Preppy Handbook Author Sells Upper Crust UES Spread

Lisa Birnbach

If you happen to be one of the fortunate who has so much money you might as well spend it on the house, you can expand it. Let every child have his own room! And what about a guest room for the guests you can now invite?

So writes Lisa Birnbach in True Prep, the 2010 sequel to her 1984 classic The Preppy Handbook (required reading for the past two generations of East Siders and Greenwichians).  It seems that city living doesn’t facilitate the expansion doctrine Ms. Birnbach promotes in her book. The author and her film producer husband, Steven Haft, have sold their Yorkville coop.

Perhaps to be expected, the three-bedroom, four-bath home at 25 East End Avenue is painted in perfectly preppy hues. From Daddy-I-wan-a-labradoodle-NOW periwinkle to I’m-envious-of-your-12-carat-rock green, the rooms all bespeak years of suburbanite sensibilities superimposed on the city setting. Warburg brokers Victoria Hersh and David Jacobs seem to agree. In their listing they claim that the apartment “awaits your personal touch.” (Read: paint job.)

Even if her decorating tastes are suspect, Ms. Birnbach’s influence is not. In addition to her two preppy blockbusters, she has written 15 others books, including a series entitled 1,003 Great Things About … . Topics include “Teachers,” “Moms,” “Being Jewish” and “Things to Smile About.” She also hosted the “Yikes! I’m a Grownup!” segment on The Early Show from 1999-2002 and hosted the Lisa Birnbach Show on the radio.

Mr. Haft knows a thing or two about high society himself, having produced  Dead Poets Society and Emma, as well as fare that would make the average preppy flush, namely MADtv.

The co-op itself has a good bit of pedigree: 25 East End Avenue was the first fashionable building to go up on the stretch during the Jazz Age apartment boom, according to The Times.

The couple’s 211-square-foot master bedroom comes with a miniscule bathroom but a spacious closet (where racks upon racks of monogrammed polos were previously hung and color coordinated, The Observer imagines). The two additional bedrooms both come with en suite baths (sharing wash closets is dirty and beggarly) and the living room features a WBFP (if you don’t know what this is you should just give up now).

Originally listed in 2010 for $2.35 million, the place was price-hiked to $2.395 million earlier this year. In the end, however, it sold for $2.3 million flat. Ms. Birnbach and Mr. Haft have owned the home since 1998, city records show. The buyers are Kamal and Ashima Gupta, who currently live in Chappaqua, according to the deed.

eknutsen@observer.com

Preppy Handbook Author Sells Upper Crust UES Spread