• Judith Sheindlin, better known as "Judge Judy," has settled on new digs in Manhattan: She's paid $6.75 million for a two-bedroom co-op at the Sherry Netherland on Fifth Avenue. The no-nonsense ex-judge scored herself a discount, too. The 3,150-square-foot, 11th-floor apartment, which comes with a separate 150-square-foot maid's room on the building's sixth-floor, had been listed for $7.999 million. [Cityfile]
• It's been more than a year since Brooke Astor's Westchester estate, Holly Hill, first went on the market for $12.9 million. Now the price of property has been cut by more than $2 million. The 11,000-square-foot manse, which was recently emptied of Astor's furnishings to save on security and maintenance costs, is currently listed for $10.5 million. [NYDN, Sotheby's]
• Arlene Farkas, the ex-wife of real estate/retail heir Bruce Farkas, has slashed the price of her 14-room duplex at the River House. The five-bedroom, 5.5-bath apartment that Farkas first placed on the market for $15 million in 2008 is now listed for $11 million. [Cityfile, Stribling]
• Architect Frank Gehry's former duplex at 55 Crosby Street has hit the market. The four-bedroom pad is listed for $5.8 million. [Curbed, PDE]
Developer Bruce Ratner's plans to erect a $1 billion, Frank Gehry-designed Nets arena in the middle of Brooklyn isn't happening. Ratner is planning to move ahead with a new, cheaper design, one that will end up costing $200 million less. Don't expect to look as pretty, though: "Officials who have seen the design say that while it resembles Conseco Fieldhouse it also bears a likeness to an 'airplane hangar.' [NYT]
Chelsea Clinton is celebrating her 29th birthday today. Elizabeth Taylor is turning 77. Josh Groban is 28. Ralph Nader is 75. Joanne Woodward, the Oscar-winning actress and widow of Paul Newman, turns 79. Actor Noah Emmerich is turning 44. Lynyrd Skynyrd's Johnny Van Zant is 50. Rozonda Thomas (or Chilli) from TLC is 38. And the head of the 92nd St. Y, Sol Adler, turns 55. Weekend birthdays—including Olivia Palermo's big day—after the jump.
"Art" is just another headline-filler word for "amazing." At least for children, who are the future, and geeks, who are the new trendsetter-influencer-coolhunters. Since K-12 art education is virtually dead, and no one reads books, these heavy Internet users have no preconceptions of art and they don't follow that world's big names. A new Cy Twombly or Lucien Freud painting won't get attention on Digg (Chris Ofili maybe, for the controversy), but a painted Lamborghini is one of the social news site's all-time favorite "art" posts. But it's not all bad. The Diggbrow movement isn't destroying art any more than the Dadaists or post-modernists did; it's reinventing it.
MIT is suing famed architect Frank Gehry, for negligence. Let's get this straight: The man designs his buildings by piling up cardboard and crumpled paper, and yet his customers expect sturdiness? Predictably, the $300 million Stata Center is not withstanding New England's weather. Cracks have emerged, leaks have sprung, drainage is faulty, mold is growing, and snow and ice fall dangerously from its many curved surfaces and sharp edges. Beacon Skanska Construction is also named in the suit, but it argues that Gehry ignored warnings that the design was flawed. What did the brainiacs at MIT expect?
Frank Gehry, whose daring and whimsical sheet-metal buildings all basically look the same, is being sued by MIT for flaws in his goofy $300-million design for their Stata Center. The center looks, in Gehry's words, "looks like a party of drunken robots," and MIT is apparently surprised that it might not have very good drainage or other things found on non-$300 million buildings that nonetheless have stood up quite well for some time without "masonry creaking" or what have you. Why did everything go wrong? Because fancy architecture is basically like extortion!
What goes together better than titanium panels and razor-sharp edges than hundreds of small young dumb human beings engaging in running, skipping, falling and playing? Nothing! Or so thinks Mayor Bloomberg and the Battery Conservancy, who announced that Frank Gehry, the world's trickiest one trick pony, will be bestowing his whimsical architectural derring-do on a one-acre playground in Battery Park. Seriously, I used to babysit in TriBeCa and those kids will injure themselves on like, grass. They're rich but lack motor skills. But hey, it's TriBeCa, the land where parents barely even notice as their kids skid across their loft's whitewashed hardwood floors and slam into the Mies Van Der Rohe daybed with a impish sickening thud before returning to peruse the latest issue of Architectural Digest.
Frank Gehry's IAC headquarters arouses either rapturous mooning or fierce antipathy. Like with pregnant chicks, one is either inappropriately attracted to its curvaceous body or horrified. But when the IAC finally opened on Monday, only one man's opinion counted, that of father, Barry Diller. As the LA Times reports, he did what all dads do: Bitch about stuff.