Archive for July, 2010

R.I.P. Judy Peabody

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Judy Peabody died yesterday after a long and difficult illness. David Patrick Columbia has written a touching remembrance of this compassionate and open-minded heroine, one of the great ladies of New York City in this or any era.

Beach Reading: Rogues’ Gallery Rising

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Rogues’ Gallery has rocketed to #2 on the Book Soup paperback non-fiction bestseller list this week. Love the Soup (and I don’t mean Tom Campbell‘s) and thanks all you readers in Los Angeles!

Heavy Lifting

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Maureen Dowd‘s burqua notwithstanding, no one has ever accused the New York Times op-ed page of being either fashion-conscious or fashionable. But today’s top piece, correlating the appearance of platform shoes for women with economic distress is kind of fashion-clueless. “Economic distress causes distinctions between male and female dress to widen among the fashion-conscious,” the paper informs us, showing platforms from the Depression, World War II, 1974 and now in support of a claim that women don platforms to lift their moods. Have they never heard of The New York Dolls (shown circa 1974, above)?

“Creative and complete”

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Yesterday, the design blog UnBeige praised my suggestion for the future of Marcel Breuer’s brutalist Whitney Museum as “the most creative and complete” in a recent poll of experts by The Art Newspaper: a museum of cultural philanthropy in which archival documents concerning great contributions are stored, catalogued and displayed. Meantime, the New York Observer called the idea “off-the-wall” but added, “We’re a fan of that idea.” We’re a fan of the New York Observer, too.

Gaunt, but not forgotten

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News flash: Super-sized model Crystal Renn has the blogosphere up in arms over a recent weight loss that shrank her from a size 12 to a size 8. The New York Post’s Mandy Stadtmiller examines this shocking story of a model and her fluctuating appetite in “A Big Fat Lie.” I comment: “Maybe Crystal Renn just created a job-opening.”

What to do with the Whitney?

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The Art Newspaper asked a panel of experts what should be done with Marcel Breuer’s Whitney Museum (the architect and his creation are above) when the museum moves downtown. My tongue-in-cheek thought follows those of former Whitney director David Ross and former Breuer architect Terence Riley.

“You will never look at the Wrightsman Galleries in the same way again.”

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“Michael Gross examines the Met through the prism of [its] generous and often loathsome benefactors, from the robber barons to the present day Page Six personalities,” writes Nashville Realtor Elizabeth Colton Walls on her book review blog. Check it out here.

Rogues’ Gallery is coming to Westhampton Beach

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I try to get out and they keep dragging me back. For all you East Enders, I’ll be speaking and signing Rogues’ Gallery (and 740 Park) on Saturday July 17th at 6 PM at the new Books & Books store at 130 Main Street in Westhampton Beach, NY. That’s the Books & Books we know and love from Miami — so please come support their first northern venture.

Attendance is up, so why are they so down (on Rogues’ Gallery)?

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Attendance at the Metropolitan Museum of Art has returned to levels not seen since 2001, says the The New York Observer. Perhaps understandably, no thank yous were issued to Rogues’ Gallery, but independent-minded reviewers have said the book re-ignites interest in and passion for the museum. “Even if you’ve been to the museum many times before, the stories Gross tells make you want to return immediately,” wrote Silvana Paternostro in Poder. “The tales are so compelling that instead of trying to downplay this book, the museum should be selling it in its gift shop.” Fat chance! But the paperback edition … Continue reading