— Irin Carmon
MORE PROOF, IF NEEDED, THAT BROOKLYN IS FASHIONABLE: Saying Vogue and Brooklyn in the same breath could once be called oxymoronic, but this is the new New York City, with the media class priced out of old mainstays and Brooklyn transformed. So it's perhaps no surprise that Riverhead will today release "Brooklyn Was Mine," a book edited by Vogue's culture editor Valerie Steiker and senior editor Chris Knutsen, both Brooklyn residents. The book gathers essays on the borough from what Knutsen called "this incredible concentration of nationally celebrated authors who live in these five or six neighborhoods," including Susan Choi, Jonathan Lethem and Katie Roiphe. Alexandra Styron's essay on reading her father William's "Sophie's Choice" through its Brooklyn sites was excerpted in The New Yorker and helped spur a book deal for her memoirs.
Everyone, including the writers, contributed pro bono, and proceeds are going to Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn. Knutsen is particularly active in the organization, which fights for the preservation of Brooklyn neighborhoods. He stressed, however, that it was not a purely activist book. "These are meant to be literary pieces that will live beyond the current battles," he said. "We want the book to sit on the bookshelf and stay there as a lasting literary work."
And while Anna Wintour may not join the Park Slope Food Co-op any time soon (though she is thanked in the book's acknowledgements), Steiker said Brooklyn and high fashion are hardly strangers. "I was in Bendel's a few months ago and they were having a One Girl Cookies extravaganza," she said, referring to a Cobble Hill bakery. — I.C.
WANDERING LOVE: Just when tales of socialite romance ending in turmoil have started to become commonplace, Vanity Fair's February issue profiles one of the longest fairy-tale unions running: the one between Crown Prince Pavlos and Crown Princess Marie-Chantal of Greece. Special correspondent Bob Colacello details the couple's engagement, their upbringings and the Greek royal family's struggles to return to Greece after they were dethroned and exiled in the late Sixties. The piece also tracks Marie-Chantal's adventures in education before launching her eponymous children's clothing line, which now has six freestanding stores and is launching an e-commerce site. The London-born social — who is the daughter of duty free billionaire Robert Miller and sister of Pia Getty and Alexandra von Furstenberg — worked in Andy Warhol's studio as part of an independent study program at boarding school, spent time at St. Lawrence and New York Universities without finishing degrees at either school, and studied art history in Italy and traveled to Paris with an interest in horses before meeting her future husband and returning to NYU. "I was always on this unbelievable quest to go and do. My father worried, I'm sure, but I think he also felt that eventually something would come up. And it did. I met Pavlos," she says in the article. A course surely not on the curriculum of any major institution. — Stephanie D. Smith