Editor’s note

Stuart Elliott

There is no such thing as a get-out-of-jail-free card. But this might be the closest thing to it.

In this issue, LLNYC takes a look at the network of seasoned “security consultants” who the very rich turn to when they want to make sure their problems are handled discreetly.

Panicking because your teenager was pulled over in a car with a bunch of friends who had cocaine? Receiving blackmail threats from your mistress? Trying to find a spouse who disappeared with your money?

The very wealthy often don’t want to turn to the police with these problems, because they don’t want the publicity, so they often turn to a cottage industry of “consultants” — usually ex-cops — who can help.

Although they can’t make arrests or issue citations, they can do virtually everything else the local police force can do. They can talk to that mistress and tell her how she’d be throwing her life away by going to jail for attempted blackmail. They can call buddies at the local precinct and point out how that teenager doesn’t have a prior record, so go easy on him. And they can track down that spouse. 

But these consultants don’t come cheap. “It’s like anything else — if you got the money, you can hire the best,” Bo Dietl, a prominent former New York City police detective, told us.

In this issue, we look at the ways in which
money can buy beauty, a better sex life
and help keep you and your loved ones out of jail.

That the law may not apply to everyone equally is, admittedly, a little shocking. On the other hand, while you would hope to never need these services, they are good to know about. Check out the compelling story by Adam Piore on page 16

Money buying security is one thing, but the idea that money can buy beauty — with enough plastic surgery — is perhaps better known. (As long as the surgery doesn’t go wrong, that is.)

But who do you ask for referrals? The sign of successful plastic surgery is no visible sign at all. And most people don’t want to reveal their surgery secrets. But LLNYC can help you out — we’ve got a roundup of the top plastic surgeons, dermatologists and cosmetic dentists starting on page 20.

And you might want to set up another, very different, appointment. In a story by Liz Lucking on page 50, we take a look at an unconventional medical spa that provides injections and laser treatments that are apparently the key to vaginal health — and a better sex life. The services include the O-Spot injection in a very sensitive area, which sounds daunting but potentially rewarding! (I won’t go into details here —just read the story.)

Another of our main feature stories in the issue is risqué in a different way. We profile Simon Hammerstein, the grandson of musical-theater legend Oscar Hammerstein II, who just celebrated the 10th anniversary of his provocative nightclub, the Box, on the Lower East Side.

Reporter Chris Cameron interviews a drunk Hammerstein as he heckles the performers onstage at the Box, where the acts include circus tricks and X-rated neo-vaudevillian romps. (Heckling performers increases the drama in the room.) The Box’s anniversary party drew celebrities Zoë Kravitz, Susan Sarandon and Lindsay Lohan, but also represented an avant-garde scene that’s largely disappeared in New York these days. See page 26.

And last but not least, check out our profile of starchitect Bjarke Ingels, which begins on page 10. He’s the coolest and most influential architect in New York City — and perhaps the world — right now. If you drive up the West Side Highway and spot the giant “tetrahedron” at 57th Street, you’ll see why. Ingels is also designing a building at the World Trade Center site, as well as Google’s new headquarters, a seawall barrier around Manhattan (in the conceptual stages) and much more.

Other evidence of his coolness: When LLNYC hosted a small soiree in Tribeca last year for Martha Stewart after she graced our July/August 2016 cover, Ingels was there. A group of us were on a terrace, looking at the twinkling lights of Midtown skyscrapers. Ingels asked, “Do you want to see the lights on that skyscraper change color?” He pressed a button on his keychain and voilà — the top of the Bank of America tower on 42nd Street changed hues. (Ingels works with the tower’s developer, the Durst Organization, hence the remote control key fob.) It was the coolest party trick I had ever seen.

Enjoy the issue.

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