The Best Items To Bid On At NYC Prep School Auctions

by SUSANNAH LONG · May 12, 2010

    The WSJ reports on the incredibly schmancy school auctions that are currently cutting their annual swathe through the UES and UWS, and the laundry list of awesome items up for bid is pretty epic.

    [Photo courtesy of WSJ]

    When you're basing chunks of your operating budget on the auction returns (or when, like hardcore auction organizers LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts, you invite Alasdair Nichol, the urbane host of "Antiques Roadshow" on PBS, to serve as auctioneer), you better hope you deliver. Luckily, the WSJ article and the websites of various prep schools around the city reveal that among the ubiquitous theater tickets, nights at area hotels, gift certificates, and Botox treatments up for bid are some more intriguing "intangibles", including some downright superlative ones. The Most Coveted Prize In The History of New York Parenting: The Dwight School on W 89th is offering parents the chance to buy their kid a summer internship (starting bid 6 grand) at Bobbi Brown Cosmetics. Donated by Estee Lauder exec Maureen Case, the prize will provide your child with 400 bucks a week, copious copy machine experience, and, probably, a less homely face.


    Best For Anyone With A Working Mouth: LaGuardia also offered a Jacques Torres personal chocolate tour for four. The  prize sold for only 700 dollars; a steal, considering the possibility of slipping away from the tour guide and swimming in a vat of chocolate.

    Probable sights on the tour.

    Best For Art Lovers: It's a toss-up between a "Chuck Close and Personal" dinner at the Savoy with artist Chuck Close (sold at Laguardia for $2,400.00) and a private, after-hours tour at the Museum of Modern Art with MOMA director Glenn Lowry (up for bid at Collegiate High School).

    Best Brush With Fame: Adrian Grenier will host the winning bidder at LaGuardia’s auction for a 3-night stay in the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel and a lunch on the "Entourage" set . . . although judging from friends of ours who’ve run into Adrian at the Park Slope Food Coop, he’s kind of a jerk.

    Just imagine any one of these Adrian incarnations caressing your hand and asking you to pass the salt.

    Worst Brush With Fame: At the same auction, Ringo Starr’s drumsticks only sold for 350 dollars! THE MAN IS A MUSICAL LEGEND. We were even angrier a this affront to Ringo's memory, before we remembered that Ringo is still alive. RINGO WE'RE SORRY.

    Best For People With Complicated Self-Image: At Loyola, bidders can win the privilege of having their name appear as a character in one of James Patterson's upcoming crime thrillers. So if you want someone with your name to die in a car bomb explosion, or provide some weak clues to the jaded hero, or be a witness to a gruesome quadruple homicide, now's your chance.

    Best For Those With Suspended Licenses, Because Auctions Don't Run Background Checks: Staten Island Academy opened bidding at 4,000 dollars for five hours of driving a large assortment of luxury sports cars, from a Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano to a Lamborghini LP560.

    Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano                              Lamborghini LP560

    Best For Glee Fans: Bard High School Early College offered a walk-on - sorry, make that a "dance-on" - role in the Broadway musical "Hair."

    Best For Shopaholics: A private shopping party at Olive and Bette's, bought for a paltry $423.00 at LaGuardia.

    Best For World Travelers: Bard High school offered a week at a Parisian B&B, complete with private cooking lessons by the grandmotherly proprietress. The listing promised the petite vieille would provide "home made foie gras, Queen of Sheeba chocolate cake, and her own croissants!" Let's home grand-maman can live up to her buzz.

    And Finally, What the Crap: In the words of the WSJ, "Manhattan's Mandell School head Gabriella Rowe will lead 12 people on a duck-hunting expedition in Melbrook, N.Y., followed by a round of scotch and cigars." What? Really? What? Well, you get to keep the ducks you kill. Bonus.

    Also relevant.

    Didn't win any of the swankier items this past week? Don't worry, the auction season isn't over yet. Plus, there's always next year; perhaps a famous LaGuardia grad will offer to sire a child by the winning bidder.