Archive for October, 2007

Linda Stein, R.I.P.

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WCBS News is reporting the apparent murder yesterday of Linda Stein, one time co-manager of the Ramones, who in later years became known (and was profiled by this writer) as a realtor to the stars. Amusing and abrasive in equal measure, Stein was a unique and special New York character. The city is poorer without her, though my guess is the tabloid stories to come will be more than a little rich, as sources are saying police favor the theory that she was killed by someone she knew. UPDATE: Richard J. Esposito of ABC News posts the latest on Linda.

A $23 million Vera Wang

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The New York Observer reports today that fashion designer Vera Wang has bought an apartment at 740 Park from… herself.

Looking Down on Tina Brown

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Welcome to Tina Brown and Sir Harry Evans’ nightmare — a rendering of the new condo going up at 441 East 57th Street, on the site of what used to be composer Cy Coleman’s townhouse. That’s the garden of the Brown-Evans maisonette to the right. Brown and Evans famously sued to stop it, but the developers are now touting its glories as “the unequivocal choice for Manhattan’s most sophisticated and privileged international and domestic residents and visitors,” in other words, people just like Evans and Brown. For more, check out this press release

Papa Don’t Preach

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There a fascinating story on the coverage of antiquities issues by several major American newspapers at savingantiquities.org. The piece also includes a quote from the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s director that made me laugh as it seems to speak directly to my latest project, an unauthorized history of the museum, which has done everything under the sun to obstruct my research. “At the National Press Club in Washington last April,” Roger Atwood writes, “Philippe de Montebello urged investigative reporters to look into the practices at big museums like his own. ‘Be skeptical toward what museums’ spokespersons say,’ he said. ” … Continue reading

Shiny Happy Bowery

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Curbed declares “The Death of the Bowery.” (View of the former CBGB block of the Bowery at Bond Street courtesy of racked.com and curbed.com)

Sprecken sie deutsch?

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Then you may want to watch this Spiegel Online video about luxury apartments in Manhattan.

Ruby Ralph

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Ron Mwangaguhunga at FishbowlNY just called Genuine Authetic: The Real Life of Ralph Lauren “a smooth, critical tonic to all that media ass-kissing going on over Mr. Lifshitz” on the 40th (ruby) anniversary of Polo Ralph Lauren.

Memory Motel

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The New York Observer has just published my reminiscence of living on Bond Street back in the day. My duplex loft there cost $200 a month. Eat your heart out, Ricky Martin. Also in the Observer,740 Park gets a mention in an item about Ross school founder and Time-Warner widow Courtney Sale Ross.

Little Big Man

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Speaking of the depressing decline of American glossy magazines (see this link and the post just below), as the hype over Ralph Lauren‘s 40th Anniversary builds to a cacophonous crescendo, with more mags paying cover-tribute obeisance to his advertising budget, er, fashion consequence, than ever before (since at least 2002), I hope I’ll be excused if I take this opportunity for a little egregious self-promotion of my own (ad budget= $0). My biography of the American designer, Genuine Authentic: The Real Life of Ralph Lauren, is still in print five years after it was first published. It’s the book the … Continue reading

Bile appeal

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This week’s New York magazine attempts a psycho-social analysis-cum-hit job on Nick Denton‘s addictive blog Gawker (where I was once guest-editor). What’s missing is any attempt to explain its considerable appeal to those who are not members of the striving media underclass. Gawker’s voice is indeed often bilious, immature, belittling, disrespectful and critical-to-a-fault, and it is also wildly uneven, but it fills a gaping void in the media universe that once was a crowded niche. As glossy magazines have sold their souls to the powers-that-be and even the powers-that-wannabe, the desire for a rude, uncontrolled, unafraid voice like Gawker’s became … Continue reading

Back in the ‘hood

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Someone was stabbed and killed last night on the Greenwich Village street where I lived until about a year ago. Which reminds me that a Washington Square Park drug dealer named Ringo was stabbed and killed there shortly after I first arrived back in the mad bad late 1980s. That night, the dogs howled at the scent of blood. I wonder if they howled again last night. And I wonder what all the new million-dollar-condo dwellers nearby are thinking this morning. (image courtesy of Gothamist)

Shall We Sundance?

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The Sundance catalog includes 740 Park in its “as the sun wanes & leaves fall reading collection,” alongside books by Zadie Smith, Antoine de Saint-Exupery, W. Somerset Maugham, P.G. Wodehouse, Haruki Murakami and Dennis Lehane. You can order them here.