Carly Simon‘s 1970s hit You’re So Vain owes much of its success to Ms. Simon’s prodigious songwriting talents. But the track’s longevity doubtless has something to do with the riddle of its intended target. Possible candidates include Mick Jagger, Cat Stevens and Warren Beatty, and a 2003 auction for charity saw the answer divulged for the price of $50,000 to an NBC executive, who agreed not to leak the secret. (Seven years later, Ms. Simon laughed off the supposed revelation that it was about David Geffen.)
Still, for all the high-profile relationships of her past, the songwriter has been single since 2007—when she was divorced from businessman James Hart—which seems to imply an unfortunate waste of the “romantic master suite with windowed bathroom, bedroom and enchanting sitting room with treetop views” recently credited to her West Village apartment by a listing with Nick Gavin at Corcoran. Ms. Simon appears to have no use any longer for the master suite—or any other part of the apartment, for that matter—having just sold her duplex co-op at 46 Commerce Street for the $2.3 million asking price, according to city records (rumors of the sale were first reported in The Post).
Married for years to James Taylor, Ms. Simon, a New York native, seems to have been influenced in her decorative tastes by her folk-rock former husband’s country sensibilities. The two-bedroom is done largely in exposed brick, with wide-plank hardwood floors, wood-burning fireplaces and in a touch of New York tenements-style, an old-fashioned stand-alone tub in a room that is decidedly not the bathroom. Complemented in its most recent configuration by heavy curtains and a dark four-poster canopy bed, the apartment would not have been out of place at an upscale Western resort. One of three units in the 1817 building, Ms. Simon’s old place is located conveniently near Hudson River Park and, for the culture-hungry, the Cherry Lane Theater—site of the world premiere of Samuel Beckett’s Happy Days.
We hope that Burke St. John, the apartment’s new owner, will be more content on Commerce Street than were Winnie and Willie—the protagonists of Beckett’s somewhat-misleadingly titled drama. But Mr. St. John, the head of the Financial Services practice at CTPartners, would make for a rather unlikely character in the theater of the absurd, and besides, a prewar spread on what the listing calls the West Village’s “most charming corner” might well bring a smile to the face of even the most dour existentialist. (A 2008 nominee to Businessweek‘s list of the top 50 most influential headhunters, Mr. St. John is no doubt too busy to get excessively hung up on the conundrums of the melancholy literary set.)
In the market for a performance piece to commemorate his purchase, Mr. St. John would do well to refer instead to Ms. Simon’s catalog. In 1978, for example, she recorded a song called You Belong to Me. That, we think, would do rather nicely on this occasion.