Archive for May, 2012

POM (not so) Wonderful

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“Lies and gross exaggerations,” is how Linda and Stewart Resnick of Beverly Hills characterized Unreal Estate–which ends with their astonishing story–in a mass email condemnation shortly before its release late last year. They cited no specifics (of course) and the book nonetheless spent 15 weeks on the Los Angeles Times bestseller list. And today, news comes that the Resnicks have engaged in what can only be described as “lies and gross exaggerations” themselves in promoting their signature POM Wonderful pomegranate products. “An administrative law judge issued a cease-and-desist order after determining that the company had insufficient evidence to support claims … Continue reading

Curate this!

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Editor, merchandiser, organizer, choreographer. Why, I ask in my latest Crain’s New York Business column, do they suddenly all want to be curators?

Next stop, Sternville?

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Robert A.M. Stern long ago put his mark on New York real estate with his monumental set of books about the city’s changing architectural face. Now, he may be about to put his mark on a micro-neighborhood. Following his huge success with 15 Central Park West (subject of my next book for The Free Press), several sources tell me he’s been approached to design a replacement for the white brick non-entity at 220 Central Park South. The focus of a dispute pitting two of the city’s development giants, Extell and Vornado against each other (Vornado owns the site, while Extell … Continue reading

Unreal Estate is “Entirely Un-Put-Downable,” says Darlings author

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I just bought a new novel called The Darlings by Cristina Alger (at right, from Penguin Press), so it was a double thrill to discover she’d told Jeff Glor of AuthorTalk at cbsnews.com that she is reading Unreal Estate. “I always find his books entirely un-put-downable,” Alger said. I expect to return the compliment soon.

What’s a half-a-million at 740 Park? About one-third the taxman’s bill.

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So, it turns out that the sale of Courtney Sale Ross‘ double duplex apartment at 740 Park–first reported here–was indeed closed for “about $52 million,” as reported elsewhere–$52.5 million to be precise–and not the asking price of $60 million, as Gripepad initially heard. The buyers, reports Kim Velsey of the New York Observer, are Howard Marks, head of the Oaktree Capital investment firm, and wife Nancy. Gripepad’s favorite fun fact from the official city filing? Real estate taxes on the transaction totalled $1,483,125. That won’t buy you much at 740 Park, but elsewhere in Manhattan, it’s the price of a … Continue reading

EZ-Money Men

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Robert Stiller, founder of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, was ousted as its chairman this week after stock sales that violated its rules. Stiller and Burt Rubin, his partner in an earlier entrepreneurial venture, EZ-Wider Rolling Paper, were two of the characters who didn’t make the final cut in my history of the Baby Boom, first issued as My Generation, then re-published as The More Things Change, which got a mention in this Bloomberg story on Stiller. Click the links to read my original interviews with Stiller and Rubin.

The Art of the Dis

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Monday night’s Costume Institute Gala at the Metropolitan Museum garnered less press attention than in previous years, but from the armchair view of one of the uninvited, the celebrity petting zoo was still a spectacle worthy of Rome. My favorite snapshot was of Marc Jacobs in a lacy see-through Comme des Garcons dress, Colonial-style buckled shoes and a pair of Brooks Brothers boxers (pictured). It reminded me of the night in 1990 when the Met Ball’s current mastermind, Vogue editrix Anna Wintour, turned up at a Giorgio Armani party at MoMA in a bright yellow sequined scuba-style dress by Karl … Continue reading

Unfit to Serve?

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What do Rupert Murdoch and Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr. have in common these days? More than you might think, I propose in “Time’s up, news moguls,” my latest Commentary in Crain’s New York Business. The image, however, is from an old Vanity Fair.