Recalling the spat, which was dissected ad nauseam on real-estate blogs, Barnett frowns. “We weren’t so excited about him anyhow,” he says.
At the corner of Fifth Avenue, we are stopped by a short, silver-haired man in a blue Moncler jacket. He is wearing suede slip-ons and no socks and chunky eyeglasses. “Gary,” the man says. “Tommy. Tommy Hilfiger. Good to see you.”
Hilfiger, who owns a $25 million duplex in the Plaza, has long been rumored to be interested in buying at One57. Now he presses Barnett on details. “I’d really like to go up,” he says.
“So? The full floors are going quick.”
“The thing, is my apartment is so special in the Plaza. My wife …” Hilfiger trails off.
“It is beautiful,” Barnett agrees. “But bring her up [in One57] and look at the views.”
Hilfiger mentions that Silas Chou and Lawrence Stroll (who were early investors in Tommy Hilfiger) were “very happy” with their new purchases. “Do you have something left in the eighties?” he asks.
“We do have something left in the eighties. I think 84.”
“You around all week?”
“Yeah, I’m around. Except Yom Kippur. That’s Wednesday.”
Hilfiger nods. “Congratulations on everything,” he says. “You got the world talking.”
Barnett is silent for almost a full block. And then, turning to me, he says, “I promise you, that was not staged.”