In any timeline of luxury hospitality, the original Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York, which was completed in 1931, stands tall. For more than three decades, it literally was the world’s tallest and largest hotel, with a towering, delicious history: Its very inception was the result of a fierce feud between two branches of the Astor family. Renowned for its galas and philanthropic spectacles, the Waldorf Astoria was home to Herbert Hoover and Frank Sinatra. By midcentury, the iconic property, handpicked by Conrad Hilton, was being managed—then owned—by Hilton Hotels; in 2006, the hotel became the flagship for the Hilton sub-brand that bears its venerable name. Now, with the Manhattan property in the midst of a six-year renovation (its reopening is expected in 2023), the brand has broken ground again, both literally and figuratively—this time in Miami. In a nod to its indelible name and past, the project, designed by Carlos Ott and Sieger Suarez, will be tallest residential tower south of New York City. In addition, a less tangible but no less significant marker has been laid down: Developer PMG announced a partnership with leading U.S.-regulated cryptocurrency platform FTX to accept cryptocurrency for purchasing residences at the Waldorf Astoria Residences Miami (and at PMG’s E11even Hotel & Residences). The developer is the first in the United States to accept cryptocurrency for pre-construction condominium deposits. With great fanfare, PMG and FTX hosted a real estate and cryptocurrency roundtable event at the Waldorf Astoria Residences Miami sales gallery, led by FTX’s vice president of business development Avinash Dabir. This announcement represents a mutually beneficial synergy encompassing FTX’s first entry into the real estate market, further establishing PMG as a trailblazer in the real estate industry, and FTX as an innovator in the cryptocurrency financial services space.

The first two things you realize about Bruce Turkel when you meet him is that he’s haimish—one of those nearly untranslatable Yiddish words that means a mixture of warmth, familiarity and unpretentiousness—and that he’s a talker. The founder of Turkel Brands—he’s also a motivational speaker and author—arrives to the table of conversation voraciously. But if Turkel is living his bliss, his new book—Is That All There Is?—came about from conversations he’s had that reflect a pervasive sense of unfulfillment and unease, even among those who seem, by all appearances, to be successful. Turkel talked to SFBW about purpose, passion and pay. And singing. Here’s a good place to start, given your advertising and branding expertise. I’m an avid Mad Men fan, and your book made me think of Don Draper remarking, “I was raised in the '30s; my dream was indoor plumbing.” This showed that even then, more than 50 years ago, he was out of step with what fulfilled people. Even the Peggy Lee song that shares the title of your book, “Is That All There Is?,” was written in the 1960s. I have found that what you are saying is exactly the zeitgeist of our times. For anyone who has some degree of success, you think, what right do I have to be unhappy with this? My grandfather came from Poland, and if I would have said, I don’t find my job fulfilling, he wouldn’t have even understood the language I was speaking, even though he spoke English by the time I was born. He could not have conceived of it. I pretty much have learned that there’s only around six acceptable careers, for those with an immigration background: accounting, architecture, law, medicine, teaching and business—and that was it. You couldn’t do anything else, because what kind of job was that? What right do I have to complain? There are people who can’t feed their families. And in researching your book, you found this nagging dissatisfaction to be ubiquitous? As you get closer to self-actualization, then you start to get these feelings. Every person I spoke to—and I interviewed about 50 people, and profiled 14 of them in the book—every person has this issue, and every person looks to different ways to deal with it. I thought, mistakenly, when I started, that I’d be talking to people in their 70s and 80s, but I kept getting referred to younger and younger people who were successful, who were saying, “Yeah, but now what?” What’s the way out of what can be a very depressing trap? I think there’s just this enormous sense of, there’s got to be something else, I need to do something else. And based on what modern society gives us, and based on what science has taught us, a lot of the old rules don’t work. If you are spiritual or religious, and that works for you, fantastic, but I didn’t find a lot of people who said that that was the panacea for them. Rather, what mattered to them were the three Ps: purpose, passion and pay. They didn’t express it in these terms, but those were the patterns. The obvious one, pay, does not necessarily mean money. It could be “attaboys” or being creative, seeing an idea to fruition. Purpose is basically, why are we here? And passion is, what is it that turns you on? What is it that matters? And the people who find a combination of those things are the people who are the happiest.