Radical Chic & Mau-Mauing the Brooklyn DevelopersThe ever-cantankerous Copyranter points us today to a subway advertisement for Twenty Bayard, billed as “Williamsburg’s premier parkfront condominiums.” He’s mostly upset by the obnoxiously and self- consciously diverse foursome in the ad’s Warhol-esque portraits, but we’re more troubled by the ad’s tagline, “Radically chic. Chicly radical.” Not to get possessive about this, but when did Radical Chic become a desirable thing? The term was coined in a 1970 issue of New York, when Tom Wolfe wrote about “that party at Lenny’s,” a fund-raising soirée Leonard and Felicia Bernstein threw at their Park Avenue duplex for bigshots to raise money for — and actually mingle with! — Black Panthers. The piece is devastating and hilarious, an classic indictment of do-gooding but oblivious limousine liberals. Need to refresh your memory? From the magazine’s archives, here’s the original article.
Radical Chic: That Party at Lenny’s [NYM 5/6/1970]
The Four Fashionable Faces of Williamsburg [Copyranter]