jump into politics, though one wonders just how rewarding such a career move actually turns out to be for those who make the jump successfully. Would Arnold Schwarzenegger have run for Governor of California if he knew that he would be saddled with a 22 percent approval rating several years in? Isn’t making music and movies easier than battling interest groups, wacko constituents, budget deficits, and the nasty capriciousness of the 24-hour news cycle?

Got an image of Brad Pitt or his likeness somewhere? Perhaps an image of another celebrity would-be politician? Don’t be shy. Introduce it to Gadling’s Flickr pool and we might just feature it as a future Photo of the Day.

New York for sale, $35 million

It’s not as cheap as seashells, but New York is on the block for a new low price! Put up $35 million (though I’m sure there’s room to negotiate), and you could own the city free and clear. You can start smoking indoors and decide whether alternate side parking should have a future. And, snow removal will never be a concern again!

Did I mention this is New York, Dubai?

A group of 300 manmade islands has been based on real locations around the world. Grouped together, they form a living map off the coast of Dubai, inviting the wealthy to claim their territory. So far, the likes of David Beckham, Angelina Jolie (and Brad Pitt) and Rod Stewart have expressed interest. So has Michael Jackson, but I don’t think he realizes that he can’t actually set up his own laws there. Prince Albert of Monaco is said to be interested, possibly because buying one of these islands would triple the size of his country. Click to get a sense of who’s already spent some cash.

The $10 billion project began in 2003 by Dubai Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum along with Nakheel, one of the biggest real estate developers in the world. Their new “map” was completed two weeks ago. Already, Ireland, Shanghai, France and Siberia have been purchased. Along with New York, Chad, Mongolia and Saudi Arabia are open … but only if you have $20 million on hand.

Sorry Dubai, the money’s in my other coat. Maybe next time.

[Via NY Post]

[Thanks, Ron @ De La Concha, for the tip]

[Photo by Brian Sayler]

Brad Pitt to design luxury Dubai hotel

He may be a well-known actor, but according to Brad Pitt, his real passion is architecture. The Hollywood star is taking his passion to Dubai where he will be designing a five star resort, complete with hotel rooms and a leisure complex which will host flashy events and awards ceremonies. According to the property company, the complex will be “socially conscious” and a world leader in environmental sustainability.

Pitt says he has a strong belief in “environmentally friendly architecture,” but that gives rise to the following question: how environmentally friendly can a 800 room luxury resort really be? I mean, aren’t the oil tycoons, Hollywood stars and big time businessman who will be the hotel’s main clientele already putting a significant cost on the environment with their private jets and numerous automobiles?

Are these the strangest hotels on the planet?

Brad and Angelina Travel in Style on $138million Yacht

How much would you pay to travel the world in complete and total luxury? If you’re Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, and money is no object, designing a boat to fit your needs could run you $138million.

That’s the story according to Mario La Via, an Italian boat builder with Privilege Motor Yacht. Although — while he confirms the order — he hasn’t said for certain that Jolie and Pitt are the buyers.

Regardless of who’s buying the ship, it sounds very impressive. Totally 240ft in length, it’s set to have 6 en-suite cabins with marble and gold bathroom fittings, a swimming pool, a gym — even a helicopter pad — all across 3 enormous decks.

With all the adopting the pair is doing, I guess they need the space.

Hispaniola Calling

YeleSometime in say, the next three months I am planning to escape to the Caribbean and this year’s pick happens to be the island in the West Indies comprised by the two countries we know as the Dominican Republic and Haiti. I want to go to both. As much as I like digging my toes into the sand on the beach while reading the latest top-selling book on all the lists, I also take great fancy in being productive, learning while touring and lending a helping hand. Haiti isn’t a place I got ignited about visiting after watching Pitt & Jolie hang around with Wyclef Jean, I’d always wanted to go. Having a few friends that are from there, but have yet to go back and wish very little to go back has always intrigued me. The political climate is no secret to me and aside from all the negative images there is an enormous amount of culture and beauty to be found. I want to find it. In fact, I’d love to have Wyclef take me on a tour similar to the one the Brad & Angelina received and see what’s happening with Yéle and Haiti combined.

Larimar BuddhaIn regards to the Dominican Republic, I’m looking for beach, sun, fun, dance and more importantly Larimar. Ever since my eyes laid sight on the Pectolite it has become my own “precious” of sorts and I must visit the museum and the mines. I’m told a trip to the mines might change my mind about ever owning a piece of Larimar jewelry, but there is no hiding, running, or turning back now. I want to see the mines.

Yes, my agenda seems and sounds quite set right now, but I’ve got some weeks to plan and I’m opening it up for some reader recommendations. Like Neil, before he took off for Albania and pooled for some additional ideas if anyone says “don’t go” I’ll be obliged to ignore.