Corcoran brokers will no longer be able to use words like "professional," "exclusive," and "quiet" in apartment ads. "Professional" is a no-go because it implies the apartment is only available to people who work in a specific industry; describing it as "exclusive" might be construed as "racially exclusive." No one seems to know why "quiet" and "safe" were added to Corcoran's new list of 200 banned words, although deception is still totally fine: "It is not against the law for brokers to describe a coffin-sized studio as 'cozy.'" [NYP]
Corcoran super-agent Sharon Baum says she's getting rid of the forest green chauffeur-driven Rolls-Royce that she's been using to ferry clients around for more than a decade. The reason? Not because Baum can't afford the $3,000-a-month lease, of course, but because she says she's become "deeply uncomfortable" with riding around in such an ostentatious car during difficult times like these. Baum is now thinking of using her other vehicle—an Audi station wagon—to escort clients from appointment to appointment. Pretty disturbing news, right? Next thing you know we'll be hearing that Michael Shvo has traded in his Mercedes 500 limo for a Vespa. [NYT, photo via TRD]
It looks like David Patrick Columbia is in a bit of hot water. In his column this morning, the social diarist suggested that the real estate brokerage firms Corcoran and Edward Lee Cave were both shutting down. Did DPC just break the biggest story of his life? Maybe not: "It's all nonsense," Corcoran's Pam Liebman tells the Observer. "There's not an ounce of truth to it. Not an ounce of truth to it. And we're going to have our attorneys do something about it." As for Edward Lee Cave's eponymous firm, the real estate vet says there may be some changes to the "corporate structure," but he denies he's closing up shop. [NYO]
One of Julia Allison's posts to NonSociety yesterday began: "Today Meghan and I met with the most amazing real estate broker in Manhattan (and I’ve met a few) — Dain Lee from Corcoran." Allison's cofounder and fellow NonSociety blogger, Meghan Asha quoted the post on her blog and added, "Dain knows REAL ESTATE the way he knows fashion, have you ever seen a more pimp Broker? He SAVED us today, by showing us spaces that literally made me drool. NICE JOB DAIN!" Believe it or not — I didn't, at first — Allison and Asha tell us the dreadfully buoyant copy wasn't paid for by Lee, or Corcoran. But when NonSociety does start selling ads, they won't look much different.Before Allison started NonSociety, she actually sold product placements on her personal blog to Dunkin Donuts. She told us plans to bring a similar model to her new venture. "In the future, we absolutely intend to have authentic product placements," Allison said, mentioning Canon, Victoria's Secret, Sephora, American Express, and Cisco as brands she hopes will buy in. "We only want to plug products we genuinely believe in," Allison said. "We think that is the future of marketing — genuine product recommendations, no bullshit." Uncomfortably, we're on the same page as Allison when it comes to the market potential of product placements in online media. One of the more successful publishing startups over that past few years has been EQAL, the team behind Lonelygirl15 and KateModern, which actually earned solid revenues stuffing shows with as many Neutrogena and Hershey products as any episode of America's Next Top Model. That company's cofounders, Greg Goodfried and Miles Beckett, just landed $5 million in funding. Allison has higher goals. "12 months from now," she tells us, "you will no longer refer to me as a nontrepreneur." True. Product placement requires some level of trust from the audience. If even Allison's non-product-placement endorsements continue to be so gushily nongenuine, we likely won't have to refer to her at all.
The New Museum Building at 158 Mercer is fast becoming the well-heeled hotness and, perhaps, the official obsession of the Observer's real estate gang. Last week, the news was that Saturday Night Live producer Marci Klein was moving into an 11th floor unit, purchased for $10 million by a three-person trust including David Geffen. Today the Observer reports that one floor beneath, petite hotelier Andre Balazs is selling his 3,800-square-foot spread for $10 million. And on the 9th floor, there's a unit going for $9.15 million.
We already knew that Barbara Corcoran, the teeth-gnashing doyenne of overpriced real estate, is cool when it comes to the web — her professional website has its own goofy little blog (written by some peon), which is kind of adorable. What we didn't know was that the CorcoDevil was so relaxed and hip to the 'net that she even allows her brokers to list the company website on their Big Muscle Bears profile.
If you haven't been following the blog of insatiable archfiend of real estate, Barbara Corcoran, you really should. Purportedly written by a "mouse" hiding within her new offices (but clearly penned by some bored underling), it refers to the CorcoDevil as "blithely unaware" of what's going on around her and notes that she has a two-page list of things "she wants everyone else to fix." Our favorite, however, is today's item:
What ever happened to Martha Stewart's worst stockbroker ever, the studtastic Peter Bacanovic? Aside from functioning as an escort to well-heeled old biddies,he's working as creative director for the Judith Leiber ad campaign and still living in his Upper East Side townhome, the exterior of which was used in Breakfast at Tiffany's as Holly Golightly's building (way to live the Gay dream). The money might not be flowing, however, as DealBook reports today that Bacanovic has also taken out a second mortgage on his home:
• Times Op-Edster Frank Rich's son Simon signs a two-book deal before he even graduates from Harvard. Well, good for you, Simon — but can you make a mean and tasty Chex Mix like Dad? [HC]
• Best publicist quote of 2006 thus far: "I very much resent and am amazed that our agency was not named to the shortlist of 'Small PR Firm of the Year' by PRWeek." Courtesy, of course, of Ronn [sic] Torossian. [PRWeek]
• Because every alcoholic is a lonely soul, the Drinking With Steve DVD features a fellow boozehound sitting there, silently, drinking beers and smoking cigarettes. If he had a bong, it'd be perfect. [Ad Freak via Pulp Culture]
• A blog solely devoted to bad pitches — as if there were any other kind? [Bad Pitch Blog]
• The CorcoDevil's new ad campaign tugs on your heartstrings, pokes at your stomach, and ultimately fucks with your bowels. [Corcoran]
• The soft launch at Morimoto begins; start saving your paychecks now. [Jossip]
• The day we lost our virginity, we realized that Cosmopolitan was on crack regarding all matters sexual. Maybe if they hired this guy, it would help the situation. [Is Anyone at Cosmo Getting Laid?]
• Late breaking, but: Behold the bacchanalian realtor horror of the Corcoran Group's holiday party. [BizBash]
• Natasha Lyonne may be back out on the streets, but it doesn't mean she's out of trouble: the cracktress skipped her court date yesterday, presumably because she was out buying 60 lbs of baking soda and some bell jars. [NYP]
• Meg Ryan officially adopts a baby girl from China. She's a mess without her, little China Girl. [Us Weekly]
• A trip to Ikea is stressful enough as is. Taking that trip with your significant other can make for relationship hell. Which is exactly why we'll die old and alone, with furniture made from cardboard boxes. [NY Sun]
• Blackface Jesus explains the blackface; confesses that his Halloween costume was Whiteface Jesus. Of course. [Junk Mag]
• Yesterday on Howard Stern, Alexis Stewart revealed her predilection for fucking the wage laborers. [Howard Stern]
• Billy Joel isn't some little kid, you know. It's time to start calling him "Bill." [NYT]
• How to deal with a porn producer. [JenIsFamous]
• Donald Trump sues the NYT Co. and reporter Timothy L. O'Brien for $5 billion in damages — which should cover, oh, maybe half of Trump's paper losses for the next week. [WSJ]
Like all baby Jesus-haters, we spent our Christmas Sunday reading the Times, which attempted its own version of Media Christmas — but with the equally depraved world of New York realtors. After sifting through the tales of closet fucking at Prudential Douglas Elliman's Four Seasons bash and the mandatory air kissing at Gumley Haft Kleier's party, the evil realtor Corcoran's plans are revealed:
Carpy real-estate diva Barbara Corcoran, with CorcoBot Carrie Chiang and former 'bot Susan Cara-Madden, is suing Donald Trump over $1.3 million in commissions. The trio claims to be owed percentages after introducing Trump to a group of Hong Kong investors who poured $100 million into The Donald's Riverside South and Trump Place projects.
Earlier, we were perusing a Corcoran listing for $2.75 million townhouse in Prospect Park (only because a reader claims the seller to be the delightfully backbiting writer/actress Cintra Wilson — not that we care enough to confirm). Cruising Corcoran is nothing new to us, so we're a bit surprised that today, of all days, we noticed the address bar for Corcoran's website features a teensy, evil little visage of the Corcodevil herself!
• The CorcoDevil refuses to go gentle into that good night, "firing" Pamela Liebman in that drunk joking-but-seriously way, and offering her peons hope that there will be more opportunities to work with her in raping the city. [PageSix]
• The guy from the Killers is in a big bitchy slap-fight with the guy from Fall Out Boy. A series of cutting singles that all sound the same to follow. [PageSix]
• Janet Jackson: still denying the secret teenage daughter, now also denying pregnancy. Still unable to deny existence of that weird ass-slapping tape. [R&M]
• Karl Rove's
wife mistress is going to leave him for, and we quote, "her handsome ranch foreman, Rhett Hard. If this is Rove's attempt to distract us from the indictments, it's working. Rhett Hard, people. The fable of Jann Wenner and the ugly couch is also worth noting. [Lowdown, via Radar]
• We note this entry in the continuing tale of the troubled Federline Household: "For example, while Spears was busy changing their infant son s diapers, Federline reportedly spent two hours getting his hair braided." And we ask: two straight hours of changing diapers? Is the Federletus sick??? [Scoop]
NB to you crunchy activists: Don't get cute. You might think dressing your little one up in this onesie while you hit the open houses might result in some savings, as if tugging on the heartstrings of some middle-aged realtor is going to help you score a 2BR for under seven figures. But it ain't gonna happen. Motivated brokers want nothing more than to violently sacrifice babies like yours to the CorcoDevil.
Seriously, we didn't want to talk about it. It's too creepy, too gross, too exemplary of everything wrong with New York all in one package. But you insisted. And after putting Jesus's life on the line, we probably ought to listen to you. So here it is: Rupert Murdoch's $28 million SoHo loft. Mysteriously, they can't sell the damn thing!
Not content with having inflated the urban real estate market to epic proportions, Realtor-beast Barbara Corcoran first went after the homes of common folk with her much-publicized rankings of America's sexiest suburbs. Having thus created an intolerable level of buzz around these communities so that housing prices might skyrocket in the desired fashion, Corcoran has set her sights on another hapless victim: retirees.