Archive for November, 2006

Giving ’til it hurts

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Give it up for Contribute, a new magazine devoted to philanthropy which has given your correspondent a new column called Scene. It’s about the social side of the giving game, and debuts in the December issue. My philanthropy? Previewing it here: It’s called Benefit Hell. It would be a hell of a world if we couldn’t make philanthropy fun… or make a little fun of philanthropy.

Village Under Siege Pt. 2

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Finally caught up with my pal Jay McInerney’s obit for the Upper East Side and he got it half-right. But I think the real story’s not the death of the UES; it’s the plague of roaches newly nesting Downtown. Just before my wife and I sold our place off Washington Square and moved to a landmark artistic enclave near Central Park this summer, a ticky-tacky cell-block-like condo on our corner was selling out before the windows were in at prices that boggled the mind. That played a big part in our decision to list: and lucky for us, we managed … Continue reading

Gold(berger) Standard

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In the new issue of Bergdorf Goodman Magazine (out today), The New Yorker’s architecture critic, Paul Goldberger, lists his ten favorite new buildings in New York. No, your cheesy Chelsea condo tower isn’t among them.

Corrections

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On page 59 of 740 Park, there is a reference to the Bank of the United States, which failed in 1930. It had no connection with the institution of the same name founded in Philadelphia in 1791. On page 86, Abby “Babs” Rockefeller is referred to as John D. Rockefeller, Jr.’s sister, and her husband, David Milton, as his brother-in-law. In fact, Babs was Rockefeller’s only daughter, making Milton his son-in-law. And on page 494, Marie Douglas is alternately identified as the second and then the third wife of United Technologies chairman George David. He has had only two wives … Continue reading

Spy Masters Spreak Freely

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Spy co-founders Graydon Carter and Kurt Andersen and their Boswell, George Kalogerakis, engage in a gloriously self-deprecating BG Conversation in the Holiday issue of Bergdorf Goodman Magazine (out later this week). You can read it here. Its even got the Page Six seal of approval.

Beautiful Fall, Great Book, Lousy Title

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The Beautiful Fall: Lagerfeld, Saint Laurent, and Glorious Excess in 1970s Paris is, hands down, the best book ever on contemporary fashion. Unlike the cheeky roman a clefs that have such currency, it’s non-fiction and courageous: none of the names have been changed (and what names!!!). Which, alas, is why it’s no surprise that it’s gotten next to no attention from the fashion press, for whom protecting their own from inconveniences like the truth is priority number one. But what’s worse, what’s really depressing beyond words, is that it’s gotten precious little notice from the non-fashion press. Chanel’s brilliant designer, … Continue reading

Sock Puppetry Will Get You (Almost) Everywhere

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What a way to start your day (and a brand-new blog)! I woke to the news from gawker.com that I’ve got quite a creative detractor [or two] at 740 Park. All I can say is, anonymous negative pejoratives are the highest form of flattery. Oh, and Janet Maslin’s Times review also said, “The curb appeal of all this is clear. The reader’s role is that of designated ogler; the writer’s job is to celebrate wealth, trace bloodlines back to the Mayflower and savor schadenfreude… Outside the work of Edith Wharton or Jane Austen, it’s rare to find such brazen speculation … Continue reading

“History via the Social Register”

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“A history of wealth lies in these walls,” says Canada’s Financial Post of 740 Park, which “tells the story of the building and its fascinating roster of residents. In doing so, [Gross] has also related an economic history of the United States. An interesting idea… 740 Park is fun to read.”

“The meat of novels and movies. And myths.”

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David Patrick Columbia’s New York Social Diary celebrates the publication of 740 Park in paperback. “Michael Gross’ book,” the web site says, “is fascinating, because aside from his respectful reportage on the architectural plans for the completed building, he tells you the stories of those who lived in the apartments, right up to today. All rich people, in one degree or another, well-gotten and ill-gotten gains; family sagas, dark tales of woes, occasionally happier moments and the complexity of the Family Unit, the meat of novels and movies. And myths.” Then Columbia reports on one of those happier moments, a … Continue reading