Monday, September 15, 2014

The Best Office I Ever Had ...

... was in a townhouse on East 64th, half a block from Madison, directly across from the Plaza Athénée.  Let me tell you, it was a swell neighborhood.

My office was on the second floor and had two very tall windows looking out at 64th St, twelve foot ceilings, crown molding, and a fireplace.  Every once in a while, the upstairs tenants would clump past my window on their way up the wrought iron stairs to their front door.  Sometimes they would look in and stare at me.  I'd stare back.

It looked something like this...

That's me in the window.  That was back when people wore ties to work, and slicked their hair back like Pat Riley.  I ate at the Post House, a high-end steak house on 63rd next to Mike Bloomberg's house, so many times they gave me (as they did all their regulars at some point) a plaque with my name on it.  Plus some really nice steak knives every Christmas.  Those were the days when pharma-dollars flowed like Prosecco at an Italian wedding.

Carolina Herrara, the famous designer, was the upstairs tenant.  She, actually, was quite pleasant.  Her husband -- Renaldo, maybe -- was a douche-bag.  Which, honestly, is such an unpleasant word.  But he was.  He used to come downstairs and argue with Dawn and Eve, the two secretaries, about the thermostat.  You would think rich people would have their own thermostats.  Very odd.

Anyway, Ms. Herrera has always fascinated me.  So I got a kick out of watching a video about her in The Times today.  An artifact no doubt related to the now-finished Fashion Week.  We should all look as good, at 76, as Carolina does.  And I don't care how many facials and whatever she gets.  Plus, I love that Warhol of her.

My favorite part is when, in the build-up to the show, the model walks into the room and everybody starts yakking about the dress and don't even pay the slightest attention to her.  I bet, as a runway model, as you stand there, which is part of the job, you get, during the course of your career, a ringside seat to some of the best knock-down, drag-out screaming matches ever.  The gnashing of teeth, the throwing of shoes, the sobbing, the mascara running ... and that's just the men.

For Fashion Week I once painted that woman from Vogue -- Anna Wintour -- and set it up near the tents for annotation.  It was a terrible painting, honestly.  So bad, in fact, that I'm not even going to post it here.  Nonetheless, a couple of weeks later New York Magazine called me up and wanted to know how many annotations were on it.  Exactly.  They were doing some spread that might have been titled "Fashion by the numbers" and wanted to put the painting in it.

I told the person that I would send her a high-res image of the painting and that if she wanted to know exactly how many there were she could count them herself.  Maybe I should have counted them for her because I ended up on the cutting room floor.

Probably all for the best.  The painting was horrible.

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