Archive for December, 2011

Unreal Estate: A bestseller s’more

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Unreal Estate is now in its seventh week on the Los Angeles Times bestseller list. I love L.A.!

Business Insider peeks inside 740 Park

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There’s a snappy slide show of real-estate-listing photos of apartments now on sale at 740 Park on Business Insider today. There’s even a news hook for it–announced the day before–the listing of Vera Wang‘s fab duplex there. And since the item claims that I “run a blog about the building,” I figured I’d better link to show it’s still alive, even if my attention has moved elsewhere, to the west coast, for instance. But what the hey, I say. New babies tend to hog all the attention. Today’s the six-year-old’s turn. Proving there’s life in this not-quite-abandoned old blog yet.

Unreal Estate #2 in L.A.

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In the week ending on Christmas, Unreal Estate hit #2 on the nonfiction bestseller list at Book Soup in West Hollywood. Riot on the Sunset Strip!

Coming Attractions: Unreal Estate on the Road, Winter 2012

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I’ll be giving talks and signing copies of Unreal Estate: Money, Ambition and the Lust For Land in Los Angeles in Beverly Hills, West Hollywood and Palm Beach in weeks to come. On Sunday evening February 12th (from 6-8 PM), I’ll give a talk at a buffet dinner at the Beverly Hills Women’s Club. On February 13th, I’ll speak at the Aaroe Architectural Program at the Pacific Design Center’s Silver Screen Theater, on the Second Floor at 8687 Melrose Ave. That program is from 10:45 AM– 12:30 PM. And on March 2nd, I’ll join one of my favorite writers, Sally … Continue reading

Curbed.com suggests an unreal stocking stuffer

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Curbed National today takes notice of the great Times review of Unreal Estate which, it reminds, “might be best described as what would happen if Us Weekly and Architectural Digest had a love child that was much smarter than either.”

WHOSE Times? WHY silence?

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Looks like I’m not the only one with a Christmas gripe against someone at The New York Times. The Newspaper Guild’s letter to Arthur Sulzberger Jr. is astonishing. But it’s vital to remember a lesson I learned while writing my penultimate book Rogues’ Gallery on The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Some took that book as an attack against the institution itself when all I did was try to accurately describe the background, motives and actions of the often-flawed individuals who support it and allow its greatness to flourish. Today’s…what shall we call them?…issues at the New York Times–mine and now, … Continue reading

The Los Angeles Times raves about “gilt-y pleasures” of Unreal Estate

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“We’ve heard it before — Americans don’t like to read, they just want to ogle celebrities and watch shows about houses on TV. So how about a book that allows the reader to ogle celebrities and their homes to bring them back to reading?” asks Alana Semuels in The Los Angeles Times today. “That’s just what Michael Gross has provided in ‘Unreal Estate.’…It can sometimes read like real estate porn, with paragraphs of jaw-dropping details about a type of extravagance that might have been scorned even by the very wealthy on the Titanic. But he also leaves the reader with … Continue reading

Absent malice

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“It’s a message to the press: Don’t ask questions,” says Robin Wright early in David Fincher‘s The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, speaking of the demonization of reporter Mikael Blomqvist that drives the narrative. Thank goodness that can’t happen here.

Still a bestseller: Unreal!

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Unreal Estate is now in its fifth week on the non-fiction bestseller list of the Los Angeles Times. Happy holidays and thanks to all who’ve put and kept it there!

Old L.A., New L.A. at the Bel-Air

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In the January issue of Travel + Leisure, I check into the re-imagined Hotel Bel-Air and check out with a story about its illustrious past and its new look for the future.

The Heart of Kardarkness: The Kardashians and The Culture of Stupid

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A few weeks back, talking about Unreal Estate and Natalie Wood on Tyler Brule‘s The Monocle Daily podcast, I coined a term, The Culture of Stupid, to describe too much of ours. This week, that inspired my Crain’s New York Business Commentary column, “Discarding the Kards.”

Daily News redux for Unreal Estate

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Unreal Estate is featured in the Daily News two days in a row. Tomorrow, its “Best Places” section includes a Q&A with me and reporter Gina Pace about the book and HBO’s plans to make it into a series.

An unreal tabloid two-fer

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In today’s Daily News, Frank DiGiacomo‘s Gatecrasher column asked me to put my two cents in on New York Times critic Janet Maslin, after spotting my various posts here reprinting e-mails I’ve received about her recent review of Unreal Estate. He also spelled her name right and ran her picture. In today’s New York Post, Jennifer Ceaser visits my apartment for one of the Home section’s weekly peeks at how the un-1% live. And in broadsheet news, a story on A-1 of today’s Times follows my Crain’s New York Business Commentary column last week, “Let’s Talk Horse Sense,” on the … Continue reading

Damn the torpedoes, bestseller ahead!

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For the fourth week running, Unreal Estate appears on the bestseller list at West Hollywood’s wonderful independent book store, Book Soup (that’s it, at right).

On Maslin on Unreal Estate: “A disgrace to journalism”

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The latest slam of the New York Times review of Unreal Estate comes from a fellow journalist and author: “I was enraged by that review! Totally unfair. I have very strong views about people in media taking advantage of having a platform that people can’t defend themselves against….What Janet Maslin did to your excellent book’s selling prospects for whatever grudge she appears to have against you is to my thinking totally unfair & intolerable & a disgrace to journalism. Anyone reviewing a bk for the NY Times is wielding strong power over someone’s hard work & usually source of income … Continue reading

Long live the (L.A.) Times

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Sunday’s Los Angeles Times features Unreal Estate in its guide to the holiday season’s best gift books.

One more comment on Miss Maslin, if you please.

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Yesterday’s post of excerpts of comments on the attempted take-down of Unreal Estate by Janet Maslin (at right) has inspired another one, this one worth reprinting in full. It’s from a bestselling author and journalist whose work frequently appears in, ta-da, the New York Times: “Janet Maslin should stop reviewing. She is getting tired, lazy and cranky. She creamed over a book — Annie Jacobsen‘s — about the history of nuclear tests that was absolutely excoriated by nuclear expert Richard Rhodes, and others, for having fraudulent material in it. She writes reviews like she just wants to get them over … Continue reading

And now, some reviews of Janet Maslin’s review of Unreal Estate.

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The reviews of New York Times critic Janet Maslin‘s “review” of Unreal Estate are coming in. Here are some excerpts. I’ve left out the senders’ names to protect the innocent. “It’s one thing to dislike a book but another to trash an entire body of work. What raw nerve(s) did you cut into along the way? And whose, one wonders.” [from a former New York Times reporter] “Insane and ridiculous.” [from a publishing executive] “What on earth did you do to mizz janet’s axe that she has such a terrible need to grind?” [from an LA writer] “Idiotic and absurd.” … Continue reading