Not your grandma's game
With the exception of that wee little Madoff affair—which cost his family a few hundred-million dollars—fate has been kind to Scott Wilpon. Nephew to Sterling Equities founder and Mets majority owner Fred, Mr. Wilpon, who is a partner at Sterling, was married last year to former model Clara Samuelsson, in a rustic-luxe ceremony at Blue Hill at Stone Barns. (Vogue honored the affair with a write-up; the bride wore Jenny Packham and Jimmy Choo, the groom Prada.) The couple had moved in together shortly after friends introduced them in 2008, Vogue reported, and they’d gotten themselves a Cavalier King Charles spaniel, with the incongruous name of Buzz. (A masculine concession, perhaps, to make up for the frou frou breed?) And to his collection of magical memories, Mr. Wilpon now adds the purchase of a $4.04 million Tribeca apartment at 37 Warren Street, according to city records.
A 20-something man played bridge with three old ladies this past Columbus Day. They played at the Honors Bridge Club on East 58th Street, where the median player age is well north of 70 and the air smells of coffee and heavily applied makeup. If you didn’t know any better, you’d think the young man Read More
The Mets conflict The Observer. We want to love them, but they are forever out of reach, the real provenance of the beaten-down souls in blue and orange we joined Sunday night at the 92nd Street Y to unveil the Mets’ all-time team, position by position, for their 50th anniversary.
Mets fans do not radiate positivity, so our guard was up . These weren’t just fans. They were distinguished members of a social club from Flushing’s ash heaps, who aren’t going to smile for just anything. This team had two no-hitters in a week and sat a surprising three games above .500, yet were clearly on down-low gloom alert. They had gotten swept that very afternoon. But they still believe, and that is why they were here, to watch the presentation that will also air Thursday on SNY.
manifest destiny east
Since it started with a roll call of 27 members in 1896 with the goal of “facilitating transactions in real estate,” the Real Estate Board of New York has indisputably been the city’s most influential real estate organization, with its annual gala being to brokers what the Vanity Fair Oscar party is for Hollywood: If you’re there, it means you’re somebody.
Sure, some may lovingly write it off as a veritable men’s club (men are thought to outnumber women five to one), chide it as “The Liar’s Ball” (each year is a broker’s best year, no matter how wretched the marketplace) and speak ill of the food (nearly everyone avoids the chicken and filet mignon).
But the REBNY gala is as essential to a real estate person’s reputation and status as the buildings and bricks he works with. A dozen of the city’s most legendary players spoke to The Commercial Observer about the blurry nights and boom years that helped make the event what it is today.
Week In Review
Last time The Observer swung by Willets Point, the news was Related and the Wilpons had teamed up on a bid for the first phase of the mega project, as we local firm TDC Development, which has projects throughout Flushing and the rest of Queens. Now, Silverstein Properties and AvalonBay are also eying the Iron Triangle, according to Crain’s.
manifest destiny east
While some people are hoping—futilely, perhaps—for a high-tech college at Willets Point, the official R.F.P. is also cranking along, with application filed this past week. Crain’s now has word of a handful of the developers competing to redevelop the Iron Triangle, and one looks to be a hit, if it weren’t already facing a few strikes.
The Related Companies has teamed up with Sterling Equities, which is controlled by Mets owners Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz, to submit a proposal to redevelop the 12.75 acres included in the project’s first phase, the sources said. Silverstein Properties, which is building three towers at the World Trade Center site, also threw its hat into the ring. None of the firms would comment. A source said Sterling had teamed up on bids with more than one firm.
Poor Mr. Met
While some people are hoping—futilely, perhaps—for a high-tech college at Willets Point, the official RFP is also cranking along, with applications due at the end of September. Crain’s now has word of a handful of the developers competing to redevelop the Iron Triangle, and one looks to be a hit, if it weren’t already facing a few strikes.
Any Mets fan can tell you that things just have a way of ending ugly around the franchise. Whether they be a family day at the ballpark (see: former closer Francisco Rodriguez attacking his girlfriend’s father in the family lounge after a game), to epic collapses on the field (see: 2007, 2008), to careers that looked bright (see: too many to mention in parenthetics), it just seems like the team and the organization behind it can snap defeat from the jaws of victory at any time.
This feeling has pervaded the franchise and its fan base for almost a quarter of a century and the mystery behind its cause has been philosophically chocked up to the ineffable, existential pain of being the “other baseball team” in town.
But in a conference call today with David Einhorn, the wunderkind billionaire hedge fund manager of Greenlight Capital, some light was potentially shed on a more concrete cause of what ails “The Amazins.” After a very public courtship and semi-public negotiations that seemed all but wrapped up, Mr. Einhorn announced this morning that he had broken off negotiations with Mets ownership after being unpleasantly “surprised” by the behavior of Fred Wilpon and company during the final days and weeks over what seemed to him like a done deal.
It’s a grand slam for Richard “Sandy” Alderson and wife Linda, as the new Mets general manager has bought a four-bedroom, four-bathroom penthouse at the Georgica. And showing yet again he is just the kind of tough-minded leader the beleagured baseball team needs, Mr. Alderson managed to negotiate the price of their new home at Read More
The campaign to demonize the Wilpon family continues. To read some press reports, particularly in the New York Post, you’d think that Fred Wilpon, his son, Jeff, and their business partner, Saul Katz, were plotting with Mr. Madoff to steal the retirement savings of working people and the endowments of charitable organizations.
This is, of Read More