Archive for October, 2008

Sale for Sale — and Not For Cheap

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Manhattan brokers have been whispering for a week that Courtney Sale Ross, widow of the late Time Warner chairman Steve Ross, is quietly shopping her double-wide apartment at 740 Park Avenue — and now the New York Observer confirms that she’s looking for a whopping $60 million-plus, which would set a new Manhattan apartment sales record if she gets it. The apartment (two apartments actually, spanning the C and D lines on the 12th and 13th floors), though ungainly, is the largest residence in the building. But Blackstone chairman Stephen Schwarzman still has the best home ( on 15 and … Continue reading

Directa Trifecta

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There was an unprecedented (and likely unwanted) collision at The Metropolitan Museum of Art at this morning’s press preview of The Philippe de Montebello Years, a new temporary exhibition honoring the outgoing director and featuring 300 acquisitions from his tenure, which opens with a private reception tonight. Three living directors of the museum were in the same room, though with all the lurching grace of magnetic Scottie dogs they managed to avoid each other. Thomas Hoving, who ran the museum from 1966 to 1977 was in the crowd, and his successor Montebello (above, right) was the featured attraction, but after … Continue reading

Village Under Seige Pt. 4

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Has another Greenwich Village institution, a local fixture since 1929, bitten the dust? Shoppers approaching Jefferson Market on Sixth Avenue yesterday found locked gates and this sign in the window. How do you restructure a grocery store? Get one of the new Village residents — an out of work I-banker or a debt lawyer — in as a cashier? Anyone know what’s going on? The blog Vanishing New York has more here.

Swig Swatted

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Kent Swig, the developer and a resident at 740 Park, made the papers today after being assaulted by a former business partner — with an ice bucket. Cold!

Huang, Dang!

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It’s beginning to look like harder times have come to the high end real estate business, and 740 Park is no exception. Here’s a video tour of I-banker Peter Huang’s $38 million duplex. “How did the doorman not tackle the crew as soon as he saw the camera equipment?” curbed.com asks. “Times sure have changed.”

Le Rich? C’est Moi.

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Speaking of the rich (see post just below), Holly Peterson has a brief essay in Newsweek about how the super-rich are holding up in the market meltdown. “The bottom line, so to speak: on the Upper East Side, where I have lived for 30 years in a few buildings on the same street, I’ve never seen a mood quite like this one,” she writes. “Everyone is just plain scared, but no one is talking specifics. The thing about rich people is you never know exactly how rich they are or where their money is.” Peterson knows whereof she speaks though … Continue reading

Storm Clouds at 740 Park

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Maybe the rich aren’t entirely different from you and I. Look at the latest news from 740 Park. Apt. 15B: Stephen Schwarzman‘s Blackstone Group, which went public at $35 a share, closed at $8.00 today — a 75% drop in sixteen months. Apt 17D: “John Thain is boldly going where few have trodden before him. The Merrill Lynch boss has agreed to stay on in a less senior role after his company’s sale to Bank of America is complete. He will be running the combined company’s global banking, securities and wealth management units. All told, that’s a bigger business than … Continue reading

Carmen Gómez-Moreno, R.I.P.

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Carmen Gómez-Moreno, a former curator of medieval art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, died at home of natural causes earlier this week. The youngest daughter of an art historian and descendant of a noble family from 17th Century Granada, born on Feb.5th, 1914, she was the author of a book on Spanish painting and essays on treasures such as The Apse from San Martín at Fuentidueña at The Cloisters, and the Velez Blanco patio outside the Thomas J. Watson Library at the Met.

3rd Shoe 2 Drop at Met?

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Now that the art museum world has had a chance to digest the news that dark horse Thomas Campbell will be the new director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, speculation is beginning to bubble up through the curatorial ranks about the possible after-shocks of the surprise choice made by the museum’s Board of Trustees. Specifically, wags now wonder whether either or both of the other two alleged in-house aspirants for the job, the Met’s curator of 19th-Century, Modern and Contemporary art, Gary Tinterow (above), and the chairman of the department of European sculpture and decorative arts (and until now, … Continue reading

Big Bucks for Barbaralee?

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The New York Observer discovers that landmarks maven Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel and her ad-man hubby Carl (also, coincidentally, a big macher at the Metropolitan Museum) are selling their apartment at 720 Park, asking $37 million-or-so (representing a $17 million profit if they get their price). Which made me mirthful since Barbaralee chastized me when I announced I was writing a book about 740 Park, and insisted that I’d chosen the wrong building and should have picked hers. I wonder where the power pair will end up? (The story of 720 is told in 740 Park, by the way, and it’s quite … Continue reading