Richard Gere has put his apartment in Julian Schnabel's Palazzo Chupi on the market, private-equity execs come down to earth, Sam Zell continues to be wacky, and Jeff Zucker and Harvey Weinstein fight like a couple of queens over 'Project Runway' in our daily roundup of real-estate, finance, media and law news.
Schnabel raises the price on his pink palace, a New York 'Times' journalist is jailed in ZImbabwe, and a Starbucks worker fights for her rights. And regrets? Citigroup has a few in today's roundup of news from the fields of real estate, media, law, and finance.
The other night at the opening of Mikhail Baryshnikov’s photo exhibition, “Merce My Way,” at 401 Projects on West Street, we were ruminating on the rapidly changing schneigborhood with gallery owner Mark Seliger. “You just blink and there’s a new building up," said Seliger, adding that he is often asked to sell his building, just south of the Richard Meier condos. He wasn't entirely sold on Julian Schnabel’s nearby Palazzo Chupi, he admitted, at least not until he went inside. “It’s amazing," he declared. “It’s growing on me, definitely growing on me." Another local, Michael Angelo, proprietor of supermodel-central salon Wonderland on West 13th Street, chimed in. “I think that everybody had a little heart attack at first," he said of the pink palazzo.
Seliger recently photographed the entire Schnabel family for a L’Uomo Vogue spread. Papa Schnab, he said, had insisted on wearing his own clothing. “You can count on him wearing pajamas, that’s for sure,” he said.
And then, as if he were a rotund, benevolent Beetlejuice, at the sound of his name, Schnabel appeared.
Well, someone is getting fancy. Julian Schnabel has hired Brown Harris Stevens, the hoity real-estate brokers that market big-time rich-people properties like 15 Central Park West, to sell the remaining units of his pink palace, the Palazzo Chupi (above). Sure, this makes sense, since the condos are in the range of $27–$32 million, but when we heard it we were a little disapointed, since it doesn't really jibe with the Schnab's bohemian, pajamas-wearing style. Except! Max Abelson over at Observer tells us the agents he picked are virtual neophytes: a sales associate named Debra Ortega, whose son his sons met at camp who has never actually had her own listing, and Paddington M. Zwigard, an agent who has never sold an apartment over $10 million, whom we imagine Schnabel chose for her awesome name. See, the Schnab is all about people and the feelings he gets from people, not stuffy stuff like credentials. “I think what he wants is a community that’s comparable to his lifestyle,” Ortega told the Observer, “someone he would feel keen about being neighbors with. I don’t think he’s going to judge if you’re a banker or artist or a top global realtor.” What about money? Does he judge you if you don't have enough to actually buy in the Palazzo? Because that wouldn't really jibe with his bohemian style, either. Maybe he should think about that and about the bloggers who really deserve to be in his community. We're just saying.
Schnabel’s Palazzo Goes Mainstream With $59 M. in Broker Listings [NYO]
Every once in a while, The Wall Street Journal renews our faith in the Street and, indeed, humanity by profiling one of the few eccentric and wonderful folks who float among or above the wretched, amoral meatheads, and Andrew J. Hall is such a man. The British-born commodities trader and head of a "secretive unit" at Citigroup known as Phibro, 57-year-old Hall has made a killing in the last few years off long-term oil futures, the Journal tells us, and this is despite the fact that, most afternoons, he leaves the office to row or practice calisthenics with a ballet teacher. He's also one of the world's top collectors of contemporary art — not that his neighbors in Southport, Connecticut, were particularly impressed by that when he tried to install an 80-foot-long concrete sculpture on the lawn of his Greek Revival home. Hall ended up giving Etroits sont les Vaisseaux to the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, which is too bad because it would have looked nice on the lawn at Schloss Dernberg, the nearly 1,000-year-old castle he owns in Germany. But his material possessions aren't the only reason we would like Hall to procure the necessary papers to adult-adopt us. According to the Journal, "He recently staged a lavish exhibit in his German castle of works by U.S. artist and filmmaker Julian Schnabel." In the book accompanying the show, Hall opined that "many in the art world have tried to ignore" Mr. Schnabel, despite his obvious awesomeness. See? He's a man after our own heart. Trader Hits Jackpot in Oil, As Commodity Boom Roars On [WSJ]
Graydon Carter and wife Anna are expecting their first child together (Carter has four kids from his first marriage). Kim Cattrall has been bragging that her SATC: TM castmates got paid higher salaries because she held out for more money. Bono, his wife, and Helena Christensen were harassed by paparazzi while eating at Serafina in the Dream Hotel. New Yorkers Julian Schnabel and PR guru Dan Klores both took home Independent Spirit Awards. Abby Diaz, the former maître d' of Jean-Georges Vongerichten's who wrote the restaurant tell-all PX This! was asked to leave Jean Georges while having a glass of wine. "Page Six" mourns that dive bar Siberia has been converted into a Dunkin' Donuts.
Because Daily Intel's pursuit of all things Schnabel is not bound by geography or actually, gravity, we asked Berlin-based reporter Lawrence Ferber to corner Madonna at the Berlin Film Festival this week, where she was promoting the film she directed, Filth and Wisdom, and ask her why she had rejected the Chupi of our dreams. Here is his report:
"What a strange question!" Madonna laughed when we asked her about the Palazzo Chupi. So we laughed too, like "Ha-ha-ha-ha, we're not psycho." "How did you know that?" she asked. Er, we have our ways. Madge confirmed she had looked at the Chupi and decided not to move in. But not, it turned out, for fear of seeing a Schnaked Schnabel slipping into the swimming pool. "I love the house," she explained. "But it's not child-friendly, which is why I didn't end up moving there." Also, she was able to iron out the issues she was having with her co-op board at Harperly Hall. I bought the apartment upstairs, so now everything's A-OK," she said. She and Schnabel will continue to be friends. "I love [Julian]," she gushed. "He's awesome." We think so too! Maybe we can all be friends! Madge? —Lawrence Ferber
This may be hard for you to believe since we at Intel are clearly deeply fulfilled by our work, but there are days when we say to ourselves, Selves? Why did we not go into investment banking? Because a life of pounding the pavement and speaking truth to power may be noble, but it's not gonna get us to the Palazzo Chupi. Yes, today the remaining two units of Julian Schnabel's pink West Village Palace, having been rejected by Bono, then by Madonna, went on the market. The views (river and harbor, from various terraces), amenities (pool, parking, access to the Schnabe), and schnabulous details (cast-bronze door handles, stone fireplaces, cast-stone railings, beamed ceilings, terra-cotta tile floors) put the price at $27 million (for the duplex) and $32 million (for the triplex). Our rudimentary math skills (another reason we're not bankers) indicate that it will take us somewhere between 400 and 700 years to save up for our chunk of Chupi. Until then, we can only dream, and moon over the pictures after the jump.
The Schnabels seem like a free-spirited brood. Actually we're just going to say what we have always thought: that they are probably a Naked Family. You just know that Papa Schnabe totally walks around the Palazzo Chupi sans pajamas all the time and is all, "It's beautiful." Schnaked. Anyway, the point is, it sounds like they are probably pretty open about sex and the like, which is why we were not surprised to read that Julian Schnabel fully supported his 21-year-old son Vito's relationship with creaky 44-year-old model Elle Macpherson. "She's a beautiful woman, and my son is a very handsome guy," Schnabes told an Australian newspaper. "More power to the both of them if something happened to them. I think he's a healthy young man with good impulses." See? That is such a naked dad thing to say.
Elle of a Romance, Says Vito's Dad [Courier-Mail]
Add selfless and noble to the list of things we love about Julian Schnabel. The Schnab is going to Israel in June, partly to scout locations for a movie based on a book by Israeli-Palestinian author Rula Jebreal, but also to be an envoy of peace. "We need to fix things over there," Schnabel told an Israeli reporter in London the other day. "I'm going to work on it. That will be my next thing. Yes, I'm going to devote myself to try and make things better over there." So what if he gets sidetracked a little? "Are there any surfers in Israel?" he asks the interviewer. If there's anyone who can bring peace to that war-torn part of the world, it's a ruddy, pajama-clad painter from New York City by way of Brownsville, Texas. Or, at least, you know, it won't be as bad as when Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown went.
Next Direction: Paint It Peaceful [NYP via The Reeler]
The Diving Bell Director Coming to Israel [YNet]