by john bobey
photography by david needleman | October 27, 2011 | People
FROM LEFT: Lee Ellenberg, Steve Guttenberg and Ronnie Bass. ON ELLENBERG: Tuxedo, John Varvatos ($1,895). 122 Spring St., 212-965-0700. Shirt, DKNY ($65). 655 Madison Ave., 212-223-3569. Tie, Brooks Brothers ($115). 346 Madison Ave., 212-682-8800. Shoes, Salvatore Ferragamo ($530). Barneys New York, 660 Madison Ave., 212-826-8900. ON GUTTENBERG: Suit, Hugo Boss ($795). 401 W. 14th St., 646-336-8170. Shirt ($235) and pocket square ($85), Giorgio Armani. 760 Madison Ave., 212-988-9191. Tie, Simon Spurr ($145). Bergdorf Goodman, 754 Fifth Ave., 212-753-7300. Belt, Bonobos ($98). Shoes, Kenneth Cole ($148). 95 Fifth Ave., 212-675-2550. ON BASS: Tuxedo ($2,290), shirt ($295) and bow tie ($175), Burberry. 9 E. 57th St., 212-407-7100. Watch, Audemars Piguet ($23,400). 65 E. 57th St., 212-688-6644. Shoes, Salvatore Ferragamo ($570). 655 Fifth Ave., 212-754-5200.
There’s a great movie from 1965 called How to Murder Your Wife, starring Jack Lemmon as swinging Manhattan bachelor Stanley Ford. In the opening scene, we learn that Ford is single and loving it. He entertains a different woman every night of the week in his swank townhouse, and life would be downright uncivilized without the perfect martini. Ah, those were the days—or were they?
It seems that being a Manhattan bachelor in the new millennium is less about too many women and more about not enough time. In the next few pages you’ll meet some of Gotham’s most eligible, grouped according to the worlds they inhabit. While none is quite as caddish as Lemmon’s Stanley Ford (OK, maybe a couple), all feel that settling down would mean cheating on their first love—their career. Ladies and gentlemen, if you’re going to snatch any of these catches off the market, you’d better be ready to compete with their main squeezes of “in” restaurants, outside-the-box art, being on-camera and off-the-wall funny. Good luck.
Lee Ellenberg, Comedy Writer
Even though he’s spent the last 11 years of his career as a writer for The Late Show with David Letterman, helping to maintain Dave’s signature snark, Lee Ellenberg is still the embodiment of the nice Jewish boy from Brooklyn. While a lot of guys in his position might use their comedy chops to keep a different girl laughing every night of the week, Lee is a true family man, cut from more old-fashioned cloth. “I wanted to be married when I was 17; I had a very idealized notion of what marriage is. Being the last one of my friends to be married has been enormously helpful, because I see the good, I see the bad. I no longer want a perfect marriage; I just want to feel perfectly about my marriage.”
Steve Guttenberg, Actor
In the movies, the guy always gets the girl. While Steve Guttenberg has been privy to all kinds of action on camera (even an alien in Cocoon), once someone yells “Cut,” he’s still single. As he readies for the opening of his new play (Relatively Speaking, premiering on October 20), Steve is viewing his bachelorhood philosophically. “I don’t want to be a playboy. I think that spiritually, it’s healthy to be connected to somebody. In thinking about the old saying, ‘you haven’t found the right one,’ maybe I haven’t become the right one yet to myself? But I do think that the time might be approaching.”
Ronnie Bass, Artist
It’s easy to imagine that on-the-scene visual artist and musician Ronnie Bass is living the dream (check out his work at New York’s I-20 Gallery starting November 5). As a handsome, successful New York artist, all he needs now is to meet the right girl and settle down—or not. “I like being in relationships. I like being in serious relationships, but a family is something that I don’t know if I want to take responsibility for right now. I don’t know if that’s a good thing to say; I just wouldn’t want to be unfair.”
FROM LEFT: Luke Ostrom, Raj Vaidya, Zac Young and Todd English. ON OSTROM: Suit, Hickey Freeman ($1,895). 543 Madison Ave., 212-586-6481. Shirt, Brioni ($595). 57 E. 57th St., 212-486-0500. Tie, Ralph Lauren ($120). 390 Bleecker St., 212-462-4390. Belt, Perry Ellis ($37.50). Macy’s, 151 W. 34th St., 212-695-4400. Watch, Hamilton ($845). Tourneau, 12 E. 57th St., 212-758-7300. ON VAIDYA: Suit ($6,825) and vest ($1,590), Kiton. 4 E. 54th St., 212-486-5250. Dress shirt, Bar III ($49.50). Macy’s, 151 W. 34th St., 212-695-4400. Tie, Kiton ($265). SEE ABOVE. ON YOUNG: Suit, Tween ($557). damattweenshop.com. Shirt, Perry Ellis ($49.50). Macy’s, 151 W. 34th St., 212-695-4400. Tie, Alexander Olch ($140). Bergdorf Goodman, 754 Fifth Ave., 212-753-7300. Pocket Square, Brooks Brothers ($30). 346 Madison Ave., 212-682-8800. Belt, Hugo Boss ($135). 401 W. 14th St., 646-336-8170. Watch, Bulgari ($9,800). 730 Fifth Ave., 212-315-9000. ON ENGLISH: Cashmere suit, Kiton ($7,700). 4 E. 54th St., 212-486-5250. Shirt, Hugo Boss ($105). Bloomingdale’s, 1000 Third Ave., 212-705-2000. Tie, Hickey Freeman ($145). Bloomingdale’s, SEE ABOVE. Pocket Square, Hermès ($130). 691 Madison Ave., 212-751-3181. Watch, TW Steel ($495). Madison Jewelers, 400 Madison Ave., 212-644-4100
Todd English, Chef/Restaurateur
It’s difficult to feel too bad for Todd English. He’s one of the most successful celebrity chefs, restaurateurs, authors and television personalities to enter the scene since anyone started keeping track of such things. Now his tall, dark and handsomeness is on full view at Food Hall, his new foodie mecca in The Plaza. “It’s a sexy life, I won’t put it any other way. There’s glamour to it, but there’s a lot of hours and a lot of travel. There’s pressure every day to perform—in the kitchen, I mean.”
Luke Ostrom, Restaurateur
Luke Ostrom is excelling at what could be Manhattan’s most alluring profession: restaurateur. As the owner and operator of The Dutch and Locanda Verde, he presides over two of the city’s hottest spots. Has he ever used his position to introduce himself to a particularly attractive table of women? Nah—that’s why he’s one of the good ones. “I don’t usually like to hype myself up. With a woman, I would get bored if there was no challenge at all, or spice in it, if you will. I like somebody to be a little bit competitive with me.”
Raj Vaidya, Sommelier
Like a fine wine, perhaps bachelorhood gets better with age. That could explain why Raj Vaidya, head sommelier at Daniel, is in no hurry to put a cork in his single life. “I’m not sure there is a worst part about being a bachelor. I like the freedom to spend my time exactly the way I want. I can choose when I want to be intrigued by another person. When I don’t want to be, I don’t have to.”
Zac Young, Pastry Chef
It’s well known that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, so finding Mr. Right should be a cinch for Zac Young, pastry chef at Flex Mussels and a contestant on the first season of Top Chef Just Desserts. “The first few dates, maybe I’ll bring them some chocolates or doughnuts from the restaurant, and then I’m done with it. Work is work. If I was dating a shrink, I wouldn’t be asking him for pills all the time.”
FROM LEFT: Jeremy Snepar, Geoff Bartakovics, Matt Rowean and Steve Lacy. ON SNEPAR: Three-piece suit ($7,325) and shirt ($450), Brioni. 57 E. 57th St., 212-486-0500. Tie, Hugo Boss ($95). Saks Fifth Avenue, 611 Fifth Ave., 212-753-4000. Bracelet, Snepar’s own. Watch, Frédérique Constant (price on request). Joseph Edwards, 501 Fifth Ave., 212-730-7300. Shoes, Salvatore Ferragamo ($440). 655 Fifth Ave., 212-759-3822. ON BARTAKOVICS: Suit, Dior ($3,400). 17 E. 57th St., 212-421-6009. Shirt, Theory ($125). 40 Gansevoort St., 212-524-6790. Tie, John Varvatos ($125). 122 Spring St., 212-965-0700. Pocket square, Bartakovics’ own. Belt, Dior ($370). SEE ABOVE. Watch, Breitling ($7,650). 5 E. 57th St., 855-999-1884. Shoes, Yves Saint Laurent ($550). 3 E. 57th St., 212-980-2970. Matt Rowean Suit, Hugo Boss ($895). Bloomingdale’s, 1000 Third Ave., 212-705-2000. Shirt, Louis Vuitton ($625). 1 E. 57th St., 212-758-8877. Tie, Hugo Boss ($95). Bloomingdale’s, SEE ABOVE. Belt, Louis Vuitton ($555). SEE ABOVE. Watch, David Yurman ($3,200). 712 Madison Ave., 212-752-4255. Shoes, Salvatore Ferragamo ($440). 655 Fifth Ave., 212-759-3822. ON LACY: Suit, Ermenegildo Zegna ($2,895). 663 Fifth Ave., 212-421-4488. Shirt, Hugo Boss ($95). Bloomingdale’s, 1000 Third Ave., 212-705-2000. Tie, Giorgio Armani ($145). Saks Fifth Avenue, 611 Fifth Ave., 212-753-4000. Pocket square, Brooks Brothers ($30). 346 Madison Ave., 212-682-8800. Belt, Kenneth Cole ($48). 95 Fifth Ave., 212-675-2550. Shoes, Prada ($695). 45 E. 57th St., 212-308-2332
Jeremy Snepar, Executive
As vice president of Media & Entertainment Strategy Advisors (MESA), Jeremy Snepar has advised and helped many early-stage media and entertainment companies grow their business. Now he’s looking to add a partner to his own operation. “I’m looking for a girl to settle down with. I’d love kids, and I’ve always looked forward to having a couple of my own. It’s just about picking the right girl.”
Geoff Bartakovics, Entrepreneur
When it comes to knowing where to go, Geoff Bartakovics, cofounder and CEO of tastingtable.com, is covered. But the right guy to go with? That’s another story. “I don’t know how it ended up this way, but I run with a very straight crowd, so it’s nearly impossible to meet potential dates just out and about. My only saving grace is that I have an adorable 80-pound mutt who is a conversation starter in any situation.”
Steve Lacy, Anchor
After years in Boston, Steve Lacy, the new cohost of Fox’s Good Day Wake Up, is loving New York and its nightlife; however, it can be hard hitting the hot spots when he gets up at the time most bachelors are just getting home. “I definitely like going out to a place that has a social scene where you can also get really good food. The sheer quantity of great options here—that’s what I really like. Even in a city the size of Boston, it gets to feel small quickly.”
Matt Rowean, Chief Creative Officer
As the chief creative officer of the marketing, branding and creative services agency RJW Collective, Matt Rowean knows that wearing a label like “bachelor” can create expectations. But in working with clients like Lacoste, Sony and Playboy, he’s proven skillful at exceeding expectations. “Lately I’ve been going to group dinners, putting some really interesting people together. I’ve found that’s the absolute best way to get to know people, far better than meeting out in nightclubs.” Hmmm, actually getting to know people; it’s just crazy enough to work.
Styling by Alvaro Salazar
Grooming by Elisa Flowers and Sylvester Castellano for Dior Beauty at ba-reps.com