Archive for August, 2011

Model Scoop

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Today’s WWD spotlights the re-release of Model: The Ugly Business of Beautiful Women. “The book explores the lives of models and digs up dirt on the vast sums of money, sex, drugs, and back-stabbing that comes with the business,” says fashion’s leading trade newspaper.

Ah, the irony of it

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Who’d have thought that the conquering hero who revived Ground Zero would turn out to be Si Newhouse? My latest column in Crain’s New York Business celebrates the mighty magazine mogul who represents just about everything Jihadists hate.

Exclusive Sneak Preview: Unreal Estate

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I’m doing my first talk about Unreal Estate at a gourmet dinner in one of the favorite bolt-holes of Angelenos, Las Ventanas Al Paraiso in San Jose del Cabo on the Baja peninsula on October 22. As part of its Hot Type program, galleys–advance reading copies–are given to guests before the book’s release. You can read about the event here and see La Ventanas here. Y’all come down, hear?

Who’s Afraid of Luxury Real Estate?

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A few months back a genius told me she was convinced that luxury real estate had run its course as a subject of fascination. So how come even the Daily Mail in London thinks the spurious tale of the possible foreclosure of Kent and Elizabeth Swig‘s apartment at 740 Park is big news? This story has legs, but will it stand? Stay tuned. Apparently, you won’t be alone.

Guess Again at 740 Park

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Yesterday, The New York Observer named several 740 Park households that were hit by the headwinds of economic distress in recent years. Today, there’s the first new listing in a long time at the storied tower, and none of the Observered names are involved. Computer gaming mogul Gregory Fischbach and wife Linda, a former fashion magazine editrix, have listed the former Thelma Chrysler Foy jewelbox (above) on the 17th floor of the trophy building, according to the New York Post, which hints that it’s a so-called pocket listing–i.e. not in the broker database open to all, but held tightly by … Continue reading

The Never-Ending 740 Saga

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In today’s New York Observer, Elise Knutsen looks at 740 Park and some of the families there who’ve felt the effects of the Great Recession.

The View From Here: Manhattan in August

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In Crain’s New York Business this week, my column is a paean to summer in the city.

Is it Arborcide?

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Gripepad has a certain nostalgia for its old home on the rim of Washington Square Park, so it often follows events there. Now, Washington Square Park Blog reports a mysterious rash of tree deaths there (the one above was photographed yesterday), even as the never-ending renovation of the park continues. What–or who–is killing the trees? “These events were forecast by a landscape architect I encountered back in August of 2009 who predicted ALL the trees around the fountain would likely die and attributed this to the design,” says WSPB. “These young (now dead) trees replaced perfectly healthy living trees which … Continue reading

Like a Virgin

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My first public appearance in support of Unreal Estate will be at the Upper East Side Barnes & Noble on November 2nd, pub date plus one. I hear I’m amusing. At least on the subject of the board of the Metropolitan Museum. November 2, 2012 at 150 East 86th Street.

Why Didn’t the Book Business Think of This?

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Thanks to Galleycat.

Unreal Countdown

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  Unreal Estate Countdown    

Nouvelle Nouvel

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Since I was just speaking of my hopes for Jean Nouvel‘s MoMA tower here, how nice to have new renderings appear as if on command on the New York Observer’s web site.

Edifice Rex

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Does New York need more tall buildings like Extell’s One57 (abuilding, above)? My latest column in Crain’s New York Business looks to the skies.

“No House Too Big”

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Blairsden, the 62,000 square foot 38-room Peapack, New Jersey mansion built by C. Ledyard Blair, heir to the Union Pacific fortune and a former resident of 740 Park, is on the market. Built in about 1900 at a cost of $2 million, it’s also a relative bargain at $4.9 million, even if it now sits on 34 acres compared to its original 423 acres.

Unreal Tour (Take Two)

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After several blogs picked up the flying tour of the homes featured in Unreal Estate, viewers spotted two mistakes in the video. A corrected version has now been posted on Youtube.

Hoarse for Horses

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The other day, an anti-carriage-horse protester tried to get me to sign a petition outside the Plaza. When I said I like the Central Park carriage horses, she followed me up the block screaming. In an editorial today, the New York Times reveals that the American Girl store was recently invaded by protesters decrying a carriage ride promotion; they caused it to be cancelled. “Nice notion there, terrify little girls to make a political point,” the paper notes. Then it adds, “Some groups want to replace the carriages with electric cars. How dreary.” How well said.

Hooray for Hollywood (Reporter)

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Hollywood Reporter online ran the Unreal Estate video today. The book “not only delves into the history of some of the most coveted homes in Los Angeles but also takes a gossip- and scandal-filled look at their famous owners,” THR says.