This morning, two men staked out the Gawker offices at 89 Crosby Street, according to Lockhart Steele, managing editor of Gawker media.
A man named Michael, owner of Tungsten Properties, wouldn’t give his last name when we called to ask him about it, though he admits he showed up at the door of the company looking for Steele.
Steele said Michael called the Gawker offices and sent him a text message and called him, asking him to take down a post on the real-estate blog Curbed. (In addition to being managing editor of Gawker media, owned by Soho web titan Nick Denton, Steele is a founder of Curbed and a group of related sites devoted to architecture and food.)
The item of contention was a reader’s comment, actually, on a post Curbed did about Time Out New York‘s cover feature, “The 50 Best Blocks in New York.”
The reader wrote Curbed an email, purporting to work at Tungsten Properties, located at 13 Crosby, and said of the block of Howard Street between Broadway and Mercer Street (No. 19 on the Time Out list): “Number 19 is a fucking atrocity” and “a blight to Soho.”
“This somehow triggered Armageddon for him [Michael],” Steele said.
And when Michael didn’t get a response from Steele, he took it one step further and walked down the street to the offices to look for him–asking Denton and other Gawker employees for Steele and generally giving off a creepy, “What’s the frequency, Kenneth?” kind of vibe.
(Or weirder? One passerby said Michael “said he was furious he couldn’t get a hold of anyone at Curbed … that you can’t just say someone hates black jews.”)
Steele got the message they were there and called Michael, and asked him to go back to the Tungsten offices and draft a response to the post that was steaming them up.
“We’ve spoken to just about all of our agents at Tungsten Properties and none of them have written this,” a source at Tungsten tells TRE. “This is very unlike us and not only do we love our neighborhood and we’re working on investment site around the corner. We’re very proud of our neighborhood and we wouldn’t write it like that.”
Steele refused to take the post down but has updated the contentious item with a statement from Tungsten (here).
– Gillian Reagan