Well, we've made it about a week into October before the ritzy department stores started rolling out the obscenely expensive holiday fare, and Neiman Marcus, everyone's favorite peddler of totally unnecessary gifts—$100K Versailles chicken coop, anybody?—is leading the charge, having unveiled yesterday its annual holiday Fantasy Gifts guide. In previous years, this esteemed and gloriously mockable index has included $1.5M Dale Chihuly Pool Sculpture Installations custom-made for the swimming pool and $75K yurts outfitted with pillows made from 18th-century tapestries and hand-made crystal chandeliers. In its 87th holiday catalog? Oh, you know, a $150K "Bespoke Global Falconry Companion", a Neiman Marcus Aston Martin, a $2.64M outdoor entertainment set-up, and—the perfumed scented clouds part, a warm glow suffuses the scene—a single night at The Philip Johnson Glass House in New Canaan, Conn., which can be had for $30K.
Johnson's 1949 Glass House is not just another utterly beautiful, privacy-eschewing glass residence, it's the modernist icon that made Connecticut a hotspot for architectural minimalism and a structure that became the textbook definition of perfect form and proportion. Johnson and his longtime partner, art critic and curator David Whitney, lived at the weekend retreat for 58 years, cultivating a pristinely edited collection of art and midcentury furniture, so what Neiman Marcus has on offer is undeniably an incredible opportunity, though at $30,000 for one night (plus the opportunity to invite 10 friends over for dinner), it's totally debatable whether this buy is anything approaching a value. That said, there's a good cause involved: all the proceeds of the purchase are siphoned directly to the National Trust for Historic Preservation.