Big Ticket | Sold for $14.25 Million, Luxury Combined

An alphabet’s worth of combined and adjacent apartments on the 21st floor of the opulent Trump Parc at 106 Central Park South, with commanding centerline vistas of Central Park and a Versailles-like 70-foot entrance gallery, sold for $14,250,000. The deal was the most expensive of the week, according to city records.

The listing price for the condominium, which has monthly carrying charges of $12,357, had been $16 million; the unit had previously been a $57,500-a-month rental.

The 10-room residence, No. 21ABCDN, has four bedrooms and seven baths, with an adjacent studio apartment, No. 21N, currently being used as a personal gym but ripe for conversion to a guest suite or maid’s room should the new owner be averse to exercise.

The hallmark of the recently renovated 5,233-square-foot unit, which offers spectacular park views from its principal rooms, is indeed its endless entrance hall, an art-worthy conduit with floors of white Thassos marble. Two antique marble fireplaces enhance an otherwise modernist decorating schematic.

The Trump Parc, designed as a 340-unit condominium building with signature Trump flourishes, like a luxurious entrance and a marble lobby, opened in 1988 on the site of the former Barbizon Plaza Hotel. Flamboyant for its time, the Barbizon was designed in 1929 by Lawrence Emmons and was renowned for its hipped roofline and pinnacle of glass tiles that, until such things were frowned upon as a public nuisance and eyesore, were bathed in spotlights each night.

The anonymous seller, identified as Salience, a limited liability company, was represented by Jacque Foussard and Craig Filipacchi of Brown Harris Stevens. The buyer used a trustee identified as 106 Central Park South Pty Ltd. for the transaction.

An infinitely different type of property in a decidedly less bustling part of town, a tidy brick Greenwich Village town house originally built in 1869 and gently gut-renovated five years ago by the architect Annabelle Selldorf, sold for $9.55 million and was the week’s runner-up to the Trump Parc sale. The original listing price of $9.75 million had recently been reduced to $9.6 million; the annual taxes are $25,804.

The interior of the three-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bath town house at 281 West Fourth Street is connected by a spectacular circular staircase made of wood and steel that culminates, with dizzying trompe l’oeil precision, at the roof deck. The stone slab floor and eight-burner stove in the country kitchen are French imports, and the dining room opens onto a Zen garden.

The seller of the town house was Pascal Dangin, a renowned digital photographer whose forte is touch-ups of fashion shots, a niche expertise that earned him the sobriquet of the “photo whisperer.” He is the founder of Box, a studio specializing in photographic retouches. Mr. Dangin bought the town house in 2007 for $5.8 million and enlisted Ms. Selldorf for its total interior makeover and exterior face-lift. Abigail Agranat of Douglas Elliman Real Estate handled the listing; the buyer was shielded by a limited liability company, Crazy Snack 05.

Big Ticket includes closed listings from the previous week, ending Wednesday.

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Bill Would Bar Youth From Buying Ice Picks

If you’re buying beer, you need to show some ID. Planning to pick ice? You’ll need to do the same if legislation introduced Thursday in the City Council is enacted to bar those under 21 from buying an ice pick.

The bill, which also applies to awls, another pointed tool, addresses concerns that the tools have occasionally been used in the city as weapons.

The measure would extend to these tools the same limits that already apply to box cutters, including prohibition against their being openly displayed by vendors and being carried on school premised by anyone under 22. It was introduced by Councilman Peter F. Vallone Jr., a Queens Democrat who heads the Council’s Public Safety Committee.

Mr. Vallone said he was troubled by reports like an attack last summer in the Bronx, where a young man was stabbed in the back with an ice pick, and a spree of ice-pick assaults in 2011, mainly on women in the Bronx, by a man named John Martinez, who was called the “Ice-Pick Bandit” and eventually sentenced to 18 years in prison.

While ice-pick crimes were more prevalent in the days before refrigeration, when the iceman delivered large blocks of ice to homes, they have had a slight uptick in recent years. Tougher gun laws, and the rise of the Police Department’s so-called stop-and-frisk practices, may be why people are turning to this weapon of yesteryear, Mr. Vallone said.

“I can’t say it’s a huge problem right now, but it’s our job to stay in front of these things,” he said. He added, “I still have not run across any remaining legitimate uses for an ice pick.”

But at Okamoto Studio Custom Ice in Long Island City, Shintaro Okamoto, the owner of the company, which makes ice sculptures, says it’s an integral tool for his trade. Though legislation would little affect him, Mr. Okamoto said, since the sculptors of his ice animals, busts, and modern art pieces are all over 21, the concept did not sit well with him.

“It is kind of a scary steppingstone,” Mr. Okamoto said. “Are they going to ban pencils because you can stab someone with a pencil too? You can hurt somebody with anything.”

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Horse on the Menu? Try Narwhal

We at The New York Times could affect a lot more dudgeon over the horse meat scandal in Europe if we hadn’t come across a menu in our files from a celebratory dinner given in 1909 — by the editors of this newspaper — to honor Robert E. Peary on his discovery of the North Pole.

Legacy media have items like this in their files.

Labeling was not the issue in this case. (With the possible exception of the fact that whatever Peary discovered, it probably wasn’t the North Pole.) Everything on the menu was called what it was: narwhal, walrus, ptarmigan, pemmican and musk ox.

We were queasily impressed. Gene Rurka, a member of the Explorers Club, was not. He’s in charge of the exotic hors d’oeuvres served at the club’s annual dinner, like browned earth worms in the form of salted pretzels.

“It’s salesmanship,” he said about The Times’s polar menu. No amount of French, Mr. Rurka said, could disguise the fact that the meat and poultry weren’t fresh. “What can you do with a walrus?” he asked, quite reasonably.

In our forensic analysis, aided by Grant Achatz of Alinea in Chicago, one of the nation’s most acclaimed chefs, here’s what we think The Times did:

Petite bouchée walrus — This mouthful of walrus would probably have tasted funky since walrus meat was usually fermented before being eaten. Had the meat been uncooked and just cured, there might also have been a frisson of risk, like eating Japanese blowfish, since walrus meat is known to carry trichinosis. (Mr. Achatz envisioned very thin slices of raw walrus meat with sea salt and black pepper — “almost a sashimi of walrus.”)

Velouté ptarmigan aux croutons — Here is the soup course; a cream soup, though probably beige, not white, since ptarmigan is grouse-like, with gamy red meat. A stock made from the bird’s bones would have been the soup base, with pieces of the flesh and croutons in the velvety, flour-thickened soup.

Suprême de narwhal, Véronique — A boneless slice of narwhal meat, most likely the color of the dark meat of chicken or wild turkey, was perhaps served with its chewy mattak, or layer of blubber, considered to be a delicacy. The dish at the dinner would have been presented in a cream sauce, and garnished with fresh green grapes. Polar explorers might have had raisins, but never grapes. (Mr. Achatz would have garnished the meat with reindeer lichen. He pictured the tusk as a trophy piece.)

Mignon de musk ox, Victoria, pommes Parisiennes — Musk ox has red meat, so this would have been like filet mignon, maybe like filet mignon of horse meat, though probably not cooked rare. Victoria, as in the English monarch, usually meant black truffles in the sauce or as a garnish, and possibly pieces of lobster, too. Potato balls in clarified butter went alongside.

Mousse de pemmican, Kossuth, épinards aux fleurons — The pemmican, or jerky, could have been made from any animal, but reindeer is a good candidate. This could have been a tasty dish, the dried meat and fat ground up and lightened into a mousse, no doubt Hungarian-style à la Kossuth with sour cream and paprika. Clusters of spinach went alongside.

Sorbet “North Pole” — White ices, but certainly not coconut, served as a palate cleanser. At this dinner, the sorbet came at the end of a succession of exotic meat preparations and before what was probably the best dish of the evening. (Mr. Achatz conjured a coarsely textured, hand-cranked sorbet, flavored with mint and sea salt, frozen in pans eight inches square and one inch deep. “Then you would shatter it so that it broke into organic pieces, like icebergs,” he said.)

Perdreau roti, bardé aux feuilles de vigne, coeur de romaine en salade — The roast partridge was wrapped in grape leaves, a classic preparation for the little birds, which have pale, tender and somewhat gamy flesh, especially when young. Juniper berries are typically included in the preparation. This should have been delicious, served with some romaine lettuce salad alongside. (The birds might well have been served whole, Mr. Achatz said, heads included.)

Biscuit glacé Knickerbocker — This is not a biscuit as we know it but a type of frozen dessert presented in a thick slice, similar to ice cream but made with mixture of cream and a dense meringue and often flavored like nougat. (“Knickerbocker” may have hinted that, like the cocktail of the same name, the dessert was made with rum and flavored with raspberry, orange, lemon and lime, Mr. Achatz said.)

By this point in the evening, the rum was probably welcome.

“Peary Discovers the North Pole After Eight Trials in 23 Years” (PDF)

“Peary Discovers the North Pole After Eight Trials in 23 Years” (Text)

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A Lubavitcher and a Young Gay Latino Board a Plane

Dear Diary:

When a Lubavitcher man sat next to me on my plane from Zurich to Kennedy Airport, I reluctantly set aside my hope of seeing “Magic Mike” during the flight. Instead of watching Matt Bomer bare his chest, I caught a glimpse of my new neighbor kissing his tefillin. With the wing outside the window blocking my view, I prepared for a long journey.

Some time later, as I was eating the last of my Swiss chocolate, I saw my neighbor stare at his less-than-appetizing kosher bagel. Feeling sorry for him, I offered him a square. He politely refused. I politely stopped eating. A beat later, he politely asked where I was headed.

By the time we began our descent, we had discussed segregation in Chicago, the value of an English major and the openness of Americans compared with the Swiss. Then, as our plane made a crescent over the ocean, we fell silent. Outside our window, waves blossomed below us; a flotilla perched on their petals, the city bathed in sunlight.

Then, an old Israeli Lubavitcher and a young gay Latino arrived in New York, a long journey behind them and many more ahead.


Read all recent entries and our updated submissions guidelines. Reach us via e-mail: [email protected]. Follow @NYTMetro on Twitter using the hashtag #MetDiary.

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Koch’s Touch of the Irish

For nearly 50 years, since he was a city councilman, Edward I. Koch proudly marched in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, typically in his Aran Islands fisherman’s sweater. Now, the story can be told of how that tradition began.

Rewind to 1978. Mr. Koch, who died last month, was returning from a trip to Rome for the funeral of Pope John Paul I when his plane stopped to refuel in Shannon, Ireland. He and Dennis Martin, a member of his security detail, stopped at the airport’s duty-free shop and each bought a traditional cable-knit sweater.

The following St. Patrick’s Day, Mr. Koch asked Mr. Martin to drive him downtown from Gracie Mansion to his Greenwich Village apartment to find something green to wear to the parade. Mr. Martin, instead, suggested the cream-colored cable sweater bought at the airport.

“Can I?” Mr. Koch asked.

“Here I’m 32 and the chief executive of New York City is asking me if he can do something,” Mr. Martin recalled on Thursday.

Mr. Koch’s informality startled some of the parade organizers (the grand marshals wear top hats, tails and ceremonial sashes), but the sweater became an instant hit with spectators.

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Conclave Over, Bakery Quickly Alters Its Menu

At Artuso Pastry Shop in the Bronx, the demand was there, but over on the supply side in the Vatican, the cardinals were not immediately obliging.

“So many people were calling for pope cookies and we didn’t know who the new pope would be,” said Natalie Corridori, a manager at the bakery.

So on Wednesday, under lingering black-smoke conditions, the bakers at Artuso, famed for their Pope Benedict XVI cookies, jumped the gun and started making papal cookies with a question mark for a face.

The timing was rotten. Just before the question mark could be printed out on sheets of sugar paper to apply to the cookies – stop the presses! — Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina was elected the new leader of the Roman Catholic Church.

But it did not take long for bakery workers to download a photo of the new pope. Soon his confectionery likeness adorned the first batch of Pope Francis cookies.

Ms. Corridori, an Argentine-born Catholic of Italian descent, just like His Holiness, could not have been more pleased by the selection.

“When it was announced, I called my parents, and they sounded like we just won the World Cup,” she said. With a little luck, the cookies could be a crossover hit for Artuso, a holdover Italian-owned business in the Belmont neighborhood, where Latinos (and Albanians) have moved in great numbers in recent years.

Artuso’s papal cookies are made from the same recipe as a standard bakery black-and-white, but with the pope’s photo printed with food-coloring ink and layered onto the icing.

By Thursday morning, the bakery had made so many Pope Francis cookies – pope in white, with an orange background – that the main printer broke. The bakers switched to a backup printer, turned out a few batches and put them on the shelves with the sfingi and zeppole (for St. Joseph’s Day on Tuesday), the Easter candy and the St. Patrick’s-themed pastries.

By midday, Artuso had sold nearly 100 of the cookies, as several customers tasted and debated the religious implications of eating them.

“I don’t think it’s a sin – it’s a blessing,” said Yada Santos, a native of Puerto Rico who hailed the selection of Pope Francis. She decided to buy a cookie even though she had come for a cheesecake, which she also bought. “Hopefully it’s a blessing that will keep the calorie count down, too.”

Ms. Corridori decided to also make a final batch of Pope Benedict XVI cookies, for old time’s sake, and for anyone who might buy one as a collector’s item.

“Last chance to get Pope Benedict the 16th cookies,” she called out from behind the counter.

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