Woody Allen once said that Americans outside of NYC thought of New Yorkers as "left-wing, communist, Jewish, homosexual pornographers." Now, they have even more ammo against us, only this time it involves "jaguar-free honey."
Flipping through the 3,128 pages of the Sunday Times is the endangered Sunday routine of affluent white New Yorkers all across the region. So it makes sense that the paper's Metropolitan section runs a column detailing the Sunday routines of the readership's even whiter and richer heroes.
This week's subject is Thomas S. Kaplan, the filthy rich president of the board of directors of the 92nd Street Y and committed cat-fancier. If Kaplan weren't a semi-public figure, I'd swear this was a Shouts & Murmurs-esque farce of yuppie New York pretension.
Let us count the ways in which Kaplan might annoy boorish inlanders (and, hopefully, most New Yorkers):
1. He takes all the fun out of food
New York's trans-fat ban was limited to city restaurants, but its latest imposition of healthy living--a serious reduction in delicious salt flavoring--aims to make St. Bloomberg's nanny state a national scold. Kaplan follows suit. Witness his scrambled eggs preparation: "I use olive oil, not butter, and some sea salt and a little bit of skim milk." Boring! And don't get me started on his wan interpretation of a "pancake orgy," which includes whole-wheat flapjacks, yogurt and fruit. Clearly, chocolate chip-studded silver dollars drowning in maple syrup and wrapped around sausage links of factory origins unknown just won't cut it.
2. He outsources his parenting.
Larry Clark's Kids confirmed Red State suspicions that absentee New York parents were raising a generation of nitrous-huffing, AIDS-spreading, skateboarding degenerates. The city has cleaned up its act since then, but honestly we'd take Chloe Sevigny rolling on E at the Limelight over a 7-year old with a "chess teacher and Bible tutor" who makes Sunday morning house calls.
3. He shops at Dean & Deluca and therefore hates America.
The best line from the article comes when Kaplan describes his coffee, bought at upscale imported food mecca D&D: "It’s from Ethiopia; I buy it at Dean & Deluca, and I sweeten it with honey that comes from our own properties in Brazil: jaguar-free honey!" He then drinks it in the company of an earthworm-eating turtle.
4. He's far too impressed with his precious spawn.
And here we thought the smug sanctimommy had been entirely confined to Park Slope. (Sarah Jessica Parker is rumored to be making a sitcom about that 'hood's roving Bugaboo mafia.) The Chelsea-based Kaplan reminds us that this creature can still be found in Manhattan's museums and galleries making dubious assertions about his precocious kids with unorthodox names (Orianne and Leonardo): "Everyone in the family loves art: my [again, 7-year old] son can distinguish between a genuine Rembrandt and a painting from the Rembrandt School."
5. He makes the most loathsome restaurateur in the city rich: "If we’re uptown, we may have an early dinner at Nello."
Now, it could be that I'm just jealous of this alpha male. After all, my most recent Sunday routine was limited to lying prostrate on my couch watching a Jersey Shore marathon through the fog of a crippling hangover. My biggest accomplishment was stumbling out to the hallway to steal my neighbor's paper.
But slogging my way through this profile made me totally sympathize with Kaplan when he said that "Sundays tend to be something of an endurance contest around here."
(Main photo courtesy of NYT)