May 17, 2004
Woody’s Deal: 92nd Street Buy
Manhattan’s latest real-estate mystery has been solved. The elusive buyer of Woody Allen’s apartment, priced at $27 million, is Barry Volpert, a retired Goldman Sachs International managing director and partner. His identity has been the subject of great speculation since news broke last month that Allen had gone into contract on the place. A broker close to the deal says Volpert paid about $25 million for the 22-room Georgian townhouse on East 92nd Street and Park Avenue, which Allen bought for $17.7 million in 1999 from investor George McFadden and his wife, Carol. The broker adds that Volpert, who didn’t return calls, bought the apartment in someone else’s name, so he is not listed on the contract.
Story Behind The Stories: Pulped Fiction
Esquire beat out The New Yorker last week at the American Society of Magazine Editors’ National Magazine Awards, picking up four Ellies over The New Yorker’s three. But had the tastes of The New Yorker’s fiction department been different, the situation might have been reversed. Esquire won the fiction award for three stories—“Presence,” by Arthur Miller; “The Red Bow,” by George Saunders; and “Rest Stop,” by Stephen King—all of which were rejected by The New Yorker, also a nominee in the fiction category, for stories by Edward P. Jones (“A Rich Man”), Alice Munro (“Runaway”), and Lorrie Moore (“Debarking”). The Paris Review, The Atlantic Monthly, and Zoetrope: All-Story were the other contenders. “We congratulate [Esquire editor] David [Granger] and the writers,” says New Yorker spokeswoman Perri Dorset. An Esquire spokesman responds, “Well, we rejected that drawing of a water pitcher that they ran in the corner of page 48.”
Craft Goes West: Klein Dining
Tom Colicchio beat out Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Daniel Boulud for the restaurant space in Jeff Klein’s Argyle hotel in L.A. “We’ve been in negotiations for about two months,” says Colicchio, who also has a Las Vegas outpost. “But nothing is signed.” Klein, who owns Manhattan’s City Club Hotel, wouldn’t comment on the deal, but did say he is renovating the Argyle’s existing restaurant for $25,000, until Craft is ready for business. “Everyone in L.A. dines like they’re at Craft anyway,” he says, since the menu enables even the most finicky dieters to put together an expensive meal.
Ann Richards Returns: Political Move
The Times may have reported on May 5 that “politicians of all stripes” were taking up residence in New York, but one cited example is already defecting. Former Texas governor Ann Richards—who has spent the past couple of years mingling with a slate of high-powered New Yorkers and fellow ex-Texans, like Liz Smith, Dan Rather, and Joe Armstrong—is moving back to the Lone Star State, three years after opening the New York office of Public Strategies, Inc., the Austin-based public-affairs advocacy and corporate consulting firm. But don’t think the move means that this is the last New York will see of Richards. “I’ll still do work out of the office in New York,” she says, “but I’m doing more around the country. I’ll be doing a lot of work on the campaigns this summer.”