Archive for October, 2015

Some crack with your Central Park views?

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The latest addition to the Billionaire’s Belt girdling midtown Manhattan, and a ubiquitous new feature of the city’s skyline, is the Rafael Viñoly-designed CIM and Macklowe Properties-developed 432 Park, now nearing completion and briefly enjoying its moment in (and near) the sun as the Western Hemisphere’s tallest residential building. Less visible, but still right there in front of our eyes, is what I’m told is a, cosmetic problem. Two unconnected sources confirm that the architectural concrete that covers the poured concrete tower has already developed cracks, and that scaffolds hanging from the pillar in recent weeks were there because Nicholson … Continue reading

The slippery slope isn’t limited to fashion. Magazines are devolving, too.

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Vanessa Friedman‘s article on Alber Elbaz today is a perspicacious look at what’s wrong with the fashion system. But fashion, even in crisis, still reflects the broader culture. Is there really any difference between designers morphing into creative directors and magazine editors restyling themselves as brand managers? The degradation Friedman describes isn’t limited to the schmatte trade.

R.I.P. Anita Sarko

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I was traveling this weekend when I heard that Anita Sarko died thirteen days ago. It’s inexpressably sad–and I bold-faced her name because for me, she’ll always be alive. That’s her, at right, DJ’ing at Barbara Hodes‘ and my wedding. And here is a profile I wrote of her in the New York Times shortly thereafter. It works as an obit, but to add epitaph: Anita was always too much, but this is way too soon. (The photo is by Roxanne Lowit.)

Another one bites the dust: RIP Bookhampton

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Truly sad news in the inbox last night: Bookhampton, the multi-door east end independent bookseller, will close shop after this holiday season–unless a white knight comes along to save it. There are no words. And after December, there will literally be none left out there. Anyone want to step up and save the day?

Duane Reade it and weep?

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Can we talk disgusting ripoffs? My fourteen-year-old dog has kidney issues and needed a human anti-nausea medication. For convenience sake, our vet called it into our local Duane Reade, where I picked up 30 4 MG Ondansetron tablets and was shocked by the $126 bill. So I called my vet who said the same Rx would have been $17 there. Though the bottle was sealed, citing state law, @DuaneReadeNY wouldn’t take it back. So I contacted @DuaneReade which told me I should have joined some prescription savings club. Too little too late? “As for the price provided by your veterinarian,” … Continue reading

A Tweet from 15CPW comes to Twitter

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Reuters reports that Iranian-American Omid Kordestani, an early Google executive, is moving to Twitter as its new executive chairman. Kordestani and wife Gisel own a duplex on the 16th and 17th floors of Fifteen Central Park West, between hedge hog Barry Rosenstein of Jana Partners and wife Lizann and Sting and wife Trudie Styler. Lloyd Blankfein of Goldman Sachs lives with wife Laura on Rosenstein’s other side, making the floor a trick-or-treater’s delight.

Dining David takes on London’s Goliaths

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While reporting “Who Rules the Night?” for the new issue of Departures, I took one lunch off to try the most highly-touted new restaurant in Mayfair. If Richard Caring and Jeremy King, the protagonists of the Departures piece, are London’s restaurant Goliaths, the owners of Kitty Fisher’s are the local dining scene’s Davids. Occupying the ground and basement floors of a tiny house on Shepherd Market square in Mayfair, the minimally-decorated Kitty Fisher’s opened late last year to such instant acclaim, its phone robot told callers reservations would only be accepted eight hours each week, and only for lunch, never … Continue reading

The battle royal for London diners

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“Who Rules The Night?” in the new, special London issue of Departures, just released, is my story about the British restaurant rivals Jeremy King and Richard Caring (shown at right). The dishy piece–with a supporting cast that includes Mark and Robin Birley, Keith McNally, Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter, and Arkady Novokov, whose dining empire extends from Moscow to the UK–is currently available only to lucky Departures subscribers. Check back here and I’ll post it once it’s unlocked.

Halloween Feast With Mimi Sheraton

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On Halloween afternoon, Saturday October 31, I’ll be interviewing Mimi Sheraton at a luncheon at Rotisserie Georgette about her book, 1,000 Foods to Eat Before You Die. The meal with begins with Champagne Duval – LeRoy, Barigoule d’Artichauts and Brandade de Morue, followed by a main course of Poulet Rôti “Farnèse” dressed with Cognac and toasted hazelnuts, and a decadent Pomme Aligot, and ends with a duo of Chocolate and Ginger Pot de Crème for dessert. Please click the image and buy tickets to be there.

Ralph rides again

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In tomorrow’s Guardian, Emine Saner profiles Ralph Lauren, subject of my Genuine Authentic, and a full blown-American original whom I compare to the late Steve Jobs in the piece: “He can literally shape reality to his own will.”

Billion Dollar Babies (plus an ink-stained wretch)

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Will and Arthur Zeckendorf, co-developers of Fifteen Central Park West, launched the sales gallery for their latest project, 520 Park, another Robert A.M. Stern limestone-clad production, this week–and we realized we’d never before posed for a picture together. They’re not really taller than me; they’re standing on their wallets. (Photo by Craig Barritt)