About Michael Gross

Michael Gross, one of America's most provocative non-fiction writers, is the author of the New York Times bestsellers House of Outrageous Fortune, 740 Park and Model, as well as Rogues' Gallery, Unreal Estate, My Generation and Focus, The Sexy, Secret, Sometimes Sordid World of Fashion Photographers. He is a Contributing Editor of Departures and his journalism has appeared in The New York TimesNew YorkVanity Fair, Esquire, GQ and many other publications.

 
 
March 6 2021

Flipping Out


Will Lie Zeckendorf, co-developer with his brother Arthur Zeckendorf of 15 Central Park West, and former owner of apartments there, in the Majestic on Central Park West, and in 740 Park Avenue, has flipped apartments again, reports the New York Times, buying a third-floor eleven-room flat in architect J.E.R. Carpenter’s 960 Park Avenue for $11 million. The seller appears to be Jane Goldman Lewis, a child of the late Sol Goldman who, in his time, owned the largest real estate portfolio in New York City. When not walking on the flip side, Zeckendorf is no slouch in the real estate dynasty department, either. His grandfather, William “Big Bill” Zeckendorf, was a similarly legendary real estate titan in the years after World… Continue reading

February 26 2021

Florida, Man! Palm Beach Has a Moment

A year ago, I spent a week in Palm Beach and got the sense it was changing for the better.  On December 27, Departures published my “The New Palm Beach Story,” on the resort’s renaissance (it was behind a firewall until now). That was, of course, before the right-wing riot of January 6th, Joe Biden’s inauguration, and the return of Palm Beach’s favorite reality TV has-been. Since then, the same story has been told so many times it’s begun to seem Palm Beach may have jumped the shark. Or is that phrase as passé as the proprietor of Florida’s tackiest private club? Which, I’m proud to say, goes unmentioned here. I got that right, at least. Continue reading

February 23 2021

I’ve Been Hacked!

A hacker got into my web site and a number of past Gripepad posts were rendered unreadable–and can’t be recovered or repaired. If you tried to visit and were redirected in the past week or so, apologies.  That should not happen again.  If you see anything else out of the ordinary on the site, I hope you’ll let me know. I discovered the hack when I was looking for the post in which I first revealed problems at 432 Park–long before a local newspaper wrote about more at the 57th Street condo tower.  The hacked posts can’t be restored, alas. But my IT genius saved a lot of them, including the one I went looking for. Continue reading

December 30 2020

Howard Rubenstein, R.I.P.

In the winter of 1999, I spent several weeks shadowing the PR giant Howard Rubenstein for this New York magazine cover story, “Shadow Warrior”. I walked into the assignment a skeptic but finished it an admirer. Rubenstein, whose first real-estate developer client was Fred Trump, died yesterday at 88 years. He was small in stature but a giant of New York. Continue reading

December 17 2020

Jeffrey Epstein’s Alleged Procurer Arrested

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December 16 2020

A Rogue’s Reward

 

Eleven-plus years after Rogues’ Gallery was published, I discovered this appreciation, penned by Steven Miller, a museum director (at Boscobel, one of my favorites), curator, educator and prolific writer, the latest entry in Amazon’s customer reviews:

“Having been in the museum field in various director and curatorial positions for fifty years, I can attest to the honesty and quality of this inside look at how these cultural institutions are governed and lead. The author has done impressive research into a realm rarely known or understood by the general public much less many in the museum profession. Museums have an aura and reputation that is commendable. How that is achieved and what is required to sustain much less…

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December 10 2020

Going Negative

Pre-travel COVID testing can be a pain in the nose. Read all about it here in my debut on the Departures web site. Continue reading

November 20 2020

No words

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September 28 2020

What Goes Around Returns for Gerald Marie

Gerald Marie, formerly the head of Elite Models in Paris, a husband of Linda Evangelista, and one of the villains in my 1995 book Model, is back in the news, charged with raping young models, according to the Sunday Times of London. Its story is locked but today’s New York Post includes a synopsis. If the ick factor doesn’t put you off, you can read all about Marie (who once threatened this reporter, saying that if I ever wrote about him I’d “never take another step” in Paris) in Model. These charges are new, but they date to a time when many similar tales were told in the modeling business–and recounted in the book. UPDATE: The Guardian’s Lucy Osborne advances the sorry story here.

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September 5 2020

Beekman Town House Now Thats a price drop

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August 16 2020

The New Koch

Julia Koch, widow of conservative tub-thumber and Kansan conglomerateur David Koch, is the subject du jour for Michael Kaplan in the New York Post today–and 740 Park, where they lived together, and she now owns their apartment, looms over the story.

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July 27 2020

Veronica Uncovered

Ben Smith in the Times has a great piece on the latest dramas at the male-dominated women’s magazine publisher Hearst this morning. Twenty-nine years ago, a glamorous woman briefly ran the sprawling Hearst Magazines empire–creating public dramas galore and defying its reputation for discretion. In one of my three stories on Hearst Magazines that year, I called her TheIntriguing Mrs. Hearst.

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June 8 2020

Goodbye, Javanka

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May 17 2020

RIP, June Dyson of 740 Park

 

 

June Dyson, 101, who lived at 740 Park Avenue for 41 years, died earlier this month. She was the widow of Charles Dyson, a public-school educated leveraged buyout specialist who put together a conglomerate in the 1950s and 1960s and then became a public official and philanthropist. He also served on the building’s board, and married June, who’d managed Rockefeller money, when she was 72 and he was 80, after each of their first spouses died. “I really have nothing to say to you,” she told me when I called and asked for an interview for the book. “We’re a quiet little building.” Her home, apartment 2/3C overlooking East 71st Street, cost $375,000 in 1979. If recent sales are any indication, her two stepsons can expect to…

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May 13 2020

Need a Good Book?

With containment, isolation and quarantine ongoing in much of Ameeica, I’m shacking up with a diverse batch of good books in May. I abandoned Hilary Mantel‘s The Mirror & the Light despite having devoured the first two books in her Thomas Cromwell trilogy, but loved Julian BarnesThe Man in the Red Coat. Now I’m onto Jesse Kornbluth‘s JFK and Mary Meyer: A Love Story, and I have Sam Wasson‘s The Big Goodbye: Chinatown and the Last Years of Hollywood on deck. It’s not easy to read as I’m writing most days, at work on my own next book, about some very old and very prominent American families. But may I suggest one of the diversions illustrated here for you as I rush to get that done? You can order on each book’s page on…

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April 23 2020

Layoffs at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

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April 20 2020

Peter Beard, R.I.P.

Peter Beard, whose death at age 82 was confirmed yesterday, was an iconoclast as well as a photographer, artist, adventurer, and nightlife iron man. These two brief excerpts from Model and Focus illustrate the same bracing candor, humor and unchecked honesty he brought to both his life and his work. Click to magnify.

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April 14 2020

Christy and Naomi Have Model on Their Minds

 

My 1995 book Model came up on today’s episode of No Filter With Naomi, model Naomi Campbell‘s streaming YouTube “chat” show, an hour-long talk with one of her fellow members of the supermodel Trinity, Christy Turlington, both of whom are characters in the book.

Some back story. In early 1992, I was asked to write a feature profile for New York magazine on one of the supes. Not long before, late one night at Azzedine Alaia’s atelier, Naomi had wrapped a leg around me and asked, “Why don’t you write a story about me?” So I started with her but after several weeks of futile attempts to reach her, learned she’d chosen to cooperate with Time Magazine, instead, as they’d promised her a cover. Alas, her Time cover only ran on…

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April 9 2020

Please Support Independent Booksellers

I support the newest online bookseller, bookshop. Won’t you please click the link and support your local bookstore, too?

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March 29 2020

I’m a Someone!

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