Young Rich People Ruining New York, Says Old Rich Person

by BILLY GRAY · September 9, 2010

Writer, reluctant New Yorker and bespoke suit-wearer Fran Lebowitz is also a professional crank. One thing that ails her is the "ruination" of NYC at the hands of "dull" kids who are rich or come here to work on Wall Street. She also thinks the clubs are lame. But maybe Lebowitz is just going to the wrong parties.

Lebowitz lodged these complaints in a 2002 interview with Mr. Beller's Neighborhood that Jeremiah revisited today. It's possible, though unlikely, she's softened since then. Here are some snippets:

"As soon as you had a magazine called New York you had all these journalists who had to constantly write about New York. So eventually they would seek out things that they never could have come across on their own--like restaurants and places to go and ways of life--and start to write about them. And they turned these things upside down"


"New York is boring..I live here because when I got here it wasn't boring."


"To move to Manhattan, you have to have a rich father. The kids who come here are either rich or are moving here to make money in business, which is a dull kind of kid anyway."

We don't know how rich Lebowitz is. And working for your own fortune is different than inheriting it. But she sure likes to hang out in rich New York places with rich New York people, some of whom had very rich fathers.

There's nothing wrong with having money or getting cozy with people who do. And Lebowitz might be researching "Exterior Signs of Wealth", her long overdue novel about "rich people who want to be artists and artists who want to be rich." (Sorry, but that's per Wiki.) Or the satirist's comments in the Mr. Beller interview could have been a bit of meta satire. (Earlier on Lebowitz says, "I don't mind the countryside, providing it is sufficiently luxurious. I don't like the kind of country living where you have to help. I like country living where there is help.")

Still, from the snapshots of Lebowitz's social life found on sites like New York Social Diary, we've got to wonder if she's recently come in contact with any of the city's under-50 set, rich or poor.

And ask why being rich doesn't make a man dull, so long as he's old:

Here is Lebowitz with multibillionaire Ron Perelman at a 2008 Tribeca Film Festival party thrown by aspirational lifestyle magazine Vanity Fair at the New York State Supreme Courthouse. Other starving artists in attendance included Michael Bloomberg, Carolina Herrera and Lee Radziwill.

Lebowitz chats up Paloma Picasso at some dinner at Tiffany's.

Lebowitz with Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter in the front row at a Diane von Furstenburg fashion show. Lebowitz is a regular at Waverly Inn, Carter's clubby Village restaurant. Signature dish: Mac & Cheese. Its price: $55.

Lebowitz with billionaire Barry Diller, with whom she flew to a palace in Tangier on a private jet for the 70th birthday of Malcolm Forbes in 1989.

[via Broadway World, VF, NYSociaDiary, Gastrochic]