Archive for September, 2008

Chicken Brittle

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England’s Telegraph says the sky is falling on New York co-op owners, creating an oppportunity for more Brits to invade New York. I say the author of this analysis is more than a little bit clueless — condos are far more vulnerable to a market “moment” than co-ops — but read it and decide for youself.

Spite at the Opera

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Oscar de la Renta blasted the Metropolitan Opera’s general manager Peter Gelb in Thursday’s Women’s Wear Daily (behind a firewall — sorry), complaining that the Met had chosen Germany’s Karl Lagerfeld, France’s Christian Lacroix and England’s John Galliano to design costumes for tonight’s opening gala instead of an American (de la Renta is a naturalized citizen). His fit of pique went beyond words: the designer announced he would not attend the performance, and would not send his annual contribution to the opera, either. It is interesting to note that New York’s other Met, the Metropolitan Museum, the pet cause of … Continue reading

Viva Italia

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Today’s Page Six reports on revelations in Rogues’ Gallery.

Tom Tom Club

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Yesterday, after New York Times art critic Michael Kimmelman took aswipe at former Metropolitan Museum director Tom Hoving in his analysis of the appointment of Thomas Campbell to that job, saying he was an unstable egomaniac who left the museum in reeling chaos, I asked Hoving how he felt about that. “I do have a huge ego (for good reason),” he replied, “and I was, thankfully, a bit unstable — that’s what revolutions do.”

Campbell in the Soup

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Thomas Campbell has just been named the new director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, replacing the outgoing Philippe de Montebello. The Oxford educated Campbell is a museum insider — a curator of European Sculpture and Decorative Arts and the supervising curator of the Met’s Antonio Ratti Textile Center. He is the Met’s second British-born director (the first was Sir Caspar Purdon Clark who was installed by the museum’s then-president J, Pierpont Morgan almost exactly 100 years ago). My thanks to the board of directors for making their choice in time for it to be included in my forthcoming history … Continue reading

Intel Gap

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New York magazine’s Daily Intel has an item today on what it considers some of the most impressive real estate “flips” of city apartments and buildings — and of course, 740 Park is included, but all the facts are not. The tale of this so-called “flip” of the late Janet Coleman’s duplex earlier this year does not include how much the Mosler Safe heiress and her husband paid for the apartment, which her estate sold for $32 million, because “records don’t show” it, the item says. In fact, it’s hardly a “flip” when your estate sells the place where someone … Continue reading

In Defense of Empathy

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In her column this weekend and on her wowowow web site, Liz Smith reacts to Ben Widdicombe‘s “Arriverderci, Gossip” in the new issue of Bergdorf Goodman Magazine. She did — and does — gossip her way, has for thirty-two years and counting, and more power to her.