May 31, 2004
Unwanted Guests: Hotel Horrors
“At no time has anyone seen any rats in this hotel since it opened!” Hotel Gansevoort manager Elon Kenchington gruffly insists, apparently unaware that several guests report otherwise. At a recent roof party for artists Andreas Gursky and Cindy Sherman at the new meatpacking-district hotel, at least three guests saw a rat scamper across the patio and down into the building. And another guest reports that after settling into bed in his $300 room, he spotted the intruders as well. “Just as I was starting to doze off, out of the corner of my eye, I see something flash across the couch,” he says. “And I was like, whoa! It reminded me of the first apartment I lived in when I was 22. I know that flash. Was it a big mouse or a small rat? I don’t know. And there’s a second one! I’m literally standing on my bed, and I want to start screaming!” He quickly checked out.
Hunting Party: Bill’s Bash
The invitation to the June 9 premiere of The Hunting of the President, about the right wing’s war against Bill Clinton, promises that an unnamed “very special guest” will be in attendance—and the guest in question is apparently Clinton himself. Friends of Bill expected to attend include Hunting co-director Harry Thomason (who co-produced the “Man From Hope” campaign video), former Clinton business partner Susan McDougal, and Clintonistas Paul Begala and James Carville. Clinton pal Harry Evans will moderate a post-premiere debate about the film, which is based on the 2000 book co-written by New York Observer columnist Joe Conason. The movie opens in New York on June 11.
Rising Costs: Ups And Downs
One of the city’s most exclusive co-ops, 740 Park Avenue—where past residents have included Jacqueline Bouvier, Marshall Field, and John D. Rockefeller Jr.—is also, naturally, one of the most expensive. So you wouldn’t think the building would be scrounging around for extra cash. But a contractor who recently worked on a renovation there claims the superintendent charged $1 per ride to use the service elevator. “Some buildings charge you for the cleanup of the elevators and hallways, or overtime for the elevator operator,” says the contractor. “This is the worst I’ve ever seen. There was a coffee cup by the elevator, and they charged $1 per ride. When you’ve got twenty guys working there, taking several trips a day, it can get full pretty fast.” The super scoffs at the claim. “Not in this building!” he says. “I don’t charge anybody!”
All About the Benjamins: Diddy in the House
Sean Combs—a.k.a. Puffy, P. Diddy, Walter Lee Younger—is offloading his Manhattan apartment. Again. Last fall, he bought a $3.65 million, four-bedroom, 4,300-square-foot Hudston Street loft, where neighbors include Chris Heinz and Aliza Waksal. He never moved in and seems to be banking on raising the loft’s value with his celebrity wattage: It’s back on the market for $4.3 million. The loft features a steam shower, cherrywood floors, and a media room. In February, Combs sold a 15,444-square-foot townhouse for $17 million. But the deal hasn’t closed yet, and Combs is still living in the townhouse while he hunts for a new home. Broker Linda Krown of Douglas Elliman declined to comment.