Before the New York Times or the Washington Post get a hold of this, I want to issue my denials. Yes, I am linked to Jared Kushner through our mutual involvement in 666 Fifth Avenue.
Yes, I know Kushner is struggling to obtain cash for his investment at 666 Fifth, for which $1.2 billion in debt comes due in February. I know he recently got $184 million from Apollo Global Management and $325 million from Citigroup after meeting with their executives at the White House. Not to mention the 2016 meeting with Sergey Gorkov, who heads the Russian state-affiliated Vnesheconombank (VEB), or the Kushner family’s seeking financing under the EB-5 visa program, which allows foreigners to invest $500,000 in a property in exchange for U.S. visas.
But I had nothing to do with any of that. I swear. My entanglement with 666 Fifth stems solely from Stouffer’s Top of the Six’s, the 41st-floor restaurant, with what were once considered to be fabulous views. This might suggest, wrongly, that I was a player when, in 2007, the Kushner Companies paid $1.8 billion, mostly borrowed, for 666 Fifth.
No, no, no. Yes, in the early 1960s, as a boy on a spring vacation to New York City, I was taken to the Top of the Six’s by my grandmother and mother. It was made clear to me that this was a treat, a huge treat. It was the first time I’d been in a dark restaurant, with dim little lights on the tables. I ordered the prime rib, and both my grandmother and mother said, “He’ll never finish that.” But I did.
And that was it. I never went back. The restaurant closed in 1996. I remember it fondly, vividly, but I was never consulted on the building’s purchase. By anyone. And $1.2 billion in debt, that’s just not me. No, not at all.
What sides and salad did you have? These are the secret codes the Mueller probe will want to delve into. Prepare yourself, or your next meal could be bread and water, tainted water, no less, at Leavenworth or possibly even Gitmo.
Once in awhile I am gripped by enormous nostalgia for lives past, way past. As I’m now 83 lives past are numerous. In the 1960s I dated Marian Mercer, an actress who was in Greenwillow on Broadway. I would pick Marian up after her show and we would go to the Top of the Sixes. It was a restaurant that we both loved. The food was average, the view was spectacular. The host was thrilled to get an upcoming star in the place so we always got a premium table. The tourists got an opportunity to get autographs. Marian got the feeling that she was a star and not in the chorus. I, of course, glowed with being with her. Marian is long gone, but the memory of having known her fills my heart with joy. I think we lose something when places like the Top of the Sixes go. T
Thank you so much. This was a wonderful memory.