‘What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?’ : The 1947 Frank Loesser Holiday Classic by Ella , Zooey and Harry Connick, Jr.


“I owe Marilyn Monroe a real debt. It was because of her that I played the Mocambo, a very popular nightclub in the ’50s. She personally called the owner of the Mocambo, and told him she wanted me booked immediately, and if he would do it, she would take a DBRnR67M4onikulsY2bwbr5qo1_r2_500front table every night. She told him – and it was true, due to Marilyn’s superstar status – that the press would go wild. The owner said yes, and Marilyn was there, front table, every night.” – Ella Fitzgerald

Words and Music by Frank Loesser,1947

Composer Frank Loesser

Composer Frank Loesser


60 Minutes/Vanity Fair Poll: Who loves ‘ya, baby? Your in-laws, your dog or your landlord?

Question, July 2012 Issue of Vanity Fair:

“In general, which of the following is the most likely to have your best interests at heart?”

Your In-laws  29%

Your Pet  27%

Your Employer  5%

Your Government 5%

Your Landlord  1%

None Of The Above 32%

William Wegman Photograph

William Wegman Photograph

Remembering The Gender-Bending Vintage Style of Marlene Dietrich: The 1930’s

Actress Marlene Dietrich, 1937

She smoked, she drank, she sometimes dressed like a guy and romanced girls, but no one every rocked furs and jewels with more worldly allure and (‘don’t mess with me fellas, it’s not my first time at the rodeo’) authority than Marlene Dietrich. Remembering glamour when it was a weapon and s show of strength in a world gone mad on the brink of war.

If she had nothing more than her voice she could break your heart with it. But she has that beautiful body and the timeless lovliness of her face. It makes no difference how she breaks your heart if she is there to mend it.” Ernest Hemingway

She has the bearing of a man; the characters she plays love power and wear trousers. Marlene’s masculinity appeals to women and her sexuality to men.” -Kenneth Tynan

Marlene – with the unambiguous allure of the woman of yesterday and the ambiguous Marlene Dietrich at Cafe de Parischarm of the woman of today who has man not only about her but also within her.”-Hanna Schygulla

Miss Dietrich is the first female star for years with whom Paris society has fallen in love. Marlene Dietrich Modeling Famous DressMarlene Sets the ModeRETROSPECTIVE: MARLENE DIETRICHMarlene Dietrich Sitting at Pool and SmokingRETROSPECTIVE: MARLENE DIETRICHMarlene Dietrich Leans Against DoorwayApparently she is also the first woman in man’s clothing since Christina of Sweden about three hundred years ago on whom the government has again cast a watchful eye.” Janet Flanner

Photographer Bert Stern And Marilyn Monroe’s Last Photography Sitting For Vogue, 1962

MM_camera MM BW Looking Up with Veil_v2 100241_1_x03“My favorite thing in the world is women. There have been basically only two women who interested me. One I was married to–Allegra Kent. The other was Marilyn Monroe. I had no way of knowing what her demons were.”–Bert Stern

Bert Stern, Original Madman, Trailer

It takes one to know one. Ad man George Lois, the self-proclaimed real Don Draperyoung_gl,  and an iconc cultural force of his own,  described Bert Stern as a “cultural provocateur”. And yes, it’s possible for a  website to be a creative triumph with graphics. music and content almost equal to the genius of its subject, (and the subject of an acclaimed 2011 documentary),the great American photographer Bert Stern. Be sure to click on the gallery for more Stern:


Diamonds And Pearls, Vogue Sitting 1962

Gloves and “Betty Draper” Hair, Dress, 1962

Marilyn’s Last Interview. 1962,  just days before her death at age 36. Note, her real voice is not the breathy, seductive MM voice that was her on-screen trademark.

Trophy Town USA: The Year The Billionaires Bought New York, One Biggest-Ticket Apartment At A Time

998 Fifth, $27.2 MillionOriginally offered at $45 Million

998 Fifth, $27.2 Million
Originally offered at $45 Million

111 East 70th, $27.2 Million. And if you need to borrow some Grey Poupon from a wealthy neighbor, Woody Allen and The Missus (Soon Yee) live next door.

111 East 70th, $27.2 Million. And if you need to borrow some Grey Poupon from a wealthy neighbor, Woody Allen and The Missus (Soon -Yi Previn) live next door.

15 Central Park West. $23.25 Million

15 Central Park West. $23.25 Million
The owners paid $10.8 Million in 2008.

Those with lots of loot to park, are  parking some of it here–as prices and marquee buildings rose to dizzying heights in 2012. The New York Observer reports:

“The beginning of 2012 started with a closing, the most spectacular closing this city had ever seen: Russian fertilizer king Dmitry Rybolovlev spent $88 million on Sandy Weill’s 15 Central Park West penthouse. Of course, the question on the real estate community’s lips back then was what Mr. Rybolovlev’s

15 Central Park West, $88 Million

15 Central Park West, $88 Million

buy could mean. Was it just a weird one-off—a tycoon trying to hide funds in the midst of a divorce—or something more? Did we dare to dream that it might be the opening salvo in a trophy hunt?

Indeed, it was. In the months that followed, some of the world’s wealthiest individuals made it clear that they had money to burn and wanted to spend it on New York real estate. Super sales bloomed with the spring flowers. Steve Wynn spent $70 million for a 10,882-square-foot penthouse at the Ritz Carlton

Surprise, the buyer of this understated Ritz Carlton apt is  from Las Vegas. Steve Wynn paid $70 million.

Surprise, the buyer of this understated Ritz Carlton apt is from Las Vegas. Steve Wynn paid $70 million.


Penthouse At The Plaza, $25.9 Million, Asking $33.5 Million

. Gary Barnett announced that not one, but two penthouses were in contract for more than $90 million at One57. The penthouse of 18 Gramercy, the Zeckendorfs’ new collaboration with Robert A.M. Stern, in contract for $42 million, is poised to set a new downtown record when it closes.

Co-ops also had a stunning year, setting record highs not once, but twice (for $52.5 million, then six months later for $54 million), proving that the trophy phenomenon wasn’t just running on foreign fuel. Even if co-op prices do continue to lag behind their park-side, board-less brethren. As one broker said of the 730 Park penthouse, which sold for $39 million: “If Russians could have bought the apartment, it would have sold for much, much more.”

And there were more than a few ridiculous overreaches—like the $100 million CitySpire penthouse, which induced more eye-rolling than desire and was promptly followed by three still-on-the-market $95 million listings.

Will the gold rush continue in 2013? Will grotesquely wealthy individuals continue to flood the city, tallying wraparound terraces and wood-burning fireplaces, touting

973 Fifth, Sandford White Gilded Age Mansion. 15,225 square ft, $42 Million

973 Fifth, Sandford White Gilded Age Mansion. 15,225 square ft, $42 Million

double-height living rooms and converted ballrooms, debating the merits of tony duplexes versus sprawling floor-throughs? No one knows for sure, but Extell, Macklowe and the Zeckendorfs are certainly counting on the dream that if you continue to build ultra-luxurious condos, the billionaires will continue to come.”–NY Observer

Grey Poupon Parody Commercial (VIDEO):

The Zeckendorfs Shopped At The Salvation Army, Bought 18 Gramercy For $60 Million In 2010

When the penthouse at 18 Gramercy closes shortly  for $42 million, it will set a new condo sales record for downtown. The property, developed by the superstar dream team of Arthur and William Lie Zeckendorf and Robert A. M Stern (think 15 Central Park West) is the former Evangeline Parkside residenceLobby_finalLivingroom_finalBedroom_finalcontact for women built by the Salvation Army in 1927. The straight-laced former SRO is decidedly sexier now with only  seventeen 4.500 sq. ft. residences (plus penthouse and maisonette). And yes, men will be allowed above the lobby floor for the first time since 1927.

Chanel Boy: The Latest in ‘I’m Dating An Oligarch’ Chic

Not for the shy or anyone seriously worried about fiscal cliffs, Chanel’s Boy Collection Bags are as embellished as it gets.
British polo player Arthur Boy mode-229Capel was 1965349d1354299942-chanel-chateau-medium-boy-img-20121201-01651Coco’s lover and first fashion muse, and she famously stole the best of his dashing Aristo-Brit Boy Capel style for the girls she would dress on her way to inventing modern fashion.

How Karl Lagerfeld gets from Boy’s impeccable country  Downton coco018Abbey-era tweeds to the most conspicuously Chanel bags ever, is a mystery. (Ornate country house, perhaps?)  But that’s why he’s Karl Lagerfeld and I’m not.1957108d1353695369-chanel-chateau-medium-boy-image-2591727112-1