Thurstan Bannister’s father, his lordship Roger Bannister, was—rather famously—the first man ever to run a mile in under four minutes. It took the younger Mr. Bannister, who works in business development at the financial firm Atrevida Partners, slightly longer to sell his 2,942 square-foot co-op at 151 Central Park West—closer to the 46 days his father held on to the title of fastest miler—but the unit nonetheless moved with haste. Arthur Koenig entered contract for the asking price of $12.5 million, according to city records, when the property had spent a mere two months on the market.
Last week, at a book party for J. Michael Lennon’s Norman Mailer: A Double Life, a 900-page authorized biography of the author, who died in 2007, a good deal of literate septuagenarians gathered at Mailer’s old home near Pineapple Street in Brooklyn. It was once on the market for $2.5 million but has remained in the Mailer family, just as the old patriarch would have wanted it.
Longtime friends, colleagues and admirers of Gore Vidal gathered in the currently patriotically decorated Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre—where Mr. Vidal’s 1960 play The Best Man is playing through September 9—on Thursday afternoon to pay their respects to the recently departed writer. The mood was serious yet not solemn as many who were likely humbled to be counted among Mr. Vidal’s contemporaries took the stage to recount memories and share anecdotes from their own experiences with the man.
Reading selections from his own eulogy for Mr. Vidal and praising his friend’s great wit, Dick Cavett recounted many of Mr. Vidal’s most celebrated one-liners. His favorite, he told the audience: “Success is not enough. One’s friends must fail.”
“Whenever my friend succeeds, I die a little,” was another Vidal aphorism recalled to much laughter, and, reading a line from a message prepared by David Mamet for the memorial, Liz Smith decreed Mr. Vidal “smart enough to see through the self-interest of everyone except himself.” Yet none of this seemed to remotely deter the hordes of successful friends who seemed to be endlessly seeking his advice.
The Observer put down our book last Saturday and ventured out to Gardiner Farm for the eighth annual Authors Night at the East Hampton Library. By the time we arrived, a plethora of library patrons—evidently undeterred by the cloudy skies—swarmed the tent in hopes of chatting up their favorite writers.
Hosted by library benefactors Alec Baldwin and Barbara Goldsmith, the reception boasted a guest list of more than 100 authors—everyone from the former Real Housewife of New York Kelly Killoren Bensimon, author of the “supermodel diet” book I Can Make You Hot, to the esteemed Lyndon Johnson biographer Robert Caro. Literary aficionados of all breeds meandered between tables with plastic cups of wine, accumulating stacks of personally inscribed hardcovers.
Sitting beside a large pile of copies of his second autobiography, Dick Cavett appeared to be thoroughly enjoying the attention of a throng of admirers and photographers. As we approached, he spontaneously grabbed both sides of our head and pulled us in for a dramatic kiss on the cheek. “I just wanted to give the photographer a thrill,” he whispered, a gleam in his eye.
The prince most often associated with polo is Harry, but at last night’s private screening of Secretariat in Wainscott, the prince getting all the polo players’ attention was Rare Prince, a handsome chestnut steed and a great-grandson of the triple-crown winner whose story the soon-to-be released Disney film chronicles. The kind-eyed horse, a former racehorse Read More
“I feel like the Benetton ads,” said filmmaker Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi, posing for photos with Senegalese singer Youssou NDour and fellow director Mike Nichols at a screening of her new documentary, Youssou NDour: I Bring What I Love, at the Paris Theater on Thursday night, June 4.
The film follows the recording and reception of Mr. Read More
Dick Cavett, a talk show host so winningly droll and cerebral that Nixon wanted to find a way to hurt him and Charles Bukowski said going on a rival’s show would be like “swallowing your own vomit,” doesn’t have Letterman-size real estate tastes.
Late last year, he sold 76.8 acres in Montauk to Read More
Men of New York! Why are you no longer throwing your scarves carelessly, rakishly over your shoulders, ends trailing in the wind?
Why are you now pausing to double those scarves, holding the looped end at one side of your necks, then drawing the ends primly through so that they form a little bundled knot Read More
What was I doing, helping Joan Collins flog copies of her sizzling new self-help mega-tome, The Art of Living Well: Looking Good, Feeling Great (Sourcebooks), on my 54th birthday last Monday at the Borders store in the Time Warner Center? A fair question.
Several months ago, I was asked by the Borders events manager to Read More