New York City has lost one of its most colorful nutcases.gnomi
pointed me towards Abe Hirschfeld's obituary in today's Boston Globe
. (The Times obit is here
.) For those of you who never heard of him, on the surface Hirschfeld was a real estate magnate, who made a fortune mostly out of buying Manhattan parking garages. I suppose if he had left it there he would be remembered simply as a successful businessman.
But he was a nut. And I'm not the only one who says this -- in 1993, he attempted to buy the New York Post at a time when it looked like the newspaper was going to fold. Afraid of having to work for Hirschfeld, the staff revolted and published an issue with articles all about Hirschfeld's nuttiness. The front page of the paper showed their signature Alexander Hamilton icon shedding a tear, and the page 3 headline screamed out "WHO IS THIS NUT?"
Why did he earn this reputation?( Collapse )
There's more to it, of course -- words can't describe the expansiveness with which he approached people or presented himself. I remember his reaction to the Post's headline was to tell the staff how much he loved it and to walk around the newspaper offices congratulating them on such a fine issue. It was a little bizarre.
Anyway, rest in peace, Abe Hirschfeld. You made New York City a little more interesting.