Sacré Bleu! French Government Buys Upper East Side Townhouse for $13.8 Million

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 reports: The Republic of France has bought a one-family dwelling on the Upper East Side for $13.9 million, according to property records spotted by Commercial Observer. The four-story property, at 222 East 62nd Street, will serve as the home of François Delattre, the Ambassador of France to the United 222-east-62nd-streetNations, a source with knowledge of the deal said, following last summer’s sale of France’s 18-room duplex at 740 Park Avenue for $70 million.

The 5,600-square-foot house between Second and Third Avenues is in the Treadwell Farm Historic District, according to Zillow, and has five bedrooms and seven and a half bathrooms plus staff quarters. The house has an elevator from the basement to the penthouse and south terraces over the gardens from the full-floor master suite and penthouse, Zillow noted.

While the property underwent a two-and-a-half-year renovation and sold in “spic–and–span” condition, the French government will have to do some renovations before Mr. Araud moves from 740 Park Avenue into his new house.

Joshua Wesoky of Sotheby’s International Realty represented the French government in the deal. He declined to comment….(read more)

Observer


BREAKING: Legendary Comedian Joan Rivers Dies After Being Taken Off Life Support

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“My mother’s greatest joy in life was to make people laugh. Although that is difficult to do right now, I know her final wish would be that we return to laughing soon.”

— Melissa Rivers

Joan Rivers, who rose from Greenwich Village standup to occasional host of “The Tonight Show” and star of TV’s “Fashion Police,” died Thursday after going into cardiac arrest during a medical procedure on Sept. 3. She was 81.

her daughter, Melissa, said in a statement. “My mother’s greatest joy in life was to make people laugh. Although that is difficult to do right now, I know her final wish would be that we return to laughing soon.”

Rivers had been admitted to New York’s Mt. Sinai hospital after she stopped breathing during a procedure on her vocal cords at a New York Clinic, and was placed in a medically-induced coma to assess her condition. Read the rest of this entry »


Free-Speech Wars: You Are What You Say, Not What You Do

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David French writes: I appreciate Michael’s post about the latest Huffpo-reported controversies involving Steve Martin, Joan Rivers, Jennifer Lawrence, and many, many others. Peruse the pages of lefty news outlets like the Huffington Post and you’ll routinely run across headlines like, ”[Insert Celebrity Name] said WHAT?!?” or “[Insert previously unknown individual] fired for insensitive remarks.” Even the conservative press can sometimes feel like an engine of perpetual outrage over hateful or insensitive comments.

These “two minutes hates” are deeply corrosive to our free-speech culture, but they’re also the inevitable outgrowth of succeeding generations that increasingly define virtue not through actions but through attitudes. In other words, watch what I say. What I do is irrelevant. You’re a bad person if you say the wrong things, no matter what you might do for your family or your fellow man. A lifetime of good works can be rendered irrelevant by a single thoughtless tweet.

But what else can we expect when we live lives of increasing narcissism and when youth (the audience most fired up by social media) retreat from engagement with the real world? For years now, we’ve heard that Millennials were special – “Generation We” — the generation that was most concerned with social justice and helping others. Others said no, describing experience with a generation that was constantly managing its own image on social media, immersed in tweets and “likes” and selfies — all while expecting great returns for little work. But what do the data say? Is it Generation We or Generation Me?  Here’s Jean Twenge writing in The Atlantic:

In my 2006 book Generation Me, I presented data showing generational increases in self-esteem, assertiveness, self-importance, narcissism, and high expectations, based on surveys of 1.2 million young people, some dating back to the 1920s. These analyses indicated a clear cultural shift toward individualism and focusing on the self. But perhaps both views were correct — maybe Millennials’ greater self-importance found expression in helping others and caring about larger social causes.

Read the rest of this entry »