29 Nov2011

While Tiffany & Company (in the previous post) went all out this year with a spectacular carousel theme, Cartier just a few blocks down fifth avenue was decidedly spare, almost, boring. The windows themselves were devoid of any holiday decor. The exterior of the building was slightly gussied up, along with a giant lighted red ribbon “around” the entire building (an annual event)…

…those of you who might be into trivia might be interested by this: in the early 1900’s, a female client of Cartier fell madly in love with a strand of spectacular south sea pearls, and is said to have exchanged a huge townhouse or building on the corner of Fifth Avenue for the pearls, that building is now where the Cartier store is located. Outrageous don’t you think, almost as bad a deal as the Native Americans trading manhattan for a bunch of coins, or guns, or whatever?! While a spectacular strand of pearls today might run you close to a million dollars, the building is probably worth 100x that amount at least.

Tiffany’s almost always has rather splashy windows, and attracts a far larger crowd of sightseers and customers who are lured into purchasing a small treat of say $100-300; but Cartier still pretty much relies on the one sale a day or week of a minor ormajor bauble, but in the tens or hundreds of thousands instead… so mass appeal just isn’t their thing. :)

I am heading home as this goes to post, well-rested after a lazy week in New York, catching up with family and friends, eating our favorites foods, and enjoying the spectacular weather. More posts on the holiday once we get back home.



  1. Cathyeresera says:

    Wow! Amazing post MM.. i always find your blog Awesome and inspired me a lot! Welcome back!

    Nov 29, 2011 | 1:27 pm


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  3. vicky says:

    Silly as it seems, owning a building has more resp than owning a strand of pearl. I would have done the same thing as she did and everytime i pass by Cartier then I would know that my building and piece of land is well looked after. Everyone has different values and Cartier is not budging its style and has not succumb to mass production and economic downturns. I appreciate your sharing those great photos and insights. More power!

    Nov 29, 2011 | 7:00 pm

  4. natie says:

    have a safe flight, MM…Now, the weather is back to its usual…you brought the warmth, I’d like to believe.

    as for Cartier, a lot of times ‘less is more’–elegant, that is

    Nov 30, 2011 | 12:26 am

  5. ayla says:

    Waiting for your Thanksgiving post MM! Did you go all cray-cray in Black Friday?

    Nov 30, 2011 | 2:28 am

  6. millet says:

    i always thought i was not fond of jewelry, but that necklace in the last photo is calling me, yelling me!

    Nov 30, 2011 | 12:08 pm

  7. Paula says:

    Hi Mr. MM, would you happen to know a store or supplier where I can buy good quality flatwares and kitchen wares? Saw a dealer online named Cornerstone International. Having other options would always help. Thanks!

    Nov 30, 2011 | 9:36 pm

  8. Lambchop says:

    Those pearls are HUGE! Gorgeous though :)

    Nov 30, 2011 | 9:49 pm

  9. Sally Mathay says:

    I love those photos. Very well done. It’s my turn to show something interesting..I just saw this very funny video which I thought you and your readers might enjoy.

    Dec 1, 2011 | 3:45 am

  10. proteinshake says:

    Yes, the quiet luxury of Cartier — I like.

    Dec 1, 2011 | 9:38 am

  11. krizteene says:

    hi MM! it’s been quite a while..i’ve been very busy moving here and there and am finally settled (for now)..anyways, it’s nice to know that you’ve been well-rested after all the work you have at home. you deserve every bit of it. :-) take care on your way home.

    Dec 1, 2011 | 10:02 pm

  12. mei kwei says:

    i loved their motif – simple but elegant. I had hoped you had photographed the big red bow surrounding the whole cartier building.

    Dec 2, 2011 | 12:36 am

  13. Marketman says:

    mei kwei, the giant red “ribbon” bow on the building is in the second photo of this older post… Cartier has been doing that giant bow for many years now. Sally, thanks for that link. Paula, most branded flatware at major department stores, or second hand at estate sales…

    Dec 2, 2011 | 6:37 am

  14. moni says:

    MM, on an off-topic. Yesterday, on the flight to Shanghai, I was pleasantly surprised to find your article and photos of Pinoy Christmas food in the December issue of PAL’s Mabuhay magazine. It is a very informative and interesting read with links to the history of leche flan, ube halaya, puto bumbong, puto puti and ensaymada. Your pictures are stunning! A sequel to that article should be forthcoming considering your treasure chest of recipes and stories.

    I don’t work in the magazine but I can bring you back extra copies on my flight back to Manila from Shanghai on Dec. 7. Just let me know.

    Dec 2, 2011 | 8:15 am

  15. Marketman says:

    moni, I heard it was published, PLUS a slightly SCANDALOUS quote about my wish for this Christmas, that won’t endear me with the catholic church… hahaha. I haven’t seen it, and if you managed an extra copy or two I would greatly appreciate it as I won’t be flying them on Mabuhay class domestically this month (they don’t put the magazine in economy unfortunately on local trips)… Thanks! :)

    Dec 2, 2011 | 9:59 am

  16. lucykim says:

    Simple and elegant style.

    Dec 2, 2011 | 5:01 pm

  17. moni says:

    MM, consider it done. I will get at least 3 copies of the magazine for you on Dec. 7. The article has your photo and your name so your cover is blown. Hahaha. But it is so well done. I will send the magazines by LBC to your Cebu office address.

    Dec 2, 2011 | 8:07 pm

  18. Connie C says:

    MM, another off topic, but I want to mention that an earlier Mabuhay issue (November) had an article on zubuchon. I read it on the PAL flight from Beijing last month.

    And commenting here MAINLY, to say that the zubuchon at the prenuptial banquet last night did not disappoint! The puffed skin was still very crisp on arrival…..this after being shipped from Cebu and being served past 8:00 pm. The cargo was released past 5:30 p.m.on a 3:45 PAL flight and I did not reckon the crazy traffic during the holiday season. I sweated with the driver trying to get to the venue in time for a 7 PM event at the same time savoring the aroma that wafted from the back of the van and anxiously wondering what shape the pigs will be in after all the wait.

    We still had to wait a while more for the lechon to be served. The caterers were not advised to have available, a cleaver knife and chopping board which had to be purchased somewhere in Serendra, the venue of the affair. Both principals of the wedding are US based and had a young relative take charge of the banquet.

    While guests were looking for the sarsa ( Manila folks aren’t used to the Cebu lechon, I guess), the bride to be later approached me and said how delicious the lechon was . An American guest commented: “so pigs can fly?”

    While waiting for the rest of the lechon to be served, one was placed in the middle of the table, the pig resplendent of its beautiful and uniformly browned puffed skin, its slightly upturned snout and nicely curled tail on its hind. Again, the unprepared caterers had to place one of the three lechons on the table in half the box it was shipped in, which was not necessarily a bad thing. The box with the beautiful zubuchon logo was decent enough to find a place on the buffet table.

    Zubuchon is truly a designer pig, the skin carefully punctured so as to puff in the right places and did not look haphazardly done. And if it had come from a tanning salon, I’d say it was perfectly tanned!

    I observed the guests, some taking off strands of meat from the young ribs, discovering perhaps that the closer the meat to the bone and the seasonings, the tastier it is.

    MM, I admire and congratulate the work you have done to make zubuchon what it is, from the ordering process to the professionality of your staff, Joan, Beverly who promptly responded to my queries and concerns and of course Victor and the rest of the staff who shipped the lechons to arrive in the good shape they came in.

    My personal comments: I don’t particularly care for the lechon meat ( I just like the skin) but zubuchon is tasty and delicious it can stand without the sarsa. One also appreciates the infused herbs and seasonings better in the almost melt in the mouth tenderness of the young pig.

    But wait MM, zubuchon can not be that perfect!. The first part of the skin I tasted when I sneaked in the kitchen to get the first viewing of the unpacked zubu was a little bit salty for my taste…I think I got the part that had more of the coarse and grainier salt crystals, but that is me after being with my husband on a low salt diet and my taste buds getting something of a relative salt shock.


    Thanks MM!

    and bettyQ……. I got to taste zubuchon first!!! And you have to come to Cebu as you promised.

    Dec 4, 2011 | 7:53 am

  19. Lou Garcia says:

    ahh,really MM, why do you expect Cartier to put up more blings on their windows?:) There’s nothing that could compete with the real gems they sell inside. Besides, with all those glitters they sell all year round, Xmas for them is not a time to display something spectacular since we are awed daily by what they sell. And with a name and a reputation like Cartier, they know where they stand. I loved those Tiffany shots!!!

    Dec 5, 2011 | 4:52 am

  20. Marketman says:

    Lou, the windows at Cartier last year were more elaborate and spectacular, I gather. They just went “simpler” this year. But it also smacked of “no effort.” :) Here, a link and another link from 2010 to some previous years’ Cartier windows on Fifth, which were more festive and interesting…

    Dec 5, 2011 | 9:59 am

  21. Marketman says:

    Connie, so pleased to hear your lechons arrived in very good shape. The transit time CAN sometimes affect skin quality so it’s nice to hear when they arrive exactly as hoped.
    Thanks for the feedback, the Zubuchon crew appreciate it.

    Dec 5, 2011 | 10:10 am

  22. Ryan EscaƱan says:

    Glamorous and elegant designs of jewelry that is fit to beautiful ladies.

    Dec 5, 2011 | 3:23 pm

  23. Pam says:

    Nice post, MM. Hmm…now I can’t help wonder if you bought more from the carousel store or the beribboned one. ; )

    Dec 5, 2011 | 6:56 pm

  24. Marketman says:

    Pam, hahaha. Less is more. Or is it more is less. :)

    Dec 6, 2011 | 7:28 am


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