Archive for November, 2010

When Books Collide

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Today’s New York Observer reports on the proposed new plaza in front of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, paid for in large part by David Koch, a newish Met trustee and resident of 740 Park, and the opposition already being mounted by the museum’s neighbors across Fifth Avenue.  Koch used to be one of them until he moved from the former Jackie Kennedy Onassis apartment at 1040 Fifth to his current apartment at 740. The fascinating story of that move, and the even more intriguing one of one hundred years of the museum board’s imperial ambitions, building history and fraught … Continue reading

Layover Lemonade

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In this month’s Travel + Leisure, I write about finding joy in airport layovers.  Something to read while waiting in security lines this weekend?

Weaklies No Longer?

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My third column for Crain’s New York Business is  a shout out to print, Tina Brown, Adam Moss, Peter Kaplan, Kyle Pope, Hugo Lindgren and my old boss Ed Kosner.  It asks, “Is it too soon to say there’s life yet in the old ink-stained corpus of print?”

Bi-Partisan Party

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Real-estate developer Richard Lefrak‘s smashing surprise 65th birthday party last night lasted until the wee hours and attracted a truly remarkable cast of characters, including Donald Trump (whose reaction to the disco dress decree was to don a frock coat), Senator Chuck Schumer, Mayor Mike Bloomberg (in baggy tomato red pants), Woody Allen, and entertainers Nile Rodgers and Earth, Wind and Fire.  But the evening’s best juxtaposition, if its oddest couple, was the one above:  the controversial conservative contributor and 740 Park resident David Koch and New Jersey’s Democratic Senator, Frank Lautenberg.

Cindy, Incidentally

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Ran into Cindy Adams at dinner (try the lamb saddle, mmmm-good) at The Lambs Club late last week and she asked me what was new on the very day the title of my long-in-the-works look at Los Angeles real estate was approved by the powers-that-be at the Random House Broadway Books imprint.  Cindy announces today (see her fourth item) that Unreal Estate: Money, Ambition and the Lust for Land in Los Angeles will hit bookstores, Kindles, Nooks and iPads late next year.  Or so says Cindy.  Trust mother. (Those are the gates of Ned Doheny’s Greystone, above)

Meet the Schwarzmans

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Daily Intel made my day with this one.  Steve and Christine Schwarzman‘s Halloween costumes. Jarwohl!

998 News

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Curbed is on a roll today, unveiling some floor plan porn for the $24 million maisonette at McKim Mead & White’s 998 Fifth.  The venerable building made a cameo in Rogues’ Gallery because, in a previously unreported attempt at expansion, the trustees of the Metropolitan Museum of Art briefly considered buying  it for its administrative and research offices, some specialized collections and the museum’s  library. Its builder-owner, James T. Lee (grandfather of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy and developer of 740 Park), was in deep financial trouble and offered 998 to the Met at the bargain price of $900,000. The museum board’s executive committee, always … Continue reading

Condo vs. Co-op?

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William Zeckendorf, co-developer with his brother Arthur of 15 Central West, the luxe condominium memorably dubbed “Limestone Jesus’ by curbed.com, has flipped his penthouse apartment there and is moving to the late Bruce Wasserstein’s former home in a Fifth Avenue co-operative apartment building.  The story was broken by Jennifer Gould Keil at the Post.  ”So this one kinda ends in a tie between new development and pre-war,” comments curbed. Zeckendorf’s grandfather briefly owned 740 Park, but wasn’t allowed to buy an apartment he wanted there.  Nowadays,  Zeckendorfs get whatever they want.

“Real estate isn’t fair”

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Kelly Kreth just published an interview with me about my New York apartments for Brickundergound.com.  In my favorite passage, I note, “I think I would prefer a sharp stick in the eye to ever serving on a [co-op] board again.

“Major League Mystery”

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Who’s got the ball that tied the Babe? That’s the question raised in Frank DiGiacomo‘s Gatecrasher column in the Daily News today.   It’s about an autographed baseball I’m putting up for auction on Friday at the Heritage Auction Galleries in Dallas in Friday, dated, numbered #60 and signed to me by Roger Maris (above, with me, at spring training in St. Petersburg, FL, in 1961) the night he tied the immortal Ruth’s home run record.  UPDATE:  The ball failed to sell.  Anyone who is interested in it is encouraged to contact me.