Archive for January, 2008

Baby on Board

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The head of the co-op board at 740 Park, Charles Porter Stevenson Jr. and his wife, former New York Times reporter Alex Kuczynski are having a baby, sort of, according to Liz Smith. Actually, someone else is having it for them. And La Liz does not reveal if the zygote is comprised of either Kucz ovum or Steven-sperm, but never mind! Why split haploid cells? Congratulations are in order. As are snarky comments from the Kucz Krew at Gawker.

Foreverland

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My latest column for Contribute Magazine (Jan/Feb 2008 issue) is about the quest for secular immortality. (All you pdf-phobics be warned: it’s a pdf file and takes a moment to load.)

Boney Morony

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The excavation of Washington Square Park has turned up a new horror: skeletons. A curbed commenter wonders if they are chicken bones left behind by one of the park’s uprooted denizens. I am thinking it sounds more like the opening scene of a novel. Anyone want to read 666 Washington Square????

Better Than a Mosler Safe

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Recession? Not on Park Avenue. The low-floor duplex apartment (#4/5A) at 740 Park Avenue owned by the estate of the late Mosler Safe heiress Janet Mosler Coleman has been sold for what one city broker describes as the “ridiculous” price of $32 million. The building’s original “Jewish” apartment, the first one ever occupied by a Jew, that is, albeit one who postured as an Episcopalian, Col. William Schiff, head of the Schiff-Terhune insurance firm, it was later owned by Bruce Gimbel of the Saks Fifth Avenue Gimbels (the building is now more than half Jewish-owned, by the way). That same … Continue reading

Just Say No

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At the very end of the press conference earlier this month about his upcoming retirement, Metropolitan Museum of Art director Philippe de Montebello was asked if he would write his memoirs — and as far as I can tell, his full answer has not been previously reported. Although he didn’t mention his predecessor Thomas Hoving, or Hoving’s wildly revealing and bestselling museum memoir, Making The Mummies Dance, that book seemed to be lurking just behind the shadow of de Montebello’s curious answer. “I have not been approached and whoever approaches me is making a futile gesture,” he said. “I have … Continue reading

The Two Faces of Philippe

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So excited was gripebox to publish the world-exclusive news of Philippe de Montebello‘s resignation from his post as director the Metropolitan Museum of Art last night, I didn’t notice the gem of revisionism hidden at the bottom of the New York Times story that was posted on its web site some 90 minutes later until reading the hard copy this morning. “Too many people have been increasingly saying to me, ‘You are the Met,’” the museum’s director told Carol Vogel in his farewell interview with the paper of record. “I am not the Met.” But that’s not what de Montebello … Continue reading

Scoop: De Montebello Resigns

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A report has just surfaced (at 6:30 PM for those keeping track of who had it first) that Philippe de Montebello has resigned his post as director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, but for the moment, at least, the museum is not confirming it. “The director is meeting with staff members,” says museum spokesman Harold Holzer, who adds that there will be a press conference tomorrow at 11 AM. So, Harold… is it true? “It’s not that it not true,” he says. “If you’ve heard you’ve heard. I can’t confirm anything.” UPDATE: Another informant (thanks ArtNet) informs me “He … Continue reading

Stallman Resurrected

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My 1999 interview with free software guru Richard Stallman has been resurrected and named one of the top ten stories of this week by Free Software Daily Magazine.