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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Bubble Watch: $3333 Sundaes and $125 Martinis Are All the Proof You Need

Posted By on Thu, Apr 17, 2014 at 2:00 PM

click to enlarge TINHOUSE.COM

If you want proof beyond your own intuition (and possible schadenfreude-smeared hopes), that the tech bubble can hold no more air, you could look to a Valleywag article which notes that as prominent tech stocks decline, the reaction in Silicon Valley is growing panicky as investors try to claim that down is actually up. Wall Street doesn't seem to approve of those 44 percent of all Twitter accounts never having tweeted, but the company's defenders say that's just the price of their "long-term vision." Ruh-roh?

As less abstract proof that the tech boom has entered its High Decadence phase --like a red supergiant star that's depleted all its hydrogen and is about to go nova -- Three Twins Ice Cream in Napa is drawing renewed attention to the $3333 sundae (which has technically been available for years), and the St. Regis is now serving a $125 cocktail.

The sundae involves syrups made from three rare ports that date back a long time, like season-one-of-Mad Men days, comes with a spoon from the 1850s, and may be accompanied by a cellist if you order it 24 hours ahead. One-third of the cost is donated to Napa Land Trust. For its part, the martini is made with Nolet's Reserve Dry Gin, which is made at the Netherlands' oldest distillery and retails for $700. Whether it's garnished with a condor egg on a narwhal tusk in lieu of a humble olive on a pick, or if the hotel is even pretending to donate some of the take to a cause as some kind of douchiness-offset credits, they're not telling.

It could all be P.R., and mere coincidence. Of course, it's possible that nobody will ever order such things -- and Three Twins' office told me today that nobody has yet shelled out $3333 for the sundae. But for a culture hellbent on solving only the problems of being 25 and filthy rich, it seems as though "If you build [this cocktail], they will come" is the guiding ethos. There is always yet another upward echelon, and next year we could be talking about a $5,000 burger studded with gold leaf and what that means for the still-smoking tech bubble. But as with 1928 and 1999, it's very hard to see the end, even when people are already wiping sweat off their brows.

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Pete Kane

Pete Kane

Pete Kane is a total gaylord who is trying to get to every national park before age 40


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