With BENJAMIN NUGENT
Week of November 3, 2003
Party By Design
“I would like to do a tent,” Martha Stewart told us at the National Design Awards at the Cooper-Hewitt last Wednesday, when we asked her what she’d like to design next. “Very, very different from this,” she added, eyeing the rather uninteresting white canvas stretched over the museum’s patio. I. M. Pei and Massimo and Lella Vignelli received lifetime-achievement awards—and the guest list included Marisa Tomei, Carolina Herrera, and Isaac Mizrahi. Richard Meier said he’d always wanted to design men’s clothes, and Rebecca Romijn-Stamos volunteered—with an enthusiastic “Bring it on!”—to be Pei’s guinea pig should he ever try his hand at couture, while Sarah Jessica Parker’s mind was on baseball: “I would like to try to convince the players to wear flannel uniforms again,” she offered. “I don’t like polyester.”
Park Ave.: Koch Binge
Oil billionaire David Koch and his wife, Julia, always complained that Jackie O.’s old apartment at 1040 Fifth Avenue—which they bought for almost $10 million in 1995, and spent millions more renovating—simply wasn’t big enough to throw a proper party. They even kept a spare apartment at the U.N. Plaza for just that purpose. So it’s hardly surprising to hear that they are buying an eighteen-room duplex at 740 Park Avenue for about $17 million. The pad is being sold by the Japanese Consulate, which has used the co-op as a home for its diplomats for the past 30 years. The Kochs still have to pass the building’s notorious co-op board, presided over by investor Charles stevenson, husband of New York Times reporter Alex Kuczynski. Other residents include Stephen Schwarzman, who spent $37 million to live in John D. Rockefeller Jr.’s former home. The Kochs didn’t return calls. Broker C. John Burger of Brown Harris Stevens declined to comment.
“The Yankees–Red Sox series was a lot more orgasmic.”
-Billy Baldwin, on the World Series.
Get Lit: Booze Cruise
Booker prize winner DBC Pierre can’t wait to start celebrating—he says he intends to go on a drunken bender with chef Anthony Bourdain, his pal, as soon as he arrives in New York next week. “I just want to run amok,” says the bad-boy novelist, who spent two years in rehab a decade ago and has been relatively sober ever since (DBC stands for Dirty but Clean). “I’m counting on New York to give me a celebration.” At the Booker ceremony, he was delighted to hear that his longtime idol, Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour, was in attendance. But before he had a chance to meet him, Pierre was whisked off to talk to the press. The writer’s mom, meanwhile, proceeded to “schmooze up” Gilmour and even caught a ride home with him. “She didn’t have a fucking idea who he was,” he says. “He’s a fucking hero of mine, and I had to ride home in a mini-cab!” So why wait till he gets to New York to fall off the wagon? Apparently, he’s been too busy doing publicity. “It’s strange,” he says. “If I had lost, there would have been a tremendous piss-up.”
Face Time: The Bag Lady
Photographer David LaChapelle is moving into Rockefeller Center with an exhibit that’s just in time for Halloween. LaChapelle has designed a ten-foot-tall, seven-foot-wide, 882-pound shopping-bag sculpture of plastic-surgery poster child Amanda Lepore as Marilyn Monroe in Warhol’s famous silk-screen rendering. “Amanda Lepore is the Marilyn Monroe of transsexuals!” bubbles LaChapelle, a former Warhol protégé. “When I look at Amanda, I always see Pop Art.” LaChapelle was one of six artists commissioned by Montblanc to help promote its new flagship.
Rosie Slept Here: O’Donnell’s Upper West Side pad has a new owner.
Rosie O’Donnell has unloaded 121 West 81st Street for about $5 million. But she isn’t making a dime on the sale. Warner Bros. Entertainment bought the house for her four years ago so she wouldn’t have to commute from her Rockland County home while taping her show. The 6,200-square-foot townhouse features five bedrooms, five fireplaces, and a garden and terrace. It first went on the market last year for $6.9 million but was reduced to $4.95 million earlier this month. Broker Brett Baccus of the Corcoran Group declined to comment.