Comments: Week of July 14, 2014

1. “This article on how the NYC real ­estate market’s used for money ­laundering & untraceable investing is infuriating,” tweeted Chris Murphy, who was, like many New Yorkers, outraged by the news in Andrew Rice’s cover story on the way LLCs have given rise to a spectacular boom in foreign ownership of real estate in the city, turning high-end apartments into investment vehicles even safer than Swiss bank accounts (Stash Pad,” June 30–July 13). “Eye-opening @riceid investigation into use of #phantomfirms to launder money into NYC real estate,” tweeted Joseph Kraus. “Great article,” wrote another reader. “We’ve been watching the 432 Park Avenue building going up for some time and the question has been a lingering one. Who buys an apartment for $50 million or more?

2. No surprise, but it was Vanessa Grigoriadis’s essay about the way Justin Bieber has grown up that got the loudest response generated by any article in our most recent issue (Would Every Boy Be This Boy If He Could?,” June 30–July 13). “Whoa. I didn’t think I would want to read all of this but it’s so well written I had to finish,” wrote one reader on our website, echoing others. “Kudos to Vanessa for making me have a teeeeeeeny bit more empathy for Bieber.” A writer at Inquisitr added: “Its strength is that it doesn’t try to shoehorn glib answers to a familiar story of a child star dream cum nightmare bender. Instead, Grigoriadis attempts to understand the pressures Justin Bieber may feel and accumulated neuroses he seems to be exhibiting.” At Jezebel, Dodai Stewart was a little less generous: “Grigoriadis points out that other celebs—Seth Rogen, the Black Keys—have called Bieber a ‘moron’ and a ‘piece of shit.’ But honestly, especially in the wake of the racist joke videos, it seems obvious that he’s emotionally stunted, lacking true ­authoritative guidance, in dire need of a responsible father figure, and having a fairly typical cry-for-help phase, only no one is listening. Or: We are listening, and we’re scoffing, sneering, enjoying the meltdown, rolling our eyes, rubbing our hands together, greedily.” A few other readers thought Grigoriadis should be enjoying the meltdown a little more herself. “This is such a great story, with such a mushy, defanged ending,” wrote one reader, referring to a closing invocation of a more mature and stable future for Bieber (which other readers flagged, too). “I disagree that an article has to have a ‘fanged’ ending to be of worth,” replied one. “It’s a real mistake, and often a male/fanboy one, to assume that a ‘hopeful’ or a ‘measured’ view is somehow weaker than snark for snark’s sake. I think Bieber has made mistakes, like everyone on the planet. But not everyone is watched, bullied and humiliated for the general amusement of others and by the so-called cool brigade of Seth Rogen and the Black Keys.” Also, a correction: Bieber gave a one-on-one interview as recently as November, to The ­Hollywood Reporter.

3. Bronx Bangladeshi eatery Neerob topped Robin Raisfeld and Rob Patronite’s annual Cheap Eats list of the city’s 101 best places to dine for under $25 (June 30–July 13), which this year was ranked for the first time since 2006. There was lots of ravenous praise for the undertaking, as well as the usual carping: “Budget friendly? I suppose if your budget is $50 for lunch, then yes, I guess it’s ‘budget friendly’ at $18 a roll. Some of the Park Slope establishments mentioned are simply laughable—Terroir? Really? THAT’S CHEAP? Maybe it’s cheap to some trustafarian ­reporters—but not to me. And please don’t tell me that this is NYC so I should be fine with the standard of cheap being $25 and under. That’s not cheap!! That’s moderately priced for many people who don’t make six-figure salaries.” Other readers sprang to ­defend the list: “This is NYC and not B*#tf%*k, Arkansas (and no offense to Arkansas, or B*#tf%*k … which I doubt exists … at least not called that to its face) so I mean, really … how low can you go without resorting to dining at the local dollar store?”

Corrections: The June 30–July 13 cover image is a creation of, and copyrighted by, DBOX for CIM Group and Macklowe Properties. In the same issue, the image atop page 45 is not Chris Hayes; for his correct picture, see the online version of the story and our iPad app.

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Comments: Week of July 14, 2014