Archive for November, 2012

Gibney’s Demagaguery??

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“None of those Park Avenue billionaires will sleep any less soundly after watching this film,” says the Telegraph’s Neil Midgley after viewing Alex Gibney‘s Park Avenue, based on my book 740 Park, which debuted on England’s BBC4 the other night. The reviewer went on to condemn the documentary as “a pretty thin retread of some already well-vented resentments in US politics.” The Independent disagreed, hailing Gibney’s conclusion that, “The US, built on the promise that anyone can drag themselves out of poverty if they work hard enough, actually has lower social mobility than most other comparable democracies.” Gripepad reports. You … Continue reading

“How the wealthiest have rigged the game.” –the NY Observer

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Good things are worth waiting for, like this review of Alex Gibney‘s Park Avenue by Kim Velsey of the New York Observer. “The documentary unfurls like a crime story,” she writes, “with a raft of damning evidence revealing the shameful acts committed by the masters of the universe in service of accumulating even vaster fortunes than they already have….[Gibney] makes a compelling case that inequality imperils democracy and that the victims of the inequality include not only those who find themselves in the rapidly expanding underclass, but the American dream itself.”

740 Park is back in stock at Amazon

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Alex Gibney‘s Park Avenue cleaned Amazon out of copies of 740 Park, but it’s now back in stock and available for purchase again. Happy Black Friday!

I know 740 Park, and 666 is no 740

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I never watched ABC’s supernatural soap opera 666 Park, and now it’s been cancelled, which makes me think I made the right choice. It was “shameless when it came to the inaccurate portrayal of Manhattan real estate,” Kim Velsey writes in her analysis of its failure in the New York Observer. But the real reason it’s died, she thinks, was “the erratic plot, the wooden acting, the lack of any sympathetic characters and for those who care about these kinds of things, the incoherence of the ‘evil’ plaguing the building.” So I wonder, if someone accurately dramatized the story 740 … Continue reading

740 Park is now Alex Gibney’s Park Avenue: Watch it here

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For those who missed it last week on PBS, Alex Gibney‘s documentary inspired by 740 Park is available for viewing online. You can watch it here.

Curious Cavallo

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I wrote a story about a semi-secret island called Cavallo that appeared in Departures last month. It’s now on the web. Once a jet-set scene promoted by Jean Castel, the late Parisian club-owner, then a transshipment point for cocaine and the site of a notorious killing and other nefarious doings, it is now one of the most particular and splendid Mediterranean resorts I’ve ever encountered. That’s it, right over there. Not bad, huh?

Metropolitan Museum sued for fraud. It’s the signage, stupid.

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The Metropolitan Museum of Art, subject of my book Rogues’ Gallery, has been sued for defrauding the public ever since the 1970s when it first introduced its Pay What You Wish But You Must Pay Something admission policy in contravention of its lease for its buildings and land, which are publicy-owned (as is its art, which is held in trust for the public). A press conference on the lawsuit is scheduled for this afternoon, but today’s New York Post already has the story and a response from the museum’s flack, who describes the suit as frivolous, ludicrous and outrageous, pointing … Continue reading

NY Times on Gibney’s ‘Park Avenue’: “Particularly damning.”

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Neil Genzlinger reviews Oscar-winner Alex Gibney‘s “Park Avenue” in today’s New York Times. The documentary based on 740 Park: The Story of the World’s Richest Apartment Building airs tonight at 10 PM on PBS in America. Check local listings for air times elsewhere in the world.

Reminder: Gibney’s Park Avenue Airs Monday

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Park Avenue: Money, Power and the American Dream, Alex Gibney‘s documentary inspired by 740 Park: The Story of the World’s Richest Apartment Building, airs Monday night at 10 PM on PBS. Bloomberg BusinessWeek calls it “Trenchant, dishy,” and says it bristles with “savage indignation.” In the wake of this week’s election and the coming debate over the fast-approaching fiscal cliff, it’s must viewing if you haven’t already seen it on Hulu.

Haute Fashion Houses

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The former homes of both Halston and Richard Avedon are currently on the market and they’re the subject of my latest Unreal Estate column in the November issue of Avenue Magazine. That’s Paul Rudolph‘s floating staircase in the Halston house at right, lined with former owner Gunther Sachs‘ photo of Claudia Schiffer‘s luscious lips.

“Trenchant, dishy…savage indignation.” –BusinessWeek on Gibney’s Park Avenue

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Bloomberg BusinessWeek reviews Alex Gibney’s documentary based on 740 Park: The Story of the World’s Richest Apartment Building, and critic Greg Evans gives it a rave and 3 1/2 stars. It airs on PBS November 12th at 10PM.

Boom of Doom: Updated

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The Daily Beast asked me to write an essay on being evacuated from my home last Monday, a victim of luxury real estate as much as Hurricane Sandy. Hoist by my own petard, one might say. Donald Trump’s photo of Extell’s floppy crane–the cause of the evacuation–is above. UPDATE: Monday night at 8:30 PM, six days and a few hours after we were evacuated, we got the all clear and have been permitted to return home. Regular Gripepad programming will resume shortly.