What would be the contemporary equivalent of Orsini’s, which closed in 1984? Adam Platt says, “Snooty French restaurants are mostly a thing of the past in 2008 New York. But should you wither before the haut snobbisme of the Greenmarket grandees, say, at Per Se, the place to go for theatrical people-watching in a moderately relaxed, even cozy, setting is Da Silvano (260 Sixth Ave., nr. Bleecker St.; 212-982-2343). Golda Meir has long since passed from the scene, but there’s a chance you might glimpse Ms. Bergen hunched in one of Silvano Marchetto’s back-corner tables, next to Jessica Simpson. Garlicky baked clams don’t cost $2.75 anymore, but for $19.50 you can get a moderately fine bowl of taglierini with artichokes. And the pasta sauces, as far as we know, are rarely frozen.”
That La Grenouille’s soufflé is still the best in town has less to do with the fact that the competition—La Caravelle, Lutèce, La Côte Basque—has been dropping like flies and more to do with the fact that Charles Masson fils holds to his father’s original recipe (down to the gram) as if it were a sacred text. “Pastry is all about exactitude,” he is still saying, from the same restaurant his father opened in 1962.
Jerry Herman sold the carriage house on West 10th Street, in 1976, to Albert Augustine, whose descendents sold it to manager and producer David Sonenberg and his wife, Shelley, in 2006, for $5.3 million.
RECENT SALES AND RENTALS (2008 PRICES)
➽ 124 E. 80th St.,$12.5 million.
➽ Park Ave. rental,$24,900 per month.
➽ 1160 Park Ave.,$2.95 million.
➽ 535 Broadway, $11.87 million.
➽ West Seventies rental, $5,500 per month.
➽ Greenwich St. loft, $1.56 million.
➽ Upper West Side co-op, $2.995 million (monthly maintenance: $1,500 to $2,000).
➽ 120 E. 37th St., $6.03 million.
➽ Four-room Mitchell-Lama apartment, $1,000 (if still under the program), $3,500 (post-deregulation).
➽ 254 E. 4th St., $14.45 million.
➽ 9 E. 68th St., $8.85 million.
➽ 196 Berkeley Pl., $2.35 million.
➽ President St. rental, $2,400 per month.
➽ 205 Berkeley Pl., $2.35 million.
➽ 1126 E. 88th St., $407,000.
Elizabeth Arden is still in the same location (691 Fifth Ave., at 54th St.; 212-546-0200). Same for Ray Beauty Supply (721 Eighth Ave., nr. 45th St.; 800-253-0993), and you can still buy Vogue-brand fake eyelashes ($2.65 for a box of two). Kenneth Salon has moved from Kenneth’s townhouse to a slightly loftier locale: the Waldorf Astoria Hotel (301 Park Ave., at 49th St.; 212-752-1800). And the Sassoon Salon ($98 to $165) now has two locations: the Crown Building (730 Fifth Ave., nr. 57th St.; 212-535-9200) and 32 West 18th Street (nr. Fifth Ave.; 212-229-2200). The Doctors Hospital building was shuttered in 2004 and is currently being rebuilt as luxury condos designed by Peter Magrino Architect.
Some entries on our “Nightlife” map were inspired by, if not completely lifted from, the 1967 book The New York Spy, edited by Alan Rinzler. It’s a brilliant, joyful out-of-print read whose contributors include Tom Wolfe, Nora Ephron, Leo Lerman, and Henry Geldzahler; there are copies currently on Amazon.com for under $10.
Design editor Wendy Goodman scouted exhaustively to find a still-extant, flawlessly maintained, never-before-photographed sixties New York home (there are more candidates than you might think). The Fifth Avenue apartment that made the cut technically defies our 1968 mandate, since the owners moved there in the mid-seventies from East 66th Street. But they, along with decorator Timothy Macdonald, retained many design elements from that apartment, which had been done by Paul Rudolph (the mirror window treatments) and François Catroux (the aubergine walls) in 1968. In the intervening years, the essential spirit hasn’t changed, although Dana Nicholson has refreshed the décor several times, including (sadly, for our purposes) removing the original shag carpet.