Shameless member promotion alert....my husband is writing a serial for the NY Observer called "The Pied Piper of Park Avenue." Thought you all might enjoy this:
THE PIED PIPER OF PARK AVENUE
By Jesse Kornbluth
Seniors from the most prestigious private schools in Manhattan walked out of school and filled a convoy of their parents’ SUVs with $6,000 of food and delivered it to a food bank in Harlem. Their parents were furious. The kids promised not to do it again.
Episode #2 with link to #1
EPISODE #1 SNIP
It looked like a flash mob.
Right after lunch on the first warm afternoon in April, seniors began streaming out of the city’s elite private schools. They came East from Spence and Nightingale and Sacred Heart, West from Chapin and Brearley. They met at 86th Street and Park Avenue. Then the Dalton crew arrived, and there were several hundred kids milling around.
They were the sons and daughters of the very rich in their final weeks of school. They’d just returned from Spring Break in St. Barts and Harbour Island and Palm Beach; in September, they’d be off to Duke and Brown and Harvard. They were tanned and buffed, glowing with good health and good fortune, and when they came together, they looked like a Ralph Lauren double-page foldout in Vogue.
The first sign that this might be something more than a flash mob was the arrival of a convoy. A Range Rover. A Suburban. A Denali. All black. These were the cars of the wives of three Wall Street titans who were, as it happened, friends having their monthly lunch at Swifty’s. Their kids knew their mothers would be drinking Sancerre until at least 2:30, plenty of time for them to borrow their chauffeurs for a grocery pickup at the D’Agostino on Madison Avenue.
They just hadn’t told the drivers that they’d be picking up $6,000 worth of canned food. Bought online. Paid by Platinum cards.
EPISODE #2 SNIP
Within hours, the heads of the elite schools and Hays Nolan, who was Henry Kravis’s lawyer and a member of the Brearley board, were on a conference call. What to do? Someone suggested making an announcement: “We know what you’re up to, and…” And what? Call their parents? And tell them what? The next bad idea: a lockdown, a prudent response to a “threat” that would never be confirmed. That was quickly rejected. Silence descended.
Over four decades Hays Nolan had seen many looming disasters, and his advice rarely varied: Don’t rush to respond. That’s what he suggested now. “The kids are putting on a show, and it’s a good one. But it has a half-life. This time, they’ll discover it doesn’t matter what they do, only who they are. TV and the Post will go after them as spoiled rich kids — and in the glare of the bright lights, they’ll fold.”