Archive for August, 2013

R.I.P. trophy real estate?

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Back in late 2011, a big-time book publisher told me, “Trophy real estate is played out.” How’d that prediction work out? One indication: Howie Kahn looks at some of “the new rock stars of real estate” and the eight-figures properties they sell (like the one pictured) in the September issue of Details magazine. Could that publisher just be peeved at being priced out?

Income Inequality: The CNN Reading List

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John Sutter of CNN.com has crowd-sourced a list of 99 must-read books on income inequality, presumably for the 99%, though some of the 1% might do well to read a few of them. My 740 Park makes the list at #30, between titles by George Bernard Shaw and Jonathan Kozol. Isn’t that rich?

Anthony Marshall wins parole

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The New York Times has just reported that Anthony Marshall, only child of the late Brooke Astor (pictured), has been paroled for medical reasons after serving six months of his sentence of one-to-three years for looting his mother’s fortune before her death. Gripepad has noted under-reported aspects of the Brooke Astor story, some of which was detailed in Rogues’ Gallery, my book on the money behind the Metropolitan Museum, and the complex mores of those who created and sustain it–and drove the effort to put Marshall behind bars. You can read some of that commentary here, here, here, and here. … Continue reading

An outrageous endorsement

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William D. Cohan, author of Money and Power: How Goldman Sachs Came to Rule the World and House of Cards: A Tale of Hubris and Wretched Excess on Wall Street, and a Contributing Editor of Vanity Fair, is the latest early reader to praise the forthcoming House of Outrageous Fortune: Fifteen Central Park West, the World’s Most Powerful Address. “Michael Gross has done it again!” he writes. “In intricate and revelatory detail, he shows how Fifteen Central Park West became the most famous and talked-about building in Manhattan: It’s the people who live there, of course, and Gross gives us … Continue reading

Cherchez la Monnaie: It’s inside 740 Park!

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Yesterday’s revelation of a series of jewel heists at 740 Park led to a series of followups today in the New York Post and on CNN, among other outlets. You can watch the CNN video here. The Post reveals that the victims include Danielle Ganek, whose husband’s hedge fund “agreed to pay the feds more than $21.5 million for its role in an insider-trading scheme” and Lauren Merkin, whose husband Ezra “was charged with civil fraud for allegedly steering $2.4 billion in client money to Bernie Madoff.” The Post missed the fact that victim #3 was Caryl Englander, whose husband … Continue reading

Does 740 Park have a Pink Panther (or was it an inside job)?

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Today’s Page Six lede and New York Post wood reveal a series of minor jewel heists at the legendary 740 Park cooperative, the 20th Century’s tower of financial power and the subject of this author’s 2005 book. Per the Post, the missing items are a wedding ring here, a watch there. Is the perp terrifically clever, stealing only things that won’t be missed? Or are they like opportunistic shoplifters grabbing penny candy from the counter? Not to cast aspersions, but per this report, it sounds like sticky-fingered support staff are more likely responsible than some savvy criminal mastermind.

Barnes & Noble gets Outrageous

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Barnes and Noble’s website now offers pre-orders of House of Outrageous Fortune (Amazon, Indie-bound, Booksamillion and other links have been previously posted here). This is no nostalgia-free zone, so drink a toast to the memory of Brentano, Scribner (pictured), Doubleday, B Dalton and Borders–and then, please click a link!

Barbara Corcoran previews “House of Outrageous Fortune”

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“House of Outrageous Fortune pulls back the limestone curtain of 15 Central Park West to reveal seismic shifts in New York society and the astonishing lifestyle-without-limits of the new global elite. It’s a dishy–but not trashy–page-turner.” – Barbara Corcoran, founder of the Corcoran Group and star of ABC’s Shark Tank (@barbaracorcoran)

Wanna come to my “House”?

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House of Outrageous Fortune, my forthcoming book on Fifteen Central Park West, is now available for pre-order via Booksamillion and Indiebound, locally at the great McNally Jackson store in SoHo, in Silicon Valley at Kepler’s, as well as Amazon. Barnes & Noble and Bookish links will appear here once each makes the book available.

Cuomo and Extell: Can buy me love?

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One57 developer Extell bought a $35 million tax break with $300,000 in donations to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, according to a story by Kenneth Lovett in yesterday’s Daily News. “Ayala Barnett, the wife of Extell Development President Gary Barnett, and three corporations affiliated with Extell … made 11 donations to Cuomo totaling $147,100 between 2006, when he was running for state attorney general, and 2008, when he held the post. But then Barnett pocketed his checkbook for four years. Come 2012, however, that changed — and so did the values of the checks,” Lovett wrote. “By May 2012, Cuomo … Continue reading

This is normal…in Southampton

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A Grosvenor Atterbury-designed estate, Linden aka Lenoir, on the market for $45 million is the subject of my latest Unreal Estate column in the August issue of Avenue. The house conjures the glory days of Southampton’s cottage set. The indoor pool set in a new crystal palace, a different sort of glory, I suppose.

Supes on (again)! The return of the supermodels who never left

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The New York Post’s Susannah Cahalan today uncovers the perpetual cover girls in a story on the remarkable persistence of supermodels like Christy Turlington and Linda Evangelista (at right, backstage with me circa 1992) who first gained worldwide face time twenty-plus years ago. The story also breaks the news that I’ve begun work on a new book on their world, to be called Girls on Film.