In February, a punk riot band from Russia with the very late-90s name Pussy Riot were arrested when they desecrated one of the most powerful cathedrals in Moscow. The trio infuriated the Orthodox Church by staging a “prayer” of profanity-laced, anti-Putin sentiment. The three women were charged with “hooliganism” (which is a thing), and have yet to be released on bail.
Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alyokhina, and Yekaterina Samutsevich could be looking at anywhere from 3-7 years of jail time, even though President Putin himself said that he did not agree with the severity of the sentence.
The whole tale is long and sordid, and as much about Russia’s own hooliganism over its citizens as it is about censorship, but hey look over here Madonna’s shown up!
Annals of Correction
While the New York Times Guild battles company chairman Arthur Sulzberger, Jr. over frozen pensions, Times reporters are putting their copy where their mouths are, producing conversation-starting stories despite tighter resources.
Sure, there’s the occasional first-person cat training memoir, but there are also blockbusters like Amy Harmon’s “Navigating Love and Autism,” an intimate portrait of Jack and Kirsten, two college students on the Autism spectrum in love.
They’re at it again! We told you last month that the co-creator of bilingual cartoon character Dora the Explorer Eric Weiner and wife Cherie Vogelstein had sold their home for $5.85 million. Hopefully Mr. Weiner has made a good cut of the cartoon franchise (which has reportedly raked in over $1 billion in revenue for Nickeloedeon) because he and Ms. Vogelstein have just spent $8.5 million on their new Upper West Side home.
“I’m more bullish today than I was in 2007,” said Cushman & Wakefield’s Tara Stacom of 1 World Trade and the outlook for the 1,776-foot tower that will offer 3.1 million square feet of Class A office space. “I did not think one of the first tenants would be a million-plus feet.”
Signing the lease with Condé Nast in May of this year was, for lack of a less hackneyed term, a game-changer for downtown Manhattan, especially as the area emerges not only from the Great Recession but from the malaise that characterized so much of the area since 9/11.
In June, Mitch Rudin took the reins as Brookfield Office Properties’s president and C.E.O. of U.S. Commercial Operations following news that Ric Clark would relinquish his role as president of the Canadian firm, which controls downtown’s World Financial Center, while remaining on as C.E.O. of corporate operations. Last week, Mr. Rudin, 58, assessed his progress.
The Commercial Observer: So, why don’t you assess your progress over your first 60 days at Brookfield?
Mr. Rudin: It’s been terrific. I wouldn’t quite call this my midterm report card, but I’ve been here for two months, and to the extent that there have been any surprises they’ve all been pleasant.
What kind of surprises?
Florence Swinsky is going to need a fleet of moving vans. Ms. Swinsky, the widow of Tony-award winning Broadway producer Morton Swinsky who was behind major productions including Jersey Boys, The Addams Family, Chicago and Spamalot, has just sold the apartment she shared with her late husband at 33 East 70th Street. Literally every inch of their apartment is filled with works of art, large and small.
Two Sigma Investments, an international finance and technology firm, has inked a five-year lease at 100 Avenue of the Americas that will allow the company to expand from its current 38,332 square feet, brokers told The Commercial Observer.
Update: Observer culture editor Sarah Douglas reveals that in an almost too-perfect deal, the buyer of the townhouse is actually a swiss art collector, Ursula Hauser. It turns out Caspar Spescha is her financial planner. Ms. Hauser has a thing for female artists and just so happens to have collected a number of Ms. Sleigh’s pieces.
Original Post: The estate of feminist realist artist Sylvia Sleigh Alloway has sold her Chelsea townhouse. The painter, whose husband Lawrence Alloway coined the term “pop art” and was a curator at the Guggenheim, passed away last year.
Affordable Housing or Lack Thereof
At $60 to power a 100-watt light blub, solar energy isn’t cheap. Neither are the locally grown foods at the weekly farmer’s market. But with the help of some coveted stimulus money, environmentally sustainable living is no longer a luxury for 200 Harlem families. A row of 10 apartment building on West 135th Street have just been transformed by Jonathan Rose Companies, the first such project to benefit from H.U.D.’s Green Retrofit Program.
The Neverending Story
David Childs, the design leader at SOM for three decades now—his first smash was the postmodern Worldwide Plaza in Midtown, his latest the union-busting 7 World Trade Center—has come under plenty of criticism over the years for his design of 1 World Trade Center. Not only did people find it to be a dumbed-down version of Daniel Libeskind’s heavenly spire, but its signature feature, those chamfered corners, were nothing new either.
Numerous predecessors were pointed out, including one official entry by two students to the master planning competition. Now, a China-based reader sends along another from his side of the world, and it looks like almost an exact replica, down to the circular array surrounding the antenna.