Nicholas Bartha, Arne Jacobsen, and High-End Real-Estate FlippingRemember Dr. Nicholas Bartha, the psychotic Upper East Side doctor who blew up his townhouse with himself in it rather than sell the thing to pay his ex-wife the divorce settlement she was owed? Yeah, well, the Times has a profile today of Janna Bullock, the Russian-born developer who bought the now-empty lot for $8.3 million, plans to build “a Modernist-style house with a green roof and an underground pool” on it, and then, she says, sell the thing, in one to four years, for $30 to $40 million. (A place on East 67th she bought for $10.5 million is now on the market for $35 million.) Our friends at Curbed (we think we’re still friends with them, yes?) are moderately in awe of her flipping talents but even more in awe of her publicity-shot locale: Yes, that’s her, photographed in the empty lot that was once the Bartha house. Us? We’re even more impressed by her photo styling. The dilapidated Arne Jacobsen egg chair she’s sitting in? On the dilapidated lot on which she plans to build a modernist icon? Genius.
Buy High, Sell Higher [NYT via Curbed]
Location, Location, Location
Next month, Christie’s will auction a 1951 prefab aluminum house designed modernist icon Jean Prouve, but, for now, it’s on display on the Long Island City waterfront. The auction house estimates the Maison Tropicale, as it’s called, one of only three constructed, will sell for $4 to $6 million; the winner bidder will receive simply a kit, a collection of metal parts. (“Like an Ikea piece, but bigger,” as the Times described it this week.) Which is a shame: $6 million for these views is a steal.
Related: From Africa to Queens Waterfront, a Modernist Gem for Sale to the Highest Bidder [NYT]
Meatpacking Asserts Its Relevance This WeekendThough sofas and desklamps don’t have their own catwalks in Bryant Park, our city is currently awash in product-design festivals. If you can’t follow the clean lines at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair currently at Javits, you may enjoy the more accessible Meatpacking District Design Week, which begins this weekend. Clothier Jussara Lee offers an installation about climate impact, and shops like An Earnest Cut and Sew (bicycles), Auto (wedding rings) and Bodum (coffee) feature elegant takes on the everyday. The gathering emphasizes the “collision” of product design with art and fashion; New York’s Janet Ozzard will be on Saturday’s panel exploring that notion. (The magazine sponsors this and two other discussions.) Don’t get cowed: Promoter Abe Gurko promises that “the whole experience is designed for non-snobs.” So go see Karim Rashid’s Day-Glo chairs (left), tour the market building that will eventually house the Whitney, and weave in and out of cocktail parties every night. You can collide all you like. Alec Appelbaum
Brooklyn Design Weekend Balances Shopping With Eco-Fear
Got $12? Head to the canyons of Dumbo for BKLYN Designs, a three-day expo that kicks off Design Week today. You can browse end tables with spidery legs and kids’ chairs with Frank Gehry contours, all from local artisans. (New York is one of the event’s sponsors.) And since unregenerate consumerism is so, well, Manhattan, you can balance every splurge with an earnest discussion.
Dining By Design, in Style and for Charity
Dining By Design, an annual charity thingie that plops society types down to dine among phantasmagoric table settings, is a reliable showcase of ingenuity with a serious tranny undercurrent (John Waters did a table once; Amanda Lepore was a table once). This year, DBD’s tenth, there was a palpable sense of overdrive in the West Chelsea event space: Most table designers were piling on feathers, antlers, holograms, lenticulars, fruit hats, and drag queens with corporate-sponsored abandon. On the tamer end, Ralph Lauren erected a mosquito-netted gazebo. Disney’s table recalled, curiously, a boardroom. Nautica went with the oh-my-God-we’re-on-a-yacht theme. In a slight faux pas, the Cole&Garrett and Lexus tables used the exact same chairs.
Milton Glaser Continues to Love New YorkThere was news yesterday that the Empire State Development Corporation, the state’s economic-development agency, wants to freshen up the famous “I ♥ New York” ad campaign. “We are looking to actively reenergize and reinvigorate the brand,” they said in an ad. The iconic logo was designed in 1977 by Milton Glaser, who also designed New York magazine, which he helped found. We called him yesterday to see how he feels about his baby’s impending face-lift.
For Todd Oldham, Brunch Is a PrisonName: Todd Oldham
Job: Designer and host of Bravo’s Top Design, premiering tonight.
Who’s your favorite New Yorker, living or dead, real or fictional?
So many. Susan Sarandon, Stuart Davis, Andy Warhol …
What’s the best meal you’ve eaten in New York?
Any one of my trips to Lupe’s. Best Mexican food in New York.
In one sentence, what do you actually do all day in your job?
I design and make things all day.