Magazine article The New Yorker

LET THEM EAT CAKES; OFF THE RUNWAY Series: 3/5

Magazine article The New Yorker

LET THEM EAT CAKES; OFF THE RUNWAY Series: 3/5

Article excerpt

Ten years ago, Mrs. Corrine Barsky split her time between an apartment on Fifth Avenue, a house in Lawrence, Long Island, and a home in Boca Raton, but today she has just one residence, a duplex apartment on an upper floor of the Carlyle Hotel. She has owned the apartment for two years--for the previous eight years she lived in a suite on a lower floor formerly occupied by Jacqueline Onassis--and has put her own stamp on the place, with a bold mixture of animal prints and chinoiserie in the living room and romantic French antiques in the bedroom.

Mrs. Barsky moved to the hotel when she became a widow; her late husband, Arnold Barsky, was the founder and president of a company called Arcon Coating Mills, and had made his fortune in yellow legal pads. "Forty or fifty years ago, at the top of the legal pads there was just cloth," Mrs. Barsky explained the other day. "He thought, What is that? It is ridiculous. It comes apart. He saw a need, and so he designed a special tape that goes across the top of the legal pad." Mr. Barsky also produced the blank sheets of paper found at the front and back of books. "Without the end sheets, the book would not be held together properly and would fall apart," Mrs. Barsky said. The Barskys were married for thirty-nine years; their one child, a daughter, was married last June in a ceremony at the Jewish Museum, on whose board Mrs. Barsky sits.

Living in a hotel, Mrs. Barsky has found, suits her needs very well. "It's like a dream," she said. "Twenty-four-hour maid service, my dear. They take care of everything. You call downstairs and ask, Can you change a light bulb? Can you open a box for me? They come up. You need a cup of coffee, they bring you a cup of coffee within minutes. And the people that stay here--you never know if you are going to run into Nicole Kidman in the exercise room. You're part of a family. It's not like that in a co-op building."

The other day, the Carlyle's managing director, James McBride, invited Mrs. Barsky to an event that was taking place in the hotel's Dumonet restaurant: an afternoon tea to celebrate New York Fashion Week, with petits fours and cakes inspired by items from the spring fashion collections. The idea for Pret-a-Portea, as the event was called, was imported from the Berkeley Hotel in London, which has held similar teas for the past two seasons. Also imported for the week was the Berkeley's pastry chef, Angela Esparza, whose job it was to translate articles of designer clothing, selected by the Carlyle's fashion advisory board--Kelly Killoren Bensimon, an author and former model, Emily Holt, a fashion editor, and Candy Pratts Price, the executive fashion director of Style. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.