A ‘Creative Persons Utopia’ in the Dominican Republic?

Travel Blog  •  Jim Benning  •  03.20.06 | 12:08 AM ET

Last December, we pointed out a New York Observer profile of Newsweek International editor Fareed Zakaria, noting that he and several other celebrities, including musician Moby and interviewer Charlie Rose, were involved in a land purchase in the Dominican Republic to build some sort of utopian community for artists and writers. It was all rather vague, and we wondered whether the project was still alive. Now comes confirmation in the March 20 issue of the New Yorker, in a feature story not available online, that just such a project is in the works.

It’s the brainchild of Manhattan money manager Boykin Curry, who has called it a Creative Persons Utopia. He and a collection of invitees have bought beachfront property at a spot called Playa Grande for $50 million. Zakaria, Rose and Moby, among others, are involved, and architect Richard Meier has agreed to handle the designs.

In a pitch letter, Curry wrote, “We are going to keep it Bohemian, and not filled with dentists who got lucky in the stock market.”

Writer Ben McGrath visited the spot with Curry and buzzed around in a helicopter.

He writes: “As Curry elaborated on his vision, it emerged that the utopia he had in mind was a twenty-first-century, jet-setting variety, in which golf, a game he does not play, could be used to subsidize an artists’ colony and other noble pursuits…He imagined a classical Athenian village—updated—in which four-star restaurants and art galleries could share street space with locally run fish shacks and pool halls; with great public plazas, where Op-Ed columnists like David Brooks and Thomas Friedman might gather to discuss anti-terrorism strategy with Zakaria and Rose, and then join Moby and his friend Michael Stipe for a concert on the beach, followed by a nightcap with Mathew Barney, the ‘Cremaster’ artist, observing the migration of humpback whales, headed east to spawn near Samaná.”

There’s nothing like relaxing on a tropical beach, watching the sun go down, and then debating a little anti-terrorism strategy, right?

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