A ‘Lousiest Landlord’ Crime Classic: The Double Life Of A Ludlow Street Landlord: New York Magazine, 1999



Snidley Whiplash, Jay Ward Cartoon

Mark Glass was sentenced to 7 years in the slammer after being busted by NYPD’s finest for plotting to evict two tenants the old fashioned way–by murdering them. Luckily, he was inept and there were no victims of the landlord’s strange and oddly comical criminal plots (think Inspector Clouseau with buildings). The sting orchestrated by undercover detectives was masterful and worthy of TV. Glass admitted his guilt and took a plea. He kept his 20 buildings and The Lower East Side is now Hipster Heaven and Ludlow is both the name of a street and J.Crew’s newest men’s emporium in Tribeca and Boston. –Landordrocknyc


The Double Life of a Ludlow Street Landlord

“Crawford came back from staying at a girlfriend’s to find that his apartment had been burglarized, his mattress thrown on the street — and the locks changed. “What burglar takes the time to change the locks on the way out of an apartment?” she says. “It was so obviously the landlord.” NY Magazine, 1999

“…They came for Mark Glass at 9 a.m. on Erev Rosh Hashanah, the eve of one of the holiest days of the Jewish year. It was October 1, a warm, windy autumn day — rent day — and a stream of tenants was already buzzing at the door of Glass’s tiny storefront real-estate office at 159 Ludlow on the Lower East Side. Except for the early holiday closing — Glass, a devout Orthodox Jew, had to get home before sundown — it was no different from any other first-of-the-month.

Detectives Kennedy and Bush from the NYPD Robbery Squad seemed miffed that Glass wasn’t at work yet. His office manager, Jana Eitel, a plump, streetwise Byelorussian émigré who speaks six languages, each with the same accent, tried to joke with them as she dialed her boss on his cell phone — “Are you both ex-presidents?” — but the cops weren’t amused, and Glass did not pick up. Instead, they had a question for her: “Did you know a tenant named Brigitte Marx?”

“Of course,” she said. Ever since the paper store Eitel had worked for down the block closed five years ago, she’d managed all fifteen of Uses Realty’s properties, mostly clustered on Ludlow and Clinton Streets. She knew all the tenants — which ones were troublemakers, which ones always paid their rent on time. Word had filtered through Ludlow Street that Marx had been killed, but there were no details. “Terrible thing,” she sighed, cracking open her first pack of Virginia Slims for the day. “Brigitte was a good girl. Do you know what happened?” The cops were fuzzy. All they seemed to know was that Marx had been beaten and murdered somewhere uptown. They needed to get into the apartment. Could she have Mr. Glass call them when he got in?snidely whiplash

A little after eleven, Mark Glass, an athletic 44-year-old with wire-frame glasses and a trim, graying beard, pulled up to the office in his battered cobalt-blue ’72 Skylark, a $300 jalopy that was his pride and joy. His holiday davening at the Manhattan Beach Jewish Center had taken him a little longer than expected, and he was running late. Eitel told him the cops wanted him over at 42 Clinton. Glass slapped a Yankees cap over his yarmulke and ran out the door.

The cops were already outside when Glass arrived with his maintenance man. Glass led them up the crumbling stairs to the third floor, through a dimly lit corridor decorated with an old Jean-Luc Godard poster, to apartment 13. The cops had clearly already been there; yellow crime-scene tape zigzagged across the door. Glass fumbled for the keys and opened the apartment. Marx had meticulously renovated the tenement, skim-coating the walls and refinishing the floors. “Do you mind if I use the phone?” asked one of the cops. “It’s not mine,” said Glass, “but I don’t see why not.” The cop made his call and then walked over to the landlord. “Mr. Glass, I’m sorry, but I have some bad news,” he said. “You’re gonna have to come with us for some questioning in connection with the death of Brigitte Marx.” And then the cop unhitched his handcuffs.

In fact, Brigitte Marx was not dead. At that moment, she was in a luxury hotel uptown, courtesy of the NYPD. Just days before Glass’s arrest, the cops had recorded him on audiotape allegedly paying a hit man the final installment on a contract to kill her and her next-door neighbor. According to the Manhattan district attorney, Glass had first hired the hit man to burn Marx, a 37-year-old German freelance graphic designer, and her next-door neighbor, Bernell Crawford, an unemployed black waiter in his mid-thirties, out of their apartments; when that failed, he had taken out a contract to execute them with a lethal overdose of heroin. The hit man was part of an elaborate NYPD sting — but Glass didn’t know that yet…” NY Magazine, 1999


Dudley Do Right, The Movie (1999), with a glam-less Sarah Jessica Parker as the damsel in distress: (VIDEO):


Bright Lights, Kind City: Empire State Building LED Light Show; NYPD Cop’s Private Act Of Kindness Goes Viral

Lawrence DePrimo, 25, The NYPD officer who bought socks and new $100 boots for a barefoot homeless man on a freezing Times Square street.
He is unaware that he is being photographed as he helps the man with  the boots.

In a tr’ue act of charity, a  young NY cop buys an old homeless man a pair of boots on a cold city night. A tourist from Arizona (who happens to work in law enforcement) snaps a photo and now it’s viral. It happened in Times Square.


The Empire State Building lights up the skyline with a new LED light display and Alica Keyes providing soundtrack. The new light show capabilities are part of a major makeover at Manhattan’s most iconic building.

The Big Tease: Neiman Marcus, Target And Who? 24 Designers, 50+ Gifts on December 1

Can hipper than thou marketing be too cool (and too quick) for the room? The TV and online ads for the historic holiday pairing of Neiman Marcus,

Marie Antoinette by Elisabeth Vigee LeBrun, 1783

Target and 24 luxe category designers are graphically wonderful. But it all happens so fast (at least for me) that the big names go by in a blur. It leaves me wanting more info. Maybe that was the point. Here’s more info on the  #Holiday24 Collection of more than 50 gifts  that launches in-store and online Dec. 1.Prices are the same at Neiman Marcus and Target.  Of course, there is a whiff of “let them buy cake” Marie Antoinette-ism about this promotion and all such class goes mass events. It’s only because prices are so obscene now that it seems like a big deal (and a good deal) for the 99 percenters who don’t (or won’t) spend $4,000 on a bag.

Landlordrock Design: Pantone’s Top 10 Apartment Colors Of The Year

Pantone Rhapsody In Lilac

Pantone Titanium

Pantone Pink Flambe

Pantone Bright Chartreuse

Pantone Aquamarine

Pantone French Roast

From Pantone, the color authority. The Top Ten Colors For 2012/2013:

Some are bright and audacious with a frankly 50’s/60’s vibe. Some are as cool and strong as Titanium.http://homes.yahoo.com/news/10-hot-trendy-colors-decorators-adore-213201275.html Here’s the rundown of which hues will be influencing both  interior design and fashion:

Rhapsody in Blue by George Gershwin, Opening Soundtrack Manhattan (VIDEO):

Shop Landlordrocknyc: Nucky Thompson’s Boardwalk Empire Shoes, $630 at Forzieri.com

Enoch’s Iconic Opening Credit Boardwalk Wingtips are handmade, Italian and available on line at Forzieri.com, $630.

Forzieri.com is the Internet Retail division of Firenze Seta s.r.l., an Italy based company located in Florence, Italy

Nucky’s Surfside Boardwalk Empire Shoes Handmade in Italy, $630 at Forzieri.com

which has been family owned and operated since 1994. We offer premium Italian designer accessories at the most affordable prices.”–Forzieri.com

Dita Von Teese: From Burlesque To Brand–NY Times

Burlesque Queen Dita Von Teese, 40, is retro royalty and style muse to Kate Perry and other 21st century pin-up girls.

Dita Von Teese for Target, Australia Runway Von Follies Lingerie (VIDEO):

“Heels and red lipstick,”

Dida Von Teese Half Moon Manicure Print, Decades NY

she tells you only half in jest, “will put the fear of God into people.”–Dita Von Teese

Via New York Times” …”Fetish queen, fashion avatar, America’s sultry doyenne

Dita Von Teese Ad for MAC lipstick, Viva Glam II Red

of burlesque, Ms. Von Teese, nee Heather Sweet of Rochester, Mich., is the toast of at least one generation of would-be calendar girls.”

…At a cocktail party last month at Decades, the luxury vintage shop here on Melrose Avenue, she peeled the wraps from a capsule fashion line, her first. Conceived with Lime Door, an Australian brand-development company, the five-piece collection of curvy-yet-covered-up

Dita Von Teese Collection at Decades, Los Angeles

, retro-flavored items is lavishly detailed with silk or tulle linings and touches of grosgrain.

The line is the latest in a series of recent product introductions that include a fragrance, cosmetics, lingerie and hosiery

Dita Von Teese Retro Trench with Tulle “crinoline” underskirt

(seamed, of course) that are expected to cement her status as a purveyor of genteel kink. She is gambling that her fans, 80 percent of whom are women, she says, will take the bait.

Certainly, she has bewitched the fashion world, gathering admirers like Christian Louboutin, Marc Jacobs (whose front row she has graced) and Jean Paul Gaultier, on whose runway she once performed an exotically elegant strip tease.

Her fashion line, sold exclusively for now at Decades and on shopdecadesinc.com, and priced from about $600 to $1,000, has performed well, said Melissa Dishell, Ms. Von Teese’s manager and business partner. “But our version of ‘well’ is not the Kardashians’ version of ‘well.’ ” Ms. Dishell provided no figures….”–NY Times


Stripper Blaze Starr in a 1950’s Video Produced by Bettie Page (VIDEO):

The Rise of Men In Suits: “Men (in slim suits) Are The New Women” At J. Crew’s Ludlow Shop In Tribeca

Italian Cashmere Ludlow Suit at J. Crew. Ludlow suits range from $456 for the Italian chino version to $1,490 for Italian cashmere.

Daniel Craig as James Bond In a Tight, Second-Skin Suit.
Doubt that it came from J. Crew.

Cary Grant, North by Northwest, 1959. The definitive slim,sexy suit:

The last time skinny suits were mainstream was when Kennedy was President. But like all things mid-century and Mad Men, we prefer sexy, retro-sleek men in power suits to men in infantile hipster knit hats, flannel shirts or statement Alexander McQueenish skirts. Unless it’s Craig Ferguson in a kilt. –Landlordrocknyc

Comedian Craig Ferguson In A Kilt

Via NY Times…”Men’s wear sales are surging at double-digit rates. Suits, sports coats and outerwear, nearly all bought by men themselves, are leading the gains, according to Steve Pruitt, founder of the fashion and retail consulting firm Blacks Retail. Blacks projects that men’s suit sales will be up 10 percent this fall and holiday season, and sports jacket sales will be up 11 percent, while women’s ready-to-wear sales remain flat.

“Men are the new women,” Bret Pittman, director of J. Crew’s Ludlow Shop in TriBeCa in Manhattan, told me when I stopped in recently for a tour of the new store, the prototype for a line that will feature men’s suits and tailored clothing.

Entering the store is like stepping onto the set of “Mad Men” or “A Single Man,” the film-directing debut of the men’s wear designer Tom Ford. Millard Drexler, chief executive and chairman of the J. Crew Group, showed me around, pointing out a vintage

Ludlow by J. Crew, 50 Hudson Street, NYC

Mies van der Rohe black leather sofa

Knoll Barcelona Couch designed by Mies Van Der Rohe, 1929.
It is a classic modernist design.

and a Marantz sound system from the 1960s. Some weathered military file cabinets

Ludlow, J. Crew Concept Store in Tribeca.
Encouraged by very strong sales (some customers
buy multiple suits), the company opened a second store in Boston,

and an assortment of hardback books completed the retro look, a not-so-subtle reminder of an era when men looked sharp.

Mr. Drexler, who is known as Mickey, was wearing 484 Selvedge jeans, a white cotton Thomas Mason shirt, a navy Ludlow blazer, and brown Crockett & Jones wingtip shoes, all from J. Crew. “It’s a uniform,” he told me. Even so, Mr. Drexler has recently had to refresh much of his wardrobe.

“Men’s styles are very slow to change,” he said. “But I walked around New York and I saw all these young guys wearing skinny lapels and narrow ties. I came back and looked in the mirror. My lapels looked freakish.= Mickey Drexler, J, Crew

Mr. Drexler and his design team set out to reinvent the suit. “What does a modern guy want to look like?” he asked. “We went to people we admire. How were they dressing?” What he and his team discerned was a once-in-a-generation change in the basic shape of a man’s suit, from a boxy design meant to conceal the body to a fitted look meant to reveal it.

The Ludlow suit was born: slim, fitted, with narrow lapels. “It’s our version of the iPhone,” said Mr. Drexler, who sits on Apple’s board. “We wanted it to be simple, consistent, iconic, with great attention to detail. Use the best fabrics. Don’t charge what name designers charge. And why does buying a suit have to be so complicated? We basically sell one model. That was the vision.”

Like Apple, J. Crew controls both the manufacture and the distribution of its clothing. Suits sell from about $500 to $1,500. “The Ludlow shop was a hit right out of the gate,” Mr. Drexler said. “Guys want their own space. They don’t want to walk by the perfume counter.” As a private company, J. Crew doesn’t disclose sales figures, but a spokeswoman said men’s wear accounted for 24 percent of the chain’s sales and was growing”…NYTimes