The Waldorf-Astoria Hotel is currently cultivating a new kind of honey for its kitchens and bars. The hotel, where President Obama stays when he is in town, is used to painstaking attention to detail and extravagance, which makes its approach to the honey all the more intriguing.
Rather than relying on what could be called the Masa Imperative of luxury, after the top-dollar sushi joint that ships in fish from the Sea of Japan and the Bay of Spain with the urgency and costliness of helicoptered transplant organs (indeed, some of the fish are carried in organ containers), the Waldorf has gone in a direction more evocative of the Brooklyn Flea Market: its honey comes from beehives it is now keeping on a 20th-floor outdoor patio.
The initiative, brainchild of executive chef David Garcelon, relies on the expertise of the city’s premier beekeeper, Andrew Coté, who sells his own neighborhood-specific honeys at the Union Square farmer’s market.
Just a few flakes swirled about our toes on Saturday night, but we were nearly blinded by the white inside the Waldorf-Astoria for the 58th Anniversary International Debutante Ball.
Some remain skeptical of such affairs, because, as one gentleman noted at the coat check, it isn’t the ’50s anymore. But this year’s class was impressive. Swanning about in the traditional snow-colored dresses were a chemical engineering major, several accomplished philanthropists and a nationally ranked tennis player, among other offspring of socially prominent families.
When we spotted Olympic swim team doctor Dr. Scott Rodeo, we couldn’t help asking if he’d trust unofficial bachelor of the year Ryan Lochte with his debutante daughter, Sarah. “Absolutely!” was the surprising answer, “Ryan’s a great guy. Have you met him?” We have, and Sarah, we think you could do better.
the lead indicator
The potential for disruptions to global financial stability increased heading into last weekend. In Europe, both Germany and the European Central Bank rejected calls to expand the bailout to include large-scale bond purchases, insisting instead that the latter’s credibility depends upon its prioritization of price stability.
At a gathering of the Frankfurt Banking Conference, German Bundesbank president and European Central Bank Governing Council member Jens Weidmann said on Friday that “the economic costs of any form of monetary financing of public debts and deficits outweigh its benefits so clearly that it will not help to stabilize the current situation.”
Representatives from Hilton, owner of the Waldorf Astoria, will go before the Landmarks Preservation Commission this afternoon in hopes of getting the green-light to renovate the historic building.
In this week’s paper, The Observer profiled the humble head of real estate at Blackstone Group, Jonathan Gray. He may be a mystery to those outside of the industry, but the hundreds of buildings, worth many, many billions of dollars, are not. From the Waldorf-Astoria to the old New York Times Building, from strip malls to budget hotels, Mr. Gray has had a hand in all of them. Take a very, very small tour of his holdings.
Upon arriving last night at the Waldorf Astoria for the Deadline Club‘s annual award ceremony, Wall Street Journal managing editor Robert Thomson swept through the wine reception in the lobby and into the dining room while the guests, mostly journalists, finished their drinks.
Mr. Thomson had missed the hour of standing around and drinking. Read More