Posts in journalism
Clutch Play

Manhattan, Inc.

“The buyers from Saks have arrived. They are relieved of their fur coats and given coffee. They settle into chairs behind the larger of two tables in Judith Leiber’s West 33rd Street loft, and the show begins. With the enthusiasm she manages to musters ten times a day, a chic vendeuse, attired in black, presents the spring and summer collection. Each handbag is set gently on the table, as if it is a gem worthy of Harry Winston’s Fifth Avenue window.”

 

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Gorgeous Georgette

Manhattan, inc.

“Georgette Klinger, her image reflected many times in the mirrored walls of the salon, crossed the pale beige carpet—the kind that’s ordinarily reserved for the boudoir—and turns left into a darkened hallway. She is making her rounds. Every door is equipped with a porthole situated at eye level. She stops to peer into each of the fifty-five treatment rooks, where clients are swaddled in blankets and comfortably settled into fat white reclining chairs. Society matrons and top models, actors and executives, grandmothers and teenagers are having their faces steamed and massaged, masqued and moisturized.”

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Foreign Exchange

Savvy

“The attendants on the Cathay Pacific Airlines flight from Sydney to Hong Kong have turned out the overhead lights, and most of the passengers are napping. Catherine Devlin reaches for the lever that releases her seat back, closes her eyes, and tries to relax. She’s had one hell of a week; for the last eight days, she’s been working Australia, calling on bank customers from breakfast to dinner, from Sydney to Melbourne. If she never sees the inside of a restaurant again, it won’t be a moment too soon.”

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The View from Within

Savvy

“The results are in. When American automobile manufacturers released their final sales figures for 1981, there was little doubt that Detroit had suffered one of its worst years in decades. Sales of domestic cars fell 5.3%, slipping to the lowest level in twenty years. In fact, recession-level sales volumes in both 1980 and 1981 have cost the U.S. auto industry nearly $5.5 billion.”

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When the Going Gets Tough…

Savvy

“She shifts her 1982 Series III racing green Jaguar into reverse, and we roll down the driveway, past the banana trees, the 40-foot-high birds-of-paradise, and the pale yellow jasmine that surround her Santa Monica villa. We are headed for Gladstone’s for lunch by the shore. She palms the mahogany wheel, swinging the car through sharp downhill turns. She has to watch the road, but I am free, for the first time to watch her. She is Patricia—Tish—Nettleship, owner and president of North Pacific Construction Company, a striking woman wrapped in beige suedes and creamy silks, a tawny seashell laced with gold around her neck; on her right hand, a knife-edge wedge of a ring, sugared with diamonds.”

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Barron’s' Bad Boy

Columbia Journalism Review

“Alan Abelson, the editor of the business weekly Barron’s, is not afraid of a good fight. He can’t afford to be. Last March, A. T. Bliss, a Florida-based distributor of solar water heaters, brought a $90 million lawsuit against Abelson for allegedly libelous statements in his weekly column ‘Up & Down Wall Street.’”

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From Russia, With Love

Manhattan, inc.

“Tasting the best stuff is an extraordinary sensation. Placed directly in the mouth, it smells like the sea, bursts on the tongue, then melts saltily over the tastebuds. Christian Petrossian awaits a reaction. When a blissful grin appears, he smiles back. He has just converted another caviar lover, and at $100 for a 125-gram tin of beluga, that’s not a bad afternoon’s work.”

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Judgment Day

Manhattan, inc.

“The advertising-award season is upon us once again. There’s a virtual spring flood of ceremonies—the One Show, the Art Directors Show, the Andys, the Effies, the International Advertising Film Festival at Cannes, and of course, the Clio Awards. Some of the shows are more respected than others. The One Show, an arm of the One Club, gets high marks, as does the Art Directors Show. But the Clio Awards get quite a hammering. Many in the advertising community seem to have a bone to pick with Clio. They’re disenchanted with this annual extravagant production number.”

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A Man of the Cloth

Manhattan, inc.

“Walk into Jack Lenor Larsen’s showroom. Columns draped in flowing fabric race toward the ceiling. Light falls from above in pools, the better to show texture and sheen. On a cutting table, samples from Terra Nova, Larsen’s newest line, are being trimmed and tacked to display wings. Interior designers and their clients browse. Money is no object; paying $100 a yard isn’t uncommon. In textiles, Larsen is the best there is—and often, the most expensive. To know his work is to be spoiled for any other.”

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Schtick of Dynamite

Manhattan, inc.

“A warm nasal voice, possibly of Chicago origin, is issuing from the speakers in Joy Golden’s gleaming red, black, and chrome office. Golden and two emissaries from Chiat/Day listen intently. They are reviewing tapes of radio spots they made for Pizza Hut the day before. They’ve heard this particular spot ten times, but all three giggle when it’s over. They like it when the character, on his way to lunch at Pizza Hut, forgets to open his office door. Clunk-thunk. It’s hard not to laugh at the sound effect: the two-hundred-pound studio owner created it himself by walking headlong into a door. Ten times, until he got it right. Anything for Joy Golden.”

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The Midlife Memory Meltdown

O, The Oprah Magazine

“I’d barely crossed the threshold of middle age. As a journalist, I was invested in staying smart and quick, mistress of my good brain and sardonic tongue. But almost overnight, I found that I was missing critical information—the names of people and places, the titles of books and movies. Worse, I had the attention span of a flea. I was having trouble keeping track of my calendar, and my sense of direction had disappeared. The change was so dramatic that sometimes I felt foreign to myself. Over the course of a few years, as friends and relatives moved into their 40s and 50s, I realized that I was part of a large group of people who were struggling to keep up. I was determined to find a plausible explanation for what was happening to my brain and, by extension, to middle-aged minds in general.”

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Down By San Diego Bay

Travel + Leisure

“An old-fashioned shore haven in surfer-dude southern California? That’s Coronado, eight miles from San Diego International Airport. On the bay side of this 13 1/2-mile isthmus: dramatic views of San Diego Harbor, the city skyline, and the two-mile bridge that connects Coronado to the metropolis (you can also take the fun, 15-minute ferry). On the Pacific side: nothing but water, all the way to Japan.”

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Bring the Kids

Islands

“Since the little ones arrived, you’ve pushed a dolphin-stroller around SeaWorld, stood in line for the Dumbo ride at Disneyland, and worn out your welcome at the lake cabin. Your travel lust is at fever pitch, and you know what you want: an island vacation. Some of the following five family islands are loaded with city fun, while others are soaked in sunshine and salt water. Once you’re there, with a little planning and a lot of serendipity, cherished family memories are guaranteed.”

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