Equinox Locations Sued for Not Paying Rent, and Other News

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Multiple Equinox locations are facing multimillion-dollar lawsuits for not paying rent.

Is the rent too damn high? Equinox seems to think so. Multiple locations of the luxury fitness chain have reportedly been sued by landlords for millions in unpaid rent, taxes, and utilities. Among the offenders are Equinox Orchard Street, Wall Street, and West Village, but other locations are even reneging on rent deferral agreements that would put off payments until 2022. While a number of independent gyms and yoga studios did close during the pandemic, Equinox seems to be doing fine despite towering SoulCycle debts. Perhaps this is because the chain is backed by Related Group, which was recently valued at more than $60 billion. All locations where the company is in arrears are still open. 

The watch marketplace Chrono24 exceeds $1 billion valuation with a recent funding round. 

Chrono24, a digital marketplace for new and used watches, announced that it raised $117 million in a funding round that valued the online vendor at $1 billion. Attracting investments from Aglaé Ventures, the technological appendage of LVMH, Chrono24 is capitalizing on the shift to a secondhand market in the timepiece industry where sales are exceeding its premium counterpart. The recent funding round was spearheaded by equity firm General Atlantic, with participation from Aglaé Ventures and other longtime investors, with the total investment in Chrono24 above $234 million. The timepiece retailer notes that it will direct its fresh cash flow to spur growth and enlist new talent.  

Urs Fischer’s wax sculptures are burning inside the new Bourse de Commerce in Paris.

In a thematic study of impermanence and metamorphosis, Swiss artist Urs Fischer’s series of wax sculptures in the rotunda of the Bourse de Commerce are burning. The exhibition comprises Fischer’s redesigned life-size replica of the “abduction of the sabine women,” and an effigy of artist Rudolf Stingel. Dotted with chairs ranging from an African stool to an airplane seat to those inspired by collection in the Musée du Quai Branly, Fischer is crafting a dialogue between the grounded ornaments and the marouflaged canvas on the dome and building a narrative of creative destruction through the transformation of chiselled facades into formless puddles. The ephemeral forms were lit from the onset of the exhibition and will continue to melt until year’s end.

Elon Musk’s SpaceX is preparing to launch a giant satellite that will play ads in the sky.

Scheduled for a 2022 release, Elon Musk’s SpaceX is gearing up to launch a giant billboard satellite into the sky. The space company is partnering with Canadian startup Geometric Energy Corporation (GEC) to encapsulate the satellite within a Falcon 9 rocket, allowing the device to untether itself from its casing before the projectile hits the moon. Both people and companies can purchase up to five tokens through cryptocurrencies to broadcast their logo and other content on the floating screen: these tokens affect the placement, color, brightness, and duration of each pixel. The satellite’s size, ad capacity, environmental impact, and energy consumption are uncertain. “I’m trying to achieve something that can democratize access to space and allow for decentralized participation,” says GEC CEO and co-founder Samuel Reid. “Hopefully, people don’t waste money on something inappropriate, insulting or offensive.”

A Miami condo has forced residents to evacuate after being deemed structurally unsound. 

A condo building located in Miami has forced its residents to evacuate after being deemed architecturally unfit. According to local officials, the building failed its 40-year structural recertification and an inspection by the Building Department recorded “the columns to be structurally insufficient.” The building’s 100+ residents scrambled to evacuate overnight following the new, with city officials aiding the search for shelter at local hotels. Although the building is slated for a thorough examination after it’s empty and secure, the return date for residents is still unclear.  

1stdibs is breaking into the crypto market by launching an online platform for NFTs.

Soon after an IPO valued 1stdibs at roughly $750 million, the luxury e-commerce marketplace has launched a platform for non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Similar to its furniture marketplace, the platform will opt for a tech-driven approach that will curate and create NFT offerings and related content. “As a technology leader, the introduction of NFTs to our offering is a natural alignment for us, and the auction-style platform we’ve revealed reflects our investment in the NFT movement and the future of the art market,” 1stdibs CEO David Rosenblatt said in a statement. The platform, which is invitation-only for now, will host semi-monthly auctions in its initial phase. It kicks off with a debut group exhibition called “Portals” that’s curated by UK–based digital artist Lee Mason (aka Metageist). “We’re excited about the opportunity ahead of us, as luxury design continues to move online,” continues Rosenblatt.

A recent University of Chicago study suggests that big cities can reduce depression.

Researchers from the University of Chicago have wrapped up a study that suggests living in large urban cities can enhance well-being, concluding that diverse socioeconomic networks and varied environments can mitigate depression. The discovery forms part of a wider research project that analyzed human operations within metropolitan areas. In order to action the findings, the authors suggest allocating more mental health resources to smaller cities while fostering social interactions in bigger cities. They’re also preparing to focus on the effect of neighborhoods on depression by studying green spaces. “It all fits to produce the main result of the paper: That the incidence of depression is actually lower on average in larger cities,” says co-author Luís Bettencourt. “Not only that, but we can predict the quantitative magnitude of the effect based on bringing together the theory of urban networks with its effects on depression.”

Today’s attractive distractions:

Thought hard seltzer was dead? Pepsi is mixing up a Mountain Dew flavor.

The Evel Knievel Museum is bringing the daredevil’s antics to Las Vegas.

Scientists are comparing a newly discovered pterosaur fossil to a “dragon.”

Beyoncé is reportedly hard at work building a hemp and honey farm at home.

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